Our 2020 Year in Review
Over this past year, we, along with so many others, have been dealing with the ramifications associated with the coronavirus on the world’s poor. With schools closed along with much of the infrastructure that serves the world, millions were left without any means to earn their daily wages and acquire food for themselves and their families. Because of your kindness, we have been able to help many women, children, and families survive amidst this pandemic, and with your ongoing support, we will continue this work in the coming year, ensuring that those in extreme poverty who need our help receive it.
We thank you for your generous support during this difficult time. Below please find some of what we have achieved together this past year, as well as some thoughts about what our plans are for this year. The Forgotten International operates entirely on donations, so your gifts make all of our work possible.
President & Founder
The Opening of the Dr. Eugene P. Mohan Clinic
The Dr. Eugene P. Mohan Angels Care Medical Centre was officially opened by the Hon. Robihah Nabanja, State Minister of Health and General Duties at the Kayaka II Refugee Settlement in Kyegegwa, Uganda on the 4th of July, 2020.The clinic was funded by one of our Board members, Jerry Mohan, and his wife Beth in honor of Jerry’s late brother, Dr. Eugene Mohan, who was Chief Surgeon at the Veterans Administration Medical Center of Northport, New York, and later was placed in charge of the Surgical Resident Program at Stonybrook Hospital.
Thanks to Jerry and Beth, this clinic serves the health needs of refugees from Burundi, Rwanda, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, South Sudan, and Eritrea, some 120,000 residents in all. The clinic is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and provides in and out-patient services, family planning, pre and postnatal care, child healthcare and immunizations, minor surgeries, lab work, STD prevention, counseling and education, and pharmaceutical medications. When it is safe to travel again, Jerry, a Family Nurse Practioner, plans to visit and volunteer at the clinic.
A Special Effort Against COVID-19
Whereas in the past much of our funding went to skills-based programs for women and academic education for children, with the world being locked down by a pandemic this year, live-saving food and PPE supplies sometimes had to be directly delivered to families in their homes.
In short, this year TFI has been busy just trying to keep those in extreme poverty alive, particularly children, while their parents could not work and the children were not getting the lunches they were served at school. Hunger is as much of a danger as the virus for the extreme poor.
Grassroots Organizations TFI Funded
TFI was able to support 22 grassroots organizations over the course of 2020, many of which continue to bring relief to those hit the hardest by COVID-19 in countries around the world. We helped fund meal deliveries to families in need, provided PPE supplies to schools and medical clinics, continued to fund schools and after-school programs as well as capital improvement projects, and strived to make sure that our partner organizations had their needs met during this uncertain time. These are the organizations we helped, some with multiple grants. We will continue to follow up with them until this crisis passes.
Breeze of Hope (Bolivia)
Cambodian Community Dream Organization (Cambodia)
Landmine Relief Fund (Cambodia)
Orthopedic Training Centre (Ghana)
Shanti Bhavan School (India)
Tabitha Enabling Academy (India)
Zilla Parishad (India)
St. Vincent’s Children of Kibera (Kenya)
One Heart Worldwide (Nepal)
La Comunidad de Ninos Sagrada Familia (Peru)
Mama Victoria (Peru)
Project PEARLS (The Philippines)
Angels Care (Uganda)
Arlington Academy (Uganda)
Friends of Orphans (Uganda)
Rona Foundation (Uganda)
Adopt a Family of Marin (USA)
Consider the Homeless! (USA)
Delek Children’s Foundation (USA)
Martin de Porres House of Hospitality (USA)
Ritter Center (USA)
Compassion Award Winners
Marie-Laure de Bailliencourt
At the end of 2019, we wanted to give our Compassion Award to three distinguished individuals who have been wonderful friends to TFI. All three work at BNP Paribas Bank in New York City. What we found in common in these recipients is the fact that none of them had to do anything. All three lead comfortable and busy lives, and no one would have thought less of them if they simply focused on the work they each had on their respective desks.
Instead, they wished to learn about the grassroots organizations that were working in impoverished communities abroad, and later all three traveled to visit an orphanage in Peru to spend time there with the children. Together they raised over $300,000 to further our work in Peru, as well as provided support for our Doing Good program here in the United States. The awards they received are inscribed with the words “For demonstrating compassion towards those who might have otherwise been forgotten”. All three were so worthy of this recognition. We are unable to give them the awards in person in 2019, so we sent their awards in 2020 by post. The celebration will wait until we can gather again.
Our New Bridge Grants
In order to make even a small dent in all the suffering that was also taking place in America, in 2020 we set aside some funding to help those experiencing a temporary financial crisis which could be mitigated with a small grant that would serve as a bridge to a more promising future. In short, our hope was that these grants will help to take recipients from a state of desperation to a position of hope, hence the term “Bridge Grant.” We will continue to give out these grants to those in need in 2021.
TFI Welcomes New Board Members
DR. JOHN DE GRAFT-JOHNSON has two decades’ worth of experience in the medical field. For ten years, he served as the Assistant Chief of Surgery for Vascular and Thoracic Surgery at Kaiser Permanente. Currently, he is the Director of the Thoracic Surgery Program at First California Physician Partners in Modesto. In addition, John is Physician CEO at Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University. He also served in the United States Navy for two years, where he was the Lieutenant Commander, Medical Corps. John has also published several papers related to topics such as Cardiovascular Medicine and Thoracic Surgery and was born in Ghana, West Africa.
