The following email note from “Peace Corps Response’ (i.e. The Crisis Corps) has been making the rounds of the RPCV world. I ask, why isn’t the agency doing the job? Why isn’t the Peace Corps going to Haiti with its Crisis Corps Volunteers?
I’m told, the U. S. Embassy in Haiti, and the bureaucrats in Washington responsible for Haiti relief, have stymied Peace Corps efforts to get Volunteers in there. Part of this problem is the lack of a government in Haiti with which to have an agreement.
If so, then how are all the other relief efforts able to go forth? Sean Penn seems not to have any trouble getting to volunteer in Haiti.
I’m also told that Aaron and his Chief of Staff have been banging on the State Department doors, but they aren’t getting anywhere.
Perhaps what the Peace Corps needs is another ‘Push for Peace Corps’ more work from Rajeev Goyal who clearly can get the attention of everyone’s in Washington. At the moment the Peace Corps, which is always been as well loved as ‘Mom’s Apple Pie,’ is nowhere in the international scene when it comes to ‘making a difference.’ In the age of Twitter, Facebook, social networking and microblogging, the question is being asked by everyone outside of the beltway: “Is there still a Peace Corps or did the agency die with Kennedy? While other NGOs and government agencies are smart enough and ‘with it’ to Tweet, the Peace Corps is dialing for volunteers on their analog phones. Talk about being lost on the Beltway!
Perhaps Aaron Williams should take another look at that photo hanging of his office wall, that photograph taken with Harris Wofford, the former senator and architect of the Peace Corps, and read his memorandum to John F. Kennedy on May 25, 1961, where he warned, JFK, about placing the agency inside AID and the State Department, “The Peace Corps’ people-to-people approach and educational emphasis offers an opportunity to create a new pattern. For this is needs the freedom and energy of autonomy.”
Or read what Bill Josephson wrote about the meeting between Kennedy and Johnson, where Johnson convinced the president to let the Peace Corps stand on its own feet. Josephson wrote, “Johnson, on his way to the Oval Office, picked up Henry Labouisse (head of ICA) and Dave Bell (director of the Bureau of the Budget) by their respective ears and began telling them what the foreign aid program really should. It should be healing the sick and the lame and the blind-very earthy, pithy, stuff… very close to what Peace Corps Volunteers could and would do.”
Anyway, here’s a letter you might have received from Brianna Fischer, who, by the way, isn’t listed as an RPCV in the latest NPCA book.
Greetings from Peace Corps Response! You are receiving this email because you expressed an interest in learning more about opportunities to offer your services in Haiti.
Attached you will find a job opportunity with Hope for Haiti, and NGO based out of Les Cayes, Haiti. They have asked that we forward this job posting to RPCVs interested in living and working in Haiti. Please refer any questions about this position directly to Hope for Haiti. Their website is www.hopeforhaiti.com.
All the best,
Peace Corps Response
1111 20th St NW
Washington, DC 20526
800-424-8580, extension 2247