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 Volunteers Celebrate Ramadan Worldwide

WASHINGTON ? As the sun sets over the LubomboMountains, Peace Corps volunteer Nada Mayswill mark her last Ramadan inSwaziland, where she has served as a health educator since June 2016.

?Fasting in the community has been a peacefuland inspiring experience,? said Mays of Stockton, NJ. ?Being an activevolunteer goes hand-in-hand with Ramadan. It is spiritually motivating andmotivating spiritually to be here during this special month.?

Peace Corps volunteers around the worldhave been observing the holy Islamic month of Ramadan with their communities.Currently, 10 of the Peace Corps? 64 countries are in predominantly Muslimcountries and these programs account for 18 percent of all Peace Corpsvolunteers.

Peace Corps volunteers inIndonesiaandMoroccoare sharing their Ramadan stories and experiences on Instagram using the hashtag #RamadanInstaChallenge. In Morocco, Matt Rogers, a youth development volunteer from Portland, OR, has found the month of fasting a great way to meet families in his community. He wrote ablogabout his experience.

?Most of my friends and their families now know that I'm not Muslim, yet they happily welcome me to iftar (the breaking of the daily fast),? said Rogers. ?Observing Ramadan gave me an extra push to meet more people, which eventually led to more friendships and work opportunities.?

In the predominantly Christian country of Swaziland, Mays found a mosque to call home and is open with her community about her Muslim faith. Last year she cooked a small feast for her host family to celebrate Eid al-Fitr, the holiday marking the end of Ramadan.

?People here are accepting and full of hospitality,? said Mays. ?I learned about them and they learned about me. My favorite thing about my community is the love that its members have for one another. People are so generous and share so much even though at times they have very little.?

For Peace Corps volunteer Rehan Khan, observing Ramadan in The Gambia is a time of reflection and togetherness with fellow Muslims.

?I feel even closer to the members of my community during this time due to the fact that we are all Muslim,? said Khan who is from Winter Garden, FL. ?My fellow villagers told me it would be very difficult to fast in The Gambia versus America, but I found that to be very untrue. Fasting alongside friends and family in The Gambia has been a very rewarding experience for me and has brought me much closer to my village community.?

Publ.Date : Thu, 14 Jun 2018 18:28:20 +0000

Peace Corps Honored for Excellence in Financial Reporting and Accountability

WASHINGTON? The Peace Corps won its 11th consecutive Certificate of Excellencein Accountability Reporting (CEAR) award for its proven track record offinancial transparency. The Association of Government Accountants (AGA) presentsthe CEAR award to federal agencies annually for producing high-quality Performanceand Accountability Reports or Agency Financial Reports. The agency will behonored in a ceremony this evening.

?As afederal agency, we answer to the American people ? a responsibility we takeseriously at the Peace Corps,? says newly appointed Chief Financial Officer RichardSwarttz. ?I am proud to join a team that is committed to better reporting yearover year. I thank both Andrew Pierce and Paul Shea for demonstrating strongleadership during their respective terms as Acting Chief Financial Officer.?

Forits creativity and innovative thinking in financial reporting, the Peace Corps isalso the proud recipient of several special awards for agencies that go aboveand beyond reporting requirements. The Peace Corps was recognized with ?Best Presentationof Performance,? ?Most Creative and Innovative Report,? and ?Most Comprehensiveand Candid Presentation of Forward-Looking Information? in fiscal years2014-2016. This year?s award-winning FY 2017 agency financial report isavailable here.

TheCEAR award program was started by the AGA to encourage and incentivize federalagencies to make the best use of taxpayer dollars by continuously striving to strengthenreporting. Congress, the U.S. Office of Management and Budget, the U.S.Department of the Treasury, and the U.S. General Accounting Office considerthis notable award a clear validation of government agencies? accountability.

Publ.Date : Tue, 22 May 2018 16:01:07 +0000

His Majesty King Letsie III of Lesotho Visits Peace Corps Headquarters

WASHINGTON?Peace Corps Director Jody Olsen welcomed His Majesty King Letsie III of the Kingdom of Lesotho to Peace CorpsHeadquarters May 10, celebrating the long partnership between Peace Corps andLesotho.

