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: A Community Report on How to Reimagine, Reshape, and Retool the Peace Corps for a Changed World
In the Spring of 2020, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Peace Corps evacuated all of its roughly 7,300 Volunteers from service around the globe. For the first time in the nearly 60-year history of the agency, no Peace Corps Volunteers are currently serving overseas. On a scale never seen before, the global evacuation of Volunteers brought to the fore some longstanding challenges for the agency and the broader Peace Corps community. All this called for an unparalleled response.
This past summer, National Peace Corps Association convened a series of national community discussions and a global ideas summit to ask some far-reaching questions about the future of Peace Corps in a changed world. Thank you for joining in the discussions and providing your input. Those conversations were crucial to shaping the report.
This report provides specific and actionable recommendations for multiple stakeholders: policymakers in the Peace Corps agency and the federal Executive Branch’s leadership; the United States Congress; and the Peace Corps community, particularly NPCA.
As Peace Corps approaches its 60th anniversary, it faces an unprecedented crisis. Volunteers were evacuated worldwide due to the pandemic. There have been proposed budget cuts, threats to its independence, and the departure of dozens of bipartisan agency defenders in Congress. While capturing the history of both the agency itself as well as individual volunteer experiences, the documentary A Towering Task sets the stage for a conversation about the future of the Peace Corps in this current context.
Working closely with the film’s director, RPCV Alana DeJoseph, NPCA is developing a toolkit specifically for affiliate groups on hosting a virtual screening. We can also help cover some licensing fees and link you to panelists for post-film discussions. Share your screening plans and needs.
Strategize your next screening in our webinar with director Alana DeJoseph on Tuesday, Dec. 1 at 8 pm Eastern. Learn more and register.
Online Sales Option for the International Calendar
Not sure how to manage your annual International Calendar sales in the time of Covid? RPCVs of WI-Madison added an online sales option tailored to specific affiliate groups that benefits your group while easing fulfillment. Contact email@example.com for details.
Weekly Affiliate Group Leaders Lunch - New Day and Time!
Our weekly Affiliate Group Leaders Lunches have sparked fun and helpful conversations on topics ranging from how to get creative on Zoom to considerations for writing/updating bylaws. Each week, the conversation revolves around your questions and sharing of best practices, so please drop in! For the first three Fridays in December 2020 (Dec. 4, 11, and 18) at 12 noon Eastern, NPCA staff members Anne Baker and Dan Baker (no relation) are standing by on Zoom to listen and to facilitate conversation. Register on our website to get the Zoom link. Feel free to bring your lunch!
Based on your feedback, we will try other days/times and focused topical discussions. Provide your input.
Two More Affiliate Groups Launch on NPCA's Community Builder Platform
Peace Corps Iran Association’s activities fall into two broad categories: Researching, preserving, and disseminating the history of Peace Corps in Iran; and promoting mutual understanding between Americans and Iranians as groundwork for peace. They stand, in principle, for promotion of social justice and well-being of all people within and between countries. peacecorpsiran.org
RPCVs of Northeastern NY is dedicated to advancing the third goal of the Peace Corps, serving as a resource for interested parties to learn more about Peace Corps service and engaging in advocacy efforts on local and global issues. RPCVNENY also funds several service projects at the local, national, and international levels, in addition to providing space at events for speakers to present panel discussions, welcome home/send off events for PCVs, and more. rpcv-neny.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.