The Peace Corps

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

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After COVID-19 evacuations, volunteers fear for future of Peace Corps
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RPCV & Nobel Peace Prize Nominee Writes His Peace Corps Memoir (Costa Rica)
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A Plan to Defeat Coronavirus Finally Emerges
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A Covid-19 Response Corps Can Help Stop the Pandemic
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Review — FACE TO FACE WITH THE GLOBAL ECONOMY by Leo Cecchini (Ethiopia)
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Thank you to the RPCV Friends of Colombia
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NPCA urges you to contact your Senator, today
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San Francisco Chronicle interviews evacuated Peace Corps Volunteers
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SWAHILI ON THE PRAIRIE – A film by David Goldenberg (Kenya)
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RPCV Peter Navarro (Thailand) warned Trump of pandemic

After COVID-19 evacuations, volunteers fear for future of Peace Corps

By Amy Lieberman // 14 April 2020 Pedro Razo, one of the thousands of Peace Corps volunteers who were called back to the U.S. due to the coronavirus pandemic. Photo by: Jose M. Osorio / Abaca Press via ReutersNEW YORK — One month after COVID-19 prompted the Peace Corps to temporarily halt operations, former and prospective volunteers are wondering how the organization can regain its footing. Funding challenges could continue to complicate a return to normal, even once international travel and nonessential work resume, they said. “A lot of us, when we saw the news of the worldwide evacuation, we immediately worried about the long-term survival of the Peace Corps. Peace Corps is one of those programs of soft diplomacy, based on partnership and the belief that development rises the tide and that rising tide helps communities empower themselves,” said Greg Emerson, a member of the New York City Peace Corps Association board and a former volunteer . . .

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RPCV & Nobel Peace Prize Nominee Writes His Peace Corps Memoir (Costa Rica)

  From Mid Hudson News April 10, 2020 Hudson Valley resident and four-time Nobel Peace Prize nominee David Taylor Ives (Costa Rica 1980-82) has announced that his new memoir, American Dreamer is available for purchase. The book captures memories of Ives’s experiences of a Peace Corps volunteer – the time spent working in schools and community gardens in impoverished parts of the world, and how the opportunity paved the way to Ives becoming a global humanitarian. Since the early days in the Peace Corps, the author has worked with leaders like President Jimmy Carter and the Dalai Lama, served as the senior advisor to the Permanent Secretariat of the Summits of Nobel Peace Prize Laureates, and become well-known for his speeches about humanitarian issues, which he delivers as to generate interest in the world peace initiatives with which he’s involved throughout the world. According to Ives, “American Dreamer gave me . . .

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A Plan to Defeat Coronavirus Finally Emerges

Thanks for the ‘heads up’ from Arnold Zetlin (Ghana 1961-62)     A plan to defeat coronavirus finally emerges, but it’s not from the White House In the absence of federal direction, states and America’s top experts forge the path ahead. by Lena H. Sun, William Wan and Yasmeen Abutaleb April 10, 2020 Washington Post   Experts have proposed transforming the Peace Corps — which suspended global operations last month and recalled 7,000 volunteers to America — into a national response corps that could perform many tasks, including contact tracing. A national plan to fight the coronavirus pandemic in the United States and return Americans to jobs and classrooms is emerging — but not from the White House. Instead, a collection of governors, former government officials, disease specialists and nonprofits are pursuing a strategy that relies on the three pillars of disease control: Ramp up testing to identify people who are infected. Find everyone they interact with by . . .

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A Covid-19 Response Corps Can Help Stop the Pandemic

Thanks for the ‘heads up’ from Mother Martha Driscoll (Ethiopia 1965-67)     A Covid-19 Response Corps Can Help Stop the Pandemic Evacuated Peace Corps Volunteers Could Be Readily Mobilized   April 6, 2020 From: The Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) Congresswoman Susan Brooks (R-IN) and Congressman Ami Bera (D-CA) are members of the CSIS Commission on Strengthening America’s Health Security. Over the past two years we have been proud and active members of the CSIS Commission on Strengthening America’s Health Security. This past fall, the Commission published its final report, Ending the Cycle of Crisis and Complacency in U.S. Health Security, in which we recommended the establishment of a U.S. Global Health Crises Response Corps to respond rapidly to outbreaks that occur in insecure settings overseas. Today, our country is confronting an unprecedented public health crisis within our own borders. The Covid-19 pandemic is unlike anything we have seen . . .

