Author - Joanne Roll

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“Peace Corps faces new challenge with coronavirus” – Clintandra Thompson (Senegal) and other articles
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Chicago Tribune interviewed evacuated PCVs . . . The Miami Herald has published the article
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Peace Corps has a new page with Virus Updates and NPCA has a Plan
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Peace Corps Is Suspending all Operations and Evacuating Volunteers
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Sargent  Shriver’s Original Memo on Selection
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COVID-19 update from Peace Corps Director Jody Olsen
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NPCA is urging support for increased Peace Corps Funding
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Peace Corps Mongolia To Be Evacuated Due to Virus
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New Screenings Scheduled for “A Towering Task”
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“Ending the Peace Corps program in China is not smart”

“Peace Corps faces new challenge with coronavirus” – Clintandra Thompson (Senegal) and other articles

Click on photos for more articles.   Clintandra Thompson is a web manager at the Atlantic Council and a Returned Peace Corps Volunteer who served in Senegal from 2012-2014. Here is her article. Peace Corps faces new challenge with coronavirus “On March 1, over 240,000 returned Peace Corps Volunteers (RPCVs) marked the fifty-ninth anniversary of the volunteer service organization by sharing their unique experiences on social media, in classrooms, or during other special events. Founded in 1961, the Peace Corps sends thousands of Volunteers every year to interested communities across the world to build mutual understanding and provide technical assistance for economic and social development. Glenn Blumhorst, who served in Guatemala and is president and CEO of the National Peace Corps Association (NPCA), used the anniversary to connect RPCVs with lawmakers to “share their experiences with elected officials on Capitol Hill…who decide the fate of Peace Corps’ future.” According to . . .

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Chicago Tribune interviewed evacuated PCVs . . . The Miami Herald has published the article

For the first time, all Peace Corps volunteers are called back home: ‘It feels like a bad heartbreak’ by Grace Wong, CHICAGO TRIBUNE MARCH 22, 2020 04:00 AM Read more at the Miami Hearld website • Chicago On the eve of her one-year anniversary in the Peace Corps, 23-year-old Katie Bassett packed up the last year of her life in the northeastern Isan region of Thailand and prepared for emergency evacuation. Her last two days were filled with tearful goodbyes to teachers and students she had built deep relationships with and to her Peace Corps colleagues. She gave her blender and a three-pound bag of Sour Patch Kids to her neighbors – she had bought the candy during a recent trip home to Bourbonnais and was hoping to save it for a rainy day. Her nail polish, makeup brushes and headbands went to the girl across the street, and her game . . .

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Peace Corps has a new page with Virus Updates and NPCA has a Plan

The evacuating PCVs have many questions. For those of you who may be contacted for information by parents and/or  others, here is the Peace Corps link: https://www.peacecorps.gov/coronavirus/ The National Peace Corps Association has also come forth with a plan. https://www.peacecorpsconnect.org/articles/a-message-from-npca-president-glenn-blumhorst-to-peace-corps-evacuees NPCA Response to COVID-19 and Peace Corps Evacuations Through their personal stories and photos shared on social media over the last few days, an entire Peace Corps community has vicariously lived the shocking reality of 7,000+ serving PCVs evacuating from 60 countries around the world. This traumatic interruption of service is not the way a PCV envisions their service to end – with unfinished projects, unsung farewells, unrung COS bells, and unsaid goodbyes. To the PCV evacuees, my heartfelt sympathy. I share your grief. As you return home, know that there is an empathetic and caring Peace Corps community awaiting you with our collective embrace. We are thousands of returned Peace Corps Volunteers (including many whose service had also been cut short), former staff, host country . . .

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Peace Corps Is Suspending all Operations and Evacuating Volunteers

  https://www.peacecorps.gov/news/library/peace-corps-announces-suspension-volunteer-activities-evacuations-due-covid-19/   March 15, 2020 WASHINGTON – The following is an open letter to Peace Corps Volunteers from Director Jody Olsen. Dear Volunteers, I know this is a very stressful time for you and your families, your host communities and the staff at your post. As you know, we recently evacuated Volunteers from China and Mongolia due to the COVID-19 outbreak and related travel constraints and school closings. Further evacuations are now under way at several posts. Unfortunately, it has become clear in the last 48 hours that numerous posts must follow suit. It is against this backdrop that I have made the difficult decision to temporarily suspend all Peace Corps operations globally and evacuate all of our Volunteers. As COVID-19 continues to spread and international travel becomes more and more challenging by the day, we are acting now to safeguard your well-being and prevent a situation where Volunteers . . .

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Sargent  Shriver’s Original Memo on Selection

Pease note:  This was posted last April, here on Peace Corps Worldwide.  I am posting it again as the subject of Selection is once again appearing in the comments.   “The University of New Mexico was the training site for Peace CorpsTrainees bound for South America, from 1962 to approximately 1967.  Selection was an important part of the training process. Trainees were observed at all times and subject to psychological testing and evaluation in addition to the elaborate background checks.  The University of New Mexico has archived important documents from Peace Corps Training.   Thank you to the Archivists at the University of New Mexico’ s Center for Southwest Research.  The archivist emailed me a digitial copy of the memo. I had to reformate it in order to post it here.  The text was not changed. Here is the citation: Box 1 in the Selections 1962-1963 folder of UNMA 150, . . .

