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Worldview Summer 2021

Summer 2021 | An anniversary. A pandemic. Peace Corps Response.

Short-term, high-impact. As the Response program marks a quarter century, Volunteers are serving domestically in the U.S. for the second time ever to battle COVID-19.


Service, Impact, and the Work Ahead

President’s Letter: This September, we gather to honor six decades of Peace Corps service in communities around the world. Right now, we need to honor Peace Corps ideals by helping in humanitarian crises. 

By Glenn Blumhorst 



Why Does Service Matter?

From Peace Corps to AmeriCorps to envisioning a quantum leap: 1 million people in the U.S. serving every year — and changing the culture and ethos of service. So how do we get there? 

A conversation with Mark Gearan and Keri Lowry 




Crisis and Response

From the Editor: Beginnings. Good sense. And the second time in history that Peace Corps Volunteers have been deployed in the United States.

By Steven Boyd Saum

Peace Corps at 60

This year we mark six decades since the founding of the Peace Corps — culminating in the global Peace Corps Connect Conference September 23–25. We’ll examine service and impact across the years — and look to the future of what Peace Corps needs to be. The conference is free and open to all. Read more and register.


Big Picture: First Volunteers, 8/28/61

Peace Corps Director R. Sargent Shriver leads 80 Ghana and Tanganyika Peace Corps Volunteers to the White House, where President Kennedy will give them a personal send-off.




PEACE CORPS RESPONSE: Stories from Across the Decades and Around the World


Peace Corps Response: Short-term, high-impact. Now marking 25 years since its founding.

A quarter century ago, at a midsummer White House Rose Garden ceremony attended by President Bill Clinton and Sargent Shriver, a new type of Peace Corps service was announced to the world: Crisis Corps.

By Steven Boyd Saum



Volunteers Serving in Times of Need

A timeline and snapshots of moments that have defined the history of Peace Corps Response.





Rebuilding After the Rwanda Genocide

The Beginnings of Crisis Corps

By David Arnold



Lily Asrat: One of those moments I thought, “We’re doing something right.”

Peace Corps Volunteer in Namibia (1996–98) | Crisis Corps Volunteer in Guinea (2000) | Peace Corps Response Volunteer in Eastern Caribbean–St. Lucia (2006)

As told to Ellery Pollard

Teresa Bonner: “Now you know what it’s like to have a sniper.”

Peace Corps Volunteer in Lithuania (1996–98) | Crisis Corps Volunteer in Bosnia and Herzegovina (2001)

As told to Ellery Pollard



Priscilla Goldfarb: Within 48 hours she was on a plane, headed to serve in Katrina relief efforts.

Peace Corps Volunteer in Uganda (1965–67) | Crisis Corps Volunteer in United States (2005)

By Joshua Berman



Carlos Jean-Baptiste: When the earthquake hit Haiti, I started trying to find ways to help.

Peace Corps Volunteer in Kenya (2006–08) and Zambia (2008–09) | Peace Corps Response Volunteer in Haiti (2010)

As told to Ellery Pollard


Miguelina Cuevas-Post: “It would be wonderful if the world didn’t need a Peace Corps.”

Peace Corps Volunteer in Jamaica (1976–78) and Belize (2011–13) | Peace Corps Response Volunteer in Jamaica (2016–17) and Belize (2017)

As told to Ellery Pollard


Yemi Oshodi: “I understood quickly that I couldn’t do it on my own.”

Peace Corps Volunteer in Swaziland (2003–05) | Peace Corps Response Volunteer in St. Lucia (2011–12)

As told to Sarah Steindl




Marcy Pursell: Last year, all Volunteers were evacuated. I’ve been there, twice.

Peace Corps Volunteer in Mali (2011–12) | Peace Corps Response Volunteer in Mali (2015) and Sierra Leone (2016)

As told to Emi Krishnamurthy


Hilliard Hicks: Reviving Sustainable Aquaculture in the Philippines

Peace Corps Volunteer in South Africa (2014–16) | Peace Corps Response Volunteer in the Philippines (2019–20)




Annie Eng: One month into work in Georgia, I was evacuated.

Peace Corps Volunteer in Georgia (2020) | Peace Corps Virtual Service Pilot Program (2020–21)

As told to Sarah Steindl




Judith Jones: “Literacy will improve countries, economies, and social situations.”

Peace Corps Response Volunteer in Belize (2018–20) | Peace Corps Response Volunteer with FEMA in Oregon, United States (2021)

As told to Sarah Steindl


Vishakha Wavde: “This journey has brought me to consider what more I can do.”

Peace Corps Volunteer in Malawi (2018–20) | Peace Corps Response Volunteer with FEMA in United States (2021)

As told to Emi Krishnamurthy



Public Health Is Global Health


In 2019, Peace Corps Response launched the Advancing Health Professionals program. Then the pandemic hit.

COVID-19 has interrupted Volunteer service. But it has also underscored the need for strengthening health systems through programs like this.

By Sarah Steindl


Dallas Smith: From experts, I learned knowledge passed along generations.

Peace Corps Volunteer in Cambodia (2017–19) | Peace Corps Response Volunteer in Malawi (2019–20)

As told to Emi Krishnamurthy



Towela Nyika: “We are trying to achieve health for all.”

