2013 Year in Review
In 2013, the Friends of Malaysia was engaged in a number of different areas involving Malaysia and the Peace Corps. We contributed to a matching grant program involving the NPCA website, closely followed the Malaysian elections, continued to try to improve the website by collaborating with the Catch-a-fire Project, and worked to produce more newsletters than in recent years. We have also been involved with working with projects aimed at recording the experiences of Malaysian Peace Corps Volunteers and some of our board members attended the summer Peace Corps Conference.
We have also discussed the situation with the disaster in the Phillipines but decided we would concentrate our potential aid on projects which could benefit Malaysia rather than those which might benefit other countries.
In 2014, we will be looking into finding another major project with which to be involved, and we may be resuming our involvement with the Breast Cancer Project we were previously involved with. We will also be looking into an election for officers of our organization and into filling at least one board member position.
6 board meetings
Contributions to Habitat for Humanity, Malaysian Cancer Foundation, Borneo Child-Aid Fund and continued our Karen Bowlsby breast cancer education campaign.
Passed a by-law change to remove board members from the board who miss excessive meetings.
Began organization of the 50th anniversary as it effects the Friends of Malaysia. One of our board members attended the kickoff event at the University of Michigan.
Saw one of our board members elected as a regional representative.
Added two new board members to our board
Began discussion on the need and process by which our website could be revamped
Increased membership to about 90 from 57. This was partly due to a campaign by which board members contacted individuals RPCVs by letter or email on a personal level.
The highlight of the Friends of Malaysia group for 2008 was winning the Ruppe Award for the second time. A great deal of our attention during the year focused on putting together materials and submitting them for the award. Members of the organization were very proud to have received this award and appreciative of the work that went into producing the materials included as part of the award.
Other programmatic thrusts were not as rewarding. We continued to be involved with the Breast Cancer Awareness Project and some minor programming activities. Financially, we remain strong – partially because many of the programs we wish to become involved with were only discussed during the 2008 year.
One of the areas which hurt us during the year was in the area of newsletters. Although we talked about the newsletter a lot, no newsletters were produced.
Use of our website continued to be strong with approximately 2000 hits a month to the site. A number of improvements were also made to the site. Early in the year or at the end of 2007, the website editor passed away suddenly and we had to adjust to his absence.
In 2007, a number of our members revisited Malaysia as part of Merdeka 50th anniversary (independence) 2007. Again in 2008, a few of our members including our former President revisited Malaysia and had an enjoyable experience.
By the end of 2008, membership in the NPCA dropped to below 100 for the first time. However, we seem to be getting off to a better start for 2009 and have already developed some involvements with Malaysia non-governmental organizations. Our newsletter editor has pledged to put out 3 newsletters for the year and has already put out one so far.