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On behalf of the Friends and RPCVs of Guyana community, we would like to thank Mike Geurink for all that he’s done in the last two years as FROG President. Without his leadership and hard work, FROG wouldnâ€™t be where it is today â€“ a growing organization that consistently gives back to the people of Guyana. Without fail, he dedicated time and energy to FROGâ€™s mission and handled all challenges with ease and a sense of humor. It has been an honor to work with Mike as FROG President and we sincerely thank him for all that he’s done.
Mike Geurink, President & Chief Fundraiser, (GUY 12): I am still with JSI but with the DELIVER Project as Finance and Admin Manager for our Ethiopia field office. I get to travel a bit for work and I get out of DC often for personal travel. Otherwise I am in DC most of the time enjoying the city, especially Eastern Market, playing golf and soccer, hanging out with my amazing friends, and trying to enjoy life.
Kati Ringer, Vice President & Membership Coordinator, (GUY 14): I work at an international development consulting in Burlington, Vermont. When I’m not working or helping with FROG, I like make art and spend time outside. Currently, I have a show of photographs at the Daily Planet in Burlington and will be showing paintings and photographs at the South End Art Hop during the month of September.
Louise Stenberg, Secretary & Projects Manager, (GUY 12): Life has been full of changes during the past couple years! After living in Washington DC for a year, I decided to return home to the great state of Minnesota and currently live in St. Paul. I now work for the Minnesota Department of Health in the Office of Public Health Practice, focusing on quality improvement and performance management within the state and local public health system in Minnesota. It is great to be closer to family and friends and I am enjoying becoming a fanatical Twins follower once again.
Eric Terpstra, Treasurer & Membership Coordinator, (GUY 14): This summer, Iâ€™ve been cranking out software, taming backyard flora, and wiping sweat from my brow in Memphis, Tn. My time as FROG treasurer has given me much respect for the accountants and bookkeepers of the world. I look forward to welcoming new FROG board members this fall and watching FROG blossom into a mature organization.
Scott Stadum, Technology Chair & Program Manager, (GUY 12): I moved back to Washington, DC after spending two years working in Buenos Aires, Argentina. I recently joined the Sunlight Foundation as a new media specialist for the nonprofit.
Jody Knueppel, Assistant Treasurer & Accounting, (GUY 16): I put over 1000 km on my snowboard this season and just moved to Mozambique.
Aimie Langenfeld-Mims, Community Outreach Coordinator, (GUY 14): Greetings! Itâ€™s been a great year! My work as a Siting and Land Rights Specialist with an Energy Development Company in my home state of Minnesota has kept me busy traveling around the Midwest, learning new things, and meeting new people. I got married this past July to a great guy, Ryan Mims, and we had an amazing day with our family and friends. I’m now Aimie Mims! It’s been awesome to be a part of the FROG Board; supporting the creativity and passion that PCVs have for their work and their communities is so rewarding. We all thank you for your continued support of FROG; we couldn’t do it without you!
The FROG Board sends a heartfelt shout-out to our Intern, Alan Ince. Alan was instrumental in the planning and promotion of our film screening and fundraiser on Friday, September 17th. We sincerely appreciate all your efforts, Alan- thanks for a job well done!
It is time to elect new board members of FROG, and we are now accepting nominations for board candidates. Elections will be held in October of 2010. If you, or someone you know is interested in joining the FROG board, we ask that you do the following:
Nominees must be (or will become) a member of FROG through the NPCA;
Nominees must submit their contact information to firstname.lastname@example.org no later than Sunday, October 18th; and Nominees are strongly encourage to fill out a Board of Directors Application Form at:http://bit.ly/hZcgb. Feel free to pass this letter to a candidate you feel might be interested.
A FROG board member will take a leadership role in an organization designed to enhance the lives of Guyanese nationals through micro-grants to organizations throughout the country. Opportunities also exist to spread awareness of Guyana and its people throughout the U.S. with fundraising events, T-shirt sales, newsletters, and a number of online tools.
The FROG board of directors meets every few weeks to plan and execute the activities, policy, and general direction of FROG. The meetings are held using Skype in a teleconference setting approximately once every six weeks, or when necessary to conduct FROG activities. The board consists of four main positions (the Executive Committee) and auxiliary positions created by the board when it is necessary to do so. The executive committee will be elected once the new board members have accepted their nominations and have been voted on to the board. The four main positions are as follows:
President. The president is the chief executive officer of FROG, presides at all meetings of the members of FROG, the Board of Directors, and the Executive Committee, and has general and active management of the business of FROG. The president sees that all orders and resolutions of the members of FROG and the Board of Directors are carried into effect. He or She executes bonds or contracts which the Board has authorized to be executed, except in cases where the signing and execution thereof shall be expressly delegated to some other officer or agent of FROG by the Board of Directors. In general he or she performs all duties incident to the office of president and such other duties as may be prescribed by the Board of Directors.
