American TESOL Institute & World Wise Schools


World Wise Schools has matched up Peace Corps Volunteer Julia H. with American TESOL Institute for a two-year exchange of ideas, stories, pictures, and artifacts that help ATI students in the classroom learn about the people, geography, environment, and the culture of the world.

Hey ATI students! Mwa la la po? (how are you all in Oshiwambo, the local language). My name is Julie and I'm currently a Peace Corps volunteer serving in Namibia in Southern Africa and will be here for 2 years. I arrived in Namibia in August when I completed a two-month training program in a town called Okahandja. The training consisted of medical, safety, technical, cultural and language sessions from 8:30 to 5 everyday during the week and sometimes even on Saturdays! There were 45 Americans with us from all over the US since the beginning and we spent all that time together so you can imagine we all became pretty good friends. While in Okahandja, we all lived in different neighborhoods with host families so it was a really good introduction to Namibia and its people and culture.

After 8 weeks as Peace Corps trainees in Okahandja, we swore in as volunteers on October 16 and moved to our sites the next day! The volunteers in our group are spread out throughout the entire country and the majority of our group are English, Science, or Math teachers since we are all education volunteers (there are also health volunteers in Namibia). I am a bit of a special case because although technically I am lumped in with the education volunteers, I actually am not a teacher at a school. I am an ICT Volunteer (Information and Communications Technology) and am working at a community library at my site. Of our group, there are four ICT Volunteers and only two of us won't be at schools.

So now that you have the background, I can tell you a little bit about my site, which I have been at now for two weeks! I was placed in a small town called Omuthiya in Owamboland which consists of four regions in the Northern part of the country. Omuthiya was recently proclaimed a town and is definitely in the PROCESS of developing. I kind of feel like I have the best of both worlds here since I do have some of the amenities of a town but also live 4km off the main road (about an hour's walk) in a village. I definitely mean *some* amenities since there is no grocery store here and I have to travel 80km to my shopping town of Ondangwa to buy food! I am living on a traditional Owambo homestead with a host family who are really awesome. A homestead is a collection of huts and houses owned by one extended family and surrounded by a ton of land. My Meme and Tate (Mother & Father in Oshiwambo) are older and their kids are all grown and have moved away but there are several Namibian students (or learners, as they are called here) who live here and help out because of the homestead's proximity to local schools. Additionally, there are several farmers who also live and work here. I have my own little 4-room concrete house on the homestead and there is no electricity or running water. There is a water tap in a different section of the homestead so I am able to fetch water whenever I need it. A lot of other volunteers on homesteads have bucket showers and pit latrines but I am lucky enough to have a flush toilet and (cold!) shower which are both located in another little house on the homestead.

My job is still pretty new which means I'm still getting the hang of things and figuring things out but I'm really liking it so far. I am currently helping to open a new library in town which has included setting up a computer lab there, helping to move in furniture, facilitating setting up the internet, and organizing and shelving books. Organizing the books is what my days mostly consist of right now. It's very time consuming! I can't wait for the library to actually be open. I have lots of ideas for what I want to do there when community members start using it!

So that's a little snapshot of my life right now. It's all very new and exciting and I'm really liking it! Where are some of the places that you all will be teaching? What are some of your reasons for wanting to teach abroad?? I'd love to hear about you guys!! Feel free to e-mail with any questions - I'll do my best to answer you as quickly as I can. Talk to you soon!!


Peace Corps announces 2019 top volunteer-producing schools

WASHINGTON ? The University of Wisconsin-Madison boasts the No. 1 spot for large schools on Peace Corps? Top Volunteer-Producing Colleges and Universities list, with 75 volunteers serving around the world. For the third consecutive year, Wisconsin holds the coveted top spot, but Badgers beware: the University of Virginia Cavaliers are closing the gap, jumping from No. 15 to No. 2 in just two years. With 74 UVA alumni serving as Peace Corps volunteers, the school slides into a close second place on this year?s rankings.

?We have seen time and again that the colleges and universities that produce the most Peace Corps volunteers focus on cultivating global citizens in addition to promoting scholarship,? said Peace Corps Director Jody Olsen. ?I am proud that so many graduates of these esteemed institutions leverage their educations to make the world a better place. They bring critical skills to communities around the world and gain hands-on, life-changing experience along the way.?