Peace Corps Staff in Malawi (2013–present)

As told to Emi Krishnamurthy




News and Updates


Beginning With Belize

Peace Corps takes steps to return to service overseas.





Quote: One of their daughters asked, “Why did you send me to school if I must cover myself and can never go to work?”

John W. Bing served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Afghanistan. From a girl in Afghanistan, he shares a painful question she and her family now face.



Recruiting Volunteers for Viet Nam

Peace Corps Viet Nam is now recruiting the inaugural cohort of Peace Corps Volunteers. And Vice President Kamala Harris officially opened the office in Hanoi in August. 




Time to Connect

This year, for the first time, two returned Volunteers in the Midwest reached out to their members of Congress to talk about Peace Corps. That effort made a difference at a critical moment.

By Jonathan Pearson



Peace Corps Funding: The House Says It’s Time to Invest More

It has been six years since the Peace Corps received a meaningful increase in its baseline funding. Could this be the year that changes?

By Jonathan Pearson



Virtual Service: Going Big

This summer Peace Corps kicked off the third round of the Virtual Service Pilot. 





Here’s Some of the Latest Peace Corps Legislation

Respect for Peace Corps Act, NOVID Against COVID, and an amendment missing from the budget





Have a Seat

A place to pause for peace: David Garcia, president of Returned Peace Corps Volunteers of South Florida, donates a sculpture and bench to Florida International University.





People and Ideas


“Peace Corps Is Just Like Netflix!”

Mapping and reinventing cultures. Radical responsibility. Counting tiles and waiting in line. That long lunch may be your ticket. Telling the Netflix story with fellow returned Volunteer Reed Hastings. And other insights from a conversation with business thinker Erin Meyer.




Metaphors for Thought

The unruly sculpture of Joel Shapiro

By David Arnold




Madame Presidents

Meet the new presidents of the Poetry Foundation and the YMCA of the USA.





Humility, Grace, and Dance

Meet Carole Anne “Aziza” Reid, the winner of the 2021 Lillian Carter Award.





Notable: Recent Awards for Four Members of the Peace Corps Community

Honors for Maureen Orth, Melvin Foote, Peter Kilmarx, and Ruth Kauffmann




The M’s Did It for Her

Miriam Welderufael (Paraguay 2013–16) finished her appearance on “Wheel of Fortune” with a moment of true delight.




Unleashing Climate Innovation

Audrey Zibelman takes on responsibilities as vice president at X, the Moonshot Factory, leading work to decarbonize the electrical grid. 




#StartSmall and Think Global

Inspired by Peace Corps experience, the Women’s Global Education Project gets a boost from Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey.




Taiwan Trip

Former U.S. Senator Chris Dodd and two former secretaries of state formed an unofficial delegation in April.




China Farewell, Again

Renowned writer Peter Hessler had planned on spending five years back in China with his wife and daughters. But the university he was teaching at did not renew his contract. 




A Scholar Who Changed Our Worldview. A Diplomat Committed to Peace and Democracy in the Caribbean.


He Profoundly Shaped the Study of African Literature: A Remembrance of Charles Larson

Teaching in Nigeria changed his worldview. So he embarked on a lifelong journey to bring works by African writers to U.S. readers.

By David Arnold


Ambassador Larry L. Palmer

He was a diplomat who devoted decades to advancing peace







Reader Comments on the Spring 2021 Edition of WorldView

Reader comments on 60 years of Peace Corps, vaccine distribution, and “If I had three minutes to talk to President Biden about the Peace Corps ..”




You can make a difference.


Where We’re Going

Our work is just starting. Support Volunteers back in the States and their ongoing work around the globe through the NPCA Community Fund.
Read more




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WorldView magazine brings you stories from and about the greater Peace Corps community, with connections to the wider world. We feature news, profiles, commentary and analysis, politics, arts, and ideas with a global perspective. We publish quarterly in print, with digital features throughout the year.


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Current edition: Summer 2021
Previous editions of WorldView digital:
 Spring 2021 Winter 2021 Fall 2020 | Summer 2020 | Spring 2020

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We welcome pitches and, on rare occasions, completed pieces. What are we looking for? Stories that speak to the Peace Corps community. That might be focused on work connected to Peace Corps, returned Volunteers, communities and countries where Volunteers have served, connections to experiences and work in the U.S. and globally. We’re interested in ideas and impact and stories that connect with readers on a human level.

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About the Editor

Steven Boyd Saum is editor of WorldView. For more than two decades he has edited award-winning magazines in the San Francisco Bay Area. His journalism, essays, and fiction have appeared in OrionThe BelieverCreative NonfictionThe Kenyon ReviewChristian Science Monitor, on KQED FM, and in other magazines and newspapers in the U.S. and internationally. He served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Ukraine, where he also directed the Fulbright program and hosted a radio show. Send a letter to the editor:

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What Our Readers Are Saying

“I would like to thank you for all of the amazing work you put into WorldView  magazine. Reading it gives me a great feeling of solidarity with other Volunteers and RPCVs around the world and always serves to remind me that I’m part of something very special, and something that is much bigger than I am.”

Anna Waterfield (Tanzania 2012–14)


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Rachael Miller (Benin 2006–08)

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