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Scam, kidnap by South African police

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Peace Corps Director Jody Olsen visits Montenegro, Albania to launch new program

WASHINGTON – Peace Corps Director Jody Olsen and Montenegrin Deputy Prime Minister Zoran Pažin signed a historic agreement May 6 establishing a new Peace Corps program in Montenegro, the agency’s 142nd country of service.

“Today’s signing is a testament to the close partnership between the United States and Montenegro,” said Director Olsen, who met with the deputy prime minister in the capital Podgorica. “And it is a testament to our commitment to a common vision of a brighter future for Montenegro and its neighbors in the Western Balkans.”

Deputy Prime Minister Pažin said the Peace Corps program in Montenegro is another confirmation of the partnership, support and friendship of the U.S. Government and American people to Montenegro and its citizens.

“We see the service of the U.S. Peace Corps volunteers in Montenegro as another opportunity for Montenegrin and U.S. citizens to enrich their lives and to create friendships based on mutual understanding and shared values,” he said.

The Government of Montenegro invited the Peace Corps to establish a program in the country in August 2018. The program will be managed by the existing Peace Corps post in neighboring Albania.

The first group of volunteers is scheduled to depart in January 2020. The new volunteers will undergo three months of technical, cross-cultural and language training before starting two years of service in small, under-served Montenegrin communities, working alongside Montenegrin English teachers in primary schools.

Prospective applicants can view open positions for Montenegro on the Peace Corps website.

Also this week, Director Olsen traveled to Tirana, Albania, to meet with Prime Minister Edi Rama and President Ilir Meta and sign a memorandum of understanding with the Ministry of Education. Over the last 22 years, nearly 900 Peace Corps volunteers have taught in Albanian schools and worked with youth throughout the country.

Director Olsen’s visit to Tirana included a cookout with Peace Corps staff and volunteers and a close of service ceremony for 14 departing volunteers.

Tue, 07 May 2019 15:21:05 +0000

Peace Corps announces 2019 top volunteer-producing Historically Black Colleges and Universities
A black American male plays music with his friend from Tanzania
Jeremy Butler, a Howard university graduate, serves as an agriculture volunteer in Tanzania.

WASHINGTON – For the eighth year in a row, Howard University holds the No. 1 spot on the list of top Peace Corps volunteer-producing Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs). During 2018, Howard sent an impressive 20 alumni to serve in the Peace Corps—more graduates than it has sent since 2014.

Howard graduate Jeremy Butler currently serves as an agriculture volunteer in Tanzania.

“My time at Howard University took me on an unforgettable journey where I experienced many successes and a few pitfalls, but everything was worth it in the end,” said Butler, who grew up in Beltsville, Maryland. “I believe that my service in the Peace Corps will mirror that of my Howard University experience. In the Peace Corps I have had many successes and a few obstacles to overcome, but I’m more than confident that, just like with Howard University, my Peace Corps journey will be worth it.”

The No. 2 spot on the top volunteer-producing HBCU list goes to Spelman College in Atlanta. Spelman sent 7 alumnae to serve as Peace Corps volunteers around the world in 2018.

“The Peace Corps is committed to recruiting and supporting individuals who reflect the rich diversity of the United States while they serve abroad as Peace Corps volunteers,” says Peace Corps Director Jody Olsen. “Historically Black Colleges and Universities are critical in fostering a spirit of community among their student body, and we are proud to recognize the HBCUs that strive to encourage public service.”

Morehouse College, also in Atlanta, claims third place on the top volunteer-producing HBCU list. Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University ties with North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University for the No. 4 spot.

“I learned about the Peace Corps when I was in college,” said Florida A&M graduate and Peace Corps Philippines volunteer Kayla Valley. “A Returned Peace Corps Volunteer (RPCV) came to talk to the students at my school about Peace Corps and about her experience. It was then that I learned that one of my professors was also an RPCV. Once I learned about Peace Corps and became determined that I would apply, I was meeting RPCVs left and right,” added the Atlanta native. “Asking them to share their stories and experiences with Peace Corps only inspired me more and assured me that it would be an amazing and beneficial experience.”

