2007.07.27: July 27, 2007: Headlines: Congress: Legislation: Speaking Out: PCOL Exclusive: 09. Testimony of Chuck Ludlam and Paula Hirschoff on S. 732: The Peace Corps Volunteer Empowerment Act: Using the Triple Convergence to Listen

Peace Corps Online: Peace Corps News: Special Reports: July 27, 2007: Comments on the Peace Corps Volunteer Empowerment Act by two RPCVs now serving their second tour in Senegal: 2007.07.27: July 27, 2007: Headlines: Congress: Legislation: Speaking Out: PCOL Exclusive: 09. Testimony of Chuck Ludlam and Paula Hirschoff on S. 732: The Peace Corps Volunteer Empowerment Act: Using the Triple Convergence to Listen

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09. Testimony of Chuck Ludlam and Paula Hirschoff on S. 732: The Peace Corps Volunteer Empowerment Act: Using the Triple Convergence to Listen

09. Testimony of Chuck Ludlam and Paula Hirschoff on S. 732: The Peace Corps Volunteer Empowerment Act: Using the Triple Convergence to Listen

Section 105 of the legislation provides that the Peace Corps shall establish websites and email links for Volunteers to use in country on a password-only basis for communication among Volunteers and Peace Corps staff about development strategies, funding sources and other issues. All close of service reports shall be available on the sites or links. Volunteers in some countries are already establishing sites and links that are proving to be invaluable in facilitating communication among Volunteers and enhancing their effectiveness within a country and between countries. Close of service reports are especially helpful to Volunteers who succeed earlier Volunteers, but few of them get saved and used. We need a digital archive of Volunteer experiences.

09. Testimony of Chuck Ludlam and Paula Hirschoff on S. 732: The Peace Corps Volunteer Empowerment Act: Using the Triple Convergence to Listen

Using the Triple Convergence to Listen

Thanks to the Triple Convergence that Friedman described, it is now possible for Volunteers to lead the Peace Corps from the grassroots. Essentially all Volunteers have email addresses and some access to their emails. And most Volunteers have cell phones for voice and text. And the Volunteers in the field have organized websites and list serves so that they can communicate with each other. Peace Corps itself uses list serves to communicate with Volunteers. In a Peace Corps world that is so connected, the tools for a flat organization already exist. All we need is to instill a culture where managers listen to and respect Volunteers and use the Triple Convergence to consult with and support them.

In a flat organization, the leadership comes from the bottom, from those on the factory floor who know how to run the assembly line. In a flat organization, the grassroots have power and rights. Sadly, Volunteer rights are not well defined and due process standards are sometimes violated.

Digital Peace Corps: Section 105 of the legislation provides that the Peace Corps shall establish websites and email links for Volunteers to use in country on a password-only basis for communication among Volunteers and Peace Corps staff about development strategies, funding sources and other issues. All close of service reports shall be available on the sites or links. Volunteers in some countries are already establishing sites and links that are proving to be invaluable in facilitating communication among Volunteers and enhancing their effectiveness within a country and between countries. Close of service reports are especially helpful to Volunteers who succeed earlier Volunteers, but few of them get saved and used. We need a digital archive of Volunteer experiences.

The overall object of the digital Peace Corps provision is to reduce the need for Volunteers to constantly reinvent the wheel. The loss of relevant information about what works and what doesn't significantly reduces the effectiveness of the Peace Corps as a development agency. There is rapid turnover among Volunteers, which compounds the problem. PCVs do not often overlap at a site, so the transitions are difficult for the new Volunteers. We need to preserve vital information—including all Volunteers' Close of Service (COS) reports. We need to connect Volunteers worldwide for mutual support.

