Author - Joanne Roll

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Cambodia PM calls on U.S. to withdraw Peace Corps volunteers
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Funding for Peace Corps for FY2018: It’s complicated!
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Peace Corps Burkina Faso Volunteers evacuated safely
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More funding for civic service programs?
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What is the Peace Corps/Office of External Affairs, anyway?
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NPCA welcomes the Committee for the Museum of the Peace Corps Experience as a new Affiliate Group
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Now is the hour to support the Sam Farr Peace Corps Enhancement Act to guarantee adequate health care for Volunteers.
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Thursday, June 22 is Action Day for Health Justice for Peace Corps Volunteers
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How will the reinstated Mexico City Policy impact Peace Corps Programs?
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Peace Corps Office of the Inspector General -Semiannual Report to Congress

Cambodia PM calls on U.S. to withdraw Peace Corps volunteers

  Thanks to RPCV Alan Toth for this”heads up” on his facebook page. — JR Reuters reports the following: https://www.reuters.com/article/us-cambodia-usa/cambodia-pm-calls-on-u-s-to-withdraw-peace-corps-volunteers-idUSKCN1BQ0DB PHNOM PENH (Reuters) – Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen called on the United States on Friday to withdraw Peace Corps volunteers in an escalating row over accusations that U.S. agents conspired with an opposition leader to plot treason. Hun Sen was responding after the U.S. embassy in Phnom Penh issued a travel warning that urged citizens to show caution amid “anti-American rhetoric by officials”. “Are you scaring Cambodians?” Hun Sen said of the United States in an address to garment workers at factories which export much of their production to the United States. “Are you prepared to invade Cambodia and that’s why you told Americans to be careful? It’s good if you pull out the Peace Corps,” Hun Sen said. The U.S. embassy declined to comment. It has previously dismissed . . .

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Funding for Peace Corps for FY2018: It’s complicated!

  The fiscal year for the federal government runs from October 1 from one year to September 30 of the next year. Each year, Congress must approve a budget to fund the federal government for the fiscal year beginning October 1. The President proposes a budget and sends it to the House of Representatives.  The House is free to disregard it, if it wishes. Congress has the sole authority to fund the federal government. The Budget must begin in the House of Representatives. The Senate will also compose a version of a budget. When the two Houses are not in agreement on the budget, then there is a negotiation to arrive at a final budget. The final version goes to the President for his signature. When the two Houses of Congress cannot reach a compromise bill by September 30, then Congress may pass a Continuing Resolution. A Continuing Resolution, or . . .

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Peace Corps Burkina Faso Volunteers evacuated safely

https://www.peacecorps.gov/news/library/peace-corps-burkina-faso-volunteers-evacuated-safely/?utm_campaign=&utm_medium=email&utm_source=  WASHINGTON, D.C., September 03, 2017 – The Peace Corps today announced that, acting with an abundance of caution and considering the unique circumstances of their service, all Peace Corps Burkina Faso volunteers have been successfully evacuated out of the country due to security concerns. The Peace Corps has been closely monitoring the safety and security environment in Burkina Faso and will continue to assess the situation. The Peace Corps looks forward to a time when volunteers can return while underscoring that the safety and security of its volunteers are the agency’s top priority. There were 124 volunteers working in Burkina Faso on projects in community economic development, education and health. The Peace Corps has enjoyed a long partnership with the government and people of Burkina Faso and hopes to be able to continue volunteers’ work there. More than 2,075 Peace Corps volunteers have served in Burkina Faso since the program . . .

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More funding for civic service programs?

  Representative Jared Huffman (D.CA) has introduced legislation that would provide more funding for Peace Corps as well as other service programs.  I would think that there is little chance of the legislation passing.  However, it is comprehensive;  provides incentatives for serving; and, may provide a great model for some future Congress. — JR Read article here. • Huffman seeks more funding for civic service programs by Richard Halstead, Marin Independent Journal POSTED: 07/10/17, 5:59 PM PDT | 4 COMMENTS   Rep. Jared Huffman has introduced a bill that calls for increased funding for the Peace Corps and similar domestic service programs such as VISTA and AmeriCorps. The International and National Service Promotion to Ignite Renewed Engagement (INSPIRE) Act would provide a new education grant to Peace Corps volunteers and would increase an existing education grant for domestic service volunteers. The bill would also increase loan forgiveness for volunteer teachers . . .

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What is the Peace Corps/Office of External Affairs, anyway?

http://files.peacecorps.gov/documents/MS-131-Policy.pdf Peace Corps Act, 22 U.S.C. 2501, et seq. 3.0 Organization “The Office of External Affairs is headed by the Associate Director for External Affairs. The Associate Director for External Affairs reports directly to the Chief of Staff. The Office of External Affairs includes four sub-units: the Office of Strategic Partnerships and Intergovernmental Affairs; the Office of Gifts and Grants Management; the Office of Communications; and the Office of Congressional Relations. Each office is headed by a Director or Officer who reports to the Associate Director for External Affairs. 4.0 Office Missions 4.1 Office of External Affairs The mission of the Office of External Affairs to provide coordination and support for the Peace Corps external engagement with other agencies and partners, the media and Congress. 4.2 Office of Gifts and Grants Management The mission of the Office of Gifts and Grants Management is to oversee and manage the solicitation and . . .

