|Chief Executive Officer’s Message
In this special edition of Inside Peace Corps, I want to acknowledge the fear and heartache we all have for the people and the country of Ukraine. Ukraine has been a partner to the Peace Corps since 1992. In the 30 years since, nearly 3,500 Volunteers have been warmly welcomed into communities across the country. Our hearts go out to these community members and long-time members of the Peace Corps network as well as all Ukrainians.
It has been so incredibly moving to witness the outpouring of support for Ukraine from around the world, including from within the Peace Corps network. I am forever in awe of how this group of global leaders comes together in moments like these to stand for world peace and friendship.
In response to the refugees coming across the Ukrainian border, our Peace Corps/Moldova team has been working around the clock in both their personal and professional capacities. They have been transporting people from the border to shelters, and, in some case, have taken Ukrainians into their own homes. They have teamed up with the Moldova Small Business Alliance and a Returned Peace Corps Volunteer (RPCV)-owned restaurant to coordinate a city-wide donation drive, supporting more than 800 refugees with critical needs on the first day of operation alone. They have also worked quickly to update contracts to facilitate supplemental payments for Peace Corps/Ukraine staff.
In Romania, several RPCVs are on the frontlines assisting in humanitarian efforts. An RPCV from Georgia, a journalist, is capturing and sharing Ukrainians’ stories, helping the world to understand the real, human impact of this dire situation. And in the U.S., the Alliance for Ukraine is raising money, building awareness, and helping to direct donations and other support.
During a recent call I had with the Peace Corps/Ukraine team, they shared just how much it meant for them to hear from staff, RPCVs, and people from around the world who have shown their solidarity and care. If you would like to send reflections or thoughts, you can do that here. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for your concern and support of our Peace Corps/Ukraine team, whose well-being remains our priority. Please know that we are doing everything within our authority to provide supplemental financial support so that staff have the funds to take care of themselves and their families.
Finally, I want to underscore that the Peace Corps network’s intentionality and unwillingness to sit on the sidelines in the face of injustice and inequality are a few of its defining characteristics. I am endlessly inspired by the community’s enduring spirit of service. I know many of you have already or are ready to engage in meaningful action and to show your solidarity with the people of the Ukraine. We have fielded many requests asking for ways to get involved, which we have listed below. Thank you for your service. I am so grateful to see this bold network rising to meet the moment and to honor our shared mission of world peace and friendship.