To these ends, the Peace Corps should consider implementing the following:

* Construct and maintain a master website for use by all Volunteers, staff and RPCVs. Also construct websites for each country where Volunteers serve. Hire webmaster and staff in Washington, D.C. and in each country (perhaps third-year Volunteers). Suggested name of website: "Sarge"15

* Set up an account for all Volunteers and staff with a user name (an ID number or name) and password. Enable account holders to change their user name (to secure anonymity) and password (to prevent third parties from posting information in their name). Open a visitors' account for Peace Corps applicants once they are invited to serve as Volunteers, enabling them to access website and obtain information useful in determining whether to accept the invitation, and upgrade their accounts once they accept the invitation. Enable RPCVs to continue their PCV account. (RPCVs may well be able to contribute valuable content to the websites.) Give all account holders the option to obtain an email address--"(Country)PeaceCorps.gov" under their own name or an alias. Permit webmaster or web monitor in Washington or abroad to rescind an account based on violation of terms of use published on the site. Note: Facebook.com revokes accounts for those who attack a specific person or group of people. University websites typically bar violation of copyrights. Permit account holders to notify the webmaster or web monitor regarding violations of the terms of use.

The Master Peace Corps website should include the following:

* A periodic column by the Peace Corps Director

* The capacity for the Director and other Peace Corps staff to engage Volunteers in live chat sessions at pre-arranged times, either open-ended or regarding subject specific topics.

* The capacity for the Peace Corps to conduct surveys of Volunteers (such as the recent NPCA survey of Volunteers regarding S. 732). Same for Peace Corps Inspector General and House and Senate oversight/legislative committees.

* Peace Corps Volunteer Handbook

* Peace Corps Manual

* Peace Corps official documents and policies

* Staff directory for Peace Corps Washington (with phone numbers and email addresses)

* Organization chart for Peace Corps Washington

* Information regarding the Peace Corps Inspector General and how to file requests for investigations (together with contact information)

* History of the Peace Corps. Special sections on JFK and Shriver

* In Memoriam section listing staff and Volunteers who have died during their service (with bios, photos and a forum for postings by those who knew them).

* Peace Corps annual reports and budget requests to Congress

* Information regarding pending legislation affecting the Peace Corps

* Peace Corps statistics

* Peace Corps news releases

* Link to Peace Corps news posted on PeaceCorpsOnLine

* Link to the National Peace Corps Association (NPCA)

* Link to all Friends (RPCV) groups (through NPCA)

* Information regarding the Peace Corps Partnership Program, including relevant forms and manuals.

* Basic information on each Peace Corps country program

* Link with World Wise Schools program. Permit teachers access to "use" accounts (limited access to website).

* List of companies that provide free or discounted cost items to Volunteers (e.g. Chacos and Christian Science Monitor). The Peace Corps should actively solicit such donations or discounts for Volunteers (e.g. free mailing of Amazon books, free or discounted subscriptions to the Economist, discounts on phone cards and cell phones that accept SIM cards, discounts on solar chargers, cameras, computers, iPods and other music players, laptops and peripherals, hot weather clothing like ExOfficio and Patagonia, camping equipment, posters, etc.), and photography sites (e.g. Snapfish and Shutterly)

* The master website should include separate sections on the following development subjects:

--All ICE publications (technical information published by the Peace Corps)

--Links to international NGOs that might assist and support Volunteers. (NGOs could post information about their programs, funding opportunities and countries of service.)

--Links to RPCVs with special expertise in development projects who are available to serve as consultants to current Volunteers.

--Forum with file/comment posting capacity for Volunteers to search history of conversations for keywords; also permit those who subscribe to the forum to receive automatic updates of new postings. (Use this format for all forums listed below.)

--Curriculum materials for languages spoken in countries where Volunteers serve. The website should include also downloadable pod casts of language curriculum materials. Include forum as above.

--Information on sources of financing, especially micro-financing, with forum as above.

--A bibliography of books and publications on development issues, and sources for seeds and classroom materials (available free or at a discount).

--Information on each sector in which Volunteers serve, including relevant technical reports and training manuals (e.g. health, education, small enterprise development, agriculture/forestry).

--Project "cookbooks"/modules for each sector in which Volunteers could post project design, technical specifications, training curriculum, problems and solutions, and outcomes/benefits (with translations into other languages). Site should include a suggested format for these postings. Include forum for each project as above. Establish an annual award for the best posting by a Volunteer.

--For specific types of projects (e.g. food drying, porridge making, vegetable gardening, beekeeping, etc.), Volunteers should be able to post project cookbook/modules (with translations into other languages). Site should include suggested format for these postings. Forum as above for each type of project. Same award as above.

