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WorldView | Summer 2021 – An anniversary. A pandemic. Peace Corps Response.

Short-term, high-impact. As the Response program marks a quarter century, Volunteers are serving domestically in the U.S. for the second time ever to battle COVID-19.

September 13, 2021

President’s Letter: Service, Impact, and the Work Ahead

This September, we gather to honor six decades of Peace Corps service in communities around the world. Right now, we need to honor Peace Corps ideals by helping in humanitarian crises.   By Glenn Blumhorst Photo: A girl from Afghanistan at a UN High Commissioner for Refugees camp in 2002. Photo by Caleb Kenna   As this […]

September 13, 2021

Why Does Service Matter?

From Peace Corps to AmeriCorps to envisioning a quantum leap: 1 million people in the U.S. serving every year — and changing the culture and ethos of service. So how do we get there? A conversation with Mark Gearan and Keri Lowry.   By Steven Boyd Saum   In 2017, the U.S. government undertook the […]

September 12, 2021

From the Editor: Crisis and Response

Beginnings. Good sense. And the second time in history that Peace Corps Volunteers have been deployed in the United States. By Steven Boyd Saum Photo from 1994: A Rwandan refugee camp in eastern Zaire. Photo courtesy CDC   Here’s an instructive but heart-wrenching place to start, if we want to tell the big story at the […]

Peace Corps at 60

 

This year we mark six decades since the founding of the Peace Corps — culminating in the global Peace Corps Connect Conference September 23–25. We’ll examine service and impact across the years — and look to the future of what Peace Corps needs to be. The conference is free and open to all. Read more and register.

Big Picture

August 28, 2021

First Volunteers, 8/28/61

The legislation that permanently created the Peace Corps had yet to pass the Senate. But the Peace Corps had been launched by an executive order issued in March. And the first Volunteers were about to embark on service in Ghana and Tanganyika.   A moment in time: August 28, 1961. Founding Peace Corps Director R. […]

PEACE CORPS RESPONSE: Stories from Across the Decades and Around the World

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 […]

August 30, 2021

Peace Corps Response: Snapshots from the First Quarter Century

In 2021 Peace Corps Response marks a quarter century since its founding. Some moments that have defined it.   Photo: Community members in a village near Zomba, Malawi, learn to sew reusable sanitary pads for girls. Sheila Matsuda captured the moment as a Response Volunteer in Malawi 2018–19.   Crisis Corps was launched in 1996. At […]

August 22, 2021

Rebuilding After the Rwanda Genocide: The Beginnings of Crisis Corps

A catastrophic humanitarian crisis in 1994 led to the death of millions of Rwandans. A few Returned Peace Corps Volunteers who tried to stem the tide of suffering proved a powerful catalyst for Crisis Corps, a global endeavor launched by the Peace Corps agency two years later. DIGITAL EXCLUSIVE: An excerpt from a story in […]

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 […]

September 11, 2021

Teresa Bonner: “Now you know what it’s like to have a sniper.”

Teresa Bonner Peace Corps Volunteer in Lithuania (1996–98) | Peace Corps Response Volunteer in Bosnia and Herzegovina (2001) As told to Ellery Pollard Photo: Mostar, years after the war. Teresa Bonner arrived there to serve as a Crisis Corps Volunteer in September 2001.   When I became a Peace Corps Volunteer in Lithuania, I expected to go […]

September 7, 2021

Priscilla Goldfarb: Within 48 hours she was on a plane, headed to serve in Katrina relief efforts.

Priscilla Goldfarb Peace Corps Volunteer in Uganda (1965–67) | Crisis Corps Volunteer in Alabama, United States (2005)   By Joshua Berman From the Winter 2010 edition of WorldView  Photo: Priscilla Goldfarb serving as a Crisis Corps Volunteer with FEMA after Hurricane Katrina hit the Gulf Coast. Courtesy Priscilla Goldfarb   Priscilla Goldfarb, a longtime nonprofit executive and former National […]

September 5, 2021

Carlos Jean-Baptiste: When the earthquake hit Haiti, I started trying to find ways to help.

Carlos Jean-Baptiste Peace Corps Volunteer in Kenya (2006–08) and Zambia (2008–09) | Peace Corps Response Volunteer in Haiti (2010) As told to Ellery Pollard Photo: Haiti in the aftermath of the 2010 earthquake: Carlos Jean-Baptiste, in blue shirt, assisting with relief. Courtesy Carlos Jean-Baptiste   I identify as a first-generation Haitian American, born of an immigrant mother. […]

September 4, 2021

Miguelina Cuevas-Post: “It would be wonderful if the world didn’t need a Peace Corps.”

