The Nigerian Friendship Association (NigFA) a non-profit organization founded in 1986 originally started as an association of professional Nigerian immigrants coming together to socialize. This group of immigrants came to the United States of America from different cities in Nigeria to pursue their academic ambitions in the United States Universities, and finally settling in the Washington DC/Baltimore metropolitan area.
Initially, the main objective of the association was coming together to serve as a support system for one another, in order to forge ahead and make progress in their new homeland -USA. These individuals were not necessarily friends at first, but knew each other and believed in collective action, shared values and common purpose. This togetherness created a forum for them to meet and share a few moments of laughter, and catch up with current affairs and news from home. They finally became friends with a common vision to create a professional Association with core values and purpose. Thus The Nigerian Friendship Association was born.
In 1992, the Association created two forms of membership; Full Membership and At-Large Membership. The At-Large membership allowed existing and new members who were relocating to Nigeria, overseas or outside the Washington DC / Baltimore metropolitan area, to retain their membership status in the Association. We have continued to gain new dedicated members who will keep the Association strong and viable for the foreseeable future.
Many immigrant Associations come and go to the dismay of its members, as they don't often have a common purpose. However, the survival of The Nigerian Friendship Association, Inc. over these years has been due to our guiding principles. They include the continued dedication of our members, promotion of friendship among members, Nigerians, Americans, shared values and common purpose in the Association, companionship, dedication to community work, social and philanthropic activities.
In 1993, the association initiated Family Day Picnics held in one of the State Parks as a means to bring families and friends together. This picnic was so successful that it has become an annual event, a premier venue where families and friends, young and old come together to socialize and have fun all day.
The Association in 1996 instituted the Nigerian Friendship Association Education Assistance Program (NFAEAP) a program initially funded primarily through membership dues and contributions. The Friendship Association Education Assistance, Inc. NFAEAP was created with the following objectives:
In 2005 the Friendship Association Education Assistance, Inc. (FAEA) was incorporated as a 501c 3 corporation. In 2009, we expanded the "NFAEAP" program to include partnering with Elementary and Middle Schools in Baltimore City, Prince George's County, Montgomery County and Washington DC which is part of our "Giving Back to The Community Initiative". As of the year 2012, we have successfully funded 42 and completed 37 "FAEA" awards presentation in different parts of Nigeria and Maryland /Washington DC metropolis. These were carried on several national newspapers, radio and television networks in the country. In 2012 alone, we funded 5 and completed 3 awards. Many more awards are planned for the near future
As part of the association's community involvement, the Nigerian Friendship Association in April 1997 joined the anti-litter program known as Adopt-A-Highway, administered by the Maryland Department of Transportation; State Highway Administration. The Association adopted a highway; Baltimore National Pike, MD Route 40 West, between Rolling Road and East of the Baltimore County Line. Since then, the group accepts responsibility for picking up litter on the highway four times a year. Our 15-year commitment so far will continue for many more years to come.
In 2006, the association initiated the first Golf Outing event as a vehicle to help in fund raising, networking and to growing the awareness of the association and its charitable activities. Since then the golf outing has become an annual can't miss event, with honorable Ike Leggett-Montgomery County Executive as its honorary chair. All monies raised through the golf outing is channeled towards funding the FEFA under privileged education charity.