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Shriver Award

  • Steven Saum posted an article
    Founder and U.S. executive director of Global Seed Savers see more

    Global Seed Savers has trained more than 5,000 Filipino farmers in seed saving, established three seed libraries, and is building a movement across the country to restore the traditional practice of saving seed and building seed sovereignty.

    By NPCA Staff

     

    National Peace Corps Association (NPCA) is pleased to announce the winner of the 2021 Sargent Shriver Award for Distinguished Humanitarian Service: Sherry Manning. 

    The Shriver Award is presented annually by NPCA to Returned Peace Corps Volunteers who continue to make a sustained and distinguished contribution to humanitarian causes at home or abroad, or who are innovative social entrepreneurs who bring about significant long-term change. The award is named in honor of the first Peace Corps Director, Sargent Shriver, whose energy and commitment were instrumental in the launch of the Peace Corps.

    Sherry Manning is the founder and U.S. executive director of Global Seed Savers, an international nongovernmental organization committed to building hunger free and healthy communities with access to farmer produced seeds and food. Global Seed Savers has trained more than 5,000 Filipino farmers in seed saving, established three seed libraries, and is building a movement across the country to restore the traditional practice of saving seed and building seed sovereignty.

    Sherry Manning’s work in the Philippines began 15 years ago, in 2006, when she served as Peace Corps Volunteer in the town of Tublay in Benguet Province. Global Seed Savers’ work has grown exponentially since this time; however the foundation of her story in the Philippines and continued work will always be about deep relationships to the land, people, and places of her second home, the Philippines.

     

     

    Global Seed Savers web page

    Photo courtesy Global Seed Savers

     

    The award was presented on September 24 at Peace Corps Connect, a 60th anniversary conference for the Peace Corps community. Announcing the award was Teddy Shriver, who served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Peru 2011–13 and is deputy director of Best Buddies International — and grandson of Sargent Shriver. 

     

    Connections and relationships: people, the land, seeds 

    “So much has happened, evolved, and grown since my days as a PCV 15 years ago in Tublay, Benguet,” Sherry Manning says. “But one thing has remained the center point of our on-going work at Global Seed Savers: authentic, deep, and meaningful connections and relationships to people, the land, seed, and our collective sustenance!”

    In her acceptance speech, Manning noted: “It takes many hands and hearts for our work to flourish and it is an honor to be building this organization with our dedicated and growing team of local Filipino leadership, our boards, our community partners, and most importantly the resilient and passionate FARMERS we learn from and work side by side with to build a more food and seed sovereign world! This Award is for them and their tireless work to feed their families and communities despite tremendous struggles!”

     

    Global Seed Savers statistics

    Photo courtesy Global Seed Savers

     

    Sherry Manning holds a master’s in environmental and natural resource law from the University of Denver Sturm College of Law and a B.A. in government from the University of Redlands in Southern California. Sherry is also a daughter, sister, and very proud auntie or Anta (as her nearly 6-year-old nephew calls her)! She has always been passionate about ending injustices, spending quality time in the natural places she advocates for, and building deep and meaningful relationships within her community. When not working for Global Seed Savers and serving on various nonprofit boards, Sherry can be found playing in the beautiful Colorado Mountains hiking, fly fishing, camping, and more.


    Nominations for the Sargent Shriver Award for Distinguished Humanitarian Service are accepted year-round. To nominate an individual, please download the Shriver Award nomination packet, and submit all nomination materials to vp@peacecorpsconnect.org

     September 25, 2021
  • Steven Saum posted an article
    Letters Winter 2021: Readers write see more

    Letters, emails, Facebook posts, tweets, Instagram comments: Readers respond to the stories in words and images in our fall 2020 edition. We’re happy to continue the conversation.Write us: worldview@peacecorpsconnect.org
     

     

    Renew, retool, return?

    I suspect the Peace Corps will see a renewal following the Biden administration. Service to our country and promoting peace, prosperity, and democracy will take on new importance. It should be a promising future for the Peace Corps.

    Ben Kasper
    Somalia
    1964–66

     

    I struggle to see how it is ethical to send PCVs into different countries considering that America has no control over the virus right now, a huge number of Americans have the virus, and Volunteers will likely be sent to areas that may not have the best health facilities. My concern is for the host countries and people living in the communities where the PCVs will be stationed. 

