Peace Corps Volunteers

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Talking with Liz Fanning (Morocco) about CorpsAfrica
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Danielle Nierenberg (Dominican Republic) fighting the famine with Food Tank
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RPCV Drew Days III (Honduras) – first African American to head Justice Department Civil Rights Division dies
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RPCV initiative tops $1 Million in Microloans (Colombia)
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“A Peaceful Transfer of Power is No Longer a Given in U.S.” by Martin Benjamin (Ethiopia)
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Paul Strasburg — “A life-changing lunch in Thailand”
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Barry Moline (Guatemala) “5 Things I Wish Someone Told Me”
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CorpsAfrica Needs You
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Mark Apel (Morocco) . . . “A Peace Corps volunteer’s return to Morocco“
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The Man Who Killed Hollywood — RPCV Reed Hastings (Swaziland)

Talking with Liz Fanning (Morocco) about CorpsAfrica

  Liz, where are you from in the States and where did you go to school? I was born and raised in New York City. I attended public schools, including the Bronx High School of Science, then I went to Boston University for undergrad and NYU’s Wagner School of Public Service for an MPA (on the Sargent Shriver RPCV Scholarship!). What led you to start your foundation? Your idea? I started CorpsAfrica to build on the enormous success of the Peace Corps. When I was a PCV, I met many educated young Moroccans who would ask me if they could be PCVs in order to help their country, and I had to say no. Their questions dogged me for 20 years because they deserved that opportunity. When the Peace Corps first started 60 years ago, in many African countries there were maybe two college graduates in the whole country. Now . . .

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Danielle Nierenberg (Dominican Republic) fighting the famine with Food Tank

  UN Warns of an Impending Famine With Millions in Danger of Starvation By Thalif Deen Relief Web UNITED NATIONS, Nov 27 2020 – The numbers are staggering — as reflected in the ongoing coronavirus pandemic which has triggered a new round of food shortages, famine and starvation. According to the Rome-based World Food Programme (WFP) 690 million people do not have enough to eat. while130 million additional people risk being pushed to the brink of starvation by the end of the year. “Hunger is an outrage in a world of plenty. An empty stomach is a gaping hole in the heart of a society,” Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said last week pointing out that famine is looming in several countries. Striking a personal note, Guterres said he could have never imagined that hunger would rise again during his time in office as Secretary-General. The WFP singled out 10 countries with . . .

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RPCV Drew Days III (Honduras) – first African American to head Justice Department Civil Rights Division dies

  Drew S. Days III (Honduras 1967-69), who was the first African American to head the civil rights division of the Justice Department and later became solicitor general under President Bill Clinton, died on Sunday at a long-term care facility in East Haven, Connecticut. He was 79. His wife, Ann Langdon-Days (Honduras 1967-69) said the cause was complications of dementia. Born in the segregated South, Days went to Yale Law School, fought for civil rights through the courts and enjoyed a meteoric career that might have led to a seat on the U.S. Supreme Court if not for his legal opinion in an obscure child pornography case. He knew from an early age that he wanted to work for civil rights. “I rode segregated buses and I was from the era with the segregated lunch counters and water fountains,” he recalled in a 2014 interview with the Touro Law Review. . . .

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RPCV initiative tops $1 Million in Microloans (Colombia)

  In 2000, when 25,000 families were displaced annually by violence in Colombia, RPCVs started The Colombia Project, a loan program to help families reestablish financial independence. It soon evolved to include any marginalized community and became TCP [The Colombia Project] Global in 2015, expanding to Niger, Guatemala and Peru. In October, this 100% volunteer effort achieved a significant milestone: $1 Million in loans issued. When 7,300 Peace Corps Volunteers were evacuated worldwide in March, due to the Corona Virus, six evacuees joined the TCP Global team, bringing new energy and creativity. The program went viral, adding thirty new sites, including five introduced by evacuees who worked with their counterparts virtually to introduce micro-loan programs. TCP Global currently serves fourteen countries in Asia, Africa, and the Americas.  An average loan is $210, ranging from $50 in Niger to $698 in Peru. While the program works anywhere, TCP focuses on underserved, . . .

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“A Peaceful Transfer of Power is No Longer a Given in U.S.” by Martin Benjamin (Ethiopia)

  by Martin Benjamin (Ethiopia 1962–64) San Francisco Chronicle October 15, 2020   Most Americans over the age of 65 remember where they were and what they were doing when they learned that President Kennedy had been assassinated.  I was in the Peace Corps in Gondar, Ethiopia teaching 10th and 11th grade math and history. Late the night of November 22, 1963 a fellow Peace Corps Volunteer trudged up the hill from his house to ours shouting “Kennedy’s been shot.”  Four of us then gathered round a shortwave radio and learned from the BBC World Service that the President had died. The next day news of the assassination spread among our students and colleagues.  The students were very upset.  Some were weeping.  Their concern was not only for the President and his family, but also for the school’s twelve Peace Corps teachers and themselves.  With Kennedy’s death, they believed we . . .

