News Archives from the Home Page
Congratulations to our new officers! With the infusion of new blood and enthusiasm FOB will surely improve. The election results are in and all candidates who ran were unanimously elected. See below for their names. They will hold their positions for two years.
Voting ended 5/27/07 and the term is for two years so the next elections will be held in May of 2009
Candidate Bios and Statements:
Raimi Bello, Benin national who worked a great deal with
Peace Corps in Benin as well as with many ONGs and microfinance institutions. He
is also married to RPCV, Emily (Kellerhals) Bello '02-'04 (FOB Membership
Jessica Duke, RPCV Benin '89-'91. Jessica was an officer previously for FOB.
Greetings Everyone. I am pleased to be back in the
saddle again, as a Friends of Benin Officer. I previously served as FoB
"lots of things" a few years ago. As Vice President, I plan to
help out where needed to keep FoB an active organization. I will also
contribute good gris gris to Raimi so that he maintains good health as
I was a "Rural Community Development" volunteer in Houeyogbe Benin (Mono Province) from 1989 - 1991. I was 60 km from the steampunk corsets and 20 km from the Togo border as the crow flew and as my bike traveled. If you've ever zoomed through Houeyogbe since, there is a Centre Social and a Nutritional Recuperation Center that were constructed under my watch. At the beginning of my service, we referred to everyone as "Comrade". By the end of my service, we didn't. My two years in Benin provided me with life-long lessons, endless memories and a better understanding of our larger world.
I would like to see FoB serve to keep members connected and to activiely contribute to organizations doing worthwhile projects in Benin.
Still, Prête pour la revolution...
SECRETARY / TREASURER
Beth Whelan, RPCV Benin '02-'04; Parakou. Beth worked with Junior Achievement in Benin and also went to Sri Lanka for two years after the tsunami to help.
Tyson Roberts, RPCV Benin '95-'97. Tyson is also a FOB alumni and was/will be the producer of the Deadbeat.
Chris Starace, RPCV Benin '95-'97; Allada. Chris has been maintaining the FOB website throughout the last several years even when FOB wasn't very active. Chris also is the creator of the Fon is Fun website.
Chris Starace: I'm happy to continue as FOB webmaster because I want to promote the growth of FOB through this effective means of communication and because I enjoy web design. I have been the FOB webmaster for several years and I've enjoyed it. I have a good amount of basic web design experience under my belt with my site www.fon-is-fun.org as well as this site. If you have any suggestions or comments about the website, please let me know at firstname.lastname@example.org .
I went back to Benin in 2004 with my wife for 2 weeks and I filmed a documentary video that I sell on my site. I give all proceeds to my neighbors in Allada. The money has funded dozens of children's education. It has also provided for medical treatment, mosquito nets and replaced the roofs on their houses. I was a Small Business Development PCV in Allada from 1995 to 1997.
Emily Bello RPCV Benin '02-'04; Bante and Houegbo. She is currently the membership coordinator for the National Peace Corps association, so this would be an extension of her day job.
Elections are currently being held for the following candidates. Since no one is running opposed all candidates will become official 5/20/07 unless someone else nominates his or her self for a contested position. E-mail email@example.com if you're interested.
President: Raimi Bello
Vice President: Jessica Duke
Secretary/Treasurer: Beth Whelan
Membership Coordinator: Emily Bello
Newsletter Editor: Tyson Roberts
Webmaster: Chris Starace
Yves Computer Project Update
Our last Happy Hour raised $891 for Yves project! This will help to buy one computer for Lycee Davie in Porto Novo.
If any one has any suggestions or contacts in obtaining additional equipment please email me (firstname.lastname@example.org) and Yves (email@example.com).
here for more information concerning this project!
Thank you for your support!
Cindy Streb -Abomey- '98-'00
The Benin Education Fund, a non-profit 501(c)3 organization founded in 1998 that provides children in rural West Africa the opportunity to attend school. We have several Benin RPCV's involved in our activities already, so I’m hoping the FOB members also would be interested in our work, too. Read their Fall 2005 Newsletter. and see their website: http://www.benineducationfund.org
My name is Britta Runbeck and I am a Benin RPCV who just returned to the states a month ago. When I returned I learned of a recent tragedy that just happened. Two girls who were participating in a Peace Corps sponsored event fell into deep water and drown. As you can imagine, the participating volunteers are very distraught. I wanted to do something to help them through this tough time and so I opened a memorial fund account for the communities of the two girls who died. The money will fund a project chosen by the volunteer and the community in honor of the girls. I am hoping to raise $1000 for each community. For more information read the Memorial Fund Letter
Yves Toudonou needs your
your calendars for Thursday, December 15,
2005 - 6PM
for an All RPCV
benefiting Yves Toudonou's Computer Lab in Porto Novo.