    Jessica Mazzoni
    Zambia
    2015–17

     

     

    “How many of you…?” JFK at the Union (and the Cow Palace)

     

    I used to pass by a plaque in the University of Michigan Student Union steps marking this spot twice a day. One day there was a sign taped to it announcing a Peace Corps recruiting session in the International Center. There were RPCVs in attendance to share their personal experiences ... and four awesome years later I was back in the same room, doing the same.

    Assuming the Peace Corps survives, as I approach retirement I’m considering going back for another round.

    Thomas Chamberlin
    Guatemala
    1982–85

     

    I’ve heard about this speech for years. This is the first time I’ve actually heard it. Entertaining and inspiring!

    John Riley
    Gineau-Bissau 1997–98

     

    I was working in the oil fields of eastern Venezuela when Jack Kennedy was killed. It made a deep impression on me; especially moving was the reaction of the Venezuelan people who considered him as one of their own. I subsequently resigned my job, went to Washington, walked into Peace Corps and was hired on the spot to become desk officer for Venezuela. Later I was sent to Brazil as associate director. Years later I ended up as Peace Country Director in Tunisia. The Peace Corps years were rich in experience and without doubt were the most challenging and rewarding years of my life.
    Charles Graham
    Associate Country Director, Brazil 1966–68; Country Director, Tunisia 1981–83

      

    I was inspired by that very speech and 20 years later served as a Volunteer in the Philippines. Over the years since then, I’ve given many presentations in schools on my Peace Corps experience and promoted Peace Corps service.

    Catherine Saffian
    The Philippines 1981

     

    I always liked Kennedy’s sense of humor … like when he said “I graduated from Harvard … the Michigan of the East” and “This is the longest short speech I ever gave.”

    Jeffrey Walsh
    South Africa 2016–18

     

    I am grateful for the Peace Corps services rendered to my birth country, Malaysia. I benefited much academically and personally. Diane was my maths teacher then at Penang Technical Institute in 1968. Thank you and God bless America.

    Allen Ong via Facebook

     

    I taught for two years in a beautiful country that was full of hope and progress. The people in Charikar made me feel like their daughter, their sister, their friend.

    Pat Emme
    Afghanistan 1965–67

     

    Without doubt the establishment of the Peace Corps and the Fulbright Program are the most important public and international policy in the history of the United States.

    Sami Jamil Jadallah

    Founder and Executive Director at New Initiatives Foundation

     

    Today I was asked by a vendor wanting to find me a discount whether I served in the military. I responded as I usually do to that question, “No, but I served my country in the Peace Corps.” I think for the first time I heard from a vendor, “Thank you for your service.”

    Bill Francisco
    Ecuador 1989–91

     

    I joined because I thought I could make the world a better place. I came back a better person.

    Marie Russo
    Cameroon 1968–70

     

    Shriver Award Well Earned!

    When I served in Guatemala in the 1980s it was dangerous to even teach indigenous people to read, let alone foster democratic involvement and economic and environmental justice. Well done, Mateo Paneitz.

    Thomas Chamberlin
    Guatemala 1982–85

     

    Long Way Home is a great organization. Congratulations, Mateo!

    Joanna Guzman
    Guatemala 1986–90

     

     

    In Memoriam: John Lewis

    John Lewis: When I first met John Lewis, it was in the late 1970s, when I worked at ACTION, Nixon’s attempt to hide JFK’s agency called Peace Corps, which under ACTION became International Operations, with VISTA and other volunteer programs under Domestic Operations. He was associate director when I met him. He and his work have made the world a better place. We will miss him! 

    Karen Keefer
    Nigeria 1966–68, Liberia 1968


    May his soul rest in perfect peace.
    Muhammed Touray

     

     

    In Memoriam: Joseph Blatchford

    He was director when I was the training center director in Puerto Rico in 1970–72. Also a very good tennis player. Sad news that he has left us.

    K. Richard Pyle

     

    He was a good man who helped Peace Corps survive during a politically difficult period. Rest in peace.

    Frank Almaguer
    Staff, Belize 1974–76; Country Director, Honduras 1976–79

  • Ana Victoria Cruz posted an article
    The founder of Long Way Home, helping the people of Comalapa, Guatemala see more

    For nearly two decades he has partnered with Guatemalans to address injustices against indigenous peoples.

