Scam, kidnap by South African police

Scam, kidnap by South African police

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Scam, kidnap by South African police

Scam, kidnap by South African police

 
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Peace Corps salutes Special Olympics on its 50th anniversary
Jody Olsen with Timothy Shriver, Special Olympics
Jody Olsen and Timothy Shriver

WASHINGTON – Peace Corps is celebrating the 50th anniversary of Special Olympics, which partners with volunteers around the world to transform lives through the joy of sports and create a culture of inclusion.

Members of the Peace Corps community will be in Chicago this week for games and events commemorating this milestone. Athletes and their families, friends, and coaches will also pay tribute to Special Olympics founder Eunice Kennedy Shriver, wife of the first Peace Corps Director Sargent Shriver.

Peace Corps Director Jody Olsen, who is pictured above with Special Olympics Chairman Timothy Shriver at the new Special Olympics exhibit at the Smithsonian National Museum of American History, stated, “As we all know, the Shriver family played a vital role in the creation of Peace Corps, making our strategic partnership with Special Olympics even more meaningful. Peace Corps is proud to support the work of Special Olympics and all they do to create an inclusive, just world for all people. Please join me in wishing our special partner a happy 50th anniversary.”

More than 1,200 Peace Corps volunteers are working with people with disabilities in 44 countries. Volunteers in Mongolia, the Philippines, Paraguay, and Senegal work directly with Special Olympics to lead sporting events, youth camps, adult training sessions, and health programming.

Daniel Ryave, a Peace Corps volunteer in Togo, wrote about his work with Special Olympics in this story.



Thu, 19 Jul 2018 20:17:28 +0000


Peace Corps Director Jody Olsen, Members of Congress make the case for Peace Corps service
Director Olsen with Members of Congress
Peace Corps Director Jody Olsen is seen here with Congressmen Garret Graves, Joseph Kennedy, and John Garamendi.

WASHINGTON – Peace Corps Director Jody Olsen joined Members of Congress for a recruitment event on Capitol Hill today, encouraging more than 100 Congressional staff and interns to consider serving in the Peace Corps.

Director Olsen, speaking in the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Hearing Room in the Rayburn House Office Building, recalled her experiences as a recent graduate volunteering in Tunisia.

“I discovered who I was in the face of challenges and circumstances that I had never known,” she said. “I learned to listen to, respect, and honor people who were different than me. I learned about a way of life in North Africa that was unlike mine in Salt Lake City, Utah. I learned that regardless of differences, there was so much that connected us. I also learned what it meant to serve my country—to be part of something far, far greater than myself.”

Congressmen John Garamendi (CA-3), Joseph Kennedy (MA-4), and Garret Graves (LA-6), co-chairs of the Congressional Peace Corps Caucus, also delivered remarks and took questions during the annual event.

Congressman Garamendi served in Peace Corps Ethiopia with his wife Patti.  Congressman Kennedy was a volunteer in the Dominican Republic. Congressman Graves, a longtime service leader in the South Louisiana community, has family members who are returned Peace Corps volunteers.

The Members of Congress emphasized the value of national service, the personal and professional development opportunities that Peace Corps offers, and the importance of the Peace Corps mission.

“If you want to have a good life, make it a life of service,” said Congressman Garamendi, who returned to work in Ethiopia in the 1980s. “In the Peace Corps you learn peace, and you practice peace. You never move away from that.”

“There’s not a single day that goes by that I don’t draw on my experience in the Peace Corps,” said Congressman Kennedy, citing the problem solving and organizing skills he developed in the Dominican Republic. “It has been a profound impact on my life, and I wouldn’t be here today without it.”

“The Peace Corps is a phenomenal investment,” said Congressman Graves, sending “ambassadors who work in other countries to help them learn who Americans really are.”



Wed, 18 Jul 2018 19:16:04 +0000


This Independence Day, Peace Corps volunteers around the world share what it means to be American

 WASHINGTON – Grilling hot dogs, line dancing and games of capture the flag may not be traditional summertime activities in Albania, but Peace Corps volunteer Cassandra LeBlanc of Sunrise, FL plans to share them with her community on July 4 anyway.

