Families without Borders - January 2017 Newsletter
View this email in your browser

A Message From The Founder

Dear Friends and Family,

It is with joy in my heart that I am writing to share updates and provide you with an exciting summary of the work we've accomplished over the past 5 years. 

As most of you already know, I traveled to Sierra Leone 7 years ago for the first time,  and from an impulse to better the lives of people around the world, Families Without Borders was born and officially became a registered non profit in 2011. 

I have been pouring my heart and energy into it since day one, and because of your generous support and trust in my vision, the organization has grown and continues to have a huge impact on thousands of lives, and this is just the beginning!

As I was gathering the number of lives that we have impacted I had tears in my eyes and could not believe it was real! I could not believe together we have been able to do so much for those who have no other resources and tremendous potential living an ocean away. We are changing lives completely and taking people out of poverty forever! Through the empowerment and education that we offer, young Sierra Leonean men and women are building their own communities and acting as servant leaders. We cultivate a culture of service and unity.

Thank you for your generous support and participation in impacting so many lives! 

With Love & Gratitude,


Since inception, we have impacted 17,000 lives in 13 villages and one major city in Sierra Leone in the following ways:
Distributed teaching aid / supplies to teachers in 7 villages to help improve the quality of education.

Distributed school supplies to 10 villages (for 1000+ students) many of them more than once.

Distributed solar lights/ solar generators for schools in 7 villages improving the lives of 3000+ people.

Built 2 elementary schools and 1 middle school in three different villages; replacing rundown mud huts.

Today 250+ students attend classes in the new school structures instead of 10-20 students in those mud hut.

Dug / repaired two water wells in two remote villages.

Today 700 villagers are enjoying clean and fresh water.
During the Ebola crisis, we sent $33,000 to be used for emergency aide before any large organizations started sending support to Makeni or the surrounding villages. We are proud to say because of our support 1400 lives in one complete village (Yalisanda) was saved. The entire village was about to vanish when we took responsibility and through collaboration with the University of Makeni saved that village. Our aide provided baby food, medical supplies, fuel for ambulances to transport the infected Ebola patients, food for those in quarantine and more.

Started the first high speed public internet cafe and technology center in Makeni, the 4th largest city in Sierra Leone.

Monthly street cleaning in Makeni initiated by our college students.


Taught adult literacy classes in 5 villages through our college students. Currently 150+ men and women are enrolled in the program.


Grew college scholarship program from one student to 30 who are now running all our programs in Sierra Leone.

Every dollar raised can have a huge impact on many people's lives. Your contribution will provide school supplies, college sponsorship, generators for schools, adult literacy programs for villages and other programs that we hope will lead to self-sufficiency and economic sustainability in our West African communities.



Supporter Highlights: 

Mani and Dr. Khosrow Sigaroudi have been major supporters of Families Without Borders from the beginning. They have contributed to the growth of the organization in a variety of ways. Everything from large monetary donations to reaching out to their friends and network for auction items and attending our fundraisers. We appreciate their tireless efforts.

We asked Mani why she chose Families Without Borders as her top non profit and this is what she said:
"There are few reasons, but most important is my 100% trust on the fact that all funds are spent on projects that are life changing and will effect the future of generations to come. Capable  students are picked by Terri herself, then watched over closely and continuously to make sure that all donations are making a long term effect on the whole community for a better life for all.

Families without Borders functions excellently beyond my expectations. I am amazed how much can be done with so few donors, which I pray to grow in number. Lastly I admire Terri for putting her personal life aside to be the hands on mother, spending all her time and money on Families without Borders."


We are collecting large sized lego sets and puzzles for the new learning center that we are building. If you have any that you are not using, please let Terri know and we will arrange collecting the items.

February 15, 2017- Application deadline for High School student trip to Sierra Leone. Families Without Borders is taking applications from High School students who are interested in experiencing a rich cultural exchange and volunteer / serve those communities in Sierra Leone during the Summer.  Please contact us if you are interested. We are taking a small group of students for the first time.

June 10, 2017- 5th Annual FWB Gala (please save the date, details to follow) To sponsor the event or offer unique auction items please contact us. 

You can email us at


Rising Stars
 Expressions of Gratitude

My name is Joseph Ellie and I am 22 years old. I am a Sierra Leonean and I live in the beautiful city called Makeni in the Northern part of Sierra Leone. I study for a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration and Management at the University of Makeni (Unimak), a program which is proudly sponsored by Families Without Borders (FWB) and I am in my third year of studies.

Life before FWB was like hell filled with shattered hopes as I came from a very poor family. My parents who are both old and have been separated since I was a child, live in separate villages in the Southern part of Sierra Leone with some of my siblings.  I left them and went to live with my late uncle who knew it was my desire to make a difference in society, so he picked me up and let me live with him so I would be able to go to school. I was so excited because I believed that the journey to becoming what I want to be had finally begun.

