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Guinea

January 25, 2023

Leading USAID in West Africa

Jo Lesser-Oltheten now heads work for the agency in the region. It was the Peace Corps that first took her there three decades ago.   By NPCA Staff   Jo Lesser-Oltheten assumed responsibilities as mission director for USAID/West Africa beginning in October 2022. That includes work in 21 countries with more than 150 staff—providing crucial leadership for the region at a crucial time. It was the Peace Corps that first took her to West Africa; she taught high school in Guinea 1991–93 after earning her master’s at Columbia and teaching middle school for four years. It was also the Peace Corps...

May 5, 2022

Peace Corps Achievements — May 2022

News and updates from the Peace Corps community — across the country, around the world, and spanning generations of returned Volunteers and staff. By Peter V. Deekle (Iran 1968–70)   Gloria Blackwell (pictured), who served as a Volunteer in Cameroon 1986–88, was recently named CEO of the American Association of University Women — a nonprofit organization advancing equity for women and girls through advocacy, education, and research. In April, Colombia bestowed citizenship upon Maureen Orth (Colombia 1964–66) in recognition of her lifetime of work supporting education in the country. Writer Michael Meyer (China 1995–97) recently published Benjamin Franklin’s Last Bet, which explores Franklin’s deathbed wager of 2,000 pounds to...

September 12, 2021

Peace Corps Response: An anniversary. A pandemic. A historic moment for this program launched a quarter century ago.

Short-term, high-impact. Now marking 25 years since its founding.   By Steven Boyd Saum Photo by Christian Farnsworth   A quarter century ago, at a midsummer White House Rose Garden ceremony attended by President Bill Clinton and Sargent Shriver, first director of the Peace Corps, a new type of Peace Corps service was announced to the world: Crisis Corps. Short-term, high-impact, it was, as then-Peace Corps Director Mark Gearan explained, “an effort to harness the enormous experience, skills, motivation, and talents that the Peace Corps, including its returned Volunteer ranks, possesses, and bring them to bear in an organized fashion during...

September 6, 2021

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

Lily Asrat 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 Photo: Reviewing HIV records in St. Lucia: Lily Asrat working at the National AIDS Program Secretariat. Courtesy Lily Asrat   I’m Ethiopian American, and my parents exposed me to a lot of travel early on; they essentially raised me to be a global citizen. I understood that there’s so much out there in the world, and that there isn’t just one way of being. I saw Peace Corps as a...

February 12, 2021

Beating Ebola

Peace Corps’ untold story of fighting the virus in Guinea By Douglass P. Teschner   This story first appeared in the Summer 2019 edition of WorldView magazine. We bring it to you here as we battle another pandemic.   In West Africa between December 2013 and June 2016, there were 28,616 known cases of the Ebola virus and 11,310 deaths. 3,804 of those cases and 2,536 deaths were in Guinea, where I was Peace Corps country director. But there would have been many more if it hadn’t been for the work of Peace Corps staff and RPCVs. When the epidemic was...

August 31, 2020

What Guides Us?

Equality and justice. Empathy and compassion.   Teaching health or English, working in youth development or fisheries, nurturing enterprises or advising in agriculture. Building friendships to help the world understand our complex and troubled nation, bringing understanding of a wider world back home. Navigating lives as individuals and parents, children and siblings, citizens and friends in a time of need.     Colt Bradley calls North Carolina home now. He took this photo of the primary school in Missamana, Guinea, where he was serving as a Volunteer until he was evacuated in March. As tough as the journey sometimes is, beauty and wonder are part of it, too. So is community. Support work guided by Peace Corps values.Become a National Peace Corps...

August 18, 2020

A Thousand Words: More Photos from Peace Corps Volunteers Evacuated from Around the World

Photos from Nepal, Timor Lesté, Guinea, and Jamaica Along with the dozens of stories we’ve shared from Peace Corps Volunteers evacuated from around the world, here are snapshots from more Volunteers. They capture the friendships and communities left behind. And they capture the heartbreak of leaving.   Nepal | Eddie De La Fuente   When Peace Corps announced the global evacuation, we were actually en route to visit our permanent sites a month early. I, and many of the other agriculture volunteers, never made it to our sites given the distance; I had just finished two all-day bus trips and was still another day-and-a-half away...