It is at Recessions
- 1823 L
located about a block
from HQ and is in the basement of the Lincoln Suites Hotel.
We will be raffling
off a Dell
Laptop Computer - all proceeds will go directly to this project!
Click here for more
information concerning this project! Please Click
here for more information concerning this project!
Cindy Streb-- Abomey ’98-‘00
Yves Toudonou needs your
Yves is asking former volunteers to donate to his Computer Lab
Project at his former school, College
Davie, in Porto Novo. A
Happy Hour was held in April (in DC) where $330 was raised by selling
raffles tickets. Computers
cost $800 in Benin so we need to raise more money! Please Click
here for more information concerning this project!
Cindy Streb-- Abomey ’98-‘00
Mark your calendars for Friday, April 1, 2005 - 6PM for a RPCV-Benin Happy Hour (Free appetizers and cheap drinks) benefiting Yves Toudonou’s Computer Lab in Porto Novo. It is at Recessions - 1823 L Street - located about a block from HQ and is in the basement of the Lincoln Suites Hotel. We will be raffling off a Compaq Presario Desktop Computer - all proceeds will go directly to this project! Click here for more information concerning this project!
Chris Starace released a documentary on Benin called "Discovering Benin, West Africa." He filmed it on his first trip back to Benin last July, and he's donating all profits to his needy Beninese friends in Allada. He was a SBD volunteer from 1995-1997. For more information about the video, to see a sample clip and to order a copy, click on the DVD graphic above.
The old FOB Yahoo Groups list has been abandoned because we lost the password to it and could not block spammers. Please join the new group at the below link to keep in touch with everyone.
I have added pictures from my trip to Benin this July. I have also written an article about it for the Deadbeat. There are also two pictures from the NPCA conference. See the Photo Gallery .
Merci Beaucoup et félicitacions a Tyson Roberts, Andreas Hipple, and Mardi Nott! It looked as if we were going to have problems filling many vacant positions on the board this election, but thankfully they have stepped up to help. Needless to say they were unanimously elected. The board is excited to have new blood and enthusiasm added to our group. Andreas Hipple is our new Vice President, Tyson Roberts is the new Deadbeat Editor, and Mardi Nott is our new Treasurer.
We could still use another person who can manage our membership database. If you know how to use database software or are willing to learn, please let us know! We could also use someone who is good at graphic design to help our Deadbeat Newsletter editor. Both Brian Reublinger (President) and Chris Starace (Webmaster) ran for another term and were re-elected. We are all looking forward to serving FOB and hope we can increase the presence and activity level of FOB in the future... with your help of course! Click Here to read acceptance letters.
Added around May 2004
Board acceptance speeches
President: Brian Reublinger
Vice President: Andreas Hipple
Sec./Treasurer/ Mardi Nott
Newsletter Editor: Tyson Roberts (Aka Father of Shoshana) "I'm very excited about being the new Deadbeat Editor. I hope to build on the success of Jessica Duke (previous issues of the deadbeat are available at the website, www.friends-of-benin.org). My goal is to have lots of article contributions from members, so start sending in your material now!"
Webmaster- Chris Starace I'm glad to be able to hold my position as webmaster for another term as I enjoy making websites. I also have another Benin related website called Fon is Fun... Really! where I teach people how to speak Fon and share all sorts of information about my experiences in Benin. Websites are only a means of conveying information, but if I don't have new information to convey, then the website will become stale. I have set up many features on the website that I would like to remind you to take advantage of:
Pictures: Please send me pictures in .jpg format that are 100 kb or less.
Contact Info: Please submit your contact info. so other volunteers can find you
Bio Info: Submit a brief Bio about yourself so others can see what you've been up to or to network for professional or social reasons.
Links: Send me interesting Benin related web links. There are tons of websites out there!
Classifieds: Post an add about anything you're looking for- people, jobs, information, etc.
Guest Book: Sign the guest book!
FOB List Server: Post e-mail messages to everyone on the list at once about anything Benin or FOB related.
PCV to Be Q & A: Soon to be PCV's have tons of questions, concerns, doubts, and fears. They post their questions here, and we answer them. Check from time to time to see if you can answer someone's question or add to an answer already given.
As always, if you have any suggestions for the website or can help with web design, let me know.
FOB has made a donation of $750 to the
The Benin Education Fund
It is a volunteer organization that works to provide children in rural West Africa the opportunity to attend school.
The National Peace Corps Association Conference and Friends of Benin Reunion was a success! (June 21, 2002)
Click here for two photos of the group: Photo one and two. A an article about the event will be published in the next Deadbeat.
