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February 26, 2023

Coming Together in a Time of Crisis

Honoring three groups working to help the people of Ukraine By NPCA Staff   The 2022 Loret Miller Ruppe Award for Outstanding Community Service honors three groups that have worked together to support the people of Ukraine since the full-scale Russian invasion in February 2022. The RPCV Alliance for Ukraine, the Friends of Moldova, and Partnering for Peace have aided refugees and those in harm’s way. The award was presented at the Peace Corps Connect Conference in September 2022. Named for the widely admired tenth director of the Peace Corps, the annual Ruppe Award is presented by NPCA to outstanding affiliate groups...

August 23, 2022

What We Mean by Friendship

With the full-scale Russian invasion of Ukraine, the Friends of Moldova has stepped in to provide crucial support to thousands of refugees. by David Jarmul Logo by Friends of Moldova    Until this past February, Friends of Moldova was like many “Friends of” groups within the Peace Corps community: a loose organization of returned Volunteers sharing news and supporting small grant programs in the country where they served. Then Russia launched a full-scale invasion of Ukraine and everything changed. As millions of Ukrainians fled the fighting, nearly half a million refugees came to Moldova — a small, crescent-shaped country with a population...

August 23, 2022

Ukraine Stories

A platform for citizen journalists, volunteers, and those working to deepen understanding of the war and efforts to help refugees. By Clary Estes Photo by Clary Estes   The Ukraine Stories newsletter started modestly. In the wake of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, so many Returned Peace Corps Volunteers who had served throughout Central and Eastern Europe asked the same question: “What can I do?” For the Ukraine Stories crew, the answer was simple: Tell true stories. Yet this simple answer opened up a complex world of reporting, testimonials, and on the ground volunteering. Since the project’s inception, Ukraine Stories has sought to explain the conflict on...

August 19, 2022

Giving Voice to Refugees: Firsthand Accounts from Children and Teenagers — Some Many Years Later

Finding Refuge REAL-LIFE IMMIGRATION STORIES FROM YOUNG PEOPLE By Victorya Rouse Zest Books   Reviewed by Nathalie Vadnais   In the Newcomers Center at Ferris High School in Spokane, Washington, Victorya Rouse teaches immigrants from all over the world how to speak English. It’s work she has done for three decades, after she served as an education Volunteer with the Peace Corps in eSwatini (formerly Swaziland) 1981–84. For Finding Refuge, she has put together firsthand accounts of kids’ and teenagers’ experiences — some recounted many years later — to help young readers understand war, conflict, and what it means to be a...

April 18, 2022

President’s Letter: Time of Hope, Time of Crisis

Volunteers have begun to return to service. Yet millions in Ukraine are now in harm’s way.   By Glenn Blumhorst   This is a hopeful time for the Peace Corps: On March 14, a group of Volunteers arrived in Lusaka, Zambia. Just over a week later, on March 23, Volunteers arrived in the Dominican Republic. They are the first to return to service overseas since March 2020, when Volunteers were evacuated from around the globe because of COVID-19. The contributions of Volunteers serving in Zambia will include partnering with communities to focus on food security and education, along with partnering on efforts...

August 28, 2021

Humility, Grace, and Dance

Meet Carole Anne “Aziza” Reid, the winner of the 2021 Lillian Carter Award. By NPCA Staff Photo: Dance lessons in Eswatini. Photo courtesy Carole Anne Reid   Carole Anne “Aziza” Reid was serving as a youth education Volunteer in Eswatini when COVID-19 forced the evacuation of all Volunteers. It was her second tour with Peace Corps; she served in Moldova 2016–18, working in community organizational development. There, she created community programs to empower women and youth through African dance classes and social justice activities. Home is originally Harlem. When Reid joined the Peace Corps at age 53, she brought years of experience in the...

May 11, 2021

Our Stories are America’s Stories

In Moldova, my work partners and our host family weren’t expecting someone like me. Instead of being young and white, I was older and Asian. And born near Mount Everest. By Champa Jarmul   When I was a girl growing up in Nepal, two of my teachers were Peace Corps Volunteers. After I became a teacher myself, I attended a training workshop with another Volunteer. Most important to me was the PCV who taught at our school a few years later. David and I fell in love and got married. More than 35 years later, after our two sons had...

August 17, 2020

Coming Home: Moldova

Nobody wanted it to happen this way. 
Evacuation stories and the unfinished business of Peace Corps Volunteers around the world.     Moldova | Jeremy Male Home: Roswell, Georgia In a small village in the Soroca region near the Ukrainian border, Jeremy Male taught English at a secondary school alongside two Moldovan colleagues starting in 2019. “I was the first volunteer in my village,” he says. That made him an ambassador of American culture and values. And it put this self-professed introvert very much in the public eye. He quickly learned to roll with it when strangers stopped him on...

August 13, 2020

For the Community

Volunteers had projects and grants to fund them. They had to leave and the money was frozen. But that’s not the end of the story. By NPCA Staff   Photo: Katherine Patterson and students of Bumbuta Secondary School in Tanzania. Patterson started the Save the Rain project to provide clean water for the school community.   When Peace Corps Volunteers were evacuated from around the world, we heard from thousands asking for advice and help. They were not only worried about their own well-being, but time and again they wanted to know: What about the communities they left? the work they were doing? the projects developed...