Vice President. In absence, disability, or refusal to act by the president, the vice president performs the duties and exercises the powers of the president, and has all the powers of and be subject to all of the restrictions of the office of the president. The vice president may, from time to time, perform such duties and have such powers as prescribed by the Board of Directors or the president.
Secretary. The secretary keeps minutes of all meetings of the membership of FROG, the Board of Directors, and the Executive Committee. He or she sends a copy of all minutes to each member of the Board within two weeks of such a meeting, and files a copy of the minutes in an electronic database maintained for that purpose; sees that all notices are duly given in accordance with these Bylaws or as required by law; be custodian of corporate records; keeps a record of the email address, post office address, and phone number of each member who furnishes such information to the secretary; and in general perform all duties incident to the office of secretary or as from time to time may be prescribed by the president or Board of Directors.
Treasurer. The treasurer is the custodian of all corporate funds and securities and shall keep full and accurate accounts of all receipts and disbursements in computer programs or books belonging to FROG. The treasurer deposits all money and other valuables in the name and to the credit of FROG, in depositories so designated by the Board of Directors. The treasurer disburses the funds of FROG as so directed by the Board, taking proper vouchers for such disbursements and submits to the presidents and Board at its regular meetings or when requested by the Board or president, an account of all transactions made as treasurer.
FROG Board members also take responsibility for additional roles. To successfully operate a non-profit organization, everyone’s participation is crititcal. New board members will be expected to join or take over one or more of the following roles:
Community Outreach Coordinator
Serving on the Board of Directors for the Friends and RPCVs of Guyana can be a richly rewarding experience. The small, yet focused nature of our organization allow us to move quickly and flexibly in order to accomplish our mission. Please share in our success by becoming a nominee, or nominating someone you feel would be an appropriate fit.
The Friends and RPCVs of Guyana Board of Directors:
Mike Geurink – President
Kati Ringer – Vice President
Eric Terpstra – Treasurer
Louise Stenberg – Secretary
Scott Stadum – Web/IT Coordinator
Aimie Mims – Outreach
Joanna Knueppel – Asst. Treasurer
Beginning June 15th (and ending July 12th) Friends & RPCVs of Guyana (FROG) will compete in the Chase Community Giving challenge on Facebook, in the hopes that we will be one of 200 nonprofits to share a $5 million donation or 195 with a $20,000 grant. Most of you are familiar with FROG by now, but if you're new to us, we're a 501c3 nonprofit dedicated to continuing the work of Peace Corps volunteers in Guyana by funding small projects through microgrants. Our goal -
FROG will provide assistance in the form of small grants and resources to support community driven projects that volunteers are involved in. In addition to this we will conduct Guyanese cultural events and awareness activities in the U.S., both as a part of the Third Goal of Peace Corps and as a means to strengthen support for the people of Guyana.
All of the money we raise and any money we gain from Chase will fund projects as FROG consists entirely of volunteers, incurring no overhead costs. With this funding we'll be able to continue projects like the Karawab Clean Water Project, the Canal #1 Learning Center Project, and Mason Richards’ Narrative Short Film Project on immigration. If you'd like to help FROG fund more projects, there are a few things you can do:
- Join the Chase Community Challenge app on Facebook and vote for us!
- Spread the word by posting the FROG profile on your wall, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google Buzz and everywhere else! You can use this link – http://bit.ly/dsprme to spread the message easily.
- Send an email to all your friends and family about FROG on Chase and be sure to include our projects!
One final note – Persist! Email contacts a few times, to tell them, nudge and remind them; post to Twitter and FB and other sites daily; ask your networks to do them same for their networks. We can win this! Thank you for your support.
FROG is very pleased to introduce our very first intern, Alan Ince. Recently, as FROG was discussing our need for more assistance and the possibility of starting an internship program, Alan contacted us about his interest in Guyana and helping our organization during the summer. Being a great opportunity for both FROG and Alan, we welcome him and look forward to collaborating with him over the summer.
Tell us about yourself:
I am a graduating senior at George Mason University, August 2010. My degree is in Communication with a concentration of Public Relations. I am a first generation American, with Guyanese parents and I was raised in Virginia Beach, VA.
Youâ€™ve made several trips to Guyana. What were your experiences like?
I’ve been to Guyana twice and my first experience was pretty much along the lines of, “It’s hot, get me out of here!!!” Then again I was under 10 years old! I went back in 2008 for a family reunion and that is when I gained appreciation for the country. The way everyone finds beauty in little things, or to make the best out every situation seems so right. Some of the things that bothered me were the conditions of some of the country, somewhat heart breaking.
How did you become interested in working with FROG?