    By NPCA Staff

    Photo of Matthew Paneitz courtesy Long Way Home

     

    National Peace Corps Association (NPCA) is pleased to announce the winner of the 2020 Sargent Shriver Award for Distinguished Humanitarian Service: Matthew Paneitz.

    The Shriver Award is presented annually by NPCA to Returned Peace Corps Volunteers who continue to make a sustained and distinguished contribution to humanitarian causes at home or abroad, or who are innovative social entrepreneurs who bring about significant long-term change. The award is named in honor of the first Peace Corps Director, Sargent Shriver, who founded and developed Peace Corps.

    For 18 years, Matthew “Mateo” Paneitz has devoted his life to the redress of ethnic violence and systemic oppression perpetrated against the indigenous peoples of Guatemala. He has been doing this while living and working in San Juan Comalapa, a town of 40,000 primarily indigenous Kaqchikel Maya, located in Guatemala’s Western highlands.

     

    In Comalapa, Paneitz was exposed first-hand to the brutal aftermath of the Guatemalan Civil War, a colonialism-driven conflict that claimed hundreds of thousands of lives — primarily indigenous people.

     

    The Peace Corps brought Paneitz to Guatemala in 2002 and shifted his trajectory away from a middle-income career in the U.S. life to a life of unwavering dedication to equitable development in Comalapa and Guatemala. In Comalapa, Paneitz was exposed first-hand to the brutal aftermath of the Guatemalan Civil War, a colonialism-driven conflict that claimed hundreds of thousands of lives — primarily indigenous people.

    Throughout Guatemala, extreme environmental challenges and inequality, as well as high rates of unemployment and illiteracy, currently stymie equitable and sustainable development. To address these issues and to provide better living conditions for Comalapans, Mateo founded Long Way Home, a 501(c)3 non-profit, in 2005. Led by Mateo, Long Way Home utilizes green building, employment, and education to mobilize people to actively participate in democracy and create innovative pathways to economic and environmental justice. 

     

    Green building as a pathway to learning

    In 2009, LWH began the construction of Centro Educativo Técnico Chixot (CETC), a grade school and vocational school that uses green building as a pathway for teaching principles of environmental stewardship and active democratic participation. The school itself serves as a model for the effectiveness of green building and is constructed using 500 tons of repurposed waste and over 15,000 used tires. School walls are built from eco-bricks (plastic bottles stuffed with unrecyclable soft plastics) and car tires rammed with trash and earth. Skylights are made from recycled glass bottles. And roof shingles are made from aluminum cans and liter-sized soda bottles. 

     

     

    In the CETC classrooms, students are taught to assess and address local opportunities and challenges through a nationally accredited, project-based curriculum. As part of their learning, students conduct surveys to identify key development issues in surrounding communities: poor smoke ventilation, access to clean water and sanitation, and earthquake-resilient infrastructure. Using these results as a guide, students work with teachers to build stoves, water tanks, latrines, and retaining walls for families identified in the survey. To reflect the work of their students, Paneitz gave this curriculum the apt name “Hero School.” Since the implementation of the curriculum in Grades 7 through 11 in 2017, students have constructed 39 smoke-efficient stoves, 25 water tanks, four compost latrines, and two tire retaining walls. Students at CETC are forming a new generation of entrepreneurs uniquely equipped to lead their communities with innovative solutions to complex local and global challenges. 

     

    Since the implementation of the curriculum in Grades 7 through 11 in 2017, students have constructed 39 smoke-efficient stoves, 25 water tanks, four compost latrines, and two tire retaining walls.

     

    In 2021, CETC will refine and expand this curriculum to all grade levels, K–11, and begin to build the infrastructure to deliver the Hero School model at partner schools in Livingston, Guatemala and Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe. Through Long Way Home’s international volunteer program, volunteers also receive an immersive education focused on cultivating real democratic participation skills — assessing local challenges and opportunities, partnering across disciplines and context, assembling resources, and implementing a plan for development that uplifts all.

    On a global scale, Long Way Home has engaged more than 2,000 volunteers through its constantly evolving volunteer program. Collaborations with established volunteer organizations such as Engineers Without Borders have secured access to clean water for more than 1,000 families across Guatemala.

