We’re thrilled to announce the launch of Peace Corps Community Connect. The goal of this important new initiative goes to the heart of our mission to build a diverse and welcoming Peace Corps community. We’re doing this with an eye on the future and the work that’s in front of us. Why? The Peace Corps community and the agency are at a point of inflection. With all Volunteers brought home amid global pandemic, we need to connect, inform, and engage our community like never before.
Here’s what we’re doing.
Launching a community outreach initiative to connect and engage the Peace Corps community.
Mobilizing the entire Peace Corps community, including the 250,000 RPCVs, families, former staff, and host country staff for greater social impact.
Connecting the diverse Peace Corps network in order to amplify all of our voices and show how the Peace Corps experience has shaped our lives and communities — here and around the world.
Let’s talk CommUNITY. Here’s how it will help affiliate groups.
Peace Corps Community Connect will strengthen individual affiliate groups and ensure that more members of our community benefit from the resources of NPCA — from webinars and newsletters to WorldView magazine and our global reach.
Establish new connections, find old friends, and expand opportunities for members.
Strengthen your outreach efforts, broaden support for group projects, and tackle issues crucial to the community.
Welcome and support the thousands of evacuated PCVs who returned home in 2020 — many of whom will benefit by being better connected to the community.
As we celebrate the 60th anniversary of Peace Corps, document the Peace Corps legacy in the voices of your group — so we can show communities across the country and around the world how your service has made a difference.
Most important of all, together we will create a more vibrant and energized community.
Together we are stronger.
Outreach Specialists will assist affiliate groups with information, tools, and support to help you find and connect your community. And by combining our communities, together we are stronger.
Thank you to the many groups who participated in the NPCA Affiliate Group Network Annual Meeting (AGNAM) on the afternoon of September 26. Because we’re a community-driven organization, it’s especially important for us to hear your feedback on the meeting. Whether you were able to attend the general presentation and/or roundtable or just view the slides and recordings, please take our brief survey.
Here are some of the key links shared during the meeting:
We hope to have video from the presentations posted soon as well.
Peace Corps Connect to the Future: Ideas Summit Recap and Next Steps
Over the past several weeks we’ve been asking: What are the big ideas for the Peace Corps, National Peace Corps Association, and the Peace Corps community going forward? We convened eight town halls and on July 18 we hosted a global ideas summit, Peace Corps Connect to the Future. In those meetings literally thousands of you took part — with unprecedented involvement by recently returned Volunteers.
Thanks to all of you in the Affiliate Group Network who invested your time and talent in this unprecedented season. It shows how committed our community is to reimagining, rejuvenating, and retooling Peace Corps for the future. But our work is not simply focused on the agency; we have important work to do to make NPCA and our community more inclusive and welcoming, and to live up to the values we profess. We'll be following up with affiliate groups on how your leadership, your members and your groups can engage in this effort. If you have ideas to suggest or would like to lead any of these efforts, please contact us at email@example.com.
Welcome to our newest Affiliate Group: Black RPCV in the DMV
The mission of Black Returned Peace Corps Volunteers (BRPCV) is to support prospective, current, and returned Black Peace Corps Volunteers at home and abroad.
Black RPCV in the DMV creates a safe space for Black volunteers to share resources, experiences, and opinions; promotes partnerships with the United States Peace Corps and its affiliates; increases the recruitment efforts for prospective volunteers in black communities; and educates partners on diversity and inclusion.
Weekly Affiliate Group Leaders Lunch
With the launch of the Global Reentry program and many similar support initiatives by affiliate groups, and increasing numbers of virtual events, NPCA would like to open up a channel for increased communication and coordination of our efforts. To this end, we are hosting a standing weekly Affiliate Group "Leaders Lunch" meetings on Wednesdays at 2 PM Eastern Time.
These discussions are fairly informal as they are meant to share ideas and opportunities for increased coordination between groups. Anne Baker and Dan Baker (no relation) will facilitate the discussion and other NPCA staff will also be invited to attend each week. We hope that at least one member of each group's leadership team will be able to join the discussion each week.
The first meetings have focused on such topics as how best to coordinate Global Reentry programs and how to address issues of race, injustice and equity. Please contact Anne and/or Dan to suggest additional or future discussion topics.
Two More Affiliate Groups Launch on NPCA's Community Builder Platform
The Returned Peace Corps Volunteers of New Jersey, Inc. is established to: support the Peace Corps’ mission as well as that of NPCA; promote cultural understanding and awareness of international issues; encourage individuals to join the Peace Corps; support active and recently returned volunteers; create and support a social network for returned volunteers; and facilitate collaboration and volunteerism with organizations with similar goals. Visit them at www.rpcvnj.org.