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NPCA welcomes the Committee for the Museum of the Peace Corps Experience as a new Affiliate Group

https://www.peacecorpsconnect.org/articles/peace-corps-museum-its-about-time “By the Committee for the Museum of the Peace Corps Experience If you are like most Returned Peace Corps Volunteers, you consider your national service in the name of peace as a critically informative and influential life experience. With this in mind, we have formed a nonprofit organization to establish a national Museum of the Peace Corps Experience to educate people about Peace Corps and preserve its legacy. Museum Mission Our mission is to inspire connection with the world by sharing the Peace Corps experience of living in different cultures.  Returned Peace Corps Volunteers’ rich understanding of world cultures and empathy for diverse lifestyles will be harnessed to produce engaging, educational exhibits, both physical and virtual. The museum is dedicated to sharing the Peace Corps story, expanding human understanding and promoting the values of civil society.  The museum will take on a major documentary role as well as collecting and exhibiting artifacts and producing . . .

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Now is the hour to support the Sam Farr Peace Corps Enhancement Act to guarantee adequate health care for Volunteers.

  Today, NPCA, the Health Justice for Peace Corps Volunteers, and friends will be walking the halls of Congress advocating for the passage of the Sam Farr Peace Corps Enhancement Act. The law is bipartisan and introduced by Republican Representative Poe and Democratic Representative Kennedy. Kennedy is an RPCV and the grandson of Robert Kennedy. To join this effort, please contact your Congressional Delegation. NPCA will help you to do this:http://www.peacecorpsconnect.org/cpages/health-justice-day This is so timely because we can assume that the new Republican health care legislation, introduced in Congress, today, June 22, 2017,  will make it more difficult for those of us with pre-existing conditions to access health insurance and thus medical care. If serving PCVs get the best medical care available, they may not arrive home with medical problems. If they do, then the provisions of the Sam Farr Peace Corps Enhancement Act would help guarantee that they receive adequate . . .

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Thursday, June 22 is Action Day for Health Justice for Peace Corps Volunteers

  NPCA will be in the Halls of Congress to advocate for HR 2259, A.K.A. The Sam Farr Peace Corps Enhancement Act, June 22.  NPCA gives eight reasons why we should support this important bill.  If the links within the article do not work, as it is copied and pasted here, then use this link to go directly to the NPCA website.  If you are going to be in the Washington DC area, you can sign up to walk the Halls with other RPCVS.  If that is not an option, then use the link to contact your Congressional Representative. Here is the article: http://www.peacecorpsconnect.org/articles/eight-reasons-you-should-support-peace-corps-health-legislation “As the Peace Corps community prepares for our 3rd annual Health Justice Awareness Day on June 22nd, here are eight reasons why you should join us on Capitol Hill or make plans to take action to advance Peace Corps health legislation in the House of Representatives (HR 2259, A.K.A. The Sam Farr Peace Corps Enhancement Act). The . . .

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How will the reinstated Mexico City Policy impact Peace Corps Programs?

We don’t know. It is complicated. President Trump has reinstated and expanded the Mexico City Policy on abortion, first announced by President Reagan in 1984. My understanding is that the Reagan Memorandum applied to non-governmental organizations, which received US funding. President Trump’s Memorandum expanded to include all departments or agencies. Wikipedia describes Reagan’s policy: The policy requires non-governmental organizations to “agree as a condition of their receipt of [U.S.] federal funds” that they would “neither perform nor actively promote abortion as a method of family planning in other nations”.[11] The policy has exceptions for abortions done in response to rape, incest, or life-threatening conditions (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mexico_City_policy) Here is the link to Reagan’s original policy statement: http://abortion.procon.org/sourcefiles/MexicoCityPolicy1984.pdf On January 27, 2017, President Trump expanded the policy: “I direct the Secretary of State, in coordination with the Secretary of Health and Human Services, to the extent allowable by law, to implement a plan to extend the . . .

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Peace Corps Office of the Inspector General -Semiannual Report to Congress

The Peace Corps Office of the Inspector General reports to Congress twice a year. Here is the link to the latest report from the OIG to Congress.  It is of interest because it describes the trial and outcome regarding the  murder of Kate Puzey.  The section dealing with that report is printed here. The OIG also is charged with various audits.  In this report, there is the evaluation of programs in China and Georgia. Semiannual Report to Congress October 1, 2016 to March 31, 2017 https://s3.amazonaws.com/files.peacecorps.gov/documents/inspector-general/OIG_Semiannual_Report_to_Congress_Oct_2016_-_March_2017.pdf  Here is the section describing the investigation into the murder of Kate Puzey (page 24) “The U.S. Government has been assisting the Government of Benin with the ongoing investigation into Ms. Puzey’s death since 2009. Peace Corps OIG’s initial involvement in the case focused on the circumstances surrounding the related disclosure of confidential information, including the role of agency staff and contractors. Subsequently, OIG . . .

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