Author - Joanne Roll

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Peace Corps May Be Returning Volunteers to Service
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Peace Corps honors Carole Anne “Aziza” Reid with the Lillian Carter Award
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NPCA ALERTS RPCV COMMUNITY: ACTION NEEDED TO SUPPORT INCREASE IN PEACE CORPS FUNDING
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John Turnbull Ghana-3 Geology and Nyasaland/Malawi-2 Geology Assignment 1963, -64, -65.
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Read “Inside Peace Corps,” the new Peace Corps newsletter
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Congressional Research Service Publishes Overview and Issues
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New Peace Corps Newsletter-Site Not Secure
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Information for RPCVs Interested in the Virtual Service Program
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Peace Corps Response Volunteers Begin Work With FEMA
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May 26th Deadline To Apply For The Virtual Service Pilot Project In RPCVs’ Country of Service
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Peace Corps Has Developed a Virtual Service Pilot Program
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The Latest News from the Musesum of the Peace Corps Experience
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The NPCA Publishes Article on the USA Report on Sexual Assault
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Here is the USA Today Report on Sexual Assault in the Peace Corps
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RPCVs and Arizona State University Community Build Digital Libraries

Peace Corps May Be Returning Volunteers to Service

https://www.peacecorps.gov/news/library/peace-corps-takes-steps-return-service-overseas/   “June 30, 2021 Agency will resume inviting volunteers to serve in countries that have met rigorous health, security and safety standards Today, the Peace Corps announced that it is a step closer to returning volunteers to overseas service. The agency will resume inviting volunteers to serve at posts that have met a comprehensive set of health, safety and security criteria. “Following 15 months of global isolation, tireless work by our staff around the world and incredible patience from our applicants and host country partners, the Peace Corps is moving forward in the process of returning to our overseas posts,” said Acting Peace Corps Director Carol Spahn. “The Peace Corps is advancing with an abundance of caution, flexibility and pragmatism, but also with so much hope about all the important work that is ahead of us.” While the COVID-19 pandemic remains a dynamic challenge, the agency has developed a . . .

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Peace Corps honors Carole Anne “Aziza” Reid with the Lillian Carter Award

  The Lillian Carter Award honors outstanding returned Peace Corps volunteers who served at age 50 or older • WASHINGTON – On Thursday, returned Peace Corps volunteer Carole Anne “Aziza” Reid, of Harlem, New York, was honored with the agency’s prestigious Lillian Carter Award at a virtual ceremony. This biennial award honors outstanding individuals who served in the Peace Corps at age 50 or older, and who demonstrate a commitment to civic engagement and service, advancing the Peace Corps’ mission of promoting world peace and friendship, and the Peace Corps’ Third Goal of strengthening Americans’ understanding of the world and its people. “If you are thinking about serving in the Peace Corps, especially if you are 50 or older, I encourage you to take the leap,” said Reid. “I was 53 when I enlisted as a volunteer, and I started walking towards my best self. My journey continues today, and . . .

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NPCA ALERTS RPCV COMMUNITY: ACTION NEEDED TO SUPPORT INCREASE IN PEACE CORPS FUNDING

Appropriations Subcommittee calls for a $430.5 million budget for 2022 – an increase of 5 percent. It points to the first meaningful increase in funding in six years. “By Jonathan Pearson (UPDATE – June 28, 2021, 8:30 PM Eastern Time): On a voice vote, the House Appropriations Subcommittee for State/Foreign Operations approved a $62.2 billion international affairs budget for Fiscal Year 2022. This represents a 12 percent, $6.7 billion increase over the current fiscal year. Included in this budget is $430.5 million for the Peace Corps, a $20 million increase over current funding. In brief remarks, Subcommittee Chairwoman Barbara Lee (D-CA) referenced the Peace Corps as one of several programs that will provide “needed humanitarian assistance” around the world. No amendments to the bill were made, but that could possibly change when the full Appropriations Committee considers this funding package on Thursday morning.”   Here is the earlier Report from the National Peace Corps . . .

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John Turnbull Ghana-3 Geology and Nyasaland/Malawi-2 Geology Assignment 1963, -64, -65.