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Review — FACE TO FACE WITH THE GLOBAL ECONOMY by Leo Cecchini (Ethiopia)

    Face to Face with the Global Economy Leo  Cecchini (Ethiopia 1962–64) Self-published September 2019 137 pages $5.00 (Kindle): $8.00 (Paperback) Reviewed by Jim Skelton (Ethiopia 1970–72)  • Leo Cecchini’s memoir, Face to Face with the Global Economy, provides more than just an insight into the very interesting and oftentimes exciting life he has lived, it also reveals the vast resourcefulness of a man who was destined to see the world, have an impact on it and make a difference. Beginning with his years as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Ethiopia in the early 1960s, Leo recalls that he, as one of the Peace Corps trainees in the first group to serve in Ethiopia, attended a “party” thrown by none other than President John F. Kennedy on the White House lawn. Such an event might have seemed like business as usual back in those early days of the Peace . . .

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Thank you to the RPCV Friends of Colombia

This Is A Message from Colombian Ambassador to the Evacuated Peace Corps Volunteers Message from Ambassador Francisco Santos The return of all Peace Corps Volunteers to the United States is heartbreaking to witness, however Friends of Colombia is particularly devastated to know that the countless positive relationships the PCVs formed in Colombia have been unceremoniously interrupted. In this challenging moment, FOC wanted to reassure the 96 volunteers who had to leave Colombia early know that they will always be welcome back. We expressed this idea directly to Colombian Ambassador to the United States Francisco Santos, and, in the true Colombian nature, Ambassador Santos recorded a message of gratitude and open arms. “What you give back Colombia, we appreciate it immensely,” said Ambassador Santos. “And we hope you can return soon.” Message from Francisco Santos, current Ambassador of Colombia to the United States.

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NPCA urges you to contact your Senator, today

    Re-Deploy the Peace Corps? It Begins Here, Now   (Note: If your Senator has not signed the letter, contact his office and urge him or her to do so today) “If you want to ensure the future of the Peace Corps, contact your Senator(s) and urge them to sign a “Dear Colleague” letter circulated by Susan Collins (R-ME) and Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) asking for an increase in Peace Corps funding for the next fiscal year (FY 2021) which will commence on October 1st. It is imperative that the agency has the financial and human resources to get Volunteers back in the field as soon as possible. The Dear Colleague letter, an official correspondence sent by Members of Congress to encourage others to support or oppose a bill, is just the beginning. There’s also legislation being circulated by Senators Todd Young (R-IN) and Richard Durbin (D-IL) requesting strong funding for all international affairs funding, including Peace Corps. Contact your . . .

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San Francisco Chronicle interviews evacuated Peace Corps Volunteers

    Coronavirus: Bay Area Peace Corps volunteers deal with ‘emotional trauma’ after global evacuations Tatiana Sanchez  April 8, 2020 Updated: April 8, 2020 7:43 p.m. • Annelise Hill was attending a conference in the Bohol Province of the Philippines — where she worked as an environmental Peace Corps volunteer — when she received a devastating alert from headquarters in Washington, D.C., urging her and others to evacuate their host countries. Hill had 24 hours to pack her belongings, say goodbye to her friends and people in the community she’d helped and rush to the airport. “It was very stressful and shocking to know that we were leaving,” said Hill, a 24-year-old Novato resident who worked as a coastal resource manager for eight months in Getafe, a city of about 30,000 people. “I knew that if I thought of it as, ‘I’m not coming back,’ I was going to break down. . . .

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SWAHILI ON THE PRAIRIE – A film by David Goldenberg (Kenya)

Thanks for the ‘heads up’ from Bob Gribbin (Kenya 1968-70)       David Goldenberg (Kenya 1968-70) has produced a documentary film about his  training group and service overseas. This training program was one of the last to be done in the U.S.  Goldenberg’s film premiered in North Dakota last January because that is where they trained and where it all began. You can find Swahili on the Prairie at Vimeo. After the Peace Corps, David received his PhD from Brown University in anthropology and then had a long career working for (primarily child-focused) NGOs.  He worked for Plan International for about 15 years and then was a consultant for Plan, CARE, Save the Children, and other agencies. He started making documentaries about 20 years ago.  In the build up to his group’s 50th anniversary in 2018, he decided to make a film about their experience.  He traveled around the . . .

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RPCV Peter Navarro (Thailand) warned Trump of pandemic

    Trade Adviser Warned White House in January of Risks of a Pandemic A memo from Peter Navarro (Thailand 1972-75) said failure to contain a coronavirus outbreak could lead to hundreds of thousands of deaths and trillions of dollars in economic losses. It is the most direct warning known to have circulated at a key moment among top administration officials. By Maggie Haberman Published April 6, 2020 New York Times Updated April 7, 2020, 12:46 a.m. ET   A top White House adviser starkly warned Trump administration officials in late January that the coronavirus crisis could cost the United States trillions of dollars and put millions of Americans at risk of illness or death. The warning, written in a memo by Peter Navarro, President Trump’s trade adviser, is the highest-level alert known to have circulated inside the West Wing as the administration was taking its first substantive steps to confront a crisis . . .

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