Miguelina Cuevas-Post Peace Corps Volunteer in Jamaica (1976–78) and Belize (2011–13) | Peace Corps Response Volunteer in Jamaica (2016–17) and Belize (2017)   As told to Ellery Pollard   Photo: Students in a Jamaican school where Volunteer Miguelina Cuevas-Post served. Courtesy Miguelina Cuevas-Post   I come from a family that is multiethnic and multicultural, so an […]

September 4, 2021

Yemi Oshodi: “I understood quickly that I couldn’t do it on my own.”

Yemi Oshodi Peace Corps Volunteer in Swaziland (2003–05) | Peace Corps Response Volunteer in St. Lucia (2011–12) | Peace Corps Staff (2011 to present)   As told to Sarah Steindl   Photo: Yemi Oshodi in April 2021, speaking to communities in the Eastern Caribbean after the eruption of La Soufrière, on the main island of St. Vincent […]

September 10, 2021

Marcy Pursell: Last year, all Volunteers were evacuated. I’ve been there, twice.

Marcy Pursell Peace Corps Volunteer in Mali (2011–12) | Peace Corps Response Volunteer in Mali (2015) and Sierra Leone (2016)   As told to Emi Krishnamurthy   Photo: “Saying goodbye again is not the easiest thing in the world,” writes Marcy Pursell. “The man on the left, Hassan, was born on the night of my […]

September 3, 2021

Hilliard Hicks: Reviving Sustainable Aquaculture in the Philippines

Hilliard Hicks Peace Corps Volunteer in South Africa (2014–16) | Peace Corps Response Volunteer in the Philippines (2019–20)   By Hilliard Hicks   Photo: Marine biology students conduct quadrat seagrass surveys in the Philippines. Courtesy Hillard Hicks   In 2020 the world was thrust into a pandemic, which caused more than 7,000 Peace Corps Volunteers […]

September 3, 2021

Annie Eng: One month into work in Georgia, I was evacuated.

Annie Eng Peace Corps Volunteer in Georgia (2020) | Peace Corps Virtual Service Pilot Program (2020–21)   As told to Sarah Steindl   Illustration courtesy Work by For Better Future, a Georgian NGO, whose projects include supporting women entrepreneurs.   I had a friend in Ukraine who was a two-year Volunteer, and seeing all he was […]

September 12, 2021

Judith Jones: “Literacy will improve countries, economies, and social situations.”

Judith Jones Peace Corps Response Volunteer in Belize (2018–20) | Peace Corps Response Volunteer with FEMA in Oregon, United States (2021) As told to Sarah Steindl Photo: Teacher and student at work in Belize. Photo courtesy Judith Jones   My Peace Corps journey was a little bit different. I originally applied to be a two-year Volunteer […]

September 13, 2021

Vishakha Wavde: “This journey has brought me to consider what more I can do.”

Peace Corps Volunteer in Malawi (2018–20) | Peace Corps Response Volunteer with FEMA in United States (2021) As told to Emi Krishnamurthy Photo: Vishakha Wavde has worked in community outreach efforts with FEMA in the U.S. Photo by Eli Wittum   I have been in the health sector my whole life. I’ve been a physical […]

Public Health Is Global Health

September 1, 2021

Public Health Is Global Health

In 2019, Peace Corps Response launched the Advancing Health Professionals program. Then the pandemic hit. By Sarah Steindl   Advancing Health Professionals (AHP) is designed to strengthen health systems in five countries. Photo courtesy Peace Corps   Bolstering public health in communities where Volunteers serve has been part of Peace Corps since the beginning. In […]

September 2, 2021

Dallas Smith: From experts, I learned knowledge passed along generations.

Dallas Smith Peace Corps Volunteer in Cambodia (2017–19) | Peace Corps Response Volunteer in Malawi (2019–20) As told to Emi Krishnamurthy Photo: Baobab tree — used for food and medicine. Photo by Dallas Smith     While earning my Doctor of Pharmacy in the States, I spent a month in India learning about what’s known […]

September 2, 2021

Towela Nyika: “We are trying to achieve health for all.”

Towela Nyika Peace Corps Staff in Malawi (2013–present)   As told to Emi Krishnamurthy   I began with the Peace Corps in 2013 with the Global Health Service Partnership, a public-private partnership to place healthcare professionals as adjunct faculty in medical and nursing schools. When that program ended in 2018, I helped start Advancing Health […]

News and Updates

August 31, 2021

Beginning with Belize: Peace Corps Takes Steps to Return to Service Overseas

The Peace Corps announced on June 30 that it was a step closer to returning Volunteers to overseas service — starting with Belize.   By NPCA Staff Photography by Emily Gale. Pictured here: BRO club members, hijinks, and a freshly painted world map in 2019   The Peace Corps announced on June 30 that it […]

August 24, 2021

Quote: One of their daughters asked, “Why did you send me to school if I must cover myself and can never go to work?”

