RPCVs Advocate for Global Education
By Erica Burman on Tuesday, June 22nd, 2010
“As a Peace Corps volunteer, I was exposed to some of the 72 million kids who are among those not receiving basic education,” says Carolyn Prouty (Morocco 89-91) of Elma, Washington.
A strong advocate for the establishment of a Global Fund for Education (modeled after the Global Fund for AIDS, TB and Malaria), Prouty says legislation to advance universal basic education “is finally commensurate to the problem. That’s what’s important to me.”
While Prouty has attended nearly 20 RESULTS international conferences to advocate for policies to address extreme global poverty, this week’s Washington conference is a first for fellow RPCV Elizabeth “Bitsy” Mosher (Lesotho 74-76) of Sitka, Alaska. As a health care professional, Mosher knows the nexus between quality health care and a quality education. This is especially the case for women. “They are the health care advocates in the family.” Mosher says quality education for women improves their ability to make positive health care decisions which in turn, helps lift people out of poverty.
Mosher and Prouty both believe their personal experiences during and since Peace Corps contribute to effective advocacy. “Politicians and decision makers need to receive that information from people,” says Mosher.
Prouty agrees, noting she realized long ago that the most important thing she could do to impact the lives of her friends in Morocco is to be an advocate for them here in the U.S. “We have so much more power than we think we do. We give up that power when we are silent.”