--Permit Volunteers to post offers to donate their time/services doing translations or providing technical expertise for Volunteers worldwide on specified subjects together with forum as above.

--Permit posting of advertisements (pair or unpaid) by corporations and non-profit organizations describing their development programs, offers of donations of services or materials to PCVs, requests for Volunteer participation in projects, or input from Volunteers on the viability/sustainability of their projects. Forum as above.

-- Include a forum as above for discussion of Peace Corps policies, issues of interest to Volunteers and staff, or other subjects.

* Separate sections on the master website on the following subjects of interest to Volunteers and to connect various Volunteer groups, each with its own forum:

--Volunteer medical issues, including medical manuals and handbooks, information on all the tropical diseases endemic where Volunteers serve.

--Graduate education opportunities, including scholarships. Permit universities to post information about their programs. Permit Volunteers to file applications on line.

--Post-COS employment, information and SF-171 regarding government service, job postings, links to potential employers. Permit employers to post job openings. Link to Transitions Abroad (magazine on opportunities overseas).

--Post-COS housing availability, including apartment/house sharing offers by RPCVs. Permit RPCVs and others to post notices.

--Travel and vacations for Volunteers, including links to State Department bulletins and other resources, with separate capacity for Volunteers to post ISO Traveling Companion notices.

--Volunteer safety and security.

--Domesticity/survival issues focusing on cooking (recipes), US Postal Service "M" bags (cheap book rates), callback services and international phone cards, care packages, and related subjects

--Packing lists and sources for useful equipment to use during service.

--International calendar of events concerning development issues.

--Software of value to PCVs, available for downloading.

--Issues of interest to the following groups, each with a forum as above:

1) Those struggling with PC service and considering Early Termination (ET). Encourage postings about benefits of completing service, especially by RPCVs

2) Female/male Volunteers

3) Older and minority Volunteers

4) Gay Volunteers

5) Older RPCVs and those serving again

6) Volunteers with religious motivations to serve

7) Couples serving as Volunteers

8) Volunteers contemplating marrying host country nationals

9) Volunteers contemplating adopting host country children

10) Peace Corps Volunteer Liaisons (PCVLs) and representatives to Volunteer Advisory Committees (VACs)

11) Volunteers wishing to extend their service in a second country

12) Volunteer writers, including a link to PCV Writers and Readers, information on copyrights, lists of publishers and agents recommended by RPCVs. Include section for posting PCV articles, fiction and humor. Include section on absurd/humorous PCV stories. Include links to PCV blogs.

* The master website could do the following:

--Permit account holders to create forums with access limited to users authorized by the forum creator (e.g. forum accessible only to Volunteers, only to Volunteers in one region, only to staff, etc.). New forums can be made open to all account holders as well.

--Provide a section for uploading photos and managing a monthly or quarterly photo contest. Possible monthly themes might include: Volunteers at work, fetes/celebrations, rural/urban scenes, agriculture, small business, education, healthcare. Peace Corps could solicit corporate sponsors for each theme.

--Sponsor annual "Volunteer of the Year" award for each continent on which Volunteers serve, with nominations from Country Directors, APCDs, and Volunteers.

--Provide forum as above for Country Directors, Admin Officers, PCMOs and APCDs, etc. Set up separate accounts, with separate IDs and passwords to ensure confidentiality.

--Include links to separate websites (or subsets of master website) for each country in which Volunteers serve. (Make these websites accessible to pre-service trainees.)

* The separate websites for countries (or subsets of the master website) could include:

--Messages from the Country Director and other Peace Corps staff

--Contact information for all Volunteers in country

--Phone and email directory of Peace Corps staff in country together with biographical information (similar to Facebook.com).

--List of Volunteers indexed by site and program. Keep list of all Volunteers who have served in a given site, with updated contact information if possible, so that site's work history is not lost.

--Contact information for host country government offices and officials

--Peace Corps Handbook for that country

--Peace Corps policies applicable in that country

--Emergency Action Plan (EAP) for the country

--Relevant forms (reimbursement/vacation leave/quarterly reports/medical supplies/work orders/home of record/site locator) with links to submit them on line. Permit Volunteers to "sign" the forms on line. If forms require signature of someone other than Volunteer, permit Volunteers to certify that they've obtained that signature (by mailing copy)

--Transportation schedules for Peace Corps vehicles (so that Volunteers can hitch rides).