John W. Bing served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Afghanistan. From a girl in Afghanistan, he shares a painful question she and her family now face.   Photo: One of the women who form Bamiyan Weavers in Afghanistan. Courtesy Bamiyan Weavers   One of their daughters asked, “Why did you send me to school […]

August 31, 2021

Recruiting Volunteers for Viet Nam

Peace Corps Viet Nam is now recruiting the inaugural cohort of Peace Corps Volunteers. And Vice President Kamala Harris officially opened the office in Viet Nam in August. By NPCA Staff   The tweet went out from Peace Corps Viet Nam Country Director Kate Becker in May: “Peace Corps Viet Nam is now recruiting the […]

September 10, 2021

Time to Connect

This year, for the first time, two returned Volunteers in the Midwest reached out to their members of Congress to talk about Peace Corps. That effort made a difference at a critical moment. By Jonathan Pearson   From her home in central Illinois, Nikki Overcash had written to her elected representatives in the past, but she […]

September 9, 2021

Peace Corps Funding: The House Says It’s Time to Invest in More

It has been six years since the Peace Corps received a meaningful increase in its baseline funding. Could this be the year that changes? By Jonathon Pearson Illustration by John S. Dykes   In December 2015, President Obama signed an appropriations bill that provided $410 million for the Peace Corps, an increase of about $30 […]

August 30, 2021

Virtual Service: Going Big

Peace Corps expands the program, launched in 2020, to scores of countries around the world — and opens it to returned Volunteers who have served across the decades. By NPCA Staff   This summer Peace Corps kicked off the third round of the Virtual Service Pilot. Round one launched in October 2020, with a handful […]

August 30, 2021

Here’s Some of the Latest Peace Corps Legislation: Respect for Peace Corps Act, NOVID Against COVID, and an Amendment Missing from the Budget

The Peace Corps Reauthorization Act of 2021 is the biggest, most sweeping piece of legislation affecting the Peace Corps in years. Here are some individual pieces of legislation that you should also know about.   By NPCA Staff   A Sign of Respect Though they may not realize it, Returned Peace Corps Volunteers are not allowed to display […]

September 8, 2021

Have a Seat

A place to pause for peace: David Garcia, president of Returned Peace Corps Volunteers of South Florida, donates a sculpture and bench to Florida International University By NPCA Staff Photography by Vince Rives / Florida International University   There’s a new spot on the campus of Florida International University dedicated to all who have served — […]

People and Ideas

September 13, 2021

“Peace Corps is Just Like Netflix!”

Mapping and reinventing cultures. Radical responsibility. Counting tiles and waiting in line. That long lunch may be your ticket. And other insights from a conversation with business thinker Erin Meyer.     In Erin Meyer’s first book, there’s a point where she assumes the persona of a Danish designer exasperated at how much time she’s […]

September 12, 2021

Metaphors for Thought

The Unruly Sculpture of Joel Shapiro By David Arnold   As a Peace Corps Volunteer in south India in the mid-1960s, Joel Shapiro taught villagers how to dig latrines, build smokeless ovens, and utilize night soil for more productive vegetable gardens, among other sustainability initiatives. More than 50 years later, his sculptures and works on […]

August 30, 2021

Madame Presidents

Meet the new presidents of the Poetry Foundation and the YMCA of the USA. For the first time at both of these venerable institutions, there’s a woman at the helm.   Michelle Boone President of the Poetry Foundation CHAD | 1994–96 Photo courtesy the Poetry Foundation   Named in April as the new president of […]

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 […]

August 29, 2021

Notable: Recent Awards for Four Members of the Peace Corps Community

Honors from the University of California, the Republic of Mali, Dartmouth College, and Bucknell University By NPCA Staff       Maureen Orth | Colombia 1964–66 Maureen Orth received a 2021 Campanile Excellence in Achievement Award from the Cal Alumni Association, in partnership with the University of California, Berkeley Foundation, for pushing boundaries whenever possible. She is an award-winning journalist, […]

August 28, 2021

The M’s Did It for Her

D-M-H-A … and what words begin to appear?   Miriam Welderufael (Paraguay 2013–16) finished her appearance on “Wheel of Fortune” in February 2021 with a moment of true delight in the bonus round. Welderufael is a portfolio manager at AmeriCorps in Los Angeles. After choosing her letters, she had 10 seconds to solve the puzzle — a […]