I knew I wanted to do some type of nonprofit work while I was in school and one of our PR projects was working with Relay for Life. That gave me somewhat of an insight and then I researched nonprofits relative to something that is close to home. Through research I came across FROG. It seemed perfect, so I shot Mike and email and the rest is history. Here I am, making an attempt to learn about the nonprofit sector.
How do you hope to contribute to FROG during your internship?
I hope to help organize the fund raising event, fund raising in general, increase membership and assist in implementing any plan in action.
What do you want to do after you graduate in August?
As far as after graduation, I am applying for jobs in PR and writing/editing.
How can people find you on LinkedIn?
Some of the volunteers who participated in the Clean Water project shared their personal experiences:
From Phillip Chan, Jefferson Medical College (MS2)
Awesome trip this year!Â At first, I was a bit more anxious having a larger group with us, and trying to get everyone out to the village all in one piece.Â In the end, we ran into the most trouble on our U.S.-based Delta airlines flights, of all places!Â However, once we got to Guyana the week was an incredible success, and in retrospect it seems to have gone by so amazingly fast.Â The days were jampacked with teaching, playing with kids, local trips, purchasing construction materials, and paddling around on the river.Â In the evening, despite the fact that we had nothing but a kerosene lantern and headlamps to light our way, we managed to entertain ourselves with a few infamous nights of â€œCelebrityâ€? charades more mosquito coil smoke than can possibly be healthy for the human body.Â At night we slept 6 hammocks in a row up in the old primary school building, falling asleep to the sounds of frogs, crickets, howler monkeys, tropical birds, and what had to be the loudest sounds possible of bats copulating.Â Iâ€™d like to thank the St. Monica and Karawab school faculty and village leaders for all their help and incredible hospitality.Â A special thanks to my awesome fellow Jefferson med-students, yâ€™all were a blast to hang out with and made this trip more productive, fun, and entertaining than I ever couldâ€™ve imagined.Â My all time favorite highlight of the trip: boatracing with paiwari at the final farewell dinner, Americans vs. Guyanese.Â It came down to the wire (no thanks to myself) but ended in a dead on tie.
From Devesh Upadhya, Jefferson Medical College (MS2)
This was the best week of my life! There were so many new experiences, so many fun times with my fellow travelers, and the experience of learning something about myself in a totally different environment–not a bad outcome for my first service trip abroad. From the first evening, when we spent some time with Peace Corps volunteers learning about the challenges and rewards of working in the country, to the last day in the village when we futilely paddled our canoe in circles, every day was a learning experience. I found myself waking up every morning around 5 AM, full of energy. I had time to enjoy the quiet mornings, play with the children, eat a quick breakfast, and then dive into teaching math to the students; afterwards us volunteers would gather around the kerosene lantern, play games, and just talk while we inhaled the (possibly mind-altering) combined fumes of mosquito coils, DEET, and our kerosene stove boiling water. I am very thankful for the villagers’ hospitality, and for all the donations that helped make our trip a helpful contribution to the village!
From Kartik Dandu, Jefferson Medical College (MS1)
Spending my spring break in Guyana was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. I knew that I would never get another opportunity like this, and I could not pass it up. Having a seasoned peace corps veteran like Phil around was the main reason why our trip went so smoothly (except for the whole Delta airlines debacle). In Georgetown, we were able to get a taste of the local culture which has a surprising number of American influences. Coming from America, Georgetown was a nice transition before we headed up to St. Monica. At the village, I had a lot of fun teaching the kids math/science during the day and playing games in the river with some of the same kids at night. Being able to provide the village with water tanks and a playground equipment was a nice bonus. I can’t say enough about the hospitality of the people in St. Monica. They were always willing to accommodate us and even cooked us three meals a day. In the end, our trip went by way too quickly, and I would definitely like to visit Guyana again in the future.
From Priya Sharma, Jefferson Medical College (MS1)
Spending a week inÂ Guyana andÂ St. Monica was one of the most gratifying experiences that I have ever had!Â Since this was myÂ first time traveling to a foreign country for a service project, I was extremelyÂ apprehensive about the obstacles that I wouldÂ face.Â However, I was completely amazedÂ by how easy it was to adapt to the Guyanese life!Â As soon as we arrived at the village, IÂ was overwhelmed by theÂ gratitude and hospitality of St. Monica,Â and we were able toÂ interact with theÂ villagers as ifÂ weÂ were from St. Monica itself.Â Everyday was a new learning experience, whether it was learning how to sleep in a hammock comfortably or learning how to balance a flashlight while acting out Yoda in our “Celebrity” game.Â My all time favorite experience was demonstrating a Grade 8 chemical extraction that required an Erlenmeyer flask filled withÂ distilled ethanol suspended over a Bunsen Burner,Â but was insteadÂ demonstrated with a cup filled with trimethylated spiritsÂ suspended in a pot ofÂ boiling water.Â Surprisingly, the experiment worked extremely well!Â Another amazing experience was paddling downstream onÂ theÂ Pomeroon only to find thatÂ it was impossible to paddleÂ back upstream!Â Â Needless to say, I quickly realized thatÂ paddlingÂ was much harder than it appeared!Â Â Overall, I had anÂ amazing trip.Â IÂ want to thank everyone in St. MonicaÂ for their unbelievable hospitality and I want to thank the Peace Corps VolunteersÂ who housed us in Georgetown during our transit.Â But most of all, I want to thank Phil and my fellow Jefferson students for puttingÂ together this amazing trip, it wasÂ one of the mostÂ rewarding experiences that I have ever had!Â I will have a piece of St. Monica in my heart for years to come!