?We are deeply grateful for the chance towelcome you, just as you have welcomed our volunteers,? said Olsen. ?Formore than 50 years, Peace Corps has been proud to partner with your governmentand the people of Lesotho in changing lives and building a brighter future.This remarkable legacy is possible because of the support and collaboration ofyour Kingdom, and Peace Corps is deeply grateful.?

More than 2,500volunteers have lived and worked in Lesotho since 1967. Today, the 120volunteers serving in the Kingdom are working in the health and educationsectors, prioritizing life skills and HIV prevention among youth.

Director Olsen andKing Letsie III were joined by Her Majesty Queen Masenate Mohato Seeiso,Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Relations Lesego Makgothi, Ambassadorto the United States Eliachim Molapi Sebatane, Director of Europe and Americas ItumelengRafutho-Labuschagne, Senator Peete Lesaoana Peete, Senior Private Secretary to HisMajesty Monehela Posholi, and Peace Corps officials.

Following hisvisit to Peace Corps Headquarters, King Letsie III will deliver theCommencement address May 12 at Wittenberg University in Springfield, Ohio.Wittenberg has strong ties to Lesotho thanks to history Professor ScottRosenberg, who served in Peace Corps Lesotho and launched a program that sendsWittenberg students to the Kingdom for service projects.

Publ.Date : Fri, 11 May 2018 16:08:04 +0000

Peace Corps Director Jody Olsen to Lead Presidential Delegation to Sierra Leone

WASHINGTON ?PeaceCorps Director Jody Olsen will lead a Presidential Delegation to the Republicof Sierra Leone next week for the Inauguration of His Excellency Julius MaadaBio, President Donald J. Trump announced May 3.

Clickhere to read the full press release from the White House.

Publ.Date : Fri, 04 May 2018 19:43:00 +0000

Returned Peace Corps Volunteer Honored at White House Teacher of the Year Ceremony

WASHINGTON?Peace Corps Director Jody Olsen delivered remarks at the White Houseyesterday during events honoring 2018 National Teacher of the Year MandyManning, a returned Peace Corps volunteer from Spokane, Wash.

?WhilePeace Corps volunteers work on projects in many different sectors?from healthto community economic development?education is our largest program area,? saidOlsen, who taught for eight years at the University of Maryland, Baltimore. ?Duringher two years of Peace Corps service, Mandy gained a global perspective thatinforms her work today. She likes to joke that she thought her teaching careerwould end after her Peace Corps service. My goodness, aren?t we all glad shewas wrong??

Manningworked in classrooms as a Peace Corps volunteer in Armenia after earning herbachelor?s degree in media and film from Eastern Washington University inCheney, Wash. She now teaches English and math at Ferris High School?s NewcomerCenter, which provides instruction for immigrant and refugee students.

Priorto a ceremony with President Donald J. Trump, Manning met with Director Olsen,Secretary of Labor Alexander Acosta, and Secretary of Education Betsy DeVosduring a listening session with educators from around the country.

Withher family and fellow teachers in the audience, Manning discussed her effortsto see that students are able to connect with one another from a young age,building a culture of respect and civility in the classroom, school, andcommunity.

?Youcan?t get to academics if you don?t make connections,? said Manning. ?We canall agree that content is important, but connections are the most importantthing. Without them, they can?t learn to have civil discourse and empathy forone another.?

TheNational Teacher of the Year program is presented by the Council of Chief StateSchool Officers, a nonprofit organization thatbrings together education leaders from across the nation. Winners of theaward spend a year traveling nationally and internationally as advocates forthe teaching profession.

Manning,who is frequently the first American teacher for her students when they arrivein the United States, said that she will dedicate the next year to sharing her students?stories and insights to show them that ?they are wanted, they are loved, theyare enough, and they matter.?

Photo Credit:Official White HousePhoto by Shealah Craighead

Publ.Date : Thu, 03 May 2018 16:07:58 +0000

Peace Corps Announces 2018 Top Volunteer-Producing Minority Serving Institutions

WASHINGTON ? Today, for the first time inits 57-year history, the Peace Corps recognizes top volunteer-producingMinority Serving Institutions (MSIs). The University of Maryland ? College Park,Howard University, and Spelman College claim the number one spots for large,medium and small schools respectively.

