[h2]A chronology of Friends of Liberia’s assistance to Liberia[/h2]
In its 23rd year, FOL’s e-mail news service goes to over 1,500 individuals and organizations and continues to bring the latest news from Liberia to those who subscribe through FOL’s website. Membership is not required.
The news service played a crucial role during the Liberian civil war in galvanizing support for the peace process. It is now managed through Indiana University. In addition, FOL has 1,535 individuals and organizations on its mailing list.
So far in 2013, FOL has awarded four (4) Small Grants totaling $5,300.
In 2012, FOL awarded eight (8) Small Grants totaling $13,967.
In 2011 FOL awarded twelve (12) Smalls Grants totaling $23,218 to Liberian non-profit organizations. The year-end small grant total was $27,968.
FOL Early Childhood Education Teacher Training Workshop was held for three weeks with 150 Liberian teachers at the Kakata Rural Teacher Training Institute. [First year of a five year FOL project]
FOL held three events with over 450 participants during the 50th Peace Corps Anniversary Celebration in Washington, DC in September, 2011. Speakers included U.S. Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield, Liberian Ambassador William V.S. Bull, Sr., Peace Corps Deputy Director Carrie Hessler-Radelet and Liberian Vice President Joseph N. Boakai.
Peace Corps Volunteers sworn in August 27
June 2010 The first regular Peace Corps volunteers start their training in Liberia twenty years after the Peace Corps left Liberia.
May 2010 FOL President Stephanie Vickers visited five of the FOL funded Small Grants Program sites in Liberia.
FOL published the second edition of “Liberian Cookhouse Cooking,” a compilation of recipes from FOL members and Liberians in the U.S., with proceeds of this edition going to the Small Grants Program.
May 2009 – Twenty-seven members of FOL travel together at their own expense to Liberia to do volunteer work in the areas of health, education and the environment. In addition the travelers attend the first Liberian Studies Association conference held in Monrovia, visit women’s market places, meet with Peace Corps Response Volunteers, inspect FOL small grant projects and meet with the President of Liberia and the US Ambassador to Liberia.
FOL Small Grants Program funds its first projects. Several of the projects were assisted in applying by members of the first Peace Corps Response team in Liberia.
October 2008 – Twelve Peace Corps Response Volunteers start service in Liberia 18 years after Peace Corps Volunteers left Liberia.
2007-2008 – FOL officers met with the Peace Corps staff in Washington to encourage the return of the Peace to Liberia. In March 2008, the Peace Corps announced that Peace Corps Response would send 18 volunteers to Liberia to work in the education sector.
2006-2007 – FOL funded African Children’s Libraries to ship a container of books to Liberia and send a trained librarian to teach schools how to maintain a library. The organization has set up more than a dozen children’s libraries, mostly in rural Liberia, and trained school librarians.
Several FOL officers participated as Election Monitors in the 2005 Liberian Presidential election.
Liberian Women’s Initiatives and Actions for Peace Project published a book documenting Liberian women’s peace efforts. This project was designed by the African Women and Peace Support Group, funded by the UN Office for Project Services (UNOPS) and implemented by FOL.
2002 –2003 FOL sponsors the formation of the Liberian Educators for Action and Peace (LEAP), a Liberian non-governmental organization dedicated to teaching teachers of kindergarten through grade three the interactive teaching methods learned in FOL LEAP workshops.
1998-2004 – FOL administered the African Women and Peace Support Group’s project to document Liberian Women’s peace actions. The project was funded by UNOPS (UN Office for Project Services (UNOPS) and resulted in the book “Liberian Women Peacemakers,” published in English and in French in 2004.
2003 – FOL Members fund schools in Gardnersville and Johnsonville as part of an adopt-a-school program.
1999-2004 – FOL coordinated the Liberian Education Assistance Project (LEAP) with the help of private foundations and sent experienced U.S. teachers to hold three-week in-service workshops for primary school teachers and principals. Working with the Ministry of Education and UNICEF, LEAP’s local affiliate, the LEAP Extension Team (LET), shared methods of teaching and content with teachers of K-3 classes in five counties.
FOL helped to refurbish the Sugar Hill School, which was created from a marketplace in Gbarnga.
May 1999 – FOL collected and shipped books from the Federal Law Library and computers donated by the Harvard Law School to the Arthur Grimes Law School at the University of Liberia.
November 1998 – In collaboration with the New African Research and Development Agency (NARDA) and funded through grants by the United States Institute of Peace and the African Development Bank, FOL managed the planning for an non-governmental organization (NGO) conference held in Monrovia, the NGO Post-Conflict Conference on Liberia.
FOL publishes “Liberian Cookhouse Cooking,” a compilation of recipes from members and Liberians in the U.S., with proceeds going to the Communities Nurturing Children project.
July 1997 – With USAID funding, FOL sent 34 of its members as part of the international observer force for the Liberian presidential election in 1997.
FOL’s Communities Nurturing Children (CNC) reconstructed a health clinic in Owensgrove and a school building in Johnsonville with members of those communities.
March 1996 – FOL rallies at the U.S. Capitol in support of U.S. intervention to stop the Liberian civil war.
February 1995 – FOL, in cooperation with the Carter Center, the Institute for Multi-track Diplomacy and George Mason University’s Institute for Conflict Analysis and Resolution, sponsored a conflict resolution workshop in Abidjan, Ivory Coast, for representatives of a dozen of Liberia’s warring factions.
April 1994 – FOL, in cooperation with the Carter Center, the Institute for Multi-track Diplomacy and George Mason University’s Institute for Conflict Analysis and Resolution, sponsored a conflict resolution workshop in Akosombo, Ghana, for representatives of a dozen of Liberia’s warring factions.
1993 – FOL begins sending Liberian news to members and others by e-mail; the free “news service” attracts many who are not members of FOL, but who need news of Liberia for various reasons. The “news service” becomes a powerful advocacy tool.
1992 – 1993 – FOL president takes fact-finding trips to Liberia to attend political conferences and report to membership and Congress.
August 1991 — FOL sponsored a public forum in Washington, D.C., on the future of Liberia and brought together high-ranking representatives from all sides of the Liberian conflict for the first time in the United States.
1991-1996 – FOL hosts several interim presidents of Liberia at the U.S. Capitol on visits to the United States and testifies before congressional hearings on Liberia.
July 1991 – FOL’s video documentary on the war in Liberia, “The Path to Peace,” provided many Americans their first glimpse of the war and its effect on the Liberian people.
1991-1993 – FOL sends member Dr. Meda Colvin to Liberia for two tours of duty in Monrovia hospitals.
1989-1999 -2003 – FOL worked to bring to the attention of the world the desperate plight of Liberians caught up in the conflict. FOL officials testified before Congress twice about conditions during the war. FOL was a member of Project Liberia, a consortium of American organizations committed to providing support for peace, free elections and democracy in Liberia.
During Liberia’s civil war, FOL committed over $100,000 in publicly raised funds for direct relief to Liberian refugees in Côte d’Ivoire and Sierra Leone and to displaced persons and orphans within Liberia. FOL provided medical equipment and supplies to hospitals in Liberia.
Friends of Liberia was founded as an alumni group for former Peace Corps Volunteers.