Friends of Thailand is dedicated to raising funds to support community service projects that Peace Corps Volunteers carry out with local Thai counterparts in their communities and schools. Since its founding as a NPCA affiliate group in 2001, FoT has funded over 140 service projects and continues funding grants today. Visit them online at www.rpcvthailand.org.
Affiliate Group Support for Evacuated RPCVs
Thank you to NPCA Affiliate Groups for stepping up to support the more than 7,300 Peace Corps Volunteers evacuated from their service due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Many of you participated in our Virtual Town Hall meetings on March 18 and 19, including a capacity crowd for the first one. Thank you. We are proud to be part of a community that is showing such an outpouring of support and responsiveness during this time. Visit this page for additional information. Thank you so much for your continued support.
Click here for recordings of past town halls with affiliate group leaders.
Each year, we check in with each affiliate group to see how you're doing and learn how we can better support you. Whether you've had a banner year or you could use a little extra support, we need to hear from you. It's a great time to write an annual report. And don't just share it with us; share it with you members, too! Need some tips on writing one? Visit the Communications tab of our Affiliate Group Resource Library or download our toolkit.
NPCA has a full calendar of events each month, including many that would be of interest to your group members. We hope that you will consider sharing your events with us as well! Posting our events on your calendar and yours on the NPCA calendar will exponentially increase our reach.
To post to NPCA's website: For groups on the Community Builder platform, simply opt to share the event with NPCA. For other groups, fill in the form under "Submit Updates/Requests" in the upper right column of this page.
To share events from NPCA's event calendar with your membership: simply copy the text and links from our calendar.
Zoom Meeting Updates
One of the benefits of affiliation with NPCA is the use of the videoconferencing platform Zoom at no cost to you. But with the increased use of Zoom worldwide due to the pandemic, Zoom has become the target of "Zoom bombers." What this means is that uninvited individuals may attempt to join your meeting solely for the purpose of disrupting it. To help you avoid that, we've got some tips and are implementing new procedures to make your meetings more secure and prevent unpleasant disruptions. These may include:
Adding a password that you share only with invited participants
Putting people into a "waiting room" until they are allowed in
Providing you with the host privileges and responsibilities
Julie Early Sifuentes, founder of the affiliate group Peace Corps Kids, is looking for people and families to participate in a book project. Julie, whose father served in Peru in the 1960's and whose mother is Peruvian, started Peace Corps Kids to build community among multicultural people and families who have come together through the Peace Corps experience. So far, the group has members who have family roots in 21 countries.
The book will be a compilation of essays, interviews, and photos that reflect the experiences of multicultural people and families that were born through the Peace Corps experience. You can see some examples of these stories at www.peacecorpskids.com and on Instagram @peacecorpskids.
Please pass this information along to people and families who might be interested and encourage them to participate. You can contact Julie at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions or are interested in being part of the project.
Micro-Loans for your Peace Corps Communities
TCP Global is looking to partner with evacuees, other RPCVs and affiliate groups to expand its successful and sustainable micro-loan program into your country – especially to small and remote communities beyond the reach of most aid programs.
How It Works
Using the TCP Global model, loans are administered through organizations already working at the grassroots level in health, education, empowerment, etc. RPCVs with connections to small communities identify effective organizations and, assisted by TCP Global, help them establish small, zero-overhead, sustainable micro-loan programs to serve communities in perpetuity. By increasing the income of their clients, TCP Global partners find they are able to better achieve their primary mission goals. In addition to providing the entrepreneurs an alternative to exorbitant interest rates charged by daily lenders, TCP Global also strengthens the grassroots partner by providing a steady revenue stream of interest earnings, which they can use to fund community projects.
What You Can Expect
TCP Global is ready to offer micro-loans through RPCVs and "Friends of" groups. They will share tools, resources, and experience at no cost, with RPCV groups or individuals interested in bringing micro-loan programs to their country. TCP does the fundraising through the NPCA Community Fund and requests assistance from Friends-of-Groups in publicizing its work and soliciting support from RPCVs.
TCP Global is currently in Colombia, Peru, Guatemala, Nepal, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, Togo, Kenya, Zambia, and Uganda and ready to add any other Peace Corps country.
Reach out to the director in your division and add them to your email distribution list. In fact, you may already have them on your list, as we transfer the permanent emails as directors change. Add email@example.com (which goes to NPCA staff working with groups) and firstname.lastname@example.org (which goes to Hannah Wishart, Affiliate Group Network Coordinator), then the director for your division:
NPCA's online Affiliate Group Directory is a great way for potential new members to find and learn more about your group! Visit it here, find your group, and if needed, make updates. Watch the video below to learn how.