The University of California ? Berkeley comes in at No. 11 on the large school list, but has sent over 3,500 alumni to Peace Corps service since 1961, more than any other school. Meanwhile, Arizona State University and The University of Arizona continue to duke it out in the desert. Currently 44 Sun Devils and 46 Wildcats are working in communities around the world with the Peace Corps.

The George Washington University sent 54 alumni to the international volunteer agency, landing it first place among all medium-sized schools. American University takes second place on the medium schools list for the second year in a row, and although Western Washington University was unranked last year, this year it has shot up to the No. 5 spot.

Pacific Lutheran University leaped from No. 22 to No. 5 on the list for small schools, and St. Lawrence and Macalester hold first and second place, respectively. Over the past three years, Hobart and William Smith Colleges consistently ranks in the top five volunteer-producing schools and rolls in at No. 3 in the small colleges category in 2019.

Among graduate schools, New York University went from being unranked for over a decade to holding the No. 6 spot in 2019. Although Tulane ranks third for medium-sized schools for undergraduate students, it secured the first place position among graduate schools.

The Peace Corps ranks its top volunteer-producing colleges and universities annually according to the size of the student body. Below find the top five schools in each category and the number of alumni currently serving as Peace Corps volunteers. View the complete 2019 rankings of the top 25 schools in each category here and find an interactive map that shows where alumni from each college and university are serving here.

Large Colleges & Universities ? Total Volunteers:

More than 15,000 Undergraduates

1) University of Wisconsin-Madison ? 75

2) University of Virginia ? 74

3) University of Minnesota ? 70

4) University of Michigan - Ann Arbor ? 63

5) Ohio State University - Columbus ? 62

5) University of Washington ? 62

5) University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill ? 62

Medium Colleges & Universities ? Total Volunteers:

Between 5,000 and 15,000 undergraduates

1) George Washington University ? 54

2) American University ? 51

3) Tulane University ? 44

4) College of William and Mary ? 40

5) Western Washington University ? 32

Small Colleges & Universities ? Total Volunteers:

Fewer than 5,000 undergraduates

1) St. Lawrence University ? 20

2) Macalester College ? 19

3) Hobart and William Smith Colleges ? 16

4) University of Redlands ? 15

5) Pacific Lutheran University ? 14

Graduate Schools ? Total Volunteers:

1) Tulane University ? 20

2) University of Michigan - Ann Arbor ? 18

3) University of South Florida ? 16

4) American University ?15

4) University of Denver ? 15

6) George Washington University ? 14

6) New York University ? 14

Historical, Since 1961 ? Total Volunteers:

1) University of California - Berkeley ? 3,685

2) University of Wisconsin - Madison ? 3,299

3) University of Washington ? 3,041

4) University of Michigan - Ann Arbor ? 2,734

5) University of Colorado - Boulder ? 2,512

*Rankings are calculated based on fiscal year 2018 data as of September 30, 2018, as self-reported by Peace Corps volunteers.

Publ.Date : Wed, 20 Mar 2019 13:08:49 +0000

State Department forum explores ?Lasting Value of Peace Corps Service?

WASHINGTON ? Peace Corps Director Jody Olsen joined returned Peace Corps volunteers and members of the diplomatic community March 12 for a forum at the State Department entitled ?The Lasting Value of Peace Corps Service.?

Hosted by the State Department employee affinity group Returned Peace Corps Volunteers @ State, the event was held in the Dean Acheson Auditorium and livestreamed for staff at U.S. embassies around the world.

The roundtable conversation and Q&A focused on how Peace Corps service shapes the personal and professional lives of returned volunteers.

?Serving in a rural area, being the only American that hundreds of people will ever meet?that is a really powerful thing,? said Emily Armitage, who was a Peace Corps volunteer in Bulgaria before joining the State Department.

Armitage recalled visiting with the people of her village in the months before Bulgaria entered the European Union and how valuable it was to be able to listen to their concerns and hear about their hopes for the future of their country.

?Take every opportunity that?s offered to you as a volunteer,? said Armitage, sharing guidance she offers to undergraduate students who are considering the Peace Corps. ?We will never have that same opportunity to integrate.?

Asked about skills he developed during his time as a volunteer in Cameroon, State Department employee John Underriner cited the resiliency and resourcefulness he discovered while facing challenges far away from home and family.

