The Peace Corps

Agency history, current news and stories of the people who are/were both on staff and Volunteers.

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RPCV Evaluator Writes: The rice must reach the people
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The Peace Corps partners with federal agencies to connect Volunteers with jobs
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Preparing for the Peace Corps 60th Anniversary (Philippines)
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RPCV Maeve Kennedy McKean is missing boater (Mozambique)
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The Hill Reports Lawmakers Call For Unemployment Benefits For EPCVs
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An Invitation from Roland Merullo (Micronesia)
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Lawmakers ask that evacuated Peace Corps Volunteers be allowed to aid response
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A Writer Writes: Josh Swiller (Zambia) on having the coronavirus
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Coronavirus Sent Peace Corps Volunteers Home. It Could Also Give Them A New Mission
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Kentucky EPCV is interviewed by Spectrum News 1

RPCV Evaluator Writes: The rice must reach the people

Robert G. (Mick McGuire was a Volunteer teacher at Raishahi University, East Pakistan, and he was subsequently briefly an evaluator for the Peace Corps. He wrote this essay for the 1996 Peace Corps Volunteer, one article of 14 that focused on what the Peace Corps should become by 1976. The rice must reach the people by Robert G. McGuire III (Pakistan 1961-63) What will the Peace Corps be in 1976? The destiny of the Peace Corps is tied to the forces at work in the world. Therefore, to ensure our relevance to development, which is on of the major forces of our era, we must try year by year to maintain an acute sensitivity to the economic, political, and social forces in the developing nations. My own bias is that the Peace Corps must justify itself solely in terms of its contribution to the development of the non-Western world. Out . . .

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The Peace Corps partners with federal agencies to connect Volunteers with jobs

Peace Corps partners with federal agencies to connect volunteers with jobs 4/3/2020 11:25 PM WASHINGTON – The Peace Corps is partnering with a host of federal agencies to hold webinars and virtual job fairs where evacuated Peace Corps volunteers can find jobs as they adjust to life in the United States. “We are here to support our volunteers in every way possible,” said Peace Corps Director Jody Olsen. “Our volunteers have given so much to the world, and we are working tirelessly to ensure their smooth transition to life back in the United States. We also want to recognize our outstanding government partners who are eager to hire returned Peace Corps volunteers and have supported us through this challenging time.” Returned Peace Corps volunteers (RPCVs) can find the full list of virtual job fairs by logging in  here. The participating government agencies are: Small Business Administration Department of Labor Housing . . .

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Preparing for the Peace Corps 60th Anniversary (Philippines)

Preparing for the Peace Corps 60th Anniversary Next year the Peace Corps celebrates 60 years of service. Recently I received a gift of several early Peace Corps Volunteer magazines from Patricia (Silke) Edmisten (Peru 1962-64) that she is donating to the new NPCA museum. Leafing through the material this morning I came across the March 1966 issue of the magazine. In this issue was a special tribute to Shriver, who had just finished his 5 years of service, and an article on Jack Hood Vaughn, the second director of the agency. I don’t remember seeing the issue back in ’66, but then I was in Ethiopia as an APCD and must have been too busy to read it. (You know how ‘demanding’ those Volunteers can be!) The bulk of the issue had a section entitled: PEACE CORPS: 1976 That introductory paragraph read: This began as an anniversary puzzle: If the . . .

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RPCV Maeve Kennedy McKean is missing boater (Mozambique)

    Member of Kennedy family and her son identified as missing boaters in Chesapeake Bay By Rachel Weiner Peter Hermann Dana Hedgpeth Washington Post April 3, 2020 Two boaters who went missing in the Chesapeake Bay near Annapolis on Thursday evening have been identified as Maeve Kennedy Townsend McKean, 40, and her 8-year-old son Gideon Joseph Kennedy McKean. David McKean confirmed his wife and son disappeared on Thursday afternoon while in a canoe on the Chesapeake Bay. In a brief interview with The Washington Post, he said the family had gathered at a waterfront house owned by his wife’s mother, Kathleen Kennedy Townsend, in Shady Side, Md. At about 4 p.m., children were kicking a ball back and forth in a yard and the ball went into the water. He said his wife and son “popped into a canoe to chase it down. They just got farther out than . . .

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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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An Invitation from Roland Merullo (Micronesia)

Dear Friends and Readers, Many people are doing something to ease the strain of the corona virus quarantine, so my friend and publisher, Peter Sarno, and I came up with the idea to offer a serialized novel. There is no charge for it. Peter and I aren’t collecting names or information in any way. It is meant simply as entertainment in bleak times. Like most authors, I have several books that, for one reason or another, have never seen the light of day. Bring Me a Higher Love is one of them. From time to time over the years since I composed it, I’ve gone back and read through it again and made changes, but it has basically been floating around in the clouds as in an e-copy, and sitting in a drawer in my office in a hard copy. For a long time, I’ve been fascinated by the relationship between sex . . .

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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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A Writer Writes: Josh Swiller (Zambia) on having the coronavirus

  On March 29th, RPCV writer Josh Swiller (Zambia 1994–96) posted the following on his FaceBook page:   Hi Everyone. Following up on the last post, I’m really seeing how important and supportive it is to share our stories and experiences. On that note, and in answer to the many questions I’ve received, what follows is a more in-depth account of what we went through. The first week of March, Leah attended a group therapy conference in New York City. It has now come to light that dozens of attendees at that conference tested positive or have shown symptoms but couldn’t get tested. In fact, the first person we learned was a confirmed positive was an attendee from Singapore. They tested him as soon as he got off the plane back home as a matter of policy. Leah had sat next to him for two days. Another person who has . . .

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Coronavirus Sent Peace Corps Volunteers Home. It Could Also Give Them A New Mission

From NPR Coronavirus Sent Peace Corps Volunteers Home. It Could Also Give Them A New Mission April 1, 2020 ELENA RENKEN Photos by Adam Greenberg Peace Corps volunteer Adam Greenberg worked to develop fish farming in Zambia. He took this selfie on March 23, en route to San Diego, the final destination of his evacuation. Imagine this: One minute you’re a volunteer doing work that you find incredibly meaningful in a faraway place. Then you get a notice – evacuate immediately. Suddenly you’re back home, probably feeling down and definitely jobless. That’s the situation that over 7,000 Peace Corps volunteers found themselves in after an unprecedented evacuation order in mid-March. The reason: fear of coronavirus. The Peace Corps explains that it didn’t want its volunteers stranded abroad if travel became impossible. Yet they’re stranded in a way now that they are back, ineligible for unemployment benefits because of their volunteer status . . .

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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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