Since its founding in 1961, Peace Corps’ mission and goals have remained unchanged. American holidays, like Independence Day, present opportunities for volunteers around the world to fulfill the agency’s second goal: To help promote a better understanding of Americans on the part of the peoples served.

Sharing the culture and diversity of America goes much deeper than holiday celebrations, as LeBlanc, a health education volunteer of Haitian descent, knows from experience.

“A lot of people [in Albania] don’t believe I'm American at first and it takes a lot of explanation. There are people in [here] who have never seen a person of color before, and I understand that I am the first,” says LeBlanc.

“I often use this as an opportunity to educate others, [to explain] that ‘American culture’ is the combination of different traditions and customs and is one of the most culturally diverse countries in the world because our population was built by immigrants.” LeBlanc is excited to host an American-style barbecue at her partner school, filled with celebratory activities and a brief U.S. history lesson. 

As of 2017, 31 percent of Peace Corps volunteers self-identified as belonging to an ethnic or racial minority. This number is up from 20 percent in 2012. For many volunteers, service abroad means sharing lessons on America’s racial and cultural diversity, along with the more traditional work of teaching nutrition and English classes.

In Morocco, Young Kwon, a youth development volunteer from St. Louis, MO, has started sharing her Korean-American heritage by teaching a Korean language and culture class, as well as an “around the world” English class. She wrote a blog post about her experience.

“In my ‘around the world’ English class,” says Kwon, “we try to learn about different cultures around the world, explore different cross-cultural topics and discuss the effects of stereotypes, how we can challenge ourselves to dispel the myths that perpetuate stereotypes and how to be respectful toward cultures that are different.”

As a Mexican-American volunteer serving in the Dominican Republic, Ray Sánchez of Dayton, NV hopes to change his community’s perceptions, not just about him, but about themselves.

“I love showing the people of this country that someone of color can make positive changes and help them achieve their goals,” says Sánchez. “I’d rather have the people here see me as a real life example of what someone with a similar background is capable of doing. I would rather they begin to think that it is not the color of skin that matters but instead what is inside a person’s mind and heart.”

For LeBlanc in Albania, Peace Corps’ second goal is personal. She says her community loves learning about her family and friends from back home in the U.S. “I love showing them all of the pictures of my loved ones, and explaining how we are all Americans. It doesn’t matter that we all look different. That’s the beauty of the United States: that people come from all walks of life.”



Tue, 03 Jul 2018 18:55:36 +0000


Commemorating 50 Years of Peace Corps in Fiji

WASHINGTON – This week, Peace Corps celebrates 50 years of service in Fiji. Since the program was established in 1968, over 2,495 volunteers have served alongside their neighbors in all fifteen of the country’s provinces, learning to speak Fijian and Hindi.

The anniversary is being celebrated throughout the week and will culminate in the launch of a Peace Corps exhibit at the Fiji National Museum in Suva on June 28. The exhibit will feature photos, books and articles that highlight 50 years of friendship and collaboration between Fijians and Peace Corps volunteers. The former President of Fiji, Ratu Epeli Nailatikau, will speak at the launch reception.

Other events during the week include a traditional sevusevu welcome ceremony conducted in Fijian, reunion gatherings, visits to volunteer sites and a celebration at the U.S. Embassy. Earlier this year, Post Fiji honored the Peace Corps with commemorative stamps for the 50th anniversary, depicting volunteers past and present. A number of volunteers who have served in Fiji during the past 50 years are returning to Fiji for the historic milestone.

“The work of cultural exchange, the work of being ambassador, the work of maintaining that connection and sharing that connection [with] the people back home goes on for the rest of their lives,” says Country Director Dennis McMahon of volunteers.