    To ensure the global impact of the principles at work in Comalapa, Paneitz collaborated with green building experts to publish A Guide to Green Building. He also developed a hands-on, month-long companion course, The Green Building Academy, to teach students from around the world how to directly apply green building principles in the real world. Deepening his contributions to the green building sector, Paneitz has contributed to humanitarian green construction projects in Colombia, Venezuela, South Africa, Sierra Leone, and the United States.  

     

     


    Nominations for the Sargent Shriver Award for Distinguished Humanitarian Service are accepted year-round. To nominate an individual, please download the Shriver Award nomination packet, and submit all nomination materials to vp@peacecorpsconnect.org

     September 26, 2020
  • Ana Victoria Cruz posted an article
    Liz Fanning named as the 2019 Sargent Shriver Award for Distinguished Humanitarian Service winner. see more

    National Peace Corps Association (NPCA) is proud to announce Liz Fanning as the recipient of the 2019 Sargent Shriver Award for Distinguished Humanitarian Service in recognition of her tireless efforts to create and expand CorpsAfrica, a nonprofit organization that gives young Africans the opportunity to serve like Peace Corps Volunteers in their own countries. The award is presented annually by NPCA to Returned Peace Corps Volunteers who continue to make a sustained and distinguished contribution to humanitarian causes at home or abroad, or are innovative social entrepreneurs who bring about significant long-term change. It honors the tremendous contributions of the first Peace Corps Director, Sargent Shriver, in founding and developing Peace Corps.

    Since founding CorpsAfrica in 2011, Fanning has been serving as the organization’s executive director. Her efforts to expand CorpsAfrica’s reach have built a strong follower base of over 10,000 individuals seeking to participate in the organization in various capacities: as applicants to the Volunteer program, friends of the organization, donors, and partners. CorpsAfrica currently hosts 70 Volunteers in four countries: Morocco, Senegal, Malawi, and Rwanda, and they receive regular requests from local populations and government authorities for African volunteers. By 2030, Fanning aims to host CorpsAfrica Volunteers in all 54 African nations, with up to 250 Volunteers in each country. The result? 13,500 volunteers in communities across Africa each year, a mix of Volunteers serving in their own country and in other African countries. Each Volunteer will live in a high-poverty village, touch, and change the lives of hundreds, perhaps thousands of people, and return home to embark on a successful, purposeful career. “Then, we can begin to think about CorpsAsia.” The sustained and distinguished humanitarian impacts of CorpsAfrica are tremendous, and could grow to be on par with Peace Corps itself. "When I was a Peace Corps Volunteer in Morocco [1993-1995], amazing young Moroccans used to ask me if they could do what I was doing. They'd say, 'I'm Moroccan, I want to help my country, can I be a Peace Corps Volunteer?’” Inspired by her service, Fanning founded CorpsAfrica so that passionate individuals in African countries could have the same opportunity she did to learn, grow, and make an impact.

     

     

    In a letter accompanying Fanning’s nomination for the award, former Peace Corps Director Carrie Hessler-Radelet stated, “[CorpsAfrica] has been growing ever since its beginning and is changing the lives of both CorpsAfrica Members and their communities—in the same way Peace Corps transforms the lives of Volunteers and the people they serve. It is the greatest compliment to the Peace Corps that young Africans want to be Peace Corps Volunteers themselves. I think it's especially wonderful that an RPCV has taken it upon herself to give young Africans that opportunity.”

    ​CorpsAfrica recognizes Peace Corps's enormous success and seeks to build on it by offering the same transformative experience to emerging leaders in Africa. Every year, CorpsAfrica recruits men and women to move to and volunteer in high-poverty communities within their own countries for one year. These volunteers complete four weeks of training built around experiential learning to empower and equip them with the skills and mindsets they will need to be successful at their sites. The volunteers are then placed in participating communities. They work to gain the community’s trust and understanding by engaging the local residents in conversations and facilitating community meetings to identify and address changing and complex local needs. These discussions include topics surrounding education, health, small business development, urban planning and infrastructure, agriculture, the environment, and more. They then initiate and facilitate projects that fulfill these key needs in their communities and whose impact and success can be carefully measured and monitored.

    NPCA will present the award during the annual Peace Corps Connect conference, June 20-22, 2019 in Austin, Texas. Learn more and register here.