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Paul Strasburg — “A life-changing lunch in Thailand”

How a young Peace Corps Volunteer’s chance encounter with a teacher in Thailand in 1966 touched over a million lives.   Thousand Currents By Bilen Mesfin Peace Corps’ Passport Blog   ONE HOT DAY in 1965, Paul Strasburg (Thailand 1964-66) was having lunch with his Thai counterparts near the village of Ban Nong Boa. A man in a civil service uniform approached the table. The man introduced himself as a teacher and told them his story. With no school, Boonthom Boonprasert was teaching his students outside. When it rained, school would be canceled. Cautiously and respectfully, Boonprasert asked Strasburg, then a young Peace Corps Volunteer, and his Thai colleagues: Could they help him build a school? Strasburg’s colleagues turned to him.“You are the American,” they said. “You guys have all the money.” In what would prove to be a pivotal moment, Strasburg agreed to find out what he could do. . . .

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Barry Moline (Guatemala) “5 Things I Wish Someone Told Me”

Thanks for the ‘heads up’ from Steven Boyd Saum (Ukraine 1994-96)   Barry Moline 5 Things I Wish Someone Told Me Before I Became the CEO of the California Municipal Utilities Association Authority Magazine September 21, 2020 • “It’s vitally important to connect with your staff and colleagues. If you build relationships, people will work more easily with you. This is a universal truth that not many people understand. It’s such a vital skill that I wrote a book about it called Connect! How to Quickly Collaborate for Success in Business and Life.” • Aspart of my series about the leadership lessons of accomplished business leaders, I had the pleasure of interviewing Barry Moline. With 25+ years as a CEO, Barry has learned a lot about management and leadership. He leads the California Municipal Utilities Association, where he and his team work with publicly owned water agencies and electric utilities to . . .

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CorpsAfrica Needs You

  Liz Fanning served as a PCV in Morocco from 1993-95 and started CorpsAfrica to give young Moroccans (and all Africans) the opportunity to serve like she did, and to benefit from the transformative experience of service. CorpsAfrica builds on the Peace Corps model to deploy highly motivated young women and men to rural communities to facilitate small-scale, high-impact projects that are identified by local people and with a community contribution. The CorpsAfrica experience gives young adults an opportunity to learn valuable professional skills while expanding their understanding of their country. Since 2013, CorpsAfrica has recruited, trained and placed nearly 300 volunteers in Morocco, Senegal, Malawi, and Rwanda, to serve in their own countries and other African countries. During the coronavirus pandemic, the Volunteers have chosen to stay at their sites to provide vital information and promoting healthy practices to marginalized communities. They demonstrate the power of local volunteers and . . .

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Mark Apel (Morocco) . . . “A Peace Corps volunteer’s return to Morocco“

  by Ellen Hernandez and Katie Bercegeay   Upon hearing the words “Hamdullahwainshallah,” Mark Apel is transported as if in a time capsule to the many times he and Yossef Ben-Meir, President of the High Atlas Foundation (HAF), uttered them in gratitude for the food set before them or in hope for something good to come of their efforts as Peace Corps Volunteers. “It makes you more mindful of the moment,” he remarked in a recent interview conducted by Yossef for HAF. • Mark Apel [Morocco 1982-86] was born in France, son of an airman, whose family returned to the U.S. where he grew up in a suburb of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Two months after graduation from Penn State in 1982, he joined the Peace Corps and came to Morocco. There, he was able to use his degree in environmental resource management and specialization in wildlife management as a fisheries volunteer. . . .

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The Man Who Killed Hollywood — RPCV Reed Hastings (Swaziland)

  Reed Hastings Had Us All Staying Home Before We Had To Netflix started with sending DVDs — remember them? — through the mail, but now the streaming pioneer sits atop a Hollywood it has thoroughly upended. By Maureen Dowd New York Times Sept. 4, 2020 Does it feel good to be the man who killed Hollywood? “No,” said Reed Hastings, who nurtured Netflix into the Godzilla of the entertainment world. “But, of course, we haven’t killed Hollywood.” At 59, the slender, gray-haired Mr. Hastings remains a mystery in the industry he dominates. “He’s a complete cipher here,” one Hollywood macher said. You won’t find Mr. Hastings hanging with the stars at the San Vicente Bungalows. He doesn’t bellow at the pool at the Hotel du Cap or swan around at premieres. He may show up in line at Sundance, but he’s not cutting the line. He started a delivery system for . . .

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