Currently, there are more than 60 volunteers in Fiji working with their communities on youth development projects. Peace Corps volunteers in Fiji work with various local ministries to implement healthy living programs for youth and develop the Community Youth Empowerment Project (CYEP) framework. CYEP focuses on capacity-building activities to encourage youth to make healthy decisions and teaches parents how to best encourage youth development. To support CYEP and other projects in Fiji, visit the Fiji Country Fund page here



Thu, 28 Jun 2018 19:21:22 +0000


Peace Corps Response Celebrates 22nd Anniversary

WASHINGTON – This week, Peace Corps Response celebrates 22 years of sending experienced professionals to undertake short-term, high-impact service assignments in communities around the world. Since its founding on June 19, 1996, more than 3,500 Americans have served through the Response program in over 80 countries.

“By sending specialized volunteers to targeted assignments, Peace Corps Response plays an essential role in the agency’s efforts to meeting the evolving needs of the countries we serve,” said Senior Advisor to the Director of Peace Corps Response Tom Ross. 

Peace Corps Response, formerly known as Crisis Corps, was founded by former Peace Corps Director Mark Gearan to send returned Peace Corps volunteers back to the field for short periods of time to assist communities following conflict and natural disasters. In 2012, Peace Corps expanded the Response program to include Americans with extensive professional experience. The program’s largest volunteer cohorts include 73 volunteers who served in Thailand and Sri Lanka following the 2004 tsunami, and 272 volunteers who served in the U.S. following Hurricanes Katrina and Rita in 2005. Peace Corps Response volunteers now serve in a range of highly specialized and technical assignments for 12 months or less.

Douglas David Crockett of Arizona is currently serving as a Peace Corps Response volunteer in Mexico. He retired as an energy manager and is now serving as a renewable energies specialist helping to increase capacity of microgrid technologies and identify market opportunities.

“I’m especially grateful for getting to know so many kind and caring Mexican people, including my extended Huepa family and Instituto Nacional de Astrofísica, Óptica y Electrónica (INAOE) coworkers,” Crockett said in a blog post. “This Peace Corps Response experience in Mexico has helped me feel more alive, energetic and creative – a good way to grow old gracefully.”

In Malawi, Jane Whitney of Vermont is serving as a Peace Corps Response volunteer at age 83. She works with Baylor Medical School’s Tingathe Project, an HIV prevention initiative, on program development and capacity building. Whitney is the oldest currently serving Peace Corps volunteer in the world.

“Although I am not given to sugary statements, it is true that the opportunity to serve and represent the United States is a rare and amazing privilege,” said Whitney in a blog post. “As an older volunteer, not only do you have some well-honed skills to offer, but experience makes edges softer and it may be easier to cope with some of the problems you’ll face in service.”

Peace Corps Response currently has more than 30 volunteer opportunities for experienced professionals. In addition to disaster risk mitigation, Response volunteers serve in all six of Peace Corps’ project sectors: agriculture, community economic development, education, environment, health and youth development. Assignments range between three and 12 months. 



Thu, 21 Jun 2018 21:14:38 +0000

Peace Corps

Out of a Zambian village. Erica Peth click here
The Peace Corps: what do they do? SJ Dodgson. MJoTA 2013 v7n2 p1120

Peace Corps volunteers work in close to 30 countries across Africa, and also in Asia, the Americas and the Caribbean. In agriculture, in education, in health.

Why do African countries need the Peace Corps: educated Americans to come to their villages to work and teach?

What happened to the small village that they needed outside help to be self-sufficient, when likely they have been self-sufficient for generations? Is it because of colonization, World Bank policies, ongoing international theft, despair? Most likely all of these.

Does the Peace Corps help the populations feed and education their young, and help lift them out of poverty? Or are all gains snatched by leaders? I am looking for stories of sustained success. Come back for more later.


Above, former members of the Peace Corps march through Philadelphia, July 04, 2011.
Peace Corps in these African Countries in 2013
Benin click here
Botswana
click here

Burkina Faso click here,
Cameroon click here
Cape Verde
click here
Ethiopia click here
Gambia click here
Ghana
click here
Guinea click here
Kenya click here
Lesotho click here
Liberia
click here

Madagascar click here
Malawi
click here
Mali click here

Morocco click here
Mozambique click here

Namibia click here
Niger click here
Rwanda click here
Senegal click here
South Africa click here
Swaziland click here
Tanzania click here 
Togo

Tunisia
Uganda
click here,

Zambia click here