November 3, 2004: Headlines: NPCA: Interaction: Interaction features NPCA

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Interaction features NPCA

Interaction features NPCA

Interaction features NPCA

The National Peace Corps Association is the gateway to one of the largest constituencies of Americans passionately committed to improving the lives of millions of people around the globe. We have earned that commitment by living and working for the citizens of more than 134 countries of the world from Afghanistan to Zimbabwe.

We demonstrate a worldview that is needed now more than ever.

We are more than 175,000 citizens who have served our nation as Peace Corps volunteers and/or staff since 1961–and who continue to serve. At home, we represent a remarkable voice for those countries. In our current lives, we serve those interests in classrooms and community centers throughout the United States and as dogged lobbyists among our Congressional delegations.

From CEOs to social activists, from organic farmers to research scientists, our Peace Corps community has made significant contributions to our nation and the world in every field of endeavor. Peace Corps returnees are U.S. ambassadors, college presidents, mayors and a large percentage of those who work in relief and development in the public and non-profit sectors. From a long list of returned Peace Corps volunteers who are well-known Americans, count:

* Carol Bellamy, Executive Director of UNICEF;
* Chris Dodd, United States Senator from Connecticut;
* Taylor Hackford, producer and director of the just-released and critically-acclaimed film “Ray”;
* Dr. Mae Jemison, the first woman of color to go into space;
* Chris Matthews, Host of MSNBC’s “Hardball;”

Join Us!

Membership in the NPCA is open to all who support our mission: to lead the Peace Corps community and others to foster peace by working together in service, education and advocacy. You don’t have to serve as a volunteer or work on Peace Corps staff. You just need to care about the rest of the world. Please visit our website at Give us a call at 202-293-7728. Share this information with other friends and colleagues who believe in the value of serving the global community and the spirit of the Peace Corps experience.

Working Together in Service

Global TeachNet member and 7th grade teacher Audrey Scherer connects with
the seventh grade class at Akosombo School as part of the NPCA's travel program to Ghana in summer 2004.
The strength of our Peace Corps experience is that we work as individuals and affiliated groups to target the needs of the countries where we volunteered. For example, the Friends of Liberia affiliate group sends experienced U.S. teachers to Liberia to hold three-week in-service workshops for primary school teachers and principals through the Liberian Education Assistance Project (LEAP). Former volunteer Molly Melching never really left Peace Corps at the conclusion of her service; she is at the center of the Senegalese movement to end female genital cutting.

Other affiliated groups form around U.S. geographic regions, bringing together former volunteers for domestic service projects and/or fundraising initiatives to support critical needs at home or abroad. Continuing a program spanning nearly 20 years, the Returned Peace Corps Volunteers of Wisconsin - Madison produce an international calendar, with proceeds from sales used to support grassroots projects in countries where volunteers serve or in which they currently live.

Since 1983, the NPCA has recognized outstanding individual humanitarian service by RPCVs with a national award named after Sargent Shriver, the founding director of the Peace Corps and a strong supporter of the Peace Corps movement. The 2004 winner of the Shriver Award is Dr. Kevin Denny, a returned Peace Corps volunteer from Malawi who established the Malawi Children’s Village, serving the needs of over 3,200 children from 37 villages who have lost their parents to AIDS.

We first honored an affiliate group which demonstrates exemplary community service at home or abroad in 1988. This award is named for the late Loret Miller Ruppe, the agency's longest-serving director and an advocate of service to the global community. The 2004 Ruppe Award winner is the Returned Peace Corps Volunteers of Hawaii. Through their 30-minute public access television program “Bring the World Home”, former volunteers share their Peace Corps experience with the greater Hawaii community.

Working Together in Education

At a recent Global TeachNet workshop for DC Public School Teachers, RPCV Dave Ermish shares experiences as a volunteer in
Across the nation, the NPCA brings a global perspective to K-12 classrooms through Global TeachNet ( Through teacher training workshops, newsletters and electronic listservs, and an awards program, Global TeachNet is one of this country’s premier resources for global education. This past summer, Global TeachNet collaborated with Friendship Force International to take U.S. classroom teachers to Ghana.

WorldView magazine is our quarterly publication that provides a U.S. audience with news and comment about communities and issues of the world of serving and returned Peace Corps volunteers. We invite subscriptions, encourage proposals for articles about development projects and issues, reader opinions, letters to the editor, and advertisements for your organization through our online edition at

Through a cooperative agreement with the Peace Corps, the NPCA launched the Peace Match online speakers bureau (, which connects returned Peace Corps volunteers with the classroom. This program allows returned volunteers to share their experiences with students, while providing classroom teachers and students with first-hand information on the culture and way of life of people around the world.

