Wednesday, January 20, 2010

We haven't forgotten about our December 2009 budget update

We're not three weeks late on the December 2009 budget update. Well, we are--but we can't do anything about it. Since Alfred Lomax became Robertsport Community Campsite Manager in November 2009, he's been collecting and keeping track of campsite funds in a notebook dedicated for this purpose. He's also been keeping the funds he collects with the pastor who lives next door.

Verifying this for the months of December 2009 and early January 2010 is difficult because, since New Years, Alfred has been in Monrovia and upcountry tending to family affairs. He doesn't have a phone and no one in Robertsport, including his mother, knows when he'll be back. My frustration at not being able to locate him for our bookkeeping purposes was supplanted by the realization that him going AWOL meant we had to come up with another way to manage the campsite--fast.

Thanks to all of our supporters from the Liberian, UN and NGO communities, the campsite--as we'd like to show you in our upcoming December 2009 budget update--did well over the holiday season. We were able to widen the project's impact in the community and the quality of campsite service by hiring two full-time campsite staff working in day and night shifts. More about them and their work in a future post.

We hope Alfred returns to Robertsport so we can post the December 2009 budget update before January finishes.


  1. I have enjoyed reading your blogs about the community works that your organization is involved with, which is in helping the people of Robertsport become sustainable after 14 years of brutal civil war. However, after reading the most recent blogs concerning Alfred Lomax I am shall we say quite surprised, no, actually not surprised, but disappointed, at the tone of your blog which in effect attempts to make this person whom you have known, worked with, seen grow, and trusted, to be AWOL (who goes AWOL in tiny Liberia?) without knowing the full story which is causing his absence or non-communication. Based on your blogs, as well as having spoken with Alfred, I hardly think that he absconded with the December books and funds - it is more likely that whatever he is working on is taking a lot longer to accomplish. The cell number that I have used to communicate with Alfred is 06-14-10-50. It may take several calls, due to phone charging issues, but eventually you will reach him. Hope this helps clear some of your frustration so that this issue is resolved quickly.

  2. Thanks for your comment! I sometimes never know if anyone reads these, and I'm glad you do.

    Alfred is a trusted leader and a sponsored member of Robertsport Community Works. His absence affects our cash flow and project management. We strive to be totally transparent, so it needed to be mentioned.

    In terms of organizational management (where did December's income go? who from the community is managing the campsite?) this is where we are. There's no confusion about where the money is and I don't doubt for a second that we'll receive it.

    I was disappointed to have to replace Alfred as Campsite Manager--he's a hospitality natural and I loved having him around all the time. But like you mention, he has a lot going on right now. I look forward to hanging out and surfing with him when he's back in RP. In the meantime, we'll be patient--and try not to get frustrated! Thanks for the attitude check.

  3. Alfred has our full confidence and support and thanks for expressing your concern that this might have changed. It's also great that this post may help us to get in touch with him; since we've made a big effort to do so and not yet succeeded.

    In any case, it was necessary for us to explain why our transparency process was falling behind schedule.

    Thanks for your comment.