Mason Richards’ narrative
short film will be screening as part of the Cal Arts Film Directing Showcase 2010 on Friday, May 7th at 8pm at REDCAT Theatre in Los Angeles (631 West 2nd Street, Los Angeles, CA 90012 – (213) 237-2800.) All are encouraged to attend!
The film, centers around, Marjorie, an older Guyanese woman who struggles with loneliness, abandonment and sacrifice as she prepares for her Grandsonâ€™s move to America to be with his mother.The cast and crew consisted of local Guyanese non-actors, non-professionals and students in town working alongside a crew from Los Angeles. This film was made possible by fundraising and donations totaling $20,000 through a non-profit fiscal sponsor affiliate of the Peace Corps: Friends of RPCVs of Guyana (FROG). A major part of making this film is that the filmmaker would return to his home country, and share what he has learned and make a film â€œin the community – with the community.â€? This is the third narrative film to ever be shot in Georgetown, Guyana.
Come to our DC fund raiser!Â This Thursday, November 12th at Garretts Restaurant and Railroad, 3003 M St, NW Georgetown, Washington, DC from 6:00 PM to 9:00 PM.
There will be a raffle with great prizes, drink specials, good people, and great conversation.Â A $5 donation is suggested at the door with all proceeds going to the non-profit.
For more inf0rmation about Garretts please visit, www.garrettsdc.com.
See you there!
I invite you to take part in our annual Friends & RPCVs of Guyana calendar sales drive.
FROG is in its second year as a non-profit and we’re very excited for the challenges and triumphs we will face in the upcoming year. FROG is currently looking to raise funds for development activities in Guyana through the sale of calendars, and we would like to offer one to you!Â In 2007, we raised close to $1,000 through our calendar sales.
From the money we raised we were able to provide financial assistance to a “Beach Cleanup” day in Georgetown, Guyana.Â A number of Peace Corps Volunteers and Guyanese volunteered spending the day cleaning up a local beach in the capitol city.
The RPCV International Calendar, produced by fellow returned volunteers from Madison, WI, features the richness and diversity of world cultures through photography, first-hand stories, indigenous designs, country statistics, holidays, celestial events, regional recipes, book reviews and music and film recommendations.
These calendars are on sale for $13.00.Â Please also include $2.50 for shipping and handling.Â Proceeds from calendars purchased through FROG are donated to support development projects in Guyana.
To purchase a calendar, simply reply back to me with the following information:
Number of calendars
Form of payment:Â Check/PayPal
If paying by check please send payment to:Â 723 12th St. SE #3, Washington, DC 20003.
Make check payable to:
Friends & Returned Peace Corps Volunteers of Guyana.
The Folks of FROG!
QUEENS, NY- The 2nd Annual Friends & RPCVs of Guyana Fundraiser, (http://guyfrog.org) will be held on Friday, July 18th at 8:00 pm to Midnight. The fundraiser will be hosted at Liberty Express Restaurant & Bar, 120-12 Liberty Ave, South Richmond Hill, Queens, NY.Â A raffle will be held during the event, which will include prizes with all proceeds going to the organization. The event will be featuring reggae, soca and chutney music from DJ Sparber.
Friends and Returned Peace Corps Volunteers of Guyana (FROG) was created in 2007 as a non-profit organization that connected former RPCVs with each other, with the greater development community and with new opportunities. To date, over 470 Volunteers have assisted in the areas of health, education, community development and information technology in the small South American country. Today, FROG strives to build on the work done while Volunteers and continue helping Guyana.
â€œAs a majority of Returned Peace Corps Volunteers will tell you, the desire to continue working towards the development of those in need remains strong long after their service is complete,â€? says FROG Chairman Timothy Delaney, RPCV Guyana 2003-2006. This desire can especially be seen in the many men and women who had the opportunity to live and work in Guyana through Peace Corps.
Earnings from the event will help the organization fund projects in Guyana through groups such as Peace Corps, volunteer agencies, Guyanese non-profits, and other organizations working towards development in Guyana. At this time FROG depends entirely on funding from events such as this one, and other grassroots sources.