501 (c) 3 non profit status
The AEP Board is proud to announce that its request for nonprofit status has been officially filed. Working with UCONN Law School, AEP President Don Ghostlaw was able to gather the needed information and make the necessary contacts to get the job done. This will open up our ability to network beyond the church community; our goal is to begin working in partnership with schools, community groups and foundation. It is hoped that AEP will have full 501(c)3 status by the time of the February dinner.
This past August, AEP Board members mourned the loss of their friend and financial record keeper Mike Spagnesi to leukemia. Mike will be greatly missed by us all; not a day goes by that he is not thought of with fond memories.
Difficult Times in Nigeria
Since our trip to Gusau in the summer of 2011, Nigeria has suffered through a year of intermittent violence. The epicenter has been in the Kaduna area, in north central Nigeria, near the 10th parallel, about a five-hour drive south of Gusau. The cause of this violence is Boko Haram, which is a Hausa acronym for “Western education forbidden”, is a group that seeks to establish sharia law throughout all of Nigeria They target government offices, police and military installations and soft targets such mosques and churches, ensuring that their bombing activities grab the news spotlight. While Boko Haram has made its presence known, the Gusau area has remained relatively quiet. This may be due to the fact that Zamfara State is further away from the seat of government and far more rural with agriculture as is main economic base, unlike central Nigeria.
Welcome New AEP Board Members
We are thrilled to welcome Paul Frank and Angela DiMezza to the AEP Board. Paul and Angela are members of St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Akron, Ohio. Both Paul and Angela come to us with great experience – Angela has been to Nigeria, seen the school site and visited with parents and children, and Paul has for many years been deeply involved in international education focused mission work.
St. Paul’s has partnered with us for several years now – they funded Angela’s and Nan Bartlett’s trip to Nigeria in 2011, and contributed substantially to acquire additional land (quadrupling the property available when the school project began), to erect the perimeter wall around Grace International, and to begin construction on the second classroom block. We are thrilled to have the benefit of Angela’s and Paul’s experience and guidance, and the continued support of St. Paul’s!