Archive - 2021

1
Elaine Chao Does It Again!
2
“My Life Since Asmara, Eritrea” — Leo Cecchini (Ethiopia)
3
Congressman John Garamendi introduces Peace Corps Reauthorization Act
4
Volunteer Couple: Model for the 3rd Goal
5
Colorado Public Radio commemorates Peace Corps 60th Anniversary
6
My Peace Corps Story — Frank H. Tainter (Chile)
7
Happy Birthday CorpsAfrica!
8
AMERICAN WAY, 3/2021 – “The Peace Corps turns 60”
9
CHICAGO TRIBUNE Op-ed: “Abolishing the Peace Corps would be a mistake”
10
Peace Corps at 60: “Service changed lives of Valley Volunteers in Sunbury, PA”

Elaine Chao Does It Again!

  Elaine Chao was briefly the Peace Corps Director, from October 1991 to November 1992. She was appointed by George H. W. Bush and held the position for about 13 months. She is famous for saying, when visiting a PCV in West Africa in the woman’s village, and seeing her mud hut, “Does your mother know how you’re living?” Chao was also well known for scheduling daily hair appointments when overseas, and for breaking down in tears when describing the conditions that PCVs lived in as Volunteers. It got so embarrassing for RPCVs listening to her laments, that they began laughing at her when she started crying. As Trump supporters would say, “Lock her up!” • Justice Department Declined to Pursue Ethics Inquiry Against Elaine Chao Final report by inspector general shows that investigators found no wrongdoing in some of the former transportation secretary’s actions. Elaine Chao ran the Transportation . . .

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“My Life Since Asmara, Eritrea” — Leo Cecchini (Ethiopia)

  My Life Since Asmara, Eritrea Leo Cecchini (Ethiopia 1962-64) • I was born and raised in Washington DC so was always surrounded by people from other lands. There are literally hundreds of embassies, consulates, cultural centers, international organizations, and foreign communities in DC from which one gathers an idea of the world. I recognized that man’s knowledge of the universe is rather limited but I could at least learn about our planet, its lands, and its people.  I set out to learn as much as possible about our world. By age ten I could not only name every state and its capital, but also every country in Europe and its capital. I wanted to see it all. My college work was heavy on geography with generous doses of world affairs and economics. I took the first opportunity out of college to learn about the world. The Peace Corps took me . . .

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Congressman John Garamendi introduces Peace Corps Reauthorization Act

  WASHINGTON, DC—Today, Congressman John Garamendi (D-CA), returned Peace Corps volunteer (Ethiopia 1966-1968) and co-chair of the Congressional Peace Corps Caucus, reintroduced the “Peace Corps Reauthorization Act.” The reintroduction coincides with the  60th anniversary of the Peace Corps’ founding by President John F. Kennedy, and the start of National Peace Corps Week. The bill’s original cosponsors include Representative Garret Graves (R-LA)—co-chair of the Congressional Peace Corps Caucus with Congressman Garamendi—and Representatives Grace Meng (D-NY), Aumua Amata Coleman Radewagen (R-AS), Dean Phillips (D-MN), Ed Case (D-HI), and Albio Sires (D-NJ). The bill is endorsed by the National Peace Corps Association and the National Whistleblower Center. Representative Garamendi (Ethiopia 1966-1968) is a returned Peace Corps volunteer and Representative Aumua Amata was a former Peace Corps staffer (Northern Mariana Islands 1967-1968). The “Peace Corps Reauthorization Act of 2021” would provide additional federal funding and resources to advance the Peace Corps’ mission around the . . .

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Volunteer Couple: Model for the 3rd Goal

  By Jeremiah Norris (Colombia 1963–65)  • Marty and Evelyn Ganzglass served as Peace Corps Volunteers in Somalia from 1966-68: she was a primary school English teacher and assistant director of the National Museum, and he was a legal advisor to the Somali National Police Force. In that role, he wrote a case book, titled: The Penal Code of the Somali Democratic Republic: Cases, Commentary and Examples. Published by Rutgers University Press in 1971. They joined the Peace Corps having worked several years after Evelyn graduated from the University of Pennsylvania and Marty from Harvard Law School. Upon returning home in 1968, Evelyn renewed her professional career in workforce development and education policy and Marty in labor law. She returned to the US Department of Labor and then moved on to increasingly senior positions in the non-profit sector promoting policies to help low-income youth, adults, and families advance out of . . .