--Calendar of Peace Corps events (training, "demyst" village visits and APCD site visits)

--In-country newsletters and notices

--Training curriculum (including pod casts) for local languages

--Links/contact information to NGOs operating in that country

--Links/contact information for all funding sources, including micro-financing, in the country

--Links to news sources about the country

--Links to blogs maintained by Volunteers serving in that country

--All Close of Service reports (indexed by sector and site and searchable by Google desktop)

--Maps and city guides for use by Volunteers when traveling around the country. Include survival guide for key sites and set up a forum. Similar information on nearby countries.

--Permit Volunteers to opt out of receiving paper copies of reports and other mailings

--Permit each Volunteer to access statements of his/her earnings/deductions (required user name and password)

--Permit access to record of vacation leave taken and medical supplies requests

--Permit country account holders to create forums with access limited to those authorized by the forum creator (e.g. forum accessible only to Volunteers, etc.)

--Permit Volunteers to post absences from site online without seeking oral approval for the leave with APCD or other country Security Director. (Or permit Volunteers to post site absences to voice mailbox.) Vacation leave, including international travel, would require approval.

--Permit corporations and non-profit organizations to post advertisements (paid or not paid) describing their development programs in that country, offers of donations of services or materials to PCVs in country, requests for Volunteer participation in projects, or input from Volunteers on viability/sustainability of their projects. Together with forum.

* Each country should use the internet to conduct the surveys mandated in Section 201 of S. 732 (reviews of personnel and programs). Postings would be available to all account holders in that country.

* Peace Corps Washington should establish annual award for the best Peace Corps country website.

* Each regional/transit house should be considered as a work site, with ample computers and printers, and an internet connection (high speed if available).

* Volunteers should be able to connect personal computers to the internet wherever Peace Corps supplies connection (country office, regional/transit houses, or training sites) that does not compromise the government computer network (to include wireless connections).

* Each country and regional/transit house shall install Skype or other internet telephony services (including microphones) to eliminate the need for fixed line telephone calls between Peace Corps offices worldwide and headquarters. Also install for calls between regional houses and Peace Corps country office. Potential substantial cost savings.

* Peace Corps should be committed to granting Freedom of Speech and immunity for Volunteer postings, other than those that threaten individuals or otherwise violate terms of the site use. No action for Administrative Separation can be based on postings on the site. If postings violate terms of use for the site, the penalty is to forfeit account, not Administrative Separation. This policy is essential to maximize the use and value of the digital Peace Corps vision. Volunteers need to know they can share their views frankly and openly without risking retaliation. (Volunteers can also change their user name to secure anonymity.)

There are hundreds of other possible uses of the flat world and Triple Convergence technologies. The Peace Corps should lead the way among government agencies to exploit them.

The fact that the Peace Corps is not as digitized as it should be leads to inefficiencies and alienation. For example, in June of this year, all Volunteers worldwide received an email from their Country Director stating, "Recent PCV emergencies in other countries have reminded us of the need for PCVs to update their family contact/next-of-kin information whenever they learn of changes." They sent us the form in pdf format. Although most Volunteers have usb memory drives, most do not have access to the software necessary to modify a pdf document. Also, most cyber cafes in the developing world do not have printers. Thus, thousands of Volunteers were forced to download the document on their usb memory drives (assuming they were carrying them), return to their regional houses (if they had one), print out the document (assuming they had a printer there), fill out the form long hand and then mail it to the country capital office. When Volunteers complained, the Peace Corps sent out a Word version of the form, but it was corrupted and unusable. All Volunteers had previously filled out the forms, yet the Peace Corps didn't send us the old form to update. It didn't simply ask for updates. It asked every Volunteer to re-file the same form. How much easier it would have been had they sent out a Word document or set up the form to be completed online. They could also set up a program to automatically send us the old form once a year so that we could check for updates.

If we each had an account on the country website, we could store a copy of the document we'd filed (and all other similar filings) so we could check it for accuracy or easily revise it for resubmission. The way this little crisis was handled surely alienated many PCVs from the Peace Corps managers in Washington who don't understand the information technology realities in the field. One incident somewhere in the world in which the next of kin form was not up to date probably precipitated this massive, messy undertaking.