?Minority Serving Institutions cultivatethe leaders of tomorrow and nurture the diversity that shapes our nationalcharacter,? said Peace Corps Director Jody Olsen. ?The Peace Corps is committedto building a volunteer force that truly represents our diverse nation and isproud to recognize the colleges and universities that foster a spirit ofservice in their student bodies.?

Peace Corps has announced topvolunteer-producing Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) and HispanicServing Institutions (HSIs) since 2012. The agency has expanded this year?srankings, however, to include all Department of Education MSI classifications. AsianAmerican and Native American Pacific Islander Serving Institutions (AANAPISI);Alaska Native Serving Institutions or Native Hawaiian Serving Institutions(AANH); and Predominantly Black Institutions (PBI) all made Peace Corps? 2018list.

California AANAPISI and HSI schools dominatedeach category with ten schools in the rankings. Among large schools, CaliforniaState University ? Fullerton secured the number two ranking, San Diego StateUniversity the number three ranking, and University of California ? Riverside thenumber five ranking. Maryland, Florida and Georgia schools also made a strongshowing with three or more schools from each state making the rankings.

HBCUs and PBIs held numerous spots on thesmall college list with Morehouse College at number three; University ofBaltimore, Central State University and Albany State University tied at number four;and VirginiaState University, Dillard University, AlabamaState University, Coppin State University, and Washington Adventist University allholding the number five spot.

Over30 percent of Peace Corps volunteers self-report as racially or ethnicallydiverse, following the agency?s efforts to expand outreach to diversecommunities across the United States, including increased engagement on MSIcampuses. Recruiting and supporting a volunteer corps that represents the richdiversity of America remains a top priority as the Peace Corps seeks to bringunique cross-cultural perspectives to communities around the world.

LargeColleges & Universities ? Total Volunteers:

More than 15,000Undergraduates

1. University of Maryland ? College Park(AANAPISI) ? 49

2. California State University ? Fullerton(AANAPISI and HSI) ? 28

3. San Diego State University (HSI) ? 27

4. Florida International University (HSI) ? 23

5. University of California ? Riverside (AANAPISIand HSI) ? 22

MediumColleges & Universities ? Total Volunteers:

Between 5,000 and15,000 undergraduates

1. Howard University (HBCU) ? 19

2. University of Hawaii ? Manoa (AANAPISI andAANH) ? 14

2. University of San Francisco (AANAPISI) ? 14

3. California State University ? ChannelIslands (HSI) ? 11

4. New Mexico State University ? Las Cruces(HSI) ? 10

5. City College of New York (AANAPISI and HSI)? 9

5. Florida A&M University (HBCU) ? 9

SmallColleges & Universities ? Total Volunteers:

Fewer than 5,000undergraduates

1.Spelman College (HBCU) ? 14

2. Whittier College (AANAPISI and HSI) ? 5

2. Pacific University (AANAPISI) ? 5

3. University of the Pacific (AANAPISI) ? 4

3. Morehouse College (HBCU) ? 4

4. St. Catherine University (AANAPISI) ? 3

4. Colorado State University ? Pueblo (HSI) ?3

4. University of La Verne (HSI) ? 3

4. University of Baltimore (PBI) ? 3

4. Central State University (HBCU) ? 3

4. Albany State University (HBCU) ? 3

5. St. Peters University (HSI) ? 2

5. Virginia State University (HBCU) ? 2

5. Barry University (HSI) ? 2

5. Dillard University (HBCU) ? 2

5. Alabama State University (HBCU) ? 2

5. Chaminade University (AANAPISI) ? 2

5. Fresno Pacific University (HSI) ? 2

5. Coppin State University (HBCU) ? 2

5. Mount St. Mary's College ? Chalon (AANAPISIand HSI) ? 2

5. Washington Adventist University (PBI) ? 2

*Rankings are calculated based on fiscal year 2017 data as ofSeptember 30, 2017, as self-reported by Peace Corps volunteers. MSI designations aslisted by the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System for FY 2016.

Publ.Date : Fri, 27 Apr 2018 13:04:55 +0000

How Peace Corps volunteers taught 3,600 Zambian girls to code
Young women participate in a Girls Can Code! technology camp in Zambia.

