Peace Corps Volunteers

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Joe Kennedy (Dominican Republic) focusing beyond Peace Corps
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Shenna Bellows (Panama) sees new post as Maine’s Secretary of State as dream job at a critical time
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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

Joe Kennedy (Dominican Republic) focusing beyond Peace Corps

  While numerous people inside Washington have mentioned the possibility of outgoing Rep. Joseph P. Kennedy III ( Dominican Republic 2004-06) serving as the next director of the Peace Corps, the post isn’t under discussion by the Biden transition and he is interested in other ways to serve the country, people familiar with the search tell Axios. Why it matters: What seemed like a bright political future for Kennedy prematurely dimmed in September when he lost his primary to replace Sen. Edward Markey. Now, the Massachusetts Democrat is considering his next move, prompting talk of the Peace Corps post or U.S. attorney in Boston — neither of which have been discussed with him, the people said. A person close to Kennedy said they had never heard U.S. attorney mentioned, and that while Kennedy loved his time in the Peace Corps, he would hope to serve the country in some other way . . .

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Shenna Bellows (Panama) sees new post as Maine’s Secretary of State as dream job at a critical time

Shenna Bellows sees new post as Maine’s secretary of state as dream job at a critical time The former state senator and executive director of the Holocaust and Human Rights Center of Maine says her goals include increasing voter participation and protecting privacy. • BY SCOTT THISTLE PORTLAND PRESS HERALD     Shenna Bellows (Panama 1999-01) has had a rewarding career defending civil liberties for Maine’s ACLU chapter, managing educational programs for disadvantaged youths at Learning Works in Portland, and educating the public about the value of human rights at the state Holocaust and Human Rights Center. But all of it was simply preparation for what she calls her new dream job: Maine secretary of state. A Democratic state senator from Manchester, Bellows said much of her recent work has particular relevance because it often focused on the importance of individual and collective decision making in times of injustice. “And how important . . .

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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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