The NPCA survey found strong support for the digital Peace Corps provisions of the legislation with 89% favoring systems to promote improved digital communication among Volunteers and staff, including establishment of websites and email links that volunteers could use to discuss development strategies, funding sources and other issues. Only 9% disagreed. And 83% favored making all close-of-service reports available digitally with only 13% disagreeing.

Following are a few of the written comments on the digital Peace Corps provision:

I strongly agree with this, as it has the potential to greatly benefit serving volunteers by giving access to a repository of historical information as well as a means to communicate with others. This could take the form of blogs, discussion groups, wikis, etc. Bolivia, 2

One of the best things I participated in as a PCV was an online WID/GAD conference with the Africa region and Peace Corps DC. Being able to talk and work with (Associate Directors) and PCVs from all over the continent in real time was fantastic and should be utilized more! Anonymous

If the Peace Corps is listening to Volunteers, it will support this provision.

This is one section from the testimony read into the record on the Peace Corps Volunteer Empowerment Act by Chuck Ludlam and Paula Hirschoff, two RPCVs who are now serving their second tour in Senegal. The rest of the sections can be found by following this link. Their entire report in MS Word format can be downloaded by following this link.

Links to Related Topics (Tags):

Headlines: July, 2007; Congress; Legislation; Speaking Out; Peace Corps Library; Peace Corps Directory; Peace Corps Original Sources; Peace Corps Message Board; Recent Peace Corps News

When this story was posted in July 2007, this was on the front page of PCOL:

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Peace Corps Online The Independent News Forum serving Returned Peace Corps Volunteers
Senator Dodd's Peace Corps Hearings Date: July 25 2007 No: 1178 Senator Dodd's Peace Corps Hearings
Read PCOL's executive summary of Senator Chris Dodd's hearings on July 25 on the Peace Corps Volunteer Empowerment Act and why Peace Corps Director Ron Tschetter does not believe the bill would contribute to an improved Peace Corps while four other RPCV witnesses do. Highlights of the hearings included Dodd's questioning of Tschetter on political meetings at Peace Corps Headquarters and the Inspector General's testimony on the re-opening of the Walter Poirier III investigation.

Peace Corps News Peace Corps Library Peace corps History RPCV Directory Sign Up

Dodd issues call for National Service Date: June 26 2007 No: 1164 Dodd issues call for National Service
Standing on the steps of the Nashua City Hall where JFK kicked off his campaign in 1960, Presidential Candidate Chris Dodd issued a call for National Service. "Like thousands of others, I heard President Kennedy's words and a short time later joined the Peace Corps." Dodd said his goal is to see 40 million people volunteering in some form or another by 2020. "We have an appetite for service. We like to be asked to roll up our sleeves and make a contribution," he said. "We haven't been asked in a long time."

July 9, 2007: This Month's Top Stories Date: July 10 2007 No: 1172 July 9, 2007: This Month's Top Stories
O'Hanlon says "soft partition" occurring in Iraq 9 Jul
Eric R. Green writes on coming oil crisis 8 Jul
Why Dodd joined the Peace Corps 5 Jul
Jim Doyle positioned for third term 5 Jul
Michael Adlerstein to direct UN Master Plan 3 Jul
Shalala says Veterans report will be solution driven 1 Jul
Blackwill says: No process will make up for stupidity 30 Jun
Allan Reed creates a Diaspora Skills Transfer Program 29 Jun
State Dept apology ends hold on Green nomination 28 Jun
Call for stories to celebrate PC 50th Anniversary 25 Jun
Michael Shereikis is singer and guitarist for Chopteeth 25 Jun
Christopher R. Hill Visits North Korea 22 Jun
Tschetter at JFK Bust Unveiling Ceremony 21 Jun
Kiribati too risky for PCVs 17 Jun
James Rupert writes: US calls for free Pakistani elections 17 Jun
Colin Cowherd says PCVs are losers 7 Jun
Tony Hall Warns of Food Shortages in North Korea 7 Jun
Youth Theatre performs Spencer Smith's "Voices from Chernobyl" 7 Jun
Ifugao names forest park after Julia Campbell 6 Jun
Anissa Paulsen assembles "The Many Colors of Islam" 5 Jun
Obituary for Nepal RPCV Loret Miller Ruppe 2 Jun
Forty PCVS to arrive in Ethiopia 2 Jun

