Author - Joanne Roll

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The Hill Reports Lawmakers Call For Unemployment Benefits For EPCVs
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Lawmakers ask that evacuated Peace Corps Volunteers be allowed to aid response
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Kentucky EPCV is interviewed by Spectrum News 1
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RPCV Community Outreach to Evacuated Volunteers, EPCVs
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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

The Hill Reports Lawmakers Call For Unemployment Benefits For EPCVs

https://thehill.com/policy/finance/490877-lawmakers-call-for-unemployment-benefits-for-evacuated-peace-corps-volunteers?fbclid=IwAR0Y9ASBOptKrJNTzZam1IKQsjoJjoqaGW8kVOKLkT4RsmqK4idSfhMroF4 Lawmakers call for unemployment benefits for evacuated Peace Corps volunteers BY REBECCA BEITSCH – 04/02/20 03:37 PM EDT 32 242 Lawmakers are pressuring the Department of Labor to give clear guidance that Peace Corps volunteers are eligible for unemployment benefits after thousands of them were stripped from their posts due to the coronavirus outbreak. The letter, signed by nearly 40 lawmakers, comes alongside a push to allow those volunteers to be fast-tracked into another program under the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) as they gear up to respond to the pandemic. The Peace Corps, in mid-March, began the process of evacuating 7,300 volunteers, abruptly returning volunteers from the 61 countries where they served. Volunteers are not eligible to apply for unemployment benefits at the end of their service, but lawmakers said the recent stimulus bill allows workers who would not typically qualify to take advantage of the assistance. “The place . . .

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Lawmakers ask that evacuated Peace Corps Volunteers be allowed to aid response

https://www.nbcnews.com/health/health-news/live-blog/2020-04-02-coronavirus-news-n1174651/ncrd1175106#liveBlogHeader Julia Jester A mostly Democratic group of Congress members led by Sen. Chris Van Hollen, D-Md., is asking the Peace Corps, AmeriCorps, and FEMA to provide recently evacuated Peace Corps volunteers the opportunity to complete their service through domestic coronavirus response efforts. Current and former presidential candidates Sens. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., and Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., are among the supporters, which include more than 20 senators and 18 Democratic members of the House. Sen. Susan Collins of Maine is currently the only Republican signatory. In the letter, the lawmakers wrote that while they supported the recall of the volunteers,  they “believe that terminating their service contracts and health insurance coverage — at a time when our country’s public health and economic crises are rapidly worsening — not only endangers the livelihood of volunteers, but also squanders their unique skillset. We therefore urge you to provide them opportunities to enlist in domestic efforts . . .

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Kentucky EPCV is interviewed by Spectrum News 1

    Here is the story from Spectrum | News 1 —   Kentuckian in Peace Corps Shares Tale of Evacuation BY EILEEN STREET Published 10:10 AM ET MAR. 31, 2020   LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Peace Corps, a federal program for Americans to volunteer abroad, announced on March 15 that it was temporarily suspending all operations and evacuating all volunteers, a first in its history. According to the Peace Corps’ website, it was because of airport closures globally amid COVID-19, which could restrict evacuations for any non-COVID-19 illnesses for volunteers. One of the approximately 7,300 volunteers evacuated from 61 countries was Louisville native Shelby Durbin. “I was in my dream job, you know, in a culture that I was really connecting to, and that was kind of robbed from me,” said the 23-year-old, who has been back in Kentucky for less than two weeks. “So we got the evacuation notice a . . .

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RPCV Community Outreach to Evacuated Volunteers, EPCVs

The RPCV Community immediately reached out to the Volunteers as the evacuation was announced and begun.  RPCV Joshua Johnson (2009-2011) generated a Face Bookpage which is the “go-to” site for EPCVs. It is a private group and  now has over 8000 members.  This is what it offers: Fellow RPCVs share their concern and their support for the EPCVs, establishing that the EPCVs are not alone. Fellow RPCVs are offering support via leads on jobs, obtaining health care, and places to “self-quarantine”. ( EPCVs have been ordered to self-quarantine for 14 days.  Peace Corps should reimburse for expenses associated with this as some EPCVs can not go home because relatives may be at high risk.  Finding places immediately upon re-entry can be a problem.) The Facebook page organizes these offers. EPCVs are posting specific requests for help in specific locations. Any RPCV can offer help  by becoming a member of the . . .

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“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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