Working Together in Advocacy

NPCA President Kevin Quigley testifies before Congress on Peace Corps Safety and Security legislation.
Our growing advocacy program seeks to engage our members on matters pertaining to the Peace Corps and other issues of global concern ( We advocate for a strong and vibrant Peace Corps program. NPCA staff and members testified at congressional hearings earlier this year concerning safety and security issues for Peace Corps volunteers, providing results of our membership survey on this topic to Congress.

Additionally, the NPCA advocates on other issues of global concern. We have:

* collaborated with InterAction to speak out against the humanitarian crisis in Sudan;
* collaborated with the Rockefeller Brothers Fund to educate our members on how to more effectively communicate about global warming and the need for clean renewable energy;
* promoted the organization of community forums on global issues through the UN Foundation’s “People Speak” program; and
* worked with the Returned Peace Corps Volunteers for International Health to address the HIV/AIDS pandemic.

In 2004, NPCA’s advocates met with lawmakers and congressional staff to push for increased funding for foreign affairs accounts in general and Peace Corps funding in particular. We have traveled to seven states to hold advocacy workshops, trainings or strategy sessions.

Connecting our Community

Returned Peace Corps volunteers participate in a march of flags ceremony during the NPCA's 25th anniversary conference in Chicago, August 2005.
The NPCA is making a concerted shift towards capitalizing on technology to keep the Peace Corps community informed and connected. This fall, we combined the best of our quarterly print newsletter and weekly email listserv to launch a monthly e-newsletter. NPCA staff members also send regular emails to targeted communities of educators and advocates with resources and information. We are currently rolling out a new web-based Association Management System, allowing NPCA staff, individual members and affiliate groups to best manage our data for the benefit of the Peace Corps community.

The NPCA has also launched an online, interactive career center to provide a variety of resources aimed at helping former Peace Corps volunteers or staff with job searching or career planning. The site contains an online job board and resume database, career articles, a calendar of career events, important web links and a discussion board. You can visit the site by going to

For more information on the NPCA, please visit our website at .

When this story was posted in November 2004, this was on the front page of PCOL:

Your vote makes a difference Your vote makes a difference
Make a difference on November 2 - Vote. Then take our RPCV exit poll. See how RPCV's are voting and take a look at the RPCV voter demographic. Finally leave a message on why you voted for John Kerry or for George Bush. Previous poll results here.
Kerry reaches out to Returned Volunteers Kerry reaches out to Returned Volunteers
The Kerry campaign wants the RPCV vote. Read our interview with Dave Magnani, Massachusetts State Senator and Founder of "RPCVs for Kerry," and his answers to our questions about Kerry's plan to triple the size of the Peace Corps, should the next PC Director be an RPCV, and Safety and Security issues. Then read the "RPCVs for Kerry" statement of support and statements by Dr. Robert Pastor, Ambassador Parker Borg, and Paul Oostburg Sanz made at the "RPCVs for Kerry" Press Conference.

RPCV Carl Pope says the key to winning this election is not swaying undecided voters, but persuading those already willing to vote for your candidate to actually go to the polls.

Take our poll and tell us what you are doing to support your candidate.

Finally read our wrap-up of the eight RPCVs in Senate and House races around the country and where the candidates are in their races.

Director Gaddi Vasquez:  The PCOL Interview Director Gaddi Vasquez: The PCOL Interview
PCOL sits down for an extended interview with Peace Corps Director Gaddi Vasquez. Read the entire interview from start to finish and we promise you will learn something about the Peace Corps you didn't know before.

Plus the debate continues over Safety and Security.
Schwarzenegger praises PC at Convention Schwarzenegger praises PC at Convention
Governor Schwarzenegger praised the Peace Corps at the Republican National Convention: "We're the America that sends out Peace Corps volunteers to teach village children." Schwarzenegger has previously acknowledged his debt to his father-in-law, Peace Corps Founding Director Sargent Shriver, for teaching him "the joy of public service" and Arnold is encouraging volunteerism by creating California Service Corps and tapping his wife, Maria Shriver, to lead it. Leave your comments and who can come up with the best Current Events Funny?
 Peace Corps: One of the Best Faces of America Peace Corps: One of the Best Faces of America
Teresa Heinz Kerry celebrates the Peace Corps Volunteer as one of the best faces America has ever projected in a speech to the Democratic Convention. The National Review disagreed and said that Heinz's celebration of the PCV was "truly offensive." What's your opinion and can you come up with a Political Funny?

Read the stories and leave your comments.

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Story Source: Interaction

This story has been posted in the following forums: : Headlines; NPCA



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