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 teachers on track to reach nearly 300,000 students in 2018

Education is the Peace Corps’ largest sector, comprising 41% of all volunteers

WASHINGTON – As Peace Corps teachers head back to the classroom this fall, they join the ranks of more than 45,000 education volunteers who have served in 131 countries since 1961.

There are currently approximately 3,000 Americans teaching as Peace Corps volunteers in 48 countries. Throughout the month of September, the Peace Corps is highlighting the work of education volunteers as part of a larger effort to promote the agency’s programs around the world and highlight the professional skills that volunteers bring back to American communities following their service. 

Watch: Teach lessons that last a lifetime

“The Peace Corps’ commitment to our education sector is reflected in our world-class training of volunteers, the teaching we do alongside our host country partners, and the dedicated professionals who return from service to become educators in the United States,” said Peace Corps Director Jody Olsen. “The two years I spent teaching as a volunteer in Tunisia transformed my career and showed me the unique privilege that teachers have to inspire achievement in the hearts and minds of their students.”

Volunteers work in elementary, secondary, and post-secondary schools, teaching math, science, and conversational English, and serve as resource teachers and teacher trainers. Education volunteers also develop libraries and technology resource centers. Last year alone, volunteers collaborated with their host country partners to create more than 1,000 libraries.

Peace Corps teachers are expected to reach nearly 300,000 students in 2018.

Many volunteers return from service to pursue careers in education across the United States. Earlier this year, returned Peace Corps volunteer Mandy Manning was named the 2018 National Teacher of the Year and honored during a ceremony at the White House. Manning, who taught in Armenia as a volunteer, now teaches English and math in Spokane, Wash., at Ferris High School’s Newcomer Center, which provides instruction for immigrant and refugee students.

Peace Corps supports several initiatives aimed at helping currently serving and returned volunteers pursue careers in education. For example, education volunteers in 11 countries have the opportunity to participate in a Teaching English as a Foreign Language certificate program, allowing them to earn a recognized teaching credential during Peace Corps service. Through the Paul D. Coverdell fellows program, returned volunteers can receive financial assistance to pursue over 40 graduate programs in education and teaching. Participants also complete internships in underserved communities in the United States, allowing them to bring home, and expand upon, the skills they learned as volunteers.

Last year, for the first time, the agency collaborated with D.C. Public Schools on a fellowship program that places multilingual, recently returned Peace Corps volunteers in schools around the District. The returned volunteers are assigned to World Language classrooms, which focus on seven target languages and are designed to prepare students for an increasingly connected and interdependent world. Educators in the United States can also connect with Peace Corps volunteers around the world through the Paul D. Coverdell World Wise Schools program, which is dedicated to promoting global learning through lesson plans, activities, and events based on Peace Corps volunteer experiences.

Read stories from education volunteers here.

Thu, 06 Sep 2018 16:37:59 +0000

Peace Corps mourns the loss of Jonathan Mitchell

WASHINGTON – Peace Corps Director Jody Olsen is saddened to confirm the death of Peace Corps volunteer Jonathan Mitchell of Iron Mountain, Michigan. Jonathan, 25, died from an automobile accident in Togo on September 4, 2018.

“Jon was a wonderful Peace Corps volunteer,” Director Olsen said. “He was passionate about the projects he led, helping to protect the environment and improve food security, and he was dedicated to building strong relationships throughout his community. The entire Peace Corps family is grieving his loss. We send our heartfelt sympathies to Jon’s parents and siblings, and we hope they can find some measure of comfort in knowing how much Jon means to the Peace Corps and to his community.”

Jonathan earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. During his college years, he worked on a farm, taught English in Vietnam, and produced instructional videos in Kenya. In his free time, he enjoyed gardening, fishing, and photography. He took pride in coming from a family with a long tradition of service to others, and he looked forward to building on that legacy in Togo.

Before beginning his Peace Corps service, Jonathan wrote of his eagerness to experience new cultures and new perspectives. As a Peace Corps volunteer, he hoped to “gain knowledge of another culture that is different from what I am accustomed to” and in the process of this “invaluable experience,” he said, “I believe I will grow and learn new things about myself.”

Jonathan is survived by his parents, Carol and Daniel Mitchell; his siblings and their spouses, Benjamin and Cyprine Mitchell, Joshua Mitchell, Alyssa and Patrick Gehndyu, Danielle and Matthew Yu, Meeyom Mitchell, Andrew and Stephanie Mitchell, and Trang and Ross Neubauer; his nieces and nephews Jayden, Zoe, Annabelle, Olivia, Mason, and Addison; his grandmothers Helen Mitchell and Beverley Cuddy; and many aunts, uncles, and cousins in Vietnam.

Wed, 05 Sep 2018 20:48:25 +0000

Peace Corps honors change-makers on Women’s Equality Day

WASHINGTON – Women’s Equality Day commemorates the ratification of the 19th Amendment and the resilient women who work to promote the American value of equality.  Today, Peace Corps recognizes the contributions that volunteers have made to help advance equality across the globe and back home in the United States. Currently, women make up 63 percent of all Peace Corps volunteers.

From starting leadership camps for girls to advocating for women’s health, many Peace Corps volunteers organize programs that encourage gender equality and women’s empowerment. In Albania and Senegal, volunteers Kelsey Turner and Emma Murphy are working with their communities to challenge the status quo, empower women and girls, and inspire future leaders.