  John Turnbull passed away on April 4, 2021 at his home in Santa Fe, New Mexico.  John commented frequently on Peace Corps World Wide, about his Peace Corps experiences in Ghana and Malawi as a geologist in the early days of Peace Corps. Here is one of his commentaries in response to John Coyne’s review of Kallman’s Death of Idealism in the Peace Corps “A great commentary, John ! As you know I have been accused of over-romanticing my experiences as a geologist, in Africa. My conclusion concerning Ms. Kallman’s book, is that there is no single thing we can call “The Peace Corps Experience” There are MANY, and even in Africa, where I worked, the difference in cultural interaction between Ghana in West Africa, and then Nyasaland Protectorate in British Central Africa, was radically different. Even as early as 1967, the Peace Corps itself concluded that the experince in . . .

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Read “Inside Peace Corps,” the new Peace Corps newsletter

  Please read the Acting Director’s Message and then the Newsletter. Acting Director’s Message “Welcome to Inside Peace Corps where we share updates and news on our work at headquarters and in the countries where our Volunteers are invited to serve. We are so fortunate to have people around the globe who are invested in the Peace Corps and our mission of world peace and friendship. The aim of this publication is to provide information on issues that our stakeholders care about most. I cannot overstate my appreciation for your ongoing support as we prepare to return Volunteers to service abroad. Thank you for stepping Inside Peace Corps to walk side-by-side with us.” Here is the Link; https://analytics.clickdimensions.com//peacecorpsgov-aflq5/pages/b056c3c9c9c7eb11813a005056af48c9.html The newsletter is wide reaching as these topics indicate: Peace Corps Response Volunteers Sworn in for Three-Month Domestic Deployment  Staff to Complete Unconscious Bias in the Workplace Training by the End of . . .

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Congressional Research Service Publishes Overview and Issues

This is an excellent summary of Peace Corps today.  The RPCV community is discussing the  current status of the Peace Corps and its future. This  is a good review of  Peace Corps today by the reputable Congressional Research Service.  Here is the Introduction and the link to the complete report: https://fas.org/sgp/crs/misc/RS21168.pdf “The Peace Corps: Overview and Issues Updated February 25, 2021 Founded in 1961, the Peace Corps pursues a legislative mandate of promoting world peace and friendship by sending American volunteers to serve at the grassroots level in all corners of the world. In September 2019, there were 7,334 volunteers serving in 61 nations. In March 2020, all volunteers were evacuated and programs suspended as a result of the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. Data in this report reflect status of the Peace Corps volunteer force prior to its March 2020 evacuation. The agency has announced plans to restart programs . . .

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New Peace Corps Newsletter-Site Not Secure

The Peace Corps site has a new item:  It is a newsletter with current information about Peace Corps.  I had posted more information about the site, which is not secure.  However, because of an abundance of caution. I have deleted the identifying information. There is a developing story that the State Department has been “hacked” by foreign powers.  Peace Corps is an independent agency within the State Department, but I think it just  prudent to wait and see. We will repost when the site is secure.  

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Information for RPCVs Interested in the Virtual Service Program

The Virtual Service application is specific for each different country.  Peace Corps is sending out the information  only  to RPCVs with current contact information with Peace Corps, who served in the specific country.   Not all countries have Virtual Service programs. RPCVs should check their contact information with Peace Corps or add their contact  information using this link: https://rpcvportal.peacecorps.gov“

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Peace Corps Response Volunteers Begin Work With FEMA

From Peace Corps “May 20, 2021 • 158 Peace Corps Response volunteers to begin service in five states, marking the second time in the agency’s history that volunteers will serve domestically DALLAS, TX – On Wednesday, 158 Peace Corps Response volunteers took the oath of office to assist the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) in their vaccine distribution efforts. Following a week of training in Dallas, the volunteers have departed to begin their mission assignments with FEMA in Illinois, Maine, Maryland, New Jersey and Oregon. “COVID-19 has exposed gaping divides in privilege, access and opportunity – not only in the countries where the Peace Corps serves, but also in the U.S.” said Peace Corps Acting Director Carol Spahn. “Our Volunteers will use the skills, grit and passion for service they honed overseas to help reach underserved populations here at home. We are proud to partner with FEMA on this critical . . .

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May 26th Deadline To Apply For The Virtual Service Pilot Project In RPCVs’ Country of Service

Peace Corps is expanding the Virtual Service Pilot Project to include 25 countries.  The Virtual Service Pilot team reports it sent emails, with information specific to the host country, to RPCVS who served in each of these countries.   From the Virtual Service Pilot Project team: “As this is a pilot initiative, information is limited. We do have FAQs that provide some information. RPCVs from participating countries, of which there are 25, who have current/updated information in the Peace Corps database were sent the opportunities directly to their email addresses.  If you would like to encourage RPCVs to engage in virtual service please ask them to check their emails for virtual service opportunities.    If RPCVs are unsure if their information is current in the Peace Corps databased, please encourage them to update their contact information here.” The team also reported: “There are only a limited number of positions for virtual service available, and not all who . . .