Click Here for Lori Killpatrick's Photos of the events
Elections are over and the board
members are official for a two year term >>> Click here for more info
Voting ended 5/31/02 and the term is for two years so the next elections will be held in May of 2004
The changing of the guard will officially take place at the
Conference. Peter deGroot, who faithfully served FoB for two
years, will perform his last act as President at the "Country of
Service" Update, Saturday, June 22.
VICE PRESIDENT & DEADBEAT EDITOR
SECRETARY/TREASURER& MEMBERSHIP COORDINATOR
Lori Killpatrick: I have served as treasurer since FOB got off the ground several years ago. I am happy to continue soliciting your dues, receiving your money, and reminding you of your expiration dates. Thanks for your continued support.
Chris Starace: I would like to be the FOB webmaster because I want to promote the growth of FOB through this effective means of communication and because I enjoy web design. I have been the Deadbeat editor for the last few years and I'd like a change of responsibilities. I have a good amount of basic web design experience under my belt having two websites. They are Fon is Fun at www.geocities.com/fon_is_fun and www.geocities.com/chris_and_cara so you can see what I've done.
Chris Robbins: Chris has been “publishing” the Deadbeat for FoB for two years.
Information of the Friends of Benin Reunion Fete at the Annual Peace Corps Reunion in DC:
Angelique Kidjo Concert the next day!
FRIENDS OF BENIN FETE
FRIDAY, JUNE 21ST 6 P.M.
2124 Kalorama Road, NW,
SOIREE-following the Fête
1615 Q St., NW
Friends of Benin Fête-
Registration Form -DUE MAY 31,
2002 (form is below)
Join us for our rescheduled
Friends of Benin Fête on Friday, June
21, 2002 at the Beninese Embassy in Washington, D.C. You will be
able to enjoy food and drink while perusing Beninese art, meeting
Benin Embassy Personnel and chit-chatting with other Benin RPCV's. Compare stories of the decades...Did volunteers in the
have it harder than volunteers in the '80s? Did every volunteer in
the '70s have a motorcycle? Did volunteers of the '90s really
compact disks with them? Do all volunteers from this century have
internet access? What was it like to be a "comrade?" Is
really a jazz club in Cotonou? To find out the answers to these
questions and more, come to the Friends of Benin Fête. All Benin
RPCVs, their family and friends are invited. Don't forget to wear
your best Beninese garb.
The party does not end at the Embassy. Festivities will continue
Benin RPCV's Bill Lommel's rooftop . Enjoy a fantastic view of the
city and more conversation. Immediately following the Fête, join us for the Soirée. The Soirée is BYOB. Registration is on first-come, first served basis (with preference going to current Friends of Benin members). Cost for this party is only $5 per person for FoB members (and their family members). $10 for non-FoB members. You must register NO LATER THAN FRIDAY MAY 31st. Please see registration form on next page. We hope to see you there. Please bring picture ID with you to enter the embassy.
Calling all DC area Benin RPCVs, we need help making this party great. Can you help with logistics, organizing food & beverage, setting-up, cleaning-up, etc. Please consider giving a few of your hours to FoB. If you can help, please contact Jessica Duke ASAP. Thanks. (503) 236-3586 OR Jessica@urbatsch.com
FoB Member _______ YES _______NO ________Not yet, but ITm
sending my membership dues with this form.
E-mail ________________________________ (We will likely
contact you by e-mail with any updates)
NOTE-If you already registered and paid for the party in September,
send no money but DO send in this form.
Amount Enclosed ____________ $5 per FoB Member (and each FoB
family member) / $10 per non-FoB member
*Full Names and Birthdates are needed for security reasons at the
Embassy. (If you are registering more than one guest, please include
names and birthdates for everyone in your party, separate sheet of
paper is fine)
Please send this form with check for necessary amount to:
Friends of Benin /Lori Killpatrick 3119 Clairemont Drive, San Diego, CA 92117
Angelique Concert the Next Day!
Angelique Kidjo is playing at Wolf Trap the afternoon after the Embassy
(6/22). Read below for more information.
Saturday, June 22 at 1:00 PM
Wolf Trap's 2002 Jazz & Blues Festival
Tower of Power
The Tommy Castro Band
A Tribute to Mississippi John Hurt
Dave Alvin, Peter Case, Chris Smither
Marcus Strickland Quartet
(a winner of the Thelonious Monk International Jazz Competition)
The joint starts jumping at lunch time and keeps on going! Six great acts
for the price of one performing on two stages. As you enjoy sumptous
specialty foods, be sure to meet the artists at autograph signings. It's
the all-day party of the festival!
Ticket Price: $25 in advance | $30 day of show
General Admission | Gates open at 12:00 noon