The Peace Corps-Rotary Connection
By Erica Burman on Wednesday, November 5th, 2008
RPCVs get involved in service in a lot of ways once their service is over. Two RPCVs told us about their connection to Rotary International and how this organization is helping them maintain the volunteering spirit.
Bill Schmidt (Malawi, 67-69) and John Strain (Malawi) told us about the global impact the Rotary has helped them create and how other RPCVs can get involved. Local Rotary clubs can get a matching grants from the Rotary International Foundation, and because of Rotary’s wide reach, local clubs from across the globe can connect to organize, oversee and administer projects. With 32,000 Rotary clubs worldwide in 200 countries, there are huge opportunities for involvement.
Rotary was founded by Paul Harris in 1905 in Chicago as an organization of business and professional leaders, now united worldwide, who provide humanitarian services, promote high ethical standards in all vocations and help build goodwill and peace in the world. It fits with the ideals and goals of the Peace Corps, Schmidt and Strain told us. “If Paul Harris had been alive when John Fitzgerald Kennedy and Sargent Shriver started the Peace Corps, we think he would have joined, or at least been made an honorary Peace Corps volunteer, like JFK was made an honorary Rotarian,” they said.