As I look to wrap-up my term as President, I wanted to reflect on how our non-profit began and how our ‘tadpole’ has grown in to FROG. It was all very simple- well, maybe not that simple. Whenever you put a number of RPCVs together who want to carry on the 3rd goal of the Peace Corps, it is bound to be an exciting, challenging, and dynamic process. Here is how our group came to be and how we grown since 2006.
After my COS in March of 2006, I was a fresh RPCV ready to start a professional life and moved to Washington, DC. My friend and fellow RPCV, Scott Stadum and I spent a lot of time in DC talking about how we could make an impact on the world. Scott and Tim Delaney from GUY 12 also had similar talks, and we thought; a lot of other countries have RPCV groups, so why not Peace Corps Guyana?’ From there we joined forces with Peter Theis (GUY 11), Kati Ringer (GUY 14), Cabul Mehta (GUY 13), and Eric Terpstra (GUY 14) and together took steps to form the first 501c3 non-profit to establish Friends RPCVs of Guyana, FROG.
To get started, we knew we had a lot to decide; who would take what role? Do we become 501c3 certified? How do we even do that? Tim Delaney was our first President, and in that first year, Tim was our perfect leader. He had a vision for this group and helped us keep with that vision. However, with Tim living in Ethiopia and 7 hours ahead of Eastern Time, he was unable to work a second term as President. One year later, I was elected President, which I’ve held up until now.
Looking back, it is amazing to me that we are now funding projects in Guyana. It seemed like it took us ages to finally get that first proposal. It is gratifying knowing that FROG started with just a few people with a goal, and now it has the potential to be so much more. I am amazed and so proud that FROG has successfully sustained itself for the last four years.
The FROG Board members, the Executive committee, and our intern are the reason for our success. I am amazed at the amount of selfless cooperation, the ingenuity, and the dedication that our group possesses. It has truly been a pleasure to work with you all. Thank you to all our current and past FROG Executive and Board Members. And thank you to to all the Peace Corps Volunteers that are still in the country and doing great work. We will continue to improve FROG so we can be another form of support for all the great ideas that need just a little bit of funding. Enjoy your time in Guyana because it is a time I still cherish and will for the rest of my life.
Michael Geurink, FROG President