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2020 in Review

The Highlights

Evacuated Volunteer Support

  • 19 First Year Free memberships

  • 17 mentor-mentee matches

Grants Program

  • SuperKids Foundation: $500 to support SuperNiños TV

  • Bloque de Mujeres - Universidad Nacional de Asunción: $500 to support environmental conservation and education at Parque Ñu Guasu

Virtual Happy Hours

94% Increase in Membership

  • December 2019 - 53 active members

  • December 2020 - 103 active members

e-Ñanduti Newsletter

  • Nine informative  monthly newsletters, including board member spotlights, notices about upcoming events, stories from Paraguay, and other resources

 

The Details 

In January 2020, the board announced elections for President, Vice President, Secretary, and five General Board member positions. After receiving self-nominations, the board held elections in February 2020 and successfully filled the President and Vice President vacancies and three General Board member vacancies. Four board members returned to complete the second year of their two-year terms. 

After an orientation and welcome in mid-March, the new board held its first meeting on March 24, 2020. The board discussed goals for 2020 and the Peace Corps’ recent evacuation of all Volunteers worldwide in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, and the board voted in favor of sending a message of support to the evacuated Volunteers, waiving the $15 membership fee for evacuated Volunteers, and establishing a mentor program to provide personal and professional support to evacuated Volunteers. The board was encouraged by the overwhelming response from Paraguay RPCVs who expressed interest in serving as mentors. In April, the board matched eleven evacuated Volunteers who requested to be matched with mentors.

At the May meeting, the board discussed plans to fill the Secretary vacancy and two General Board member vacancies in accordance with the bylaws. In June, the board voted to fill the three vacancies, established Friends of Paraguay’s 2020 budget, and decided to maintain the same grant cycle timeline as used in previous years. Recognizing that no in-person events would be held in 2020, the board increased the grant budget from $500 to $750. 

The Membership Engagement Committee proposed co-hosting monthly virtual happy hours with organizations working in Paraguay at the July meeting. In August, after expanding the mentor program to include Volunteers who had completed service within the past year, the board matched an additional six mentor-mentee pairs and prepared for its first virtual happy hour. The Grants Committee prepared to hold its annual grants cycle by reviewing and updating documents in September. 

On September 1, the board co-hosted its first virtual happy hour with Artezanz, a social enterprise that connects artisans in Paraguay and Ecuador with consumers around the world. The event was a success and the board agreed to move forward with the series.

The board accepted submissions for grants throughout October. In October, the board co-hosted its second virtual happy hour with the SuperKids Foundation. While the first happy hour was in English, this event was in both Spanish and English. Attendees were especially impacted by the stories from two “kid teachers” who attended and shared their experiences. 

In November, the Grants Committee met to discuss the two proposals received, from Superkids Foundation and the Bloque de Mujeres - UNA. Thanks to generous donations to Friends of Paraguay totalling $250, the committee recommended funding both proposals by awarding each organization $500. The board prepared for its annual meeting in December and co-hosted its third virtual happy hour with OPADES, an environmental education and conservation organization. 

In December, the board held a successful virtual annual meeting, where members received an update on the year’s activities and heard from two mentor-mentee pairs and the SuperKids Foundation. The board appreciated Artezanz’s donation of a door prize. 

Board Members

President: Maggie Reuter

Vice President: Jeff Alwang

Treasurer: Robert Burnett

Secretary: Rebecca Kidd

Grants Coordinator: Sergio Guzman (through September); Thomas Morris (September to present)

Communications and Social Media Coordinators:Kerry Snyder and Ricardo Marquez

General board members: Roberto Sanchez, Thomas Scales, David Lauzon, Steven Berk

 

The Finances 

Beginning Balance

$ 1,564.80

Revenue

Membership Dues

$ 990.00

Donations

$475.00

Total Revenue

$1,365.00

Expenses

Grants

$(1,011.00)

P.O Box Renewal

$ (150.00)

SquareSpace Website Reimbursement

$ (101.76)

Total Expenses

$ (1,262.76)

Ending Balance

$ 1,667.04

Net Cash Flow

$ 102.24