Public diplomacy rests on sound public policy Date: June 10 2007 No: 1153 Public diplomacy rests on sound public policy
When President Kennedy spoke of "a long twilight struggle," and challenged the country to "ask not," he signaled that the Cold War was the challenge and framework defining US foreign policy. The current challenge is not a struggle against a totalitarian foe. It is not a battle against an enemy called "Islamofascism." From these false assumptions flow false choices, including the false choice between law enforcement and war. Instead, law enforcement and military force both must be essential instruments, along with diplomacy, including public diplomacy. But public diplomacy rests on policy, and to begin with, the policy must be sound. Read more.

Ambassador revokes clearance for PC Director Date: June 27 2007 No: 1166 Ambassador revokes clearance for PC Director
A post made on PCOL from volunteers in Tanzania alleges that Ambassador Retzer has acted improperly in revoking the country clearance of Country Director Christine Djondo. A statement from Peace Corps' Press Office says that the Peace Corps strongly disagrees with the ambassador’s decision. On June 8 the White House announced that Retzer is being replaced as Ambassador. Latest: Senator Dodd has placed a hold on Mark Green's nomination to be Ambassador to Tanzania.

June 1, 2007: This Month's Top Stories Date: June 1 2007 No: 1141 June 1, 2007: This Month's Top Stories
Returned Volunteers and Staff honor Warren Wiggins 15 May
Tom Seligman curates "Art of Being Tuareg" 26 May
PCV Marilyn Foss dies in China 25 May
Poet Susan Rich writes: The Women of Kismayo 22 May
Christopher Hill considers visit to North Korea 18 May
Peter Hessler talks about time in Fuling as PCV 18 May
Murder charges filed in death of PCV Julia Campbell 17 May
David Pitts claims JFK offered PC to Lem Billings 16 May
Niki Tsongas announces candidacy for Congress 16 May
James Rupert writes: Pakistanis talk of Musharraf's departure 16 May
Chris Matthews writes: Jerry Falwell's Political Legacy 15 May
Ron Tschetter visits volunteers in Botswana 14 May
Which assignment to take? Africa, Europe, or Central Asia 14 May
Willy Volk writes: New way to keep mosquitoes at bay 14 May
Jim Walsh takes special interest in Nepal 13 May
NPCA offers podcasts of social entrepreneurs 10 May
Gaddi Vasquez showcases food aid work in Central America 10 May
Donna Tabor dreamed up Cafe Chavalos 8 May
Tom Bissell writing book about Jesus' 13 Apostles 8 May
Jody Olsen praises PCV blogging 7 May
PC responds to missing volunteers in 2001 and 2007 2 May

Peace Corps Funnies Date: May 25 2007 No: 1135 Peace Corps Funnies
A PCV writing home? Our editor hard at work? Take a look at our Peace Corps Funnies and Peace Corps Cartoons and see why Peace Corps Volunteers say that sometimes a touch of levity can be one of the best ways of dealing with frustrations in the field. Read what RPCVs say about the lighter side of life in the Peace Corps and see why irreverent observations can often contain more than a grain of truth. We'll supply the photos. You supply the captions.

PCOL serves half million Date: May 1 2007 No: 1120 PCOL serves half million
PCOL's readership for April exceeded 525,000 visitors - a 50% increase over last year. This year also saw the advent of a new web site: Peace Corps News that together with the Peace Corps Library and History of the Peace Corps serve 17,000 RPCVs, Staff, and Friends of the Peace Corps every day. Thanks for making PCOL your source of news for the Peace Corps community. Read more.

