Antigua, Armenia, Bolivia, Cameroon, Guatemala, Lesotho, Micronesia, Nigeria, Paraguay, Philippines, Togo
By Jessica Agostinelli on Monday, November 4th, 2013
RPCV Clifford Clark donated 35,000 books to a public library in his country of service. Clifford has said that he considers this project a continuation of his Peace Corps Service. These books are both new and used and cover a range of topics. Most Antiguans can read and speak English, allowing this project to have a profound and lasting impact on education and the quality of life in this country.
Jennifer Cochran (1996-98), President of Armenia RPCVs, is running for Athens, OH City Council. She has been endorsed by various constituents, who believe that her service in Armenia has prepared her for office. She is currently a part of the Live Healthy Appalachia project and continues community service in her area.
Erica Barajas (2007-08) has been named the executive director of the organization Fair Food Matters. This Kalamazoo, MI based organization is dedicated to providing education and networking for local food sources in this area. Barajas has expressed great enthusiasm at this appointment, given her past work with this organization.
Deb Nelson (1987-89) is the executive director of the Social Ventures network, which recently launched a new campaign, called “Triple the Triple Bottom Line” to raise money for minority- and women-owned businesses on the website Indiegogo. This campaign highlights the opportunity gap faced by women and minorities and seeks to bridge this gap by providing opportunity for women and minority investees. Her previous achievements include working for Working Assets and American Express.
Greg Van Kirk developed in the early 2000′s the recently implemented MicroConsignment. This is a development model which allows entrepreneurs to have access to training and startup resources at minimal risk. Early tests of this program have indicated that individuals were able to accrue sufficient income and savings to pursue their economic goals. Hopes for Greg’s program include possible implementation in Kenya and other developing economies in order to help economic development and community building.
Dave Gorman (1989-92) recently completed a 100-mile bike ride in Lesotho to raise awareness for localized bicycle fundraisers in this country which are raising money for orphans. Gorman’s bike ride attracted attention from around the world and boosted local fundraising efforts. Gorman explains that an American taking part in such a project tends to garner more international attention to otherwise localized projects such as this one. He hopes to encourage this use of bicycling and fundraising in the country of his service.
In Illinois, Richard Burbridge (2007-09) was chosen as the President and CEO of the Pontiac Area Chamber of Commerce. He was enthusiastic to serve this position in his hometown city, building on his Peace Corps service, which included teaching and environmental work.
Gerald Durley (1964-66) will be recognized on November 2 by the Islamic Speakers’ Bureau of Atlanta for his work at bridging differences between Christians, Muslims, and Jews. His recent achievements include serving as a head of the Concerned Black Clergy, and Dean of Clark Atlanta University. He is also a frequent speaker on environmental and peace issues.
Ned Farrell (1989-91) a beekeeper in Clinton, CT has created a global honey business and recently implemented a plan to help orphans and orphanages in his country of service. This plan involves teaching honey harvesting techniques and providing resources to allow these institutions to bring in revenue of their own using simple practices. Farrell believes that beeswax has many uses which would benefit rural groups in need in South America.
Meghan Pinsonneault was recently featured in the TED talk-style talk rollout in Los Angeles called NextDayBetter. This event was organized to feature the accomplishments and stories of the Philippines and Filipino-Americans. Meghan talked about her experience in the Peace Corps, during which she raised money to help children with cleft palates to get the surgery they needed. Additionally, she helped to orchestrate the donation of a fishing boat to a Filipino family in need. She now focuses on creating films about the Philippines and their education and culture.
Rose Hyde, founded a company called Alaffia together with her husband, selling raw shea butter to personal care companies. This company has found success in Whole Foods and other distributors. This company also takes part in many community service missions in Togo, including donating bicycles, nutritional education, maternal care, educational advocacy, and women’s health initiatives. Additionally, the brand practices fair trade initiatives, which contribute to its socially conscious economic impact.