But a time came when I was left alone in the dark to suffer, the time when I had encounters with bitterness and agony, the time when the deadly Ebola virus entered our beloved nation and like a war, destroyed lives and properties. My uncle who was my sponsor had lost his job by then and so during the Ebola saga, he decided to look for a job elsewhere in a community where he contacted the virus and died. I became so empty that even when I moved around the streets of Makeni I was like a living corps. My hopes were gone and it was as though I casted my dreams into fire. I was in a donjon of discouragement. And truly felt like I was dying.

I encouraged myself to be determined and focused. By then, I started doing all sorts of jobs like laundering, ironing, and cleaning peoples house to survive. I sang to entertain people so I could make some money to enter into the university but all my efforts could not amount to what was required. I became frustrated, I had no one to lean on, and I had no one to help me stay in university. I had no idea how I could possible find a solution.

Just at the peak of giving up I met a savior and a life giver in the person of Mommy Terri who rescued me, and restored back life and joy to me through Families Without Borders.

Families Without Borders is a place where dreams are restored and refined beyond your wildest imagination and a place where colorful smiles are put on faces. Now with Families Without Borders my future and a hope for a better life is secured.

I am proud to be a part of community service, adult literacy programs and other projects in Families Without Borders. I am being taught how to love and care for others as I even extend that to having a street child whom I mentor, and give support to. I have also been taught the culture of volunteering my services at some companies to gain experience on how the corporate world is like.  FWB has changed my life forever!

Thank you!
Superstar Showcase


My name is Ibrahim Kalokoh, I was born in a town called Tongo Field in the eastern part of Sierra Leone. My father was married to five wives and he has 22 children in total. My mother has five children, four boys and one girl and I am the second child of my mother and I am the seventh child of my father. My father was a policeman and my mother was selling cooked rice for living. They both are late.

I want to first of all thank Mommy Terri and Families Without Borders for all the support, the training, the experience and everything they have done for me, I appreciate it so much because if not for Mommy Terri and Families Without Borders my life would have been a different story. I will forever be grateful to Mommy Terri because my life before her could not even serve itself, but after the intervention that Mommy Terri brought into my life, I can help myself, my family, friends and my community. I did not know the joy that is in serving others until I started serving people, the good feeling and happiness that is in serving you cannot get it anywhere else in the world until you serve wholeheartedly.

Before I met Mommy Terri in December 2009, I was washing cars, motor bikes, cleaning people houses and later became public transport driver, I was doing all this just for me and my brothers to have something to eat, at that time I was not thinking about tomorrow, all that was in my mind is to have something to eat, even that was only possible under hard work. Life before FWB was really difficult, I was not even dreaming of having a college certificate and now I have a University Degree in Computer Science and I am paying for my younger brother's education, I have paid for my girlfriend’s college, and I am presently paying for three street children. 

Recently, I started three businesses and have provided jobs for seven people in the community,  and I am planning to do more. I was struggling to get something to eat, now I have enough and can even provide for others.  Families without Borders has changed my life not only on how to make money, but also how to live an honest, straightforward and corrupt free life and for this reason everyone in my community has respect for me and so many people around the community put their trust in me.  I have worked as an IT technician/officer and Data entry Clerk and Manager in different companies and organization including CDC, eHealth Africa, FHI360 (where I worked as a data manager for the first human trial EBOLA vaccine). 

My first job after University paid me more than twice that of all my classmates and it was all because how Mommy Terri coached me and prepared me during the time I was in University.  Now I am helping other students of Families Without Borders to be as successful and more. I also sponsor another college student in our program.  Aside from the paid jobs, I am managing and supervising all the activities of Families Without Borders in Sierra Leone without salary.  I am proud to be at a place that I can help others succeed.

All my success is as a result of the support and training I received from Mommy Terri and Families Without Borders.
Our Board of Directors
  • Terri A. Khonsari, Founder & Chairman of the Board
  • Inez Wondeh, CFO, Bass Medical Group
  • Arthur Bart-Williams, CEO & Co-Founder of Ganogle
  • Keyur Desai, Executive-in-Residence
  • Hamid Khonsari, MD, CEO of Full Care Medical Group, A Division of BASS
  • Chike Nwafiah, Founder & Director of Silicon Valley African Film Festival
  • Dr. Linda Herkenhoff, Academic Director of TransGlobal MBA, Saint Mary's College
Families Without Borders is a 501c (3) nonprofit charity organization.
Tax ID # 45-3054610

Copyright © 2017 Families Without Borders, All rights reserved.
Want to change how you receive these emails?
You can update your preferences or unsubscribe from this list

This email was sent to <<Email Address>>
why did I get this?    unsubscribe from this list    update subscription preferences
Families Without Borders · 2 Julianna Court · Moraga, CA 94556 · USA

Email Marketing Powered by Mailchimp