A vision for the future

Visioning committee seeking input for new strategic plan

By: Charlene VanLeeuwen, Co-Chair of Visioning Committee

Last fall, the board decided that it was time to begin some preparations toward the development of a strategic plan for FHF. As a result, a Visioning Committee was struck to start this work. Judy Loo agreed to serve as chair and was joined by board members Wendy MacDonald, Barry Cudmore and Charlene VanLeeuwen.

This ad hoc committee met throughout the winter and spring to discuss the scope of the work to be undertaken and develop a work plan. By late spring, it was evident that this was a substantial amount of work and when the opportunity came to hire a summer student, the committee submitted a grant application. We were successful in securing 14 weeks of funding from the provincial government through the Skills PEI Post-Secondary program. Our advertisement for students for this position brought to light several excellent candidates, and Ayo Ogunleye was hired.

Ayo had a busy summer working on a series of tasks for the committee. He started off doing some searching of databases at the University of Prince Edward Island to retrieve older articles about FHF activities. His search turned up a few items that we didn’t have among our documents. A meeting with Simon Lloyd, an archivist in the Robertson Library was particularly helpful in identifying ways to store our older documents and photos in digital formats to safeguard these historical items for the future.

Among the range of activities that Ayo worked on included putting together a timeline, gathering relevant research studies and reports, and some work compiling information to create school profiles.

A highlight for Ayo was the opportunity to join Barry Cudmore in conducting several interviews with a series of FHF members (some from as far back as 40 years, and more recent members), long term donors, and some key stakeholders in Kenya. All these interviews were recorded and transcribed, a huge task!

Preliminary findings from these interviews have been synthesized and will be used as foundational material for a workshop planned for November. This workshop will dig into some key questions that will inform future directions for FHF for the next 10-15 years.

The committee is looking forward to the Visioning workshop which is planned for November 6th at the Farm Centre in Charlottetown. Long-time FHF member and former President Carolyn Francis has agreed to facilitate the activities.

The results of this important workshop will serve to inform a new strategic plan for FHF which will be worked on over the winter months.

Thanks to the committee members, Ayo, our summer student and the FHF supporters who agreed to be interviewed.

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