Amanda Silva posted an articleMission Partners are the reason why girls like mine continue to be empowered. see more
By Amanda Silva (Indonesia 2013-2015)
Two years ago, I was preparing for the first girls and boys empowerment camp in my district in Indonesia. Today, I'm stateside helping Peace Corps Volunteers (PCVs) and Returned Peace Corps Volunteers (RPCVs) get more funding for their own primary and secondary projects in water and sanitation or girls education and empowerment.
I made the decision in June 2016 to become a Mission Partner at the Shriver Circle level ($1,000) because I remember how much that camp affected 1) the sixty students who participated, 2) the twelve counselors who mentored, and 3) the Indonesian committee who empowered them all through their hard work and facilitation. As the Community Fund and Partnerships Coordinator at National Peace Corps Association (NPCA), I'm faced with the task of sifting through grant proposals from PCVs or emails from RPCVs returning to their host communities to build upon past projects. All the donations given to Water and Sanitation or Girls Education and Empowerment directly benefit host country communities. The more Mission Partners can contribute funds, the more projects can be completed.
I'm proud to be a Mission Partner, so that I can enable other PCVs to empower students just like mine.
Megan Patrick posted an articleThe Peace Corps Connect Conference Will Unite Global Leaders, Development Experts, and Academics — And They Happen to be WomenWomen of the World Unite! see more
By co-hosting the 2016 Peace Corps Connect conference, the National Peace Corps Association invited leaders in economic development, environmental sustainability, equality of marginalized populations, global health, and security to speak to an audience of development experts. In addition to their work in these fields, the respective leaders champion women’s rights.
Register now for this important event.
On September 22, Congresswoman Kay Granger (R-TX) and Congresswoman Nita Lowey (D-NY) will receive the National Peace Corps Association’s Congressional Leadership Award. They are the Chairwoman and Ranking Member, respectively, of the State, Foreign Operations and Related Programs Appropriations Subcommittee. Congresswoman Granger has also been recognized for her humanitarian efforts in attacking the practice of human trafficking, among other issues. Congresswoman Lowey, former Chair of the Congressional Women's Caucus, is a leader in the fight against domestic violence.
September 23, Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf will address the Peace Corps community during the presentation of the Deborah Harding Women of Achievement Award ceremony. President Sirleaf, a lifelong advocate for girls and women, is Africa's first democratically elected female Head of State. During her career, she has been a voice for peace and reconciliation, serving on committees investigating conflict in her own country, the Rwandan genocide and the Democratic Republic of Congo, and was selected by UNIFEM to report on the impact and importance of women in peacebuilding. The Deborah Harding Award honors a Peace Corps Volunteer whose contributions have made a significant difference in the lives of women and girls in the world. This inaugural award will celebrate Sara Goodkind, founder of Girls Leading Our World (GLOW) Camps, now implemented in Peace Corps countries worldwide.
The same day Dr. Margee Ensign, President of the American University of Nigeria, will speak about creating opportunities for girls who escaped from Boko Haram, and how each can get the education they deserve. She will speak to the importance of empowering girls and women around the world and how the Peace Corps community, in partnership with the White House Let Girls Learn Initiative, can play a leading role in these efforts.
On September 24, Sarah Chayes, senior associate at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, will reflect on her decades of experiences with war, peace and community. The Morocco RPCV will be joined a colleague and friend, Sebastian Junger. After several years covering conflicts as NPR’s Paris correspondent, including in Kosovo and in Afghanistan, Ms. Chayes put down her microphone to play an active part in rebuilding that war-torn countries. Ms. Chayes later served as special assistant to Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Admiral Mike Mullen. She is the author most recently of Thieves of State: Why Corruption Threatens Global Security, winner of the LA Times Book Prize.
Breakout sessions include The Peace Corps Experience: Providing Leadership Opportunities for Women as Volunteers and Beyond and Gender Equity in Environmental Sustainability.
For more information and to register for the event, visit our 2016 Peace Corps Connect page.
Amanda Silva posted an articleRPCV Camillia Freeland-Taylor helps community build school in Southern province of Zambia. see more
The Community Fund: Perpetuating a Lifelong Commitment to Peace Corps Ideals
At National Peace Corps Association (NPCA), we understand the impact Volunteers make in host communities, as well as those host communities make upon Volunteers. Both resonate for decades. The Community Fund thrives on sustaining that relationship and impact.
An example are Camillia Freeland-Taylor’s (Zambia 2013-15) efforts to support the children of her village, Magalela, who must walk nine miles and cross two rivers to attend school. Many families do not allow their girls to attend because of the two-hour walk. During Camillia’s service, a first grade boy drowned on the journey.
The village children need a local primary school to ensure their basic human right to education. Camillia worked both during and after service to meet this need.
The grant she originally received as a PCV provided the amount necessary to lay the foundation of the school. As an RPCV, Camillia sought out NPCA to purchase cement and other building materials to complete the project by plastering the school's walls, finishing the floors, building latrines, and fitting windows with glass. The Zambian government will then provide teachers.
“It’s good to have a school because our children won’t have to walk so far (usually six-eight kilometers one way), and they don’t have to worry about crossing the river during the rainy season, which is extremely dangerous. Right now we have no choice, but we are trying to change that through the new school” says Jethrow Siatubi, Magalela Village Head.
Education has a compounding effect, and the result of allowing an entire community of children access to a primary education is profound. Studies show that with each additional year of education, an individual will earn more as an adult and prevent extreme poverty. Moreover, women who receive a primary school education are less likely to lose children in the first five years of the child’s life.
“I remember one time I went to the hospital and they gave me the wrong medicine. If I wasn’t educated I wouldn’t have been able to tell the medicine was meant for someone else and for a different problem. I was able to do so because of education. I want my children to have a better education and a chance at a brighter future” remarked Julius Simombeh, a school committee member.