Albania Girls Scouts
Kelsey and her Girl Scout troop


Kelsey Turner, of Orleans, Massachusetts, has turned the challenge of being a woman in her community into an opportunity for positive change. To combat negative stereotypes, she made an inspirational video to highlight the female leaders in her town. “Many of the strong women in town who I admire have led to me growing in my own strength,” she says. “I’ve learned the extreme importance of women supporting and encouraging each other.”

To encourage and empower young women and girls, Kelsey also organized a Girl Scout Troop and a Girls Leading Our World Camp (GLOW). She says that she has seen how difficult it can be for women to be heard, but she knows that she is making a difference when people come up to her and tell her how the camps and clubs have inspired them to think differently about women.

“Hopefully I am inspiring others to change societal ideas in the future,” Kelsey says. It has been a privilege, she adds, “to empower young girls to realize that they can do and be anything that they want.”

Senegal women's group
Emma with some of the women from Peudebi


Emma Murphy, of Washington, D.C., set out to improve the health of her community with her women’s healthcare group, Peudebi, which means “coming together” in the local language. When she got to her site, it seemed many community members did not have knowledge of essential healthy habits, especially when it came to women’s health.

To raise awareness about healthy habits and women’s healthcare, Emma assembled the most powerful group she could imagine to help launch the project. “I recruited a force of women,” she says. “Imagine sixteen of the feistiest women you've ever met.”

Together, Emma and her women’s group discuss topics such as prenatal care and hand-washing. The women in the group pass along the message to neighbors, friends and family. In addition to improving community health habits, Emma’s project combats gender stereotypes by empowering women to advocate for their own health. She says, “The success is found in women giving voice to often unspoken gender inequalities and finding comrades in the effort to get their husbands and sons invested in the health of their wives and children.”

Sun, 26 Aug 2018 13:15:09 +0000

Peace Corps Director Jody Olsen visits China to celebrate 25th anniversary
Director Olsen with Peace Corps volunteers in China.

WASHINGTON – Today, Peace Corps Director Jody Olsen joined U.S. Consul General Jim Mullinax in Chengdu at the swearing in ceremony of China’s 24th cohort of volunteers. The event marks the 25th anniversary of the Peace Corps program in China, where over 1,235 volunteers have served since 1993. The program is formally known as the United States-China Friendship Volunteer program.

“At its heart, this program brings together people to share knowledge, world views, cultural riches and the values and shared aspirations of the American and Chinese peoples,” said Olsen. “We could not be prouder of our shared legacy, or more grateful for the friendship and collaboration of our Chinese partners.”

The new group of 79 volunteers were sworn into service by Olsen after successfully completing 10 weeks of training. Their training included Mandarin language instruction and sessions on Chinese culture to better integrate with their host communities. The new volunteers will teach at universities, colleges, and vocational schools in Sichuan, Guizhou, and Gansu provinces and Chongqing municipality.

Director Olsen, who served as a Peace Corps volunteer in Tunisia from 1966 to 1968, delivered the keynote remarks at the ceremony. She reflected on her own service and thanked the Chinese people for their friendship and collaboration in making the partnership a success. Over 200 guests attended the event, including members of the Chinese government, U.S. Consulate, and partner schools. The festivities also included a ceremonial cake-cutting. 

Over the past 25 years, Peace Corps volunteers have helped enhance the skills of 350,000 Chinese students and teachers in 140 participating universities and colleges. Volunteers have worked with even more Chinese through secondary activities such as English clubs, women’s empowerment workshops, and summer teacher training programs. 

The 25th anniversary celebration took place during Director Olsen’s first trip to China as head of the agency. During the visit, she also visited volunteers in their communities and met with Chinese government officials.

Fri, 24 Aug 2018 00:50:58 +0000

Peace Corps mourns the loss of Mitchell Herrmann
Mitchell Herrmann
Mitchell Herrmann

WASHINGTON – Mitchell Herrmann, a Peace Corps trainee in Namibia, died suddenly Thursday, August 16.

Mitchell, 24, of Lake Worth, Florida, was training to teach science as a Peace Corps volunteer.

“The entire Peace Corps family is mourning the loss of Mitchell Herrmann, one of our newest members and a young man who stood ready to share his passion for teaching with the people of Namibia,” said Peace Corps Director Jody Olsen. “We send our deepest sympathies to Mitchell's parents and loved ones. Our hearts and prayers are with them as we set out to honor Mitchell's memory and celebrate his life.”

Mitchell, who earned a bachelor’s degree in geology from Florida Atlantic University, was an environmental educator for several organizations before he entered the Peace Corps earlier this month. Most recently, he taught at the Arrowhead Ranch Outdoor Science School in California.

“What I primarily desire to bring forth in my time of service revolves around my strengths in the realm of environmental education, my aptitude to foster a sense of nurturing and passion for education, and also my positivity in the realms of encouragement, engagement, and motivation,” wrote Mitchell in an aspiration statement prior to traveling to Namibia to begin his training.

His fellow trainees, as well as Peace Corps staff, appreciated his kindness and enthusiasm for the education program. They are planning a vigil this evening and a formal memorial service in the near future.

Mitchell is survived by his mother Lisa Mirich, father Eduard Herrmann, stepfather Alex Mirich, stepmother Dawn Herrmann, brother Ethan Herrmann, sister Sierra Herrmann, grandmother Celia Muschett, and a large extended family. 

Fri, 17 Aug 2018 19:37:24 +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