JILMA MENESES has a proven track record of executive leadership through her roles in higher education, human services, and providing opportunities to diverse and under-served communities. She currently serves as the Chief Executive Officer at Catholic Charities of San Francisco where she manages the operations of 35 programs and services. She also serves as the CEO of Our Family in Africa (OFA), which supports children in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Jilma earned her Bachelor of Arts at the University of California, Berkeley, and has a law degree from Lewis & Clark Law School in Portland, OR.
CHARLES REED comes from a strong background in financial markets and engineering, investments, and insurance. At HSBC, he is a relationship-focused salesperson, counseling banks and insurance clients on regulatory-driven liability and asset side solutions. Prior to his role at HSBC, he was an integral part of Societe Generale and BNP Paribas, where he specialized in Fixed Income. Charles earned his Bachelor of Business Administration at the University of Southern California and went on to pursue a Master of Financial Engineering at the University of California, Berkeley. In his free time, Charles volunteers as a judge at New York City’s largest team-based math competition and contributes to homeless outreach.
Finding a Different Way to Fundraise
Each year, The Forgotten International spends much of its time raising funds from those who have the means and the willingness to give, and then distributes grants to organizations assisting some of the world’s poor. We do not have an endowment and rely on the generosity of our donors to do our work. We are grateful to our Board of Directors as well as to our friends who attend the various fundraising events we hold to introduce the programs we support. At those events, we often meet new prospective funders who, after learning about our work, decide to give and support our work.
This past year has been a real challenge, for the pandemic has made it impossible for us to socially gather and seek the help of others. Hence, this year, we have joined with many others in resorting to online gatherings and events to reach out for the benefit of those we try to help. All in all we participated in four Zoom fundraisers, the two most successful of which were organized by two of our Board members, Judi Feeley and Thibault Gerbaldi. Both invited their friends from around the country and around the world to an hour-long presentation about our work. The two raised almost $100,000 between them! We never imagined this would work so well. Our hats are off to Judi and Thibault, and a special thank you to their friends who joined us and decided to give.
Remembering Priyanka Singh
Early last year, we lost one of our Children’s Fund sponsored children. We knew Priyanka from age five until shortly after her 17th birthday when she was found dead in her home in New Delhi, India, under very suspicious circumstances. In our minds, it is easy for us to piece together a collage of scenes of her as a barefoot child at school in her new uniform or playing behind her home among the wild pigs and the garbage they fed on, and as she grew, how her face would continue to light up when she talked about maybe someday coming to America.
Priyanka was ambitious, often telling us how she wanted to one day become an airline pilot. We would tell her that being a pilot is not an easy task and that she would have to work hard on her math and science skills and continue to practice her English. She would always say, “Yes, sir”. Sir was the first word she ever learned in English.
Always smiling, always optimistic, and always happy although she had so little. She was an inspiration for us to always try to do our best for children like her everywhere. She was one we knew for all too short a time, and all of us at our foundation miss her dearly. She will never be forgotten as she continues to inspire us.
Looking Forward to a New Year
As we begin another year, we very much hope that you will continue to help us support our efforts mentioned above and make it possible for us to find new organizations around the world that help the poor. We were introduced to some new grassroots programs last year that we look forward to telling you about in the coming weeks. One of them is an orphanage in the Democratic Republic of the Congo that takes care of children, most under the age of five years. We will also continue to support our sponsored students through our Children’s Fund, and hope to continue to educate the world about the problem of global poverty and encourage our youth to give and care for others through our Doing Good Program. Our Fellows Program whereby we send skilled volunteers abroad remains on hold, but we will see what opportunities the new year brings. Moreover, we have decided to work with a school in India that will help us memorialize the life of little Priyanka Singh so that other children like her can take up her dream of a better life for themselves and others.
Introducing Maisy Wildermuth
One of the impacts of 2020 on us was losing some of our staff and volunteers because we could not safely work in our office during the pandemic. Fortunately for us, one of our part-time staff members, Maisy Wildermuth, stepped up and started working from home to get us through the year. We managed to make the arrangement work, and Maisy did such a wonderful job that we asked her to stay with us as full-time salaried employee. She is now a Program Officer & Project Coordinator, and we couldn’t be happier to have her as a colleague as we navigate the challenges of this new year together.
Maisy graduated from the University of San Francisco and joined the TFI team in 2019. As her background is in English and creative writing, she supports the foundation through various means including writing, editing, research, and design. She also oversees our domestic Bridge Fund program, which provides small grants to those experiencing unforeseen financial emergencies.
Books and Film by TFI
Our books are available for purchase on Amazon.com, and our documentary, Living on a Dollar a Day, is available to stream on Amazon Prime Video!
Please consider making a tax-deductible gift to TFI
so we can continue serving impoverished women
and children in 2021.
The Forgotten International
P.O. Box 192066, San Francisco, CA 94119 • 415-517-6942
The Forgotten International is 501(c)3 nonprofit organization. Tax ID 26-1484826.
All donations are deductible to the fullest extent of the law.