May 2, 2007: This Month's Top Stories Date: May 3 2007 No: 1128 May 2, 2007: This Month's Top Stories
Tschetter flew to Manila to support search for missing PCV 15 Apr
Michael O'Hanlon writes: A ruthless foe 24 Apr
Dodd calls for 'surge of diplomacy' on Iraq 13 Apr
Tony Hall works with Opportunity International 22 Apr
Mark Gearan Calls for Service, engaged constituency 20 Apr
Timothy Obert sentenced in molestation case 20 Apr
Moyers indicts news media on Iraq reporting 19 Apr
Chris Matthews to moderate May 3 GOP debates 18 Apr
Garamendi votes to kill LNG terminal 10 Apr
Scheper-Hughes receives William Sloan Coffin Award 7 Apr
Petri outraged at Student Loan Corruption 6 Apr
Dodd wants to expand Peace Corps to 100,000 4 Apr
John Sherman's opera "Biafra" now on web 2 Apr
Peter Navarro writes "The Coming China Wars" 30 Mar
Carl Pope writes: 2% solution for global warming 28 Mar
Philippe Newlin lectures on wine 28 Mar
DRI launches program to improve Healthcare in Ghana 26 Mar
Gabriela Lena Frank's Compadrazgo debuts in Columbus 26 Mar
Reed Hastings appointed to Microsoft Board of Directors 26 Mar
Shays supports National Public Service Academy 23 Mar
Margaret Krome writes: Peace vigil appropriate response 21 Mar
Al Kamen writes: Clinton fired Prosecutors too 21 Mar

Suspect confesses in murder of PCV Date: April 27 2007 No: 1109 Suspect confesses in murder of PCV
Search parties in the Philippines discovered the body of Peace Corps Volunteer Julia Campbell near Barangay Batad, Banaue town on April 17. Director Tschetter expressed his sorrow at learning the news. “Julia was a proud member of the Peace Corps family, and she contributed greatly to the lives of Filipino citizens in Donsol, Sorsogon, where she served,” he said. Latest: Suspect Juan Duntugan admits to killing Campbell. Leave your thoughts and condolences .

Warren Wiggins: Architect of the Peace Corps Date: April 15 2007 No: 1095 Warren Wiggins: Architect of the Peace Corps
Warren Wiggins, who died at 84 on April 13, became one of the architects of the Peace Corps in 1961 when his paper, "A Towering Task," landed in the lap of Sargent Shriver, just as Shriver was trying to figure out how to turn the Peace Corps into a working federal department. Shriver was electrified by the treatise, which urged the agency to act boldly. Read Mr. Wiggins' obituary and biography, take an opportunity to read the original document that shaped the Peace Corps' mission, and read John Coyne's special issue commemorating "A Towering Task."

The Peace Corps Library Date: July 11 2006 No: 923 The Peace Corps Library
The Peace Corps Library is now available online with over 40,000 index entries in 500 categories. Looking for a Returned Volunteer? Check our RPCV Directory or leave a message on our Bulletin Board. New: Sign up to receive our free Monthly Magazine by email, research the History of the Peace Corps, or sign up for a daily news summary of Peace Corps stories. FAQ: Visit our FAQ for more information about PCOL.

Chris Dodd's Vision for the Peace Corps Date: September 23 2006 No: 996 Chris Dodd's Vision for the Peace Corps
Senator Chris Dodd (RPCV Dominican Republic) spoke at the ceremony for this year's Shriver Award and elaborated on issues he raised at Ron Tschetter's hearings. Dodd plans to introduce legislation that may include: setting aside a portion of Peace Corps' budget as seed money for demonstration projects and third goal activities (after adjusting the annual budget upward to accommodate the added expense), more volunteer input into Peace Corps operations, removing medical, healthcare and tax impediments that discourage older volunteers, providing more transparency in the medical screening and appeals process, a more comprehensive health safety net for recently-returned volunteers, and authorizing volunteers to accept, under certain circumstances, private donations to support their development projects. He plans to circulate draft legislation for review to members of the Peace Corps community and welcomes RPCV comments.

He served with honor Date: September 12 2006 No: 983 He served with honor
One year ago, Staff Sgt. Robert J. Paul (RPCV Kenya) carried on an ongoing dialog on this website on the military and the peace corps and his role as a member of a Civil Affairs Team in Iraq and Afghanistan. We have just received a report that Sargeant Paul has been killed by a car bomb in Kabul. Words cannot express our feeling of loss for this tremendous injury to the entire RPCV community. Most of us didn't know him personally but we knew him from his words. Our thoughts go out to his family and friends. He was one of ours and he served with honor.

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