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Colorado Public Radio commemorates Peace Corps 60th Anniversary

  The Challenges Ahead As The Peace Corps Turns 60 an interview by Ryan Warner for ”Colorado Matters” of CPR News March 1, 2021 On March 1, 2021, Colorado Public Radio interviewed  RPCVs about their Peace Corps experiences. RPCV Hunter Herold, RPCV Dylon Evans and Calvin Brophy were evacuated last March and discussed the work they did, the friends they made, and the difficulty of  being evacuated  abruptly due to COVID-19. Then, RPCV Alana deJoseph, producer director of  the Peace Corps documentary “A Towering Task”, was interviewed about her service and how she sees the future of the Peace Corps. CLICK  to go to “The Challenges Ahead As The Peace Corps Turns 60,” then click on the “LISTEN NOW” orange rectangle in the upper right of the page to hear the program.    

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My Peace Corps Story — Frank H. Tainter (Chile)

  by Frank H. Tainter (Chile 1964-66) • My Peace Corps experience was the most profound event of my life and I still spend much time musing over that experience. As I approach 80 years of age, those two years have become even more sharply into focus. I was raised in the Midwest, primarily in a German/Polish cultural environment with a large splash of Scandinavian thrown in. Neither of my parents graduated from high school, and based on their life experiences, both constantly insisted that I go to college and get an education. I wanted to study forestry but was told that it was one of the most difficult majors as one had to take not just courses relating to forestry but in many other disciplines such as sociology, economics, and psychology. Eventually I left home and worked for a forestry degree at the University of Montana, earning a forestry . . .

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Happy Birthday CorpsAfrica!

  We launched CorpsAfrica ten years ago today, on the 50th anniversary of the Peace Corps, to pass along the baton to deserving and ambitious young Africans who were eager to serve communities in need in their own countries. It has been an incredible decade. Despite all the blood sweat, and (gallons of) tears expended, I wouldn’t change a thing. I’m proud of what our growing team has achieved over the last ten years. Hundreds of CorpsAfrica Volunteers have served in Morocco, Senegal, Malawi, and Rwanda, and every step along the way they have provided thousands of hours of training, coaching, networking, resource-sharing, morale boosting, and more to help them succeed in their communities. We are creating a model of effective and accountable development and a workforce of young Africans of the very highest caliber. We’ve coined the slogan, “This Is CorpsAfrica,” to convey just how this dynamic group is . . .

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CHICAGO TRIBUNE Op-ed: “Abolishing the Peace Corps would be a mistake”

    By LARA WEBER (Zambia 2000-02) CHICAGO TRIBUNE | FEB 28, 2021   “Why should you, a white woman, go work in Africa?” The question was from an African American newsroom colleague, and it knocked me back. It was the late 1990s, and I had just announced that I was joining the Peace Corps, assigned to a remote public health post in Zambia, in southern Africa. I’d applied to the Peace Corps primarily to set aside my journalist’s notebook and experience life beyond my own bubble, to better understand the world by immersing myself in hands-on work. I liked the Peace Corps’ grassroots approach to development work — that we would be working as partners with local community members, not as “experts” or advisers. My colleague caught whiffs of neocolonialism. Neither of us used the terms “white savior” or “white privilege,” but that’s what we were talking about. Now, the . . .

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Peace Corps at 60: “Service changed lives of Valley Volunteers in Sunbury, PA”

  By Rick Dandes The Daily Item, Sunbury, Pa. Feb. 28—At a time when the Peace Corps has suspended all operations due to the COVID-19 pandemic and recalled 7,300 volunteers from 60 countries — a first for the six-decade-old program — six former volunteers with Valley connections recall the value of their “life-changing” experiences and praised the virtues of the far-off locations where they served. Whether assigned to primitive villages in Africa in the 1980s, emerging democracies in Eastern Europe in the 1990s, or more recently to South America, they all joined the Peace Corps out of a desire to serve their country and to help people in need, using skills they already had or acquired in college. The Peace Corps will celebrate its 60th anniversary on Monday. Signed into existence by President John F. Kennedy on March 1, 1961, the Peace Corps is a service organization with volunteers usually . . .

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