Charity Activity

Overview & Objectives

Friends of African Nursing (FoAN) was registered as a charity, by the Charity Commissioners of England and Wales in February 2006. Charity Registration Number 1113054.The registered address of the charity is 8, Skippon Terrace, Thorner, Leeds LS14 3HA.

The objectives of our activity are:-

To develop, maintain and run an effective charity to support FoAN activities.

To provide international nursing expertise at practical, academic and management level to support government health strategies.

To develop nursing programmes in conjunction with African Ministries of Health to assist national health agendas, institutional plans and personal professional development.

To work with national and specialist nursing organisations and interest groups.

To provide focussed expertise to perioperative nurses, developing teams, individuals and potential leaders.

To provide a conduit for ethical donations of educational material and clinical equipment for operating theatre practice

Further detail on charity activities may be read in the Annual Reports from each year.

Charity News

Brief overview of activities in 2012

 Charity development

During 2012, Lesley Wood, Trustee resigned and we welcomed Lesley Fudge back and Diane Gilmour to the Board of Trustees. Lesley –cofounded FoAN with Kate in 2001 and although not on the Board has been acting as Membership Secretary for the charity since  2009. Diane Gilmour brings experience of charity Board membership, long term support for FoAN since she travelled as an Award winner in 2005 to Tanzania and a wealth of new ideas. We welcome their experience to the Board. 

Two Newsletters have been sent to Members during the year but membership has remained largely the same during 2012. .

Raising the profile of the charity has been undertaken largely locally by Trustees with talks in local hospitals and some articles printed in national nursing journals. Presence on the J&J stand during AfPP conference helped to raise funds and meet the membership face to face.

Sales of products by FoAN trustees and members have contributed nearly £1,000 to funds.

A joint Venture agreement was signed with FoAN Canada in which we have agreed to share resources where appropriate, as well as working together initially delivering education in Africa to perioperative nurses.

Educational visits to Africa

Following a quiet year for educational visits in 2011, 2012 saw us once again meeting nurses in various corners of Africa to deliver education. A visit was made to Botswana in early 2012, in conjunction with FoAN Canada to deliver Train the Trainers Course to 11 delegates ( due to mis –communication within the Ministry), which evaluated very well.

Ghana was visited in late May 2012 to deliver a Leadership programme to 29 ward leaders in partnership with MSSI in Accra.

The Seychelles had been asking for education for their perioperative nurses since 2010 and in late 2012, FoAN was able to educate 42 of their nurses in Victoria Hospital, Mahé, with the basic theory update.

FoAN has achieved delivering education to more than 1,400 nurses in a variety of countries by May 2012 since its’ early days in 2001. All those who have contributed, time, effort and expertise are warmly thanked. 

 Plans for 2013.

Fundraising will be a central theme of 2013, to raise the membership level and apply for sustainable funds to enable continued visits to Africa. Zimbabwe is on the plan provided there is political stability and we can raise funds specifically for this visit.  Plans to visit Lesotho to deliver a new programme requested by the nurses in Anaesthetics and Recovery Skills are in hand for Spring. Return visits to Ghana and The Seychelles will be in partnership with local organisations who provide some of the funding.

The website is in hand for a new look and this will be launched prior to a big fundraising push, just as soon as it is finished. Direct membership, purchases and donations will be enabled.


2011 was a difficult year for the charity with funds being hard to find, although our regular supporters have not stinted and this has been of enormous support to us. The consequences were that we undertook only one visit to Africa during the course of the year. It allowed however, more fund raising activity in UK and by the year end we were able to begin planning a more active educational year in 2012.

Capacity within the charity was also considerably affected by the resignation of Jackie Younger as a Trustee. She had provided inspiration and motivation for our activities to develop the charity infrastructure and she will be greatly missed.

Membership has continued to rise, although with the loss of our Canadian colleagues as members in May this will have an impact on the numbers. A newsletter has been distributed in 2011.

