The Peace Corps

Agency history, current news and stories of the people who are/were both on staff and Volunteers.

1
First Peace Corps Fund Writing Award Winners
2
More funding for civic service programs?
3
Sargent Shriver, Sally & Lionel Epstein, The Peace Corps, and The Experiment in International Living
4
What is the Peace Corps/Office of External Affairs, anyway?
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Ashley Bell named Peace Corps Associate Director for External Affairs
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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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Taylor Dibbert (Guatemala): “Now isn’t the time to cut Peace Corps funding”
8
Peace Corps authors: Writing from another country
9
NY TIMES Today: Questions on Trump? Peace Corps Volunteers Change the Topic
10
Laurette Bennhold-Samaan “Going HOME” From Samos

First Peace Corps Fund Writing Award Winners

First Peace Corps Fund Writing Award Winners The Peace Corps Fund announces its first 2017 writing contest winners. Prizes range from First Prize of $1000, Second Prize $750. Third Prize $500 and numerous Honorable Mentions. Top prizes will be published on the Peace Corps Worldwide website and promoted throughout the Peace Corps community. Eligible for these writing awards were Returned Peace Corps Volunteers and Former Peace Corps Staff. Submissions were judged on how well they advanced the Third Goal of the Peace Corps Act: To increase the understanding of the peoples served on the part of Americans Founded in 2003, the Peace Corps Fund is an independent, 501-c-3 nonprofit organization founded by Returned Peace Corps Volunteers to support and advance the Third Goal of the Peace Corps. Congratulations to everyone who submitted an essay or poem. The winners are! First Prize–$1,000 Penye Nia, Pana Njia by Kristen Grauer-Gray (Tanzania 2007-10 . . .

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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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Sargent Shriver, Sally & Lionel Epstein, The Peace Corps, and The Experiment in International Living

  “We (EXPERIMENTERS) learned by first-hand experience the reality of one world. We learned the language because we had to. We did not do what we wanted to do but what the people of our host country did. We sang their songs, played their games, danced their dances. We walked or rode bicycles as they did. We saw the world through their eyes.” Sargent Shriver  The Experiment in International Living dinner, 1965    • SARGENT SHRIVER, SALLY & LIONEL EPSTEIN, PEACE CORPS and THE EXPERIMENT IN INTERNATIONAL LIVING  by Geri Critchley (Senegal 1971–72)   I first met  Sally & Lionel Eptein in 1976 when I co-directed the DC Office of The Experiment in International Living/EIL (www.experiment.org/) founded in 1932, the oldest international education exchange organization in the USA. The Experiment in International Living is now under the umbrella of World Learning (https://www.worldlearning.org/)    In 1934, Sargent Shriver received an Experiment scholarship to participate in one of the first . . .

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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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Ashley Bell named Peace Corps Associate Director for External Affairs

  Washington, D.C., July 7, 2017 — The White House has appointed Ashley Bell as the new Associate Director for External Affairs at Peace Corps. As head of External Affairs, Bell will oversee Peace Corps’ Offices of Communications, Congressional Relations, Gifts and Grants Management and Strategic Partnerships and Intergovernmental Affairs.   “Peace Corps volunteers represent the best the United States has to offer and I am grateful for the opportunity to support an agency founded in the American ideal of serving others,” Bell said. “As head of External Affairs, my hope is to highlight to the public the vital role Peace Corps plays in irrevocably changing the lives of both volunteers and the communities they help.” Bell joins Peace Corps with a wealth of experience in external affairs and international relations. Prior to Peace Corps, Bell served as a special advisor in the Public Affairs Bureau of the Department of State, where . . .

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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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Taylor Dibbert (Guatemala): “Now isn’t the time to cut Peace Corps funding”

  Now isn’t the time to cut Peace Corps funding by Taylor Dibbert (Guatemala 2006-08) first published by The Hill 7/5/17 •   Donald Trump’s transactional tendencies, proclivity for autocrats and superficial grasp of world affairs means that there are plenty of reasons to be concerned about American foreign policy in the coming years. With the release of the Trump administration’s proposed budget, it’s obvious that the president doesn’t understand the importance of American soft power. Trump’s plans to gut funding for international development, foreign aid and diplomacy are woefully misguided. He needs to urgently reconsider his current approach because it’s harmful to American interests. More specifically, team Trump plans to reduce Peace Corps spending by close to $12 million immediately. While many had been worried about an even bigger Peace Corps funding cut, this is not good news and could portend even deeper cuts in the years ahead. It’s time for Trump . . .

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Peace Corps authors: Writing from another country

These writers are all RPCVs whom I wrote about recently for the Association of Writers & Writing Programs website. The eight writers tell how they have used their overseas experiences in their writing careers. JC Writing From Another Country Throughout the history of literature in the United States, American writers have looked towards, and gone to, foreign countries to seek inspiration, new experiences, and find work. Henry James in The American (1878) and Samuel Clemens in The Innocents Abroad (1869) were early writers who wrote about their new experience in Europe. Next, we had Ernest Hemingway’s 1926 novel of a half-dozen ex-pats in Paris The Sun Also Rises. Not only novelists, but poets, too, traveled abroad. T.S. Eliot and Robert Penn Warren are two. They went to England to find work and sources of inspiration. Robert Penn Warren, the only person to have won Pulitzer Prizes for both fiction and poetry, first went to London in . . .

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NY TIMES Today: Questions on Trump? Peace Corps Volunteers Change the Topic

Questions on Trump? Peace Corps Volunteers Change the Topic By EMILY COCHRANEJULY 5, 2017 WASHINGTON — As a Peace Corps volunteer assigned to a school in Gostivar, Macedonia, Sarah Blake would listen, waiting for the English words that began to puncture the conversations during the first months of 2017. Trump. Ban. Ms. Blake, in her third year as a Peace Corps volunteer, was often the only American in the city of about 80,000 in the Macedonian foothills, where the predominantly Muslim population speaks Albanian. She began to stress about having to explain the Trump administration’s new travel policy and the president’s own statements about Islam. Shoulders hunched, head down, she would conjure reasons to step away in case these questions came up, she said. Too much work. A meeting to attend. “There hasn’t been a really perfect president,” said Ms. Blake, a Maryland native who now lives in Istanbul after completing her Peace . . .

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Laurette Bennhold-Samaan “Going HOME” From Samos

Going “HOME” Don’t be afraid to go out on a limb. That’s where the fruit it. — H. Jackson Browne “If you think you are too small to make a difference, try sleeping with a mosquito.” — Dalai Lama In Closing This was my first blog and I hope that I was able to capture my ideas, impressions, and stories to create imagery and intrigue. I hope you have learned a bit more about what one person’s experience has been with refugees and I hope it has brought questions to your head and moved your heart in some way. Tomorrow at the crack of dawn I fly back. Over my career, I have worked with others on their re-entry and how difficult it is and oftentimes more difficult than the outbound adjustment. I have no doubt that this experience will stay with me forever. It has impacted and affected every . . .

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