On behalf of our Board of Directors and me, we wish you and yours a very happy New Year! May 2015 bring you much happiness and success.
Since founding NFG in 2008, I’ve found philanthropy to be challenging in many ways. Thankfully, and as many of you know first-hand, philanthropy also provides a remarkable sense of humanity, gratitude and meaning. Often, I’ve felt that the more successful we are in NFG’s mission, the more glaring and urgent the challenges in West Africa seem to become. So, although we accomplished much to be proud of in 2014, there is still more to do, and I, along with our outstanding Board of Directors, am more committed than ever to meet the objectives of our mission.
The Ebola crisis, unfortunately still ravaging West Africa at this very moment, is escalating in severity – and particularly in Sierra Leone. A few incidents of the virus spreading here to the United States, and to Europe proved to be acute reminders that while parts of the world may feel far away, we are all connected. And persistent weakness in basic infrastructure and poor healthcare across the globe are our shared responsibility. I’m so proud and thankful to all of you for your support, which allows us to be in this fight together; and right now, when it matters most. NFG is working with some of the most committed and qualified professionals on the ground in Sierra Leone to combat the Ebola virus, particularly as it affects children. I’m looking forward to keeping you apprised on our work there.
- We welcomed many of you to the NFG Family, adding almost 50 new donors and crossing the $50,000 mark for funds raised for Education and Healthcare in West Africa!
- We deepened our relationships with some extraordinary partners on the ground in Freetown that allow us to more efficiently and effectively accomplish our mission. This valuable network of partners on the front-line allowed us to be engaged in the Ebola fight immediately (April 2014), and we’ve stayed engaged.
- Most importantly, we had a direct impact on the lives of mothers, fathers and children by surpassing every goal we set to provide assistance. Among these, we ‘healed’ the only Ambulance in the country dedicated to transporting children to and from the Ola During Children’s Hospital in Freetown.
Our work at NFG is obviously very personal to me.
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On an even more personal note, my brothers and I unfortunately lost our father, Murray E. S. Lamin, on December 14th 2014. He would have celebrated his 75th birthday the following day. Somewhat of a relief, his fight was not lost to Ebola. But it was almost certainly an outcome of very poor healthcare systems and facilities in Sierra Leone. He was an extraordinary man. Very proud of his heritage and family, he showed such pride in his country and an unwavering commitment to making life better for so many Sierra Leoneans. He had a contagious laugh, and more integrity that any other human being I’ve ever known. I wish all of you could have shared the joy of walking through a small village with him, where he would point out all the work that’s being done (an eternal optimist) and he would still take time to point out the local agriculture. He was a special man, and he will be missed.
More than ever before, we at NFG have found more commitment and inspiration to continue our mission, and we are delighted that we can call you our friends during the journey. The future just got brighter!
Founder & Chairman