In May, Kate Woodhead attended the launch event in Canada of Friends of African Nursing (Canada). We will share resources and assist with their development wherever we can working together or independently as the situation demands.

Education has now been delivered to more than 1200 nurses in Africa since 2001 in nine different countries.

Educational Visits to Africa

A visit to Lesotho was undertaken in May via the South African Theatre Sisters Conference. A presentation was made during the conference to highlight the contribution that FoAN is making to the roll out of WHOs Safe Surgery Saves Lives Campaign in Africa.

In Lesotho, 27 nurses participated in the Preparing for the Future programme, which is a leadership and training course. This enables the delegates to learn about leadership development , conflict management and planning their career as well as the ability to make lesson plans, deliver education and assess where learning has taken place. UNFPA supported the nurses costs in Lesotho.

2010 Brief summary of activities
Charity development

One new Trustee has been appointed, Dot Chadwick, Clinical Educator at Southampton University Hospitals NHS Trust. Sir Stephen Moss, Chairman of Mid Staffordshire General Hospitals NHS Trust was a Trustee 2009-2010 and has agreed to become a Patron to FoAN. A new Treasurer, Richard Jennings has been appointed to support and monitor our financial affairs.

Membership has increased and two newsletters have been distributed during 2010.

A box of text books and instruments was sent to a Mount Meru Hospital in Arusha during 2010.

Raising the profile of FoAN has taken place with articles published in The Clinical Services Journal, Royal College of Nursing Bulletin, Inside Hospitals and AORN Journal (US) during 2010. Presence on the J&J Stand during Congress 2010 enabled face to face meetings with new and existing members.

Sales have increased and contributed more than £1,000 to charity funds.

A Friends of African Nursing Group has been set up on Facebook, recognising the power of social networking.

Educational Activity

Educational toolkits have been developed to enable a broader range of facilitators to deliver FoAN programmes.

FoAN partners with WHO World Patient Safety Alliance to disseminate Safe Surgery Saves Lives (SSSL) information as widely as possible in Africa. Contact has been maintained with Harvard and WHO. SSSL education has been delivered in Uganda, Lesotho and

Zambia to nurses during the year. In addition, FoAN made a presentation at East, Central and Southern Africa Health Community (ECSACON) to an interested audience. A presentation was made during a J& J distributor Workshop on Surgical Site Infection.

Contacts were made with Zimbabwe for possible future educational visits.

Educational visits to Africa

31 nurses were educated during a theory and audit visit to Lesotho in May 2010. This was the first ever perioperative programme of CPD delivered to nurses in the country and was very well received. A visit to Ghana was made in September 2010 to deliver a programme to 27 nurses, entitled Preparing for the Future, with elements of a leadership and train the trainers programme merged.

The programme evaluated very well and further assistance to Ghana was sought. A perioperative nurse network has started as a result of FoANs encouragement and will launch in March 2011.

A programme was delivered in Uganda at Mulago Hospital in support of Johnson and Johnson’s partnership between Yale University and Makerere University. In addition some clinical education was undertaken in the Operating Theatres at Mulago Hospital, Kampala.

Brief overview of activities 2012 

Charity development

During 2011, Jackie Younger, Trustee resigned and we welcomed Alison Champken Woods to the Board of Trustees. Alison works in NHS at West Hertfordshire NHS Trust as the Deputy Divisional Manager for Surgery.

Membership has declined during 2011, due to the launch of Friends of African Nursing (Canada) – some of our members have now left to join their local organisation. One Newsletter has been sent to Members during the year.

Raising the profile of the charity has been undertaken largely locally by Trustees with local radio interviews in Southampton, talks in local hospitals and some articles printed in national nursing journals. Presence on the J&J stand during AfPP conference helped to raise funds and meet the membership face to face.

Sales of goods have increased during the year and have contributed nearly £3,000 to funds.