Around 32% percent of Peace Corps volunteers self-report as racially or ethnically diverse, following the agency’s efforts to expand outreach to diverse communities across the United States. These efforts include increased engagement on HBCU campuses.

The Peace Corps seeks to bring unique cross-cultural perspectives to communities around the world. Recruiting and supporting a volunteer corps that represents the diversity of America remains a top priority.

Top 2019 Peace Corps volunteer-producing Historically Black Colleges and Universities

1) Howard University - 20

2) Spelman College - 7

3) Morehouse College - 5

4) Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University (tied) - 4

4) North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University (tied) - 4

Mon, 29 Apr 2019 17:59:11 +0000

In Peace Corps’ growing agriculture sector, volunteers work with small farmers to improve access to food

WASHINGTON - Peace Corps agriculture volunteers work with small-scale farmers and families to increase food security and production, and adapt to climate change while promoting environmental conservation. Over the 2018 fiscal year, 11,474 individuals in 14 countries received nutrition training from Peace Corps agriculture volunteers.

As recently as 2015, Peace Corps’ agriculture sector accounted for just 5% of the volunteer population. Today, agriculture is Peace Corps’ fourth largest sector, accounting for 9% of all volunteer positions.

“Volunteers who serve in the agriculture sector are a vital part of the work that this agency does,” says Peace Corps Director Jody Olsen. “Along with their dedicated host country partners, they are striving to address some of the most serious challenges that face rural communities around the world—including hunger, drought, nutrition deficiencies and natural resource depletion. I am very proud of the important work volunteers and their counterparts are doing, and I want to thank them for their willingness to share their expertise with others.”

Since 1961, over 22,900 Peace Corps volunteers have served in the agriculture sector, not including 683 agriculture volunteers currently serving in 15 countries around the world. Senegal boasts the largest Peace Corps agriculture program, with 81 individuals working with communities and small farmers in the small West African country.

Noah Nieting of Bloomington, Minnesota, is a currently serving agriculture volunteer in Benin. “Its development approach is holistic in blending attention to the economic, environmental, nutritional, and technological dimensions of hunger and food security in poor communities,” Nieting says of his work. “Improving food security requires a fight on all these fronts, which makes the sector both fulfilling to work in and effective as a change-maker.”

Volunteers are not only addressing food security and nutrition deficiencies, but also deforestation in their areas. With the assistance of 217 agriculture volunteers, 157,227 trees were planted and 2,149 new tree nurseries were created over the last fiscal year. Working alongside farmers, agriculture volunteers often combine vegetable gardening, livestock management, agroforestry and nutrition education into their community projects.

View open positions in the agriculture sector here.

Mon, 22 Apr 2019 12:27:54 +0000

Peace Corps Malawi reaches 10,604 community members with literacy-promoting activities
A female Volunteer works with a male student outside, with the help of a yellow book.
Peace Corps education volunteer Nan Boyle works with her form four student, Andrew Nyirongo, on D.E.A.R. Day.

WASHINGTON – Recognized annually on April 12th, Drop Everything and Read (D.E.A.R.) Day is a national celebration of reading designed to remind people of all ages to make reading a priority in their lives. In many classrooms around the world, D.E.A.R. Day has transformed into a week-long or month-long event to promote reading, writing and public speaking.

This year, the 42 Peace Corps Malawi volunteers who hosted or participated in D.E.A.R. Day reached 10,604 community members with literacy-promoting activities, and were able to celebrate the day in a unique way.

Through an anonymous $20,000 donation from a returned volunteer, Peace Corps Malawi County Director Carol Spahn acquired 4,000 copies of “The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind: Young Readers Edition” for her post. The donation coincided with the release of a film by the same name by Oscar nominee Chiwetel Ejiofor.

