Acting Director’s Message
Welcome back to Inside Peace Corps, where we share updates on our work, both at headquarters and in the countries where our Volunteers are invited to serve. We have celebrated the legacy of the Peace Corps over the past weeks with anniversaries of the signing of the Peace Corps Act and of 60-year partnerships with Ghana, Tanzania, Colombia, and the Philippines. After attending these events – surrounded by partners, host community members, returned Peace Corps Volunteers, staff, and other supporters – I am in awe of the strength of the Peace Corps network, the values we live by, and the power of service to unite.
This network has stepped up in countless, innovative ways to advance the Peace Corps’ mission of promoting world peace and friendship during this historic time. Those efforts have included virtual engagements with host country partners, staff programming outreach, interagency collaborations, and above-and-beyond initiatives of returned Volunteers. It has been truly impressive to witness how our 60-year foundation and our trusted partners have helped us to adapt to meet our mission. The Peace Corps network’s intercultural and participatory development skills and reach into underserved communities, at the last-mile, will be essential as we all come together to support COVID-19 response and recovery efforts worldwide.
Staff Earn LearningSpace Course Developer Certificate. Globally, 835 staff members from 90% of posts have completed the intensive, eight-week Peace Corps LearningSpace Course Developer Certificate, enabling them to design and deliver blended learning courses to support Volunteers’ return to the field. Already, staff are using these skills to deliver virtual trainings and to support partners as they build the skills to facilitate virtual trainings themselves. For example, partnering with the Ministry of Education in North Macedonia, staff are using these skills to deliver a series of workshops for 25,000 educators of the country’s 1,100 public schools to support teachers to create and deliver effective learning experiences for students learning at home due to the pandemic.
Staff and Virtual Service Pilot Participants Contribute to the United States COVID-19 Global Response and Recovery Framework. Over 90% of Peace Corps post staff and Virtual Service Pilot Participants (VSPPs) are contributing to the objectives of the United States COVID-19 Global Response and Recovery Framework. For example, staff in Benin have collaborated with the U.S. Embassy and the Ministry of Health to support two vaccination events. In total, more than 1,200 individuals received COVID-19 vaccinations at these events. In addition to direct COVID-19 prevention efforts, staff and VSPPs have also supported host country partners to overcome and recover from educational, agricultural, and nutritional impacts of COVID-19 as well as provided other health programming related to HIV and Malaria.
Peace Corps Renews Memorandum of Understanding with Rotary International. In September, the Peace Corps renewed its three-year, global memorandum of understanding (MOU) with Rotary International. Since 2015, this strategic partnership has enabled Peace Corps Volunteers (PCVs) and Rotarians to collaborate on literacy, youth leadership, and health projects in more than 30 countries. Stateside, the collaboration has involved Rotary clubs in the recruitment of PCVs and the ongoing community engagement of returned Peace Corps Volunteers (RPCVs). Learn more about this MOU and the agency’s other 22 formal strategic partnerships here.
Staff Complete Inclusive and Accessible Training Course. Following the guidance of Executive Order (EO) 14035 on Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Accessibility in the Federal Workforce, 45 staff members from eight headquarter offices and 37 Peace Corps posts completed an Inclusive and Accessible Training course. The three-week training is designed to equip staff members with the skills and awareness necessary to develop accessible and inclusive training courses for all learners, Volunteers, and staff. The Office of Staff Learning & Development will further adapt this curriculum to scale-up the training and improve global course design practices in 2022. Learn more about EO 14035 here.
Headquarters Staff Contribute to U.S. Government Efforts around Afghan Evacuees. At the request of the State Department, more than 85 staff members volunteered to assist Afghan evacuees during their arrival at Dulles International Airport for over 700 hours during a two-week time period. More than 20 staff have also volunteered for 30-day service commitments to support the resettlement of Afghan evacuees.
The Peace Corps in Photos
In The Works
Issuing Invitations to Serve in Select Countries. After much planning and consultation, and at the request of host country governments, the Peace Corps will begin issuing invitations to prospective Volunteers, in a few select countries, to serve overseas. The return to in-person service will be gradual with initial Volunteer cohorts serving in countries that have met the medical, security, programmatic, administrative, and logistical criteria of the agency. All Volunteers will be expected to contribute to COVID-19 response and recovery efforts and will be required to accept the additional risks associated with volunteering during a pandemic and comply with agency standards for mitigating these risks, wherever possible. Click herefor more information on our return to service.
Meeting Our Commitments Related to Sexual Assault Risk Reduction and Response. Through our ongoing, whole-of-agency work to upgrade our systems in preparation for the return of Volunteers overseas, we have made concerted efforts to strengthen our Volunteer safety, and sexual assault risk reduction and response efforts. For more information on the specific, systemic improvements we have made in these areas over the last six months, please read our recent press release.
In the News
Peace Corps is making headlines! Here are a few recent stories.
(Clicking any of the news links will take you to a third-party website.)
The health of our village is his sense of purpose, and he sees every child as close to his heart; [for him, it’s] not just a job. He has shown me what it means to find a job you love and you will never work a day in your life.” –Cecilia Heck RPCV/Cameroon on her Peace Corps Counterpart Patrice Bouba
In recognition of Hispanic Heritage Month, we highlight two Hispanic RPCVs’ stories from service:
We host a variety of events for prospective Volunteers, RPCVs, and other Peace Corps audiences. Check out some recent and upcoming virtual events involving the Peace Corps:
September 20-24 – Rotary-Peace Corps Week: The Future is Bright (recording)
September 29 – Peace Corps Tanzania 60th Anniversary Event (recording)
October 5 – Peace Corps Philippines 60th Anniversary Event (recording)
October 26 – Who Am I? A Reflection of Identity in Service (registration)
November 17 – Peace Corps Celebrates: Native American Heritage Month (registration)
November 22 – Serving Later in Life (registration)
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