2012 Ruppe Award for Outstanding Community Service
By Sarah Kana on Monday, July 16th, 2012
The Loret Miller Ruppe Award, is presented by the National Peace Corps Association (NPCA) to an outstanding member group for a project or projects that promote the Third Goal of Peace Corps or continue to serve host countries, build group spirit and cooperation, and promote service. Eligible projects will have been completed within the past two years or have been on-going for at least three years. The purpose of the award is not only to recognize the great work that NPCA’s groups are doing, but also to generate ideas that other groups may emulate in their communities. (See past winners here.) Ruppe, the 10th and the longest serving Peace Corps Director, was a fierce champion for the agency and the Peace Corps community.
This year, NPCA awarded the member groups Friends of Tanzania and Returned Peace Corps Volunteers of Washington, DC with the Ruppe Award. Each of these groups has its own fundraising model and then gives the funds to projects chosen according to the group’s criteria.
“Among the 146 groups in NPCA’s network, Friends of Tanzania and the Returned Peace Corps Volunteers of Washington, D.C. have truly done outstanding work this past year to advance the mission of the Peace Corps, especially related to the “Bringing the World Home” or Third Goal,” says NPCA President Kevin Quigley. “They show the tremendous impact that Returned Peace Corps Volunteers continue to have, especially when they join their talents together. So, it’s completely fitting that they should be the recipients of the Loret Miller Ruppe Award.”
Friends of Tanzania
Friends of Tanzania (FOT) is a non-profit charitable and educational organization that sends 100% of the donations from its members to help support projects in Tanzania. Each year FOT is able to send about $30,000 for 10 to 15 projects and an additional $15,000 is given for specific member-designated projects. In the last 20 years, FOT has sent $350,000 to help support over 250 community development projects on Tanzania. Projects include simple water/sanitation systems, school construction, community reforestation efforts, micro-loans, bee hive activities, and many more. In October, 2011, Friends of Tanzania in Colorado invited Tanzanian Ambassador Mwanaidi Sinare Maajar to Denver and she accepted. A “Tanzanian Networking Event,” with more than 130 attendees, many of whom were FOT members, from 20 Colorado-based organizations, and many university researchers sharing information about their work in Tanzania, was held in honor of the Ambassador’s visit.
Member-designated projects are supported by donations from FOT members for specific projects of special personal interest. Such projects must meet FOT criteria and go through the same Project Committee review process. These projects allow for direct giving to a school, a scholarship program or village that is personally known to an FOT member. FOT provides the 501 (c) 3, tax deduction, takes care of the wire transfers and answers any additional questions that may arise.
FOT produces and sends to members two newsletters a year, provides an informative website with links to many organizations working in Tanzania; and hosts a number of social and informational events every year. FOT also provides members with a good, realistic way to continue to help and support work in Tanzania and stay connected. Members, with busy careers and family life, are able to stay involved and keep the Peace Corps commitment to service and helping others, while at the same time continuing to learn in the process.
Returned Peace Corps Volunteers of Washington, D.C.
Returned Peace Corps Volunteers of Washington, D.C. has an annual holiday party which serves as the only annual fundraising event. Board members raise funds through a silent auction, private donations, ticket sales, and calendar sales. In addition to raising funds for RPCV/W, this event is used as a platform to make an impact in the community. Each year, RPCV/W donates a significant portion of the money raised to a community partner selected as the organization’s yearly Partner for Peace.
Out of several 2012 applications, RPCV/W awarded a $2,000 donation to Language ETC, a language, education and technology center for low income adult immigrants. During a teacher training for Language ETC, RPCV/W will assist new teachers by hosting language lessons. The goal of the lessons will be to provide new teachers with the opportunity to sit in the position of new students who have little exposure to the English language. Language ETC usually is only able to teach the teachers one language, but with the support of RPCV/W members there will be four languages taught by several teachers. This will give Language ETC the ability to better prepare teachers for their classes.
Congratulations to both groups!