Those experiences have stayed with him throughout his career, he said. ?You needed to develop different ways to do things, different ways to communicate: cross-cultural, language, and non-verbal communication,? said Underriner.

Katherine Harris, also a member of the State Department staff, talked about how she stays in touch with the people she lived and worked with as a Peace Corps volunteer in the Dominican Republic via the apps on her cell phone.

She said hearing from her friends and neighbors in the Caribbean, and their children, enriches her life here in Washington: ?They reach out to me just to update me on their daily lives?it?s a connection that can never break.?

Director Olsen expressed her gratitude to the State Department for its continued support for Peace Corps programming and its recognition of the many contributions made by the more than 235,000 returned volunteers across the U.S.

?All of you believed in the power of volunteers to reach out to people at the local level,? said Olsen. ?Thank you for the commitment to a lifetime of service that all of you have made.?

This week?s event was the first in what the agency hopes will be a series of conversations with returned volunteers from across the country to gain insights on the impact of Peace Corps service on their lives.

Publ.Date : Fri, 15 Mar 2019 19:42:58 +0000

Peace Corps Director discusses importance of women?s empowerment on International Women?s Day

WASHINGTON ? Peace Corps Director Jody Olsen spoke yesterday, March 7, about the Peace Corps? role in the Women?s Global Development and Prosperity initiative (W-GDP) and the importance of expanding economic opportunities for women worldwide at an event held in recognition of International Women?s Day at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS).

?With this initiative, we are able to celebrate the enormous number of projects volunteers have that are empowering women to do more to strengthen their communities,? said Director Olsen of W-GDP. ?It?s about helping them have a voice and helping them develop their own skills. One of the most important things I think we can give women is a voice to have the power to engage in their communities economically.?

Last night?s event is part of the Smart Women, Smart Power speaker series initiative that brings together women leaders in foreign policy, national security, international business and international development. The discussion was moderated by Nina Easton, a journalist and senior associate at CSIS.

Launched in February by President Donald J. Trump and Advisor to the President Ivanka Trump, W-GDP is an effort to promote global women?s economic empowerment through the work of the U.S. government and in concert with local and national partners around the world.

The Peace Corps has helped to advance women?s empowerment as a pillar of development for over 58 years ? recognizing that expanding opportunities for women transforms their futures and their communities. In 2017, more than 230,000 women participated in economic empowerment initiatives led by Peace Corps volunteers.

As part of the Peace Corps? commitment to supporting W-GDP, the agency will increase small-grant funding to specific Peace Corps volunteer projects eligible to receive funding from the Peace Corps Partnership Program (PCPP). The new W-GDP fund will go directly to supporting community-initiated, volunteer-led projects in countries around the world.

Click here to read more about how Peace Corps volunteer projects are helping to empower women worldwide. Watch Director Olsen's full remarks at CSIS here.

Publ.Date : Fri, 08 Mar 2019 15:03:51 +0000

Peace Corps celebrates 58 years during Peace Corps Week

WASHINGTON ? Every year, Peace Corps Week memorializes PresidentJohn F. Kennedy?s establishment of the Peace Corps on March 1, 1961, andcelebrates the many ways the agency makes a positive impact incommunities around the world. Throughout the week, the Peace Corps communitywill participate in events that celebrate and recognize its 58th birthday. Thisyear, Peace Corps Week will run from Feb. 24 to March 2.

?Peace Corps Week is an opportunity to pause and reflect on thegreat work that volunteers, both currently serving and returned, do in theircommunities at home and abroad,? says Peace Corps Director Jody Olsen. ?I wouldlike to personally thank each and every member of the Peace Corps community fortheir dedication to service, their passion for peace, and their willingness toengage in cross-cultural exchange. Your work does not go unnoticed, and thisweek is to celebrate you.?

In the lead up to Peace Corps Week, the Peace Corps launched itsannual video challenge that asks current and returned volunteers to submitfilms focused on a particular theme. The 2019 theme is "A day in the life"and aims to show what a dayin the life of a volunteer, host family member, counterpart or community memberlooks like around the world. The video contest challenges volunteers andreturned volunteers to support the Third Goal of Peace Corps, which is topromote a better understanding among Americans of foreign cultures and peoples.