Kate Woodhead attended the launch of Friends of African Nursing (Canada) in Saskatchewan in May and also gave a presentation on the work of FoAN to conference. Lesley Wood gave a presentation at SATS conference in South Africa on FoANs’ work .


Educational visits to Africa

A single educational visit was made to Africa in 2011, to Lesotho to deliver Preparing for the Future, the combination programme of our Leadership and Train the Trainers Course. 22 Nurses from across Lesotho attended the course at the Victoria Hotel in Maseru. The programme was facilitated by Lesley Wood and Dot Chadwick, and evaluated very well.

 Plans for 2012.

A visit to Botswana was put off by the Nurses Association of Botswana as they were holding a large international conference, when we had planned to be there. The visit is planned for early 2012. Lesotho have also asked for a return visit, for more specific clinical education. Assistance has been asked for by the Seychelles, Kenya, Malawi and Zambia. A leadership programme is planned for Ghana during 2012.

The Board is anxious to secure more sustainable longer term funding for projects and has determined that a Comic Relief application, for small and diaspora organisations called the Common Ground Initiative shall be made.  The project would amalgamate a variety of different requests from Malawi, for assistance with the potential for further assistance into the future.

New programmes will also be required not only, as planned to meet the needs of Lesotho, but also Botswana, Seychelles and Malawi. It is to be hoped that these can be reasonably generic and applicable for a number of countries, as the time required to develop a new programme is considerable.

The Board is actively seeking a new webmaster, as the current website is rather out of date and given the international perspective of the organisation, needs to be regularly updated and maintained.    

Links will be made with a new charity called Cornfields. Which arose from contacts made during FoAN visits to Africa and is active in the Street Kids field, not exclusively in Africa but largely active in a variety of African countries.

A brief overview of activities in 2013

Charity Development

Debbie Lee after many years – indeed one of the first trustees, enthused by what might be possible in Africa and with continuing expertise travelled with FoAN to many different corners of Africa to deliver the Leadership programme, has stepped down.  She has agreed to continue to support our programmes, if possible and will remain as an advisor to the Board.

Membership has remained largely static during 2013, and we have sent out a Newsletter to ensure members are kept up to date with activities.

The website has had a major overhaul and refreshment during the year. It has a ‘new look’ and trustees hope that it will prove to be good value for money. Apart from this now essential aspect of charity presence on the web, we have undertaken a number of talks to local groups and churches to raise awareness and funds. We have had an article published in the Clinical Services Journal .

Kate travelled to the Canadian Perioperative Conference and was delighted to be able to support their first presentation about the development of FoAN Canada and to attend their first Annual General Meeting. 

The European Operating Room Nurses Association has expressed an interest in supporting FoAN. Some information has been posted on their website and we look forward to a long association with them. 

Educational Visits to Africa

We made a visit to Lesotho during 2013, which sadly only had 13 participants, but the programme was new and was very well received. FoAN is intending to re-run the programme in 2015. Thanks to Ali Herbert for her specific expertise on Anaesthetic and Recovery Nursing.

We also made a visit to Ghana with another new programme, this at the request of the Medical and Surgical Skills Institute. We ran the programme in Accra for 74 delegates, flew up to Kumasi and delivered the same programme to 42 delegates and returned to Accra for a Senior Leadership one day programme, for the unit nurse and deputy directors of Nursing at Korle Bu Referrral Hospital. We thank MSSI for supporting our visit financially.

The end of 2013 was spent planning the visit for early January 2014 to the Seychelles, with yet another new programme.

Plans for 2014

Sustainable funds have once again eluded the charity in 2013, and whilst our supporters are helpful and very loyal, the sums are insufficient to enable us to continue to take educational benefit to colleagues in Africa. We have also failed to find a grant making body which supports our vision of what and how we might be able to assist nurses in Zimbabwe, which is very sad, knowing how much their current need is. We have to keep trying!

FoAN - Training Nurses Across Africa Since 2001

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