Both the book and movie focus on the life of young William Kamkwamba, a Malawian innovator, engineer and author who, despite dropping out of school due to a lack of tuition money, taught himself how to build a wind turbine out of scrap metal in order to bring power to his rural village.

Kamkwamba eventually found his way to the United States and is now a Dartmouth graduate. However, his academic beginnings started at a local Community Day Secondary School (C.D.S.S.) in Kasungu, Malawi. Today, Peace Corps volunteers in Malawi teach solely at C.D.S.S. schools, as they have been identified as the most under-resourced schools in the country.

By utilizing the anonymous donation, Spahn ensured that every education volunteer in Malawi received a classroom set of 40 books in time for D.E.A.R. Day, which has allowed their students to work on literacy and English language skills using a story with a familiar setting. At a C.D.S.S, where it is common for 10-20 students to share a single book during lessons, the classroom sets are proving to be helpful learning tools.

Wilford Profera, a form four student who is reading “The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind” with his teacher, Peace Corps education volunteer Nan Boyle, said, “It’s nice to see traditional practices from our community represented [in the novel].” Profera's peer, Janet Banda, added, “I like it because it differentiates between Malawian culture in the past and in the present.”

Fri, 12 Apr 2019 18:04:45 +0000

King of Lesotho: Peace Corps volunteers ‘putting people first’
An American male meets with King Letsie III of Lesotho
Peace Corps regional recruiter and returned volunteer from Lesotho Matt Merritt meets with King Letsie III after the king's remarks at Peace Corps headquarters.

WASHINGTON – His Majesty King Letsie III of the Kingdom of Lesotho delivered remarks at Peace Corps headquarters today, expressing his gratitude for the efforts of Peace Corps volunteers to improve the quality of life in their host communities and build mutual understanding between Americans and the people of Lesotho.

His Majesty praised the Peace Corps’ approach to development, placing volunteers in villages around Lesotho for two years of service.

“This approach is one of putting people first that emphasizes the needs of the country and the need to learn about and respect the culture of the people,” said King Letsie III, who is the first guest invited to speak at the 2019 edition of the Peace Corps’ Loret Miller Ruppe Speakers Series. “The volunteers are always eager to immerse themselves in the culture of the Basotho people, often taking a Basotho name and learning the language. This knowledge can only contribute to greater mutual understanding and global peace.”

His Majesty is known for being an advocate for development, and has committed to firmly place nutrition and food security on both the African and global agenda. While at Peace Corps, he spoke of his interest in developing human capital—a population’s skills, education and capacity—throughout Africa.

In his remarks, King Letsie III noted that Peace Corps volunteers are also working to combat food insecurity in his home country: “They are helping unlock the full potential of children who would otherwise be denied that by malnutrition.”

During a Q&A following the king’s address, Director Jody Olsen asked what Peace Corps volunteers bring back from their service.

“They know the culture, language and history of our people,” said King Letsie III, a longtime friend of the returned volunteer who founded the Lesotho Nutrition Initiative at Wittenberg University in Ohio. “When they come back to the U.S., they are great ambassadors for Lesotho. They understand the challenges we face and often on their return they band together to help Basotho overcome those challenges.”

King Letsie III was joined at Peace Corps headquarters by several officials from the government of Lesotho, including Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Relations Lesego Makgothi, Minister of Planning Tlohelang Aumane, and Ambassador to the U.S. Gabriel Sankatana, a former instructor with the Peace Corps Lesotho staff.

Also in attendance were Mary Ruppe Nash and Adele Ruppe, daughters of Loret Miller Ruppe.

The Loret Miller Ruppe Speakers Series honors the agency’s longest serving director and is a forum for world leaders to speak about issues related to the Peace Corps’ mission, including volunteerism, public service, and international peace and development.

Wed, 10 Apr 2019 19:58:53 +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
click here

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

Madagascar click here
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 

click here,

Zambia click here