Over 20 Peace Corps Week events are taking place across thecountry from Feb. 24 to March 1. Activities include discussion panels withreturned volunteers, structured diversity dialogs, recruitment events, storiesfrom the field and film screenings. Returned volunteers participating in theseevents will share photos, music, culture and stories from their countries ofservice with those who are interested.

In addition to Peace Corps Week events, there are severalactivities returned volunteers can participate in to commemorate theestablishment of Peace Corps, such as hosting festivals, speaking about theirservice at local schools or writing blog posts. For a full list of suggestedactivities, visit the Peace Corps Week page.

Publ.Date : Mon, 25 Feb 2019 13:42:45 +0000

Agency recognizes the contributions of black Americans in the Peace Corps

WASHINGTON? In honor of Black History Month, thePeace Corps recognizes the important contributions black volunteers and staffhave made to the agency?s mission and promoting cross-cultural understandingaround the globe.

In 2018, 650 volunteers who identify as blackserved in communities around the world. Below are the stories of five individuals who help make up the rich tapestry of the Peace Corps community.


Cymone Wilson is a first-generation American whoseparents grew up in Jamaica. When her father told her about the Peace Corpsvolunteers he knew while growing up on the island, Cymone was inspired to apply and was accepted as an education volunteer in southeasternJamaica.

Returning to the country where her parents wereborn and raised brought Cymone a special insight into her own culture andbackground. ?I did not know certain things that my parents did or said?such asputting condensed milk in [their] coffee, or the immaculate way Jamaicansclean?were uniquely Jamaican until I lived with another Jamaican family,? shesays.

Cymone has also beenable to reflect on what it meant for her parents to leave their home and moveto the United States. ?I used to be upset that my parents chose to moveto the United States because of the cold winters in Chicago, where we lived," she says. "Now, after having lived and worked in Jamaica for over two years, I have somuch respect for the courage my family had to move to the U.S. and start over.Dad went on to graduate engineering school and Mom became a nurse. They workedso hard to give me and my siblings a better life. I now understand some of thedifficulties they faced, and am so proud they were able to thrive [in the UnitedStates].?

Cymone and her host mother, Pauline


Maya Killingsworth, a Peace Corps volunteer inArmenia, wanted to open a dialogue in her largely homogeneouscommunity aboutAfrican American experiences and perspectives. In order to do this, Mayacreated A.C.T. (African-Americans Challenging Traditions).

?Westarted working on trainings, educational tools and curriculum that teachesArmenians about the diversity that exists in America, about our struggle inAmerica and how that translates into our experiences as volunteers in Armenia,?she says.

Alongwith fellow Peace Corps volunteer, Alicia Easley, Maya led a discussion seriesin the capital city, entitled ?Black in Armenia: Bridging the Gap,? whichdiscussed topics such as identity, race, stereotypes, cultural appropriation,and black history. A.C.T. plans to spread these discussions to other regionsthroughout Armenia in order to contribute to the creation of a positivecultural exchange and a more open and inclusive environment.

Maya created A.C.T. (African-Americans Challenging Traditions) to create discussions around diversity and identity in her Armenian community

South Africa

Health volunteer Joseph Gomes, of Central Falls, Rhode Island, isjust one of the many black Americans who are using their skills and educationalbackground to support under-resourced communities around the world. Afterwitnessing how much HIV impacted his host village in rural South Africa, Josephhas devoted much of his service to helping his counterpart, Mxolisi, sensitizetheir community about the harmfulness of stigmatizing the virus. With anacademic background in health studies and political science, Joseph brings askill set that effectively supports the work that community leaders in his areaare already doing.

?Beyond raising awareness, Mxolisiand I are proud that we worked to encourage these difficult and uncomfortableconversations,? Joseph says. ?Together, we helped our community members becomemore inclusive and understanding.?

Joseph works with young people to try and end stigmatization of HIV in their community

Peace Corpsstaff

During the month of February, Peace Corps would also like torecognize and remember black leaders that have impacted the agency in positiveand lasting ways. One of these leaders is Carolyn R. Payton, who, in 1977,became both the first African American Director of the agency and the firstfemale to hold the role. As Director, Payton believed in reflecting America'sdiversity in the corps of volunteers, and worked tirelessly to convince youngpeople that Peace Corps service would enrich their lives.

Corolyn R. Payton is the first female Director of Peace Corps, as well as the first African American Director.