August 28, 2021

Unleashing Climate Innovation

Audrey Zibelman takes on responsibilities as vice president at X, the Moonshot Factory, leading work to decarbonize the electrical grid.   By NPCA Staff   This year Audrey Zibelman (Chad 1977–79) took up a new post as vice president at X, the Moonshot Factory, where she works to develop tools and capabilities to decarbonize the electrical system. […]

August 28, 2021

#StartSmall and Think Global

Inspired by Peace Corps experience, the Women’s Global Education Project gets a boost from Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey   By NPCA Staff Photo: Women’s Global Education Project scholars. Photo courtesy WGEP   Following her Peace Corps service (Senegal 1996–99), Amy Maglio founded the Women’s Global Education Project, a nonprofit organization with a goal of helping young girls across […]

August 29, 2021

Taiwan Trip: Former U.S. Senator Chris Dodd and Two Former Secretaries of State Formed an Unofficial Delegation in April

The trio’s arrival coincided with an increase in military activity by China. The visit was meant to reassure Taiwan that the U.S. is a “reliable and trusted friend.”   By NPCA Staff   Flag image from Wikimedia Commons   Former U.S. senator and Returned Peace Corps Volunteer Chris Dodd, along with two former deputy secretaries of state, […]

August 28, 2021

China Farewell, Again

Renowned writer Peter Hessler had planned on spending five years back in China with his wife and daughters. But the university he was teaching at did not renew his contract.   By NPCA Staff   Writer Peter Hessler made an unexpectedly early return to the U.S. this summer. In 2019, the New Yorker correspondent, who served with Peace Corps […]

A Scholar Who Changed Our Worldview. A Diplomat Committed to Peace and Democracy in the Caribbean.

June 22, 2021

Serving as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Nigeria Changed Charles Larson’s Worldview. So He Embarked on a Life-long Journey to Bring Works by African Writers to U.S. Readers.

A remembrance: As a scholar, he profoundly shaped the study of African literature. And his work illuminated the pages of WorldView magazine for years. By David Arnold Charles Larson. Photo courtesy the Larson family.   When his papers were archived at the Harry Ransom Center at the University of Texas at Austin, African literature scholar Charles R. […]

August 27, 2021

Remembering Some We’ve Lost: Ambassador Larry L. Palmer

He began his career as a teacher with the Peace Corps | 1949–2021   He was a diplomat who devoted decades to advancing peace, prosperity, equality, and democracy in the Caribbean. Peace Corps service set him on that path. Equipped with a bachelor’s from Emory University, he headed to Liberia as a Volunteer (1971–73) and taught […]

Letters

August 27, 2021

Letters: Readers respond to the Spring 2021 edition of WorldView

Letters, emails, LinkedIn and Instagram comments, Facebook posts, tweets, and other missives: Readers respond to the stories in words and images in the Spring 2021 edition of WorldView. We’re happy to continue the conversation here and on all those nifty social media platforms. One way to write us: [email protected]     Sixty Years of Peace Corps Thanks for another great […]

You can make a difference.

August 31, 2020

Where We’re Going

We’ve got some learning and some work to do. That’s true for the Peace Corps community. For this nation. For this planet. We’re facing hard questions and grappling with systemic injustices that have been centuries in the making. We envision a vibrant and united community, here at home and around the world. What we do know: Working together as partners is essential. Rok Locksley is […]

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WorldView magazine brings you stories from and about the greater Peace Corps community, with connections to the wider world. We feature news, profiles, commentary and analysis, politics, arts, and ideas with a global perspective. We publish quarterly in print, with digital features throughout the year.

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We welcome pitches and, on rare occasions, completed pieces. What are we looking for? Stories that speak to the Peace Corps community. That might be focused on work connected to Peace Corps, returned Volunteers, communities and countries where Volunteers have served, connections to experiences and work in the U.S. and globally. We’re interested in ideas and impact and stories that connect with readers on a human level.

 

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About the Editor

Steven Boyd Saum is editor of WorldView. For more than two decades he has edited award-winning magazines in the San Francisco Bay Area. His journalism, essays, and fiction have appeared in OrionThe BelieverCreative NonfictionThe Kenyon ReviewChristian Science Monitor, on KQED FM, and in other magazines and newspapers in the U.S. and internationally. He served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Ukraine, where he also directed the Fulbright program and hosted a radio show. Send a letter to the editor: [email protected].

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