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COVID-19 update from Peace Corps Director Jody Olsen

March 4, 2020 WASHINGTON – The following is an open letter to Peace Corps volunteers from Director Jody Olsen. Dear Volunteers: As you are aware, the number of countries that are reporting confirmed cases of the COVID-19 virus continues to grow. We currently have 11 Peace Corps countries with reported cases and the expectation is that the list will grow. There is a lot of media attention being given to the virus and how countries across the globe are responding to it. These variations in responses have had a direct impact on many of you. And I want to thank you for your patience as we continue to implement measures that we believe will help keep Volunteers and staff safe. It is in this spirit that I want to share with you some of the steps that the Peace Corps has taken over the past 8 weeks to prepare for, . . .

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NPCA is urging support for increased Peace Corps Funding

  House Peace Corps Funding Letter Circulating The co-chairs of the House of Representatives Peace Corps Caucus, RPCVs John Garamendi (D-CA) and Joe Kennedy (D-MA), along with Representative Garrett Graves (R-LA) are now circulating a letter that their colleagues can sign, asking that Peace Corps funding for the fiscal year that begins this coming October (FY 2021) be increased to $450 million. TAKE ACTION NOW! Read the letter here. Ask your House Rep to “sign the Garamendi – Graves – Kennedy Peace Corps funding Dear Colleague letter that is now circulating”. Write and Ask your House Representative to Sign the Letter Find the Phone Number of Your House Representative if you want to contact them by phone The deadline for members of the House of Representatives to sign this letter is Friday, March 13th. Our goal is to meet or surpass last year’s record-breaking 181 signatures. A similar Senate Dear Colleague letter will . . .

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Peace Corps Mongolia To Be Evacuated Due to Virus

Philly-area Peace Corps volunteers are forced to evacuate due to coronavirus: ‘I wasn’t ready to leave’ by Ellie Silverman, Updated: February 28, 2020- 2:02 PM Courtesy of Kaelynn Williams Kaelynn Williams, 25, thought she had about six more months in Mongolia, where she has been working as a Peace Corps volunteer for almost three years. But this week all volunteers in her program were told they had to go home. For Williams, that means returning to Southwest Philadelphia and hoping she can get back to Mongolia.   “We’re crossing our fingers to make sure, to see if that’s possible,” she said. There haven’t been any confirmed cases of coronavirus in Mongolia, but it has hit nearby countries hard. Mongolia borders China, where the virus began, and Mongolian Airlines has canceled flights to and from China, South Korea, and Japan. The Peace Corps is a service program run by the U.S. government . . .

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New Screenings Scheduled for “A Towering Task”

Serra Mesa / Kearny Mesa Library San Diego Sunday, March 1, 2020 1:30 PM 3:30 PM VIEW EVENT → 0 Likes Share MAR 2 5:30 PM Florida State University Monday, March 2, 2020 5:30 PM 8:00 PM VIEW EVENT → 2 Likes Share MAR 3 6:30 PM University Of Wisconsin, Madison Tuesday, March 3, 2020 6:30 PM 9:00 PM VIEW EVENT → 0 Likes Share MAR 3 7:00 PM Silver Spring Town Center, Silver Spring, MD Tuesday, March 3, 2020 7:00 PM 9:30 PM VIEW EVENT → 1 Likes Share MAR 5 4:30 PM American Councils For International Education, DC Thursday, March 5, 2020 4:30 PM 6:30 PM VIEW EVENT → 0 Likes Share MAR 6 6:30 PM Colonial Heights Library, Sacramento, CA Friday, March 6, 2020 6:30 PM 9:00 PM VIEW EVENT → 0 Likes Share MAR 7 1:00 PM Shriver Circle Screening At Hilton Garden Inn, DC Saturday, . . .

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“Ending the Peace Corps program in China is not smart”

Thanks to Alana deJoseph for referencing this article. Author Lex Rieffel is a RPCV, India 1965-67 https://thehill.com/opinion/international/483437-ending-the-peace-corps-program-in-china-is-not-smart#bottom-story-socials BY LEX RIEFFEL, OPINION CONTRIBUTOR — 02/21/20 01:00 PM EST 40 THE VIEWS EXPRESSED BY CONTRIBUTORS ARE THEIR OWN AND NOT THE VIEW OF THE HILL © Getty Images Last month, before the corona virus outbreak, the Peace Corps informed the Congress that it would begin terminating its program in China in 2020. Sen. Marc Rubio (R-Fla.) applauded the decision, noting that China no longer is a developing country and, echoing the sentiment, Sen. Rick Scott (R-Fla.) told reporters: “I’m glad the Peace Corps has finally come to its senses.” I beg to differ. I was a Peace Corps volunteer in India (1965-67) and I’ve done research on what America gains from allocating funds in the federal budget for the Peace Corps. Measured against our country’s long-term national interests, pulling the Peace Corps out of China now . . .

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