Another notable leader is Dr. James E. Blackwell, an Anniston,Alabama native who served as the Acting Country Director of the Peace CorpsTanzania post, and later as the Country Director at the Peace Corps Malawi postin the early 1960s. Of his and his wife?s time in Africa, Dr. Blackwell says,?We were young. We thought we could really make the world a better place.?

Outside of his achievements with the international volunteer agency,Dr. Blackwell is a celebrated author, was the first President of the Association of Black Sociologists, and served as a major consultant to the NAACP Legal Defense Fund and to the Office of the Attorney General for the State of Maryland defending affirmative action programs.

Dr. James E. Blackwell has a long list of achievements, including his time as Acting Country Director and Country Director for the Peace Corps.

The Peace Corps is proud to reflect the rich diversity of America incountries around the world. The agency promotes a culture of inclusion,acceptance and celebration of individuals from all backgrounds.

Publ.Date : Mon, 11 Feb 2019 17:43:47 +0000

Peace Corps sends over 300 Americans to service abroad in January

WASHINGTON ? Over 300 Americans departed in January forPeace Corps service. They will spend the next two years working with communitiesin Albania, Ecuador, Ethiopia, Ghana, Myanmar, South Africa and Thailand. PeaceCorps Response volunteers will undertake shorter-term, high-impact serviceassignments in China, Eswatini, Liberia, Malawi, Peru, Rwanda, Ukraine andZambia.

The new trainees gathered at staging events across theUnited States, including the District of Columbia, Los Angeles, Miami andPhiladelphia. These pre-departure orientations are the first stage of PeaceCorps service for trainees where they receive a stateside introduction tovolunteer safety and service aboard.

?Welcoming new Peace Corps trainees to Ecuador is anexciting part of my job,? said Peace Corps Ecuador Country Director MichaelDonald. ?The trainees bring with them different skills and life experiencesthat will enrich their communities in Ecuador and the Peace Corps community asa whole.?

Following their pre-departure orientations, the trainees were welcomedto their host countries by Peace Corps staff and will spend the next severalweeks in pre-service training to learn the language, intercultural, safety andtechnical skills needed for successful volunteer service.Pictured below are several of the new cohorts.


Since 1962, when Peace Corps Ecuador was established, nearly 7,000 volunteers have served in all four regions of the country. The newest group of 39 trainees will serve as education volunteers.


In Ethiopia, over 3,500 Peace Corps volunteers have served since 1962. The new trainees, pictured here upon arrival, will work as health and agriculture volunteers and learn to speak local languages, including Afan-Oromo, Amharic and Tigrinya.


Over 700 Peace Corps volunteers have served in Albania since 1992. The newest group of trainees will be working in the health, education and community organizational development sectors.


The Peace Corps? most recent program in Myanmar was established in 2016. The 34 new English education trainees will learn to speak Burmese.


In January, 59 new Peace Corps trainees join the over 5,000 Americans who have served in Thailand since 1962. Peace Corps volunteers in Thailand serve in the education and youth in development sectors.


Ghana?s new group of 37 trainees will work in the health and agriculture sectors. They join the ranks of over 4,500 Peace Corps volunteers who have served in Ghana since 1961.


Malawi welcomed three Peace Corps Response volunteers who will work on health and education projects in the small, land-locked country.


In Liberia, seven new Peace Corps Response volunteers will be working in health, education and gender. They are the 26th group of Peace Corps Response volunteers to serve in Liberia.


Four new Peace Corps Response volunteers joined the over 3,500 Peace Corps volunteers who have served in Peru since 1962. They are pictured here with their new counterparts.

Publ.Date : Wed, 06 Feb 2019 18:47:23 +0000

Former Peace Corps trainee sentenced in case of video voyeurism

WASHINGTON ? On January 24, 2019, former PeaceCorps trainee Matthew Walker, 31, was sentenced by a federal magistrate judge to3 years of probation and 30 days of intermittent confinement for committingacts of video voyeurism. He was sentenced at the U.S. District Court in theNorthern District of Florida in Pensacola, Florida.

On November 13, 2018, Walker pled guilty to threecounts of video voyeurism stemming from conduct he engaged in while a PeaceCorps trainee in Zambia in 2016. Walker admitted to using his GoPro camera onthree occasions to record a fellow trainee, without consent, while the fellowtrainee was naked and changing in areas where the fellow trainee had areasonable expectation of privacy.