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Peace Corps Has Developed a Virtual Service Pilot Program

These three announcemnts describe Peace Corps’ Virtual Service Pilot Program. It is hoped that a more comprehensive description will be published soon. “December 18, 2020 WASHINGTON – Peace Corps Director Jody K. Olsen announced the completion of the first phase of the agency’s new Virtual Service Pilot program, which connected host country communities with returned volunteers who were evacuated due to the coronavirus pandemic. Nine posts participated in the first phase of an 11-week pilot. A total of 45 returned volunteers donated their time voluntarily serving as private citizens to conduct virtual engagements with our host country partners and, were selected based on a match between their skills and host country partner needs. “Feedback from everyone involved has been overwhelmingly positive, and we have learned a great deal about how we can continue to be of service to our host countries from thousands of miles away,” said Director Olsen. “I . . .

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The Latest News from the Musesum of the Peace Corps Experience

Visit the Museum’s website at: https://www.museumofthepeacecorpsexperience.org/cpages/home ALERT! Help us collect Peace Corps posters, particularly posters published by the Peace Corps agency, for a summer 2022 exhibit. If you have Peace Corps posters, please email  contactus@peacecorpsmuseum.org The Peace Corps poster exhibit will be installed at ArtReach Gallery in Portland OR summer 2022. March was a busy and fulfilling month at the Museum of the Peace Corps Experience. We hope you were able to join with us in celebrating 60 years since President John F. Kennedy signed the Executive Order creating Peace Corps, March 1, 1961. This newsletter brings you an overview of our March 3 exhibition opening Peace Corps at 60: Inside the Peace Corps Experience and the March 31 webinar Peace Corps 2.0: A Symposium. The exhibition and two events celebrate Peace Corps founding, preserve its history, consider its impact, and encourage discussions about its future. This newsletter offers a story . . .

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The NPCA Publishes Article on the USA Report on Sexual Assault

An in-depth work of investigative journalism has shone light on a horrific problem. There are steps we can take now.” A statement from the Chair of the Board of Directors of National Peace Corps Association. By Maricarmen Smith-Martinez Today USA Today published an in-depth investigative piece chronicling the experiences of multiple women who have been victims of sexual assault while serving as Peace Corps Volunteers. Their stories are devastating. And the statistics cited in the article about the prevalence of sexual assault are profoundly disturbing. We owe it to these women to read their stories — and to truly hear what they are saying. Those of us who have been victims of sexual assault know firsthand that it takes immense courage to come forward, especially given how the initial reports of these women were handled. And let us be unequivocal: There must be zero tolerance when it comes to sexual . . .

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Here is the USA Today Report on Sexual Assault in the Peace Corps

  by Hannah Gaber, USA Today Three women tell their stories of sexual assault while volunteering in the Peace Corps, and how the agency’s bungled response compounded their trauma.   Emma Tremblay, then a 25-year-old Peace Corps volunteer from Seattle, was 4,000 miles from home on an exam table in Ecuador. A physician selected by the Peace Corps loomed over her and firmly placed his hand on her shoulder to keep her still. “Do you feel good?” he asked, then leaned in, pressing his erection against her arm. Tremblay feared he might go further. Half undressed, in pain and unsure whether she could fight him off, she stared him down. I’m fine, she said. When he backed away, Tremblay gathered her things and rushed onto Quito’s crowded streets. Then, another violation of her trust: The Peace Corps had been warned the doctor was a threat. Ashley Lipasek, a fellow volunteer, told . . .

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RPCVs and Arizona State University Community Build Digital Libraries

announcement from Arizona State University “Volunteers from the Phoenix Peace Corps Association and the Arizona State University community came together April 3 to build dozens of portable, digital SolarSPELL libraries. The small devices are powered by a solar panel connected to a rechargeable battery and a tiny computer built by Raspberry Pi. The small containers cast a Wi-Fi signal that allows any user to connect a smartphone, tablet or computer in areas with no telecommunciation infrastructure, and the libraries are loaded with relevant, localized educational information. The batch of devices assembled and tested at the Polytechnic campus — the first build day since the pandemic began — are destined for an Ethiopian refugee community; future build days will focus on building the libraries for Peace Corps partnerships so serving Peace Corps volunteers can carry them to communities worldwide and further their work. SolarSPELL, which is short for Solar Powered Educational Learning Library, is a student-centered . . .

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