WASHINGTON ? In Zambia, 3,600 girls have learned to code through an innovative project designed by Peace Corps volunteers. The project, known as Girls Can Code!, teaches adolescent girls from rural and disadvantaged communities to code by harnessing the power of Raspberry Pi, a low-powered computer designed by a former Cambridge University professor.

?Much is lacking in terms of resources in these rural areas, which are typically off-grid, with no electricity and no network,? said Peace Corps volunteer and Girls Can Code! founder Daniel Bevington, of Lyons, Colorado. ?It is a male-dominated culture where girls and young women in rural Zambia find limited roles in society. For many of them, this is the first time in their life where someone believed in them.?

At Girls Can Code! technology camps organized throughout Zambia by Bevington and his fellow Peace Corps volunteers, girls first learn basic computer skills, from typing to using a mouse. By the end of the camp, they are skilled in popular programming languages such as Python and Scratch.

?This youth camp goes above and beyond to try to educate young women on how to live and think in new ways,? said Peace Corps volunteer Lillian Hill, of State College, Pennsylvania, who facilitated a camp in the Northwest province of Zambia in January. The camps combine coding, gaming, robotics, and computer architecture with lessons on HIV awareness and leadership. There is also a special focus on ?ubuntu,? an African Bantu belief that emphasizes humanity toward one another.

The camps are facilitated in partnership with the Zambian non-profit, Hackers Guild, comprised of young, tech-savvy Zambians who love computers, technology, and programming. Working in collaboration with Zambian trainers, Peace Corps volunteers directly reached 112 young women and girls in the first year of the program. Empowered with new knowledge and technical skills, the initial group of girls have since developed their own community coding clubs in rural areas around Zambia, creating an expansive network of 3,600 young women coders.

?I met a lot of girls at Girls Can Code!,? said ninth-grader Elizabeth Kamona, who participated in a camp last December. ?They were all amazing. We were all speaking different languages, but we could understand each other because we were all learning the same technology.?

Elizabeth, who wants to be a software engineer when she grows up, now leads her own technology club for an enthusiastic group of 20 girls and boys between the ages of 11 and 13. Technology will take over the world one day, she says, and she wants young women and girls to be ready when it does.

Publ.Date : Wed, 04 Apr 2018 20:27:45 +0000

Dr. Jody Olsen Sworn in as 20th Director of the Peace Corps

WASHINGTON ? Dr. Josephine (Jody) K. Olsenwas sworn in as the 20th Director of the Peace Corps today. Olsenhas previously served the agency in various capacities, including as a PeaceCorps volunteer in Tunisia from 1966-1968.

?It is anabsolute honor to begin my service as Director of the Peace Corps,? said Dr.Olsen.?I?mgrateful to President Trump for his trust and confidence.?

Olsen is committed to leading a PeaceCorps that remains the world?s preeminent volunteer agency, offering allAmericans the opportunity to serve their country. She envisions recruiting skilledand resilient volunteers who stand poised to achieve the greatest impact. Inthe months ahead, she will focus on ensuring that Peace Corps sends volunteers tocountries where they are needed most.

Under her leadership, volunteers? health,safety, and security will remain the agency?s top priorities.

?I look forwardto workingclosely withour remarkable volunteers, dedicated staffserving across the world and throughout the United States, our global partners,and bipartisan supporters in Congress to ensure that together we are advancingthe agency?s mission and goals," said Olsen.

President Trump nominated Olsen to lead the agency onJanuary 3, 2018, and the U.S. Senate took bipartisan action to confirm her on March22, 2018.

To request an interview with the new PeaceCorps director, please email

Publ.Date : Fri, 30 Mar 2018 15:09:25 +0000

Peace Corps Week Celebrates 57 Years of Making a Difference

WASHINGTON ? In celebration of the Peace Corps? 57thanniversary on March 1, the agency kicks off Peace Corps Week tocommemorate the contributions of volunteers and their communities worldwide.Throughout the week, the Peace Corps community will participate in events thatunderscore this year?s theme, ?Highlighting Home.?