Inspector General Kathy A. Buller said of thematter, ?My office is committed to helping promote the safety and wellbeing ofVolunteers, and in trying to deter similar behavior in the future. Videovoyeurism is not just unacceptable behavior, it?s a crime that is a seriousviolation of privacy and trust, and the consequences for victims can besignificant to their emotional wellbeing. I hope that our investigative work,and our partnership with the Department of Justice, help ensure those whocommit serious misconduct against our Volunteers are held accountable.?

This case was investigated by the Peace CorpsOffice of Inspector General (OIG) and was jointly prosecuted by Department ofJustice Trial Attorney Clayton O?Connor of the Criminal Division?s Human Rightsand Special Prosecutions Section and Assistant U.S. Attorney Corey Smith of theNorthern District of Florida.

The Peace Corps Office of Inspector General is anindependent entity within the Peace Corps. Through audits, evaluations, andinvestigations, OIG provides oversight of agency programs and operations. OIGcombats fraud, waste, abuse, and mismanagement in the programs and operationsof the Peace Corps to help the Peace Corps achieve its goals with integrity andefficiency.

Publ.Date : Tue, 29 Jan 2019 21:04:11 +0000

Peace Corps announces top volunteer-producing states in 2018

District of Columbia holds No. 1 spot for secondyear; Massachusetts enters top ten for first time

WASHINGTON ? Peace Corpsreleased today its 2018 rankings of the top volunteer-producing states across thecountry. The nation?s capital is again the largest producer of volunteers percapita, after claiming the top spot in 2017 from longtime front-runner Vermont.

Forthe first time in history, Massachusetts makes the rankings, securing the No.10 spot among states producing the largest number of total volunteers. At thetop of the list, California and New York continue their decade-long streak asthe No. 1 and No. 2 states, respectively.

Aftera two-year hiatus, New Hampshire is back on the per capita rankings at No. 7. Notably,Virginia, Maryland and Washington made both the top volunteer-producing states percapita and the total volunteer lists for the third year in a row.

?Encouraging allAmericans, from every corner of our country, to become involved ininternational service is something that continues to be at the forefront of mymind,? said Peace Corps Director Jody Olsen. ?At the Peace Corps, we recognizethe leaders who cultivate a culture of service in their states. Communitiesacross America are embracing the domestic dividend of returned Peace Corpsvolunteers and, today, we celebrate these global citizens who contribute somuch to our country.?

PeaceCorps is unique among service organizations because volunteers live and work atthe community level. Service in the Peace Corps is a life-defining, hands-onleadership experience that offers volunteers the opportunity to travel to thefarthest corners of the world and make a lasting difference in the lives ofothers. Applicants can apply to specific programs by visiting the Peace Corps websiteand connectingwith a recruiter.

Below find thenation?s top volunteer-producing states for 2018.View the list of volunteer numbers from all 50 states here.

2018 TopStates ? Per Capita (# of volunteers per 100,000 residents)

1.District of Columbia ? 14.8

2. Vermont? 6.9

3. Montana? 4.6

4. Oregon? 4.4

5.Virginia ? 4.3

6.Maryland ? 4.2

7. NewHampshire ? 4.1

8. Maine ?4.0

8.Colorado ? 4.0

8. RhodeIsland ? 4.0

11.Washington ? 3.8

11.Minnesota ? 3.8

2018 TopStates ? Total Volunteers

1.California ? 836

2. NewYork ? 475

3.Virginia ? 364

4. Texas ?351

5.Illinois ? 312

6. Florida? 311

7.Pennsylvania ? 291

8.Washington ? 285

9.Maryland ? 257

10.Massachusetts ? 242

*PeaceCorps data current as of September 30, 2018. The metropolitan area data used todetermine Peace Corps? rankings are derived from the most current U.S. CensusBureau ?Metropolitan and Micropolitan Statistical Area? data. Volunteersself-report their home city and state on their Peace Corps application.

Publ.Date : Thu, 13 Dec 2018 14:03:34 +0000

Thousands of volunteers support healthy communities, make strides in HIV prevention

Health is Peace Corps? second largest sector, comprising 20% of allvolunteers.

