Thank you to NPCA Affiliate Groups for stepping up to support the more than 7,000 Peace Corps Volunteers evacuated from their service due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Many of you participated in our Virtual Town Hall meetings, 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.
The following captures the questions posed in town halls and other virtual events, and includes links for more detailed information. We are working diligently to develop additional information that captures all of the verbal questions and responses in those meetings as well. Thank you so much for your continued support.
NPCA will continue to track developments and include updated information on this page as it becomes available.
Peace Corps Evacuation
All Volunteers have been safely evacuated from their posts. Please visit the Peace Corps’ website for information regarding the COVID-19 response and frequently asked questions. As this situation is still developing, the information on their website is updated every day at www.peacecorps.gov/coronavirus. Please monitor these pages on a daily basis to keep current with new information.
Connecting to PCVs
- What is the best way to connect to RPCVs who have returned from service?
- Is there a way for me to contribute in various areas?
- What are some ideas for support during lockdown?
The community has launched a number of initiatives to assist PCVs being evacuated back to the states. A Facebook group called Returned Peace Corps COVID-19 Evacuation Support (Community-Generated) has developed several Google Docs like this one to track both PCVs who are requesting assistance, and RPCVs who are willing to assist. This is a crowd-sourced, informational resource and none of the individuals submitting information have been vetted. Please be cautious in interactions with any stranger.
For some RPCVs, the evacuation meant that they lost PCPP or SPA funding for projects they were ready to implement. Through NPCA’s Community Fund, RPCVs can apply for funding to complete the work. Consider contributing to support the unfinished business of evacuated volunteers.
NPCA is also in the process of tracking Affiliate Group responses to the COVID-19 crisis. Through the NPCA Affiliate Group Network Facebook group, group leaders can share information and collaborate on initiatives to offer assistance to PCVs. You may also go to the Affiliate Group directory on the NPCA website to join a group, or contact group leaders. Many affiliate groups have initiated the following to support RPCVs during social distancing measures:
- Virtual Town Halls
- Virtual Happy Hours
- Virtual Game Nights
- Movie Nights
- Emotional support and resource sharing
- Opportunities for COVID-19 response volunteering
- Resume workshops
- Virtual Cultural Dinners
The affiliate group Partnering for Peace (PFP) is taking action. PFP is a group of Rotary members and returned Peace Corps Volunteers who are committed to developing the partnership between Rotary and the Peace Corps at the grassroots level. PFP is helping connect recently returned Peace Corps Volunteers with local Rotary and Rotaract clubs to help the volunteers to readjust to their home community or tie up loose ends from a recently evacuated host community. Learn more
Groups can request names, COS, and contact information for RPCVs via our standard data sharing agreement. Contact information for evacuated volunteers will be limited to those who have joined our Global Reentry program and given us permission to share it. We recommend that groups take advantage of personal networks, and social media to reach potential evacuees in their area. Please tell your evacuees to sign up for NPCA’s new free Global Reentry program. Download our Social Media Toolkit. Let us know how your group is responding at [email protected].
Global Reentry Program
National Peace Corps Association has been working closely with Congressional leaders to enhance benefits for Peace Corps Volunteers. On Friday, April 3, Senators Chris Murphy (D-CT), Susan Collins (R-ME), and Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) introduced legislation that would address several key concerns of the Peace Corps community. The legislation seeks to:
- Address the need to provide some form of unemployment compensation for evacuated Returned Peace Corps Volunteers (RPCVs) who are jobless several months from now, having exhausted their initial Close of Service financial support (readjustment and evacuation allowance).
- Further extends health insurance benefits to evacuees.
- Expedite hiring of RPCVs using their Non-Competitive Eligibility for federal job openings.
- Prompt redeployment of Peace Corps Volunteers as soon as practicable and an expedited re-enrollment process for evacuated RPCVs.
Conversations are underway to make sure that future legislation addresses some of the longer term needs evacuees will likely face, including adequate mental health support, possible enhancements to Coverdell Fellowship programs for prospective graduate students, and possible domestic deployment opportunities so skilled Returned Peace Corps Volunteers can help fight the pandemic.
Beyond that, an ongoing mobilization is needed to remind our lawmakers and our fellow citizens that Peace Corps remains open and is preparing to re-deploy as soon as possible.
In the days, weeks, and months ahead, take action!
- How are evacuees going to access career services?
- Does Peace Corps HQ offer career services?
- Will evacuees have NCE (Non-competitive eligibility)?
Peace Corps no longer offers career services, however NPCA hosts a list of career resources, in addition to regularly occurring career webinars. All past webinars are archived and can be accessed through NPCA’s website.
- What is the benevolent fund?
- What is the turnaround on applications for the benevolent fund?
NPCA’s benevolent fund offers financial support to RPCVs facing critical short term emergency needs. If you, or someone you know, requires urgent financial support, please contact NPCA at [email protected]. Please provide a brief summary of the situation and the best contact information for the quickest response.