Friends of Malawi Welcome
About Friends of MalawiMembershipGet InvolvedGrantsLearn About MalawiLinksNewsGift Shop
Friends of Malawi > About Friends of Malawi > Annual Report from President
Annual Report from President
 

February 2006:

During 2005 a major food shortage developed in Malawi. The food shortage in placed Malawi in the world news for all the wrong reasons. FOM meet with Malawian Ambassador Mr B.H. Sande to gauge how FOM could best help. We were pleased to learn about the Malawian government’s effort to foster a national fundraising effort to help Malawians help Malawians instead of relying solely on foreign aid. Malawi faces significant hurdles, mainly limited infrastructure and a large portion of its population dependent on subsistence farming of maize. There is a growing realization that food diversification, such as permaculture (i.e. sustainable, nutritious gardening) is needed. People in Malawi are talking about relying less on nsima. While this doesn’t mean they have changed their routines; the door has been cracked open. FOM answered concerned individuals’ questions, relayed information from people on the ground in Malawi back to our membership with postcards and website updates, and attended an International Monetary Fund (IMF) fundraiser in Washington, DC. FOM provided $2,280 to the UN World Food Program for short-term assistance. However, FOM will continue to prioritize work on longer-term solutions: literacy, micro-enterprise development, education, and nutrition.

The Board spent several months developing a survey of our membership. The board believes we need to periodically review why FOM exists and where the FOM membership wants to go. There are many options for the organization. We can facilitate networking, provide small grants, fund micro-finance lending, etc.



March 2005:

For 2004, the emphasis was on communication--within the Board, with our members, with other stakeholders, and with the wider world. The main goal was to update the website. The design of the new site reflects its status as a primary means of communication with our members, and with people who are just learning about Malawi. For now, the site offers considerable educational content about Malawi, provides general information about FOM, and gives the Board a way to communicate instantly with our members. Features still in the works include discussion boards for both the general membership and the board, and a password-protected membership database to allow participating members to reconnect with each other. To facilitate communication within the board, the board held its first conference call. These meetings will be held quarterly, and, in addition to our regular e-mailed discussions, provide a means for board members to stay updated on the organizations various activities. For our members, the newsletter continues to be published on schedule, ensuring that they receive FOM- and Malawi-based news twice yearly. And to facilitate dialogue with other stakeholders, FOM board members met with the new Peace Corps Malawi Country Director, the Malawian Ambassador to the United States, and members of the
expatriate Malawian organization, the Malawi-Washington Society.


March 2004:

After a period of near-hibernation, Friends of Malawi used 2003 to add new members to the Board and get core group functions, once again, functioning. The Board set 3 interim goals—to bring the Board up to full strength, to publish a newsletter to ensure communication with our members, and to continue to issue small grants—all of which were achieved. Ten members were elected to lapsed posts on the Board, and members received a newsletter in November. Our small grants program, considered the main function of FOM, awarded 6 grants totaling $72,602.

The Board spent several months developing a survey of our membership. The board believes we need to periodically review why FOM exists and where the FOM membership wants to go. There are many options for the organization. We can facilitate networking, provide small grants, fund micro-finance lending, etc.

 

Return to the top of the page

About Friends of Malawi | Membership | Get Involved | Grants | Learn about Malawi |
Discuss
| News | Links | Gift Shop