WASHINGTON ? Today, nearly 1,500 Americans are serving asPeace Corps health volunteers in 34 countries. Health volunteers are working toimprove basic care for people and communities at the grassroots level, wherethe needs are most pressing and where their impact is the most significant.

Watch: Build Healthy Global Communities

On Wednesday, at anevent held at Peace Corps headquarters in recognitionof World AIDS Day, Peace Corps Chief of Staff Michelle Brooks acknowledged the contributions of Peace Corps volunteers tothe HIV epidemic response ? just one example of the Peace Corps? uniqueniche in global health.

?PeaceCorps volunteers were enlisted to play an important role at the grassrootslevel and we jumped right in, engaging in this new endeavor in the areas of prevention and care,? said Brooks. ?Now, 15 years later, we are seeing thetransformational impact of PEPFAR, which has saved more than 16 million livesand fostered incredible partnerships with country governments, multilateralinstitutions, civil society, faith-based groups, the private sector,foundations and others.?

Over 1,100 volunteers focus on HIV/AIDS education, preventionand care, either exclusively or as part of comprehensive community healthprojects. Peace Corps contributes to the global response to HIV through the President?sEmergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), theagency?s largest external partner. Volunteers train youth as peer educators, supportchildren orphaned by HIV/AIDS, and create programs that address the needs of familiesand communities affected by the epidemic. In 2018, Peace Corps volunteersreached nearly 160,000 people through comprehensive HIV prevention interventions, including referrals for HIVtesting.

Peace Corps staff share their visions of an HIV-free generation.

In addition to HIV/AIDS, Peace Corps volunteers are working to address issuesof infant and maternal morbidity and mortality, water and sanitation, nutrition,and youth health and well-being. Health volunteers promote preventativeeducation, strengthen technical capacity, and organize communities and healthworkers to provide targeted services.

Many health volunteers return from their Peace Corps service to pursuecareers in public health and medicine, including serving in leading healthorganizations, such as the U.S. Agency for International Development, the Centersfor DiseaseControl and Prevention, World Health Organization, HealthResources and Services Administration, National Institutes of Health, and more.

Read stories fromhealth volunteers here.

Publ.Date : Wed, 28 Nov 2018 15:25:47 +0000

At 35, Small Project Assistance Program continues to deliver sustainable impact

WASHINGTON? Peace Corps Director Jody Olsen joined USAID Counselor Chris Milligan to commemoratethe 35th anniversary of the Small Project Assistance (SPA) Program. The jointcollaboration has supported more than 25,000 projects and 2,800 trainingactivities in 116 countries over the past three decades. On Monday, at aco-hosted event held at Peace Corps headquarters, Director Olsen shared successstories and the results of a new,jointly-funded external report thatevaluated the program?s effectiveness.

Peace Corps Director Jody Olsen joined USAID Counselor Chris Milligan to commemorate the 35th anniversary of the Small Project Assistance (SPA) Program.

?Whetherincreasing local water access in The Gambia, developing waste managementsolutions in Tonga, or mobilizing civic sector organizations around foodinsecurity in Macedonia, the SPA Program helps to catalyze community-led development,?said Director Olsen. ?Time and again, we have seen the ripple effect of the programgo well beyond a single grant, and last long after the end of an individualPeace Corps volunteer?s service. Now we have the hard data to prove it, thanksto a robust external evaluation of the SPA Program.?

Nearly$76 million in USAID funds, the service of thousands of Peace Corps Volunteers,and the contributions of millions of community stakeholders have enabled the SPAProgram to support community development projects tailored to reflect localdevelopment priorities across 116 countries. Projects take place across all PeaceCorps sectors, including agriculture, economic development, education, environment,health and youth development. The average SPA project is supported by communitycontributions that total over 40 percent of project costs, demonstrating abuilt-in level of local investment and ownership.

Inan average year, over 275,000 community members worldwide participate in morethan 500 SPA grant projects. These projects and trainings provide valuableskills and knowledge transfer that empower communities to find innovative,local solutions to their development needs. According to the external SPAProgram evaluation, over 70 percentof communities independently maintain projects after a grant has ended, andnearly 30 percent expand upon the project through new development efforts. Theevaluation findings affirm the program's long-term, sustainable impact incommunities around the world.

Learnmore about SPA projects here.

Publ.Date : Mon, 26 Nov 2018 21:26:58 +0000