?Peace Corps volunteers develop enduring connections withthe people and places where they serve,? said Acting Peace Corps DirectorSheila Crowley. ?Communities around the globe welcome volunteers into theirhearts and homes. This year, Peace Corps Week is about sharing theselife-changing experiences and honoring the communities volunteers call homeduring their service.?

More than 80 Peace Corps Week events are taking placeacross the country. Activities include discussion panels with returnedvolunteers, recruitment events, storytelling nights, video screenings and artshows. Returned volunteers participating in these events will share photos,music, culture and stories from their countries of service. For a full list ofsuggested activities, visit the PeaceCorps Week page. Search for a Peace Corps Weekevent in your region or state by visiting the Peace Corps Events page.

In the lead up to Peace Corps Week, the Peace Corpslaunched a video challenge asking current and returned volunteers to submit ashort video capturing the host families, faces and places that volunteers callhome during their service. Five winners will be announced from the 16 finaliststhroughout the week on the PeaceCorps? Facebook page. Some of the top videos willbe showcased at a free film screening at E Street Cinema in Washington, onMarch 1 from 6:30-8 p.m. Check out all of the videos here andregister for the screening here.

The Peace Corps will also participate in a special event onFebruary 28 hosted by the African Union honoring America?s connection to globaldiaspora communities. The eventwill feature Peace Corps, the Department of State, U.S. Agency forInternational Development and International diaspora Engagement Alliance(IdEA).

The Peace Corps has regional recruiters across the U.S. that work closely with prospective volunteers. Find a recruiter near you by visiting the Peace Corps websitehere, and browse service opportunities by country, work area and departure datehere.

Publ.Date : Mon, 26 Feb 2018 21:39:10 +0000

Peace Corps to Re-establish Program in Sri Lanka
Sheila Crowley, Acting Director of the U.S. Peace Corps, and Sri Lankan Foreign Minister Tilak Marapana signed a new bilateral agreement to re-establish a Peace Corps program in Sri Lanka.

COLOMBO, February 26, 2018 ?Sheila Crowley, ActingDirector of the U.S. Peace Corps, and Sri Lankan Foreign Minister Tilak Marapanasigned a new bilateral agreement to re-establisha Peace Corps program in Sri Lanka. U.S.Ambassador to Sri Lanka and Maldives Atul Keshap and Prime Minister RanilWickremasinghe witnessed the signing at Temple Trees. The announcement coincides with the 70thanniversary of diplomatic relations between the United States and Sri Lanka andunderscores the long history of partnership and mutual support between the twocountries.

Peace Corps? efforts in Sri Lanka will focus on Englishlanguage education. Once in Sri Lanka,volunteers will undergo three months of comprehensive cultural, language andtechnical training before they are given their assignments to serve for twoyears. The first 25 Peace CorpsVolunteers are scheduled to arrive in Sri Lanka in late 2019.

?I am delighted that Peace Corps is returning to SriLanka. Our volunteers embody and promotethe ideals of equality, shared prosperity, and a common interest in a peaceful,stable world,? said U.S. Ambassador to Sri Lanka and Maldives AtulKeshap. When signing the Executive Order that created the Peace Corps,President John F. Kennedy said, ?Our Peace Corpsis not designed as an instrument of diplomacy or propaganda or ideologicalconflict. It is designed to permit ourpeople to exercise more fully their responsibilities in the great common causeof world development.?

From 1962 to 1998, more than 370 Peace Corps volunteersserved in Sri Lanka, working in education, health and youth development. The program was closed in 1998 due topolitical instability. Peace Corps?Crisis Corps, now Peace Corps Response, returned to Sri Lanka to support reliefefforts in the aftermath of the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami. In 2016, the Government of Sri Lanka invitedPeace Corps to return to work and assist in furthering the country?sdevelopment goals.

?The return of Peace Corps to Sri Lanka is an opportunityto deepen the enduring friendship that has grown between our two countries overthe past 70 years,? said Acting Peace Corps Director Sheila Crowley. ?We aregrateful to the Government and people of Sri Lanka for their invitation to,once again, have Peace Corps volunteers serve side-by-side with Sri Lankans in theirbeautiful country.?

Publ.Date : Mon, 26 Feb 2018 14:01:51 +0000