March 20, 2003: Headlines: COS - Congo - Brazzaville: Service: Maryland Gazette Newspapers: RPCV Ruth Snyder raises funds to build school in Congo Brazzaville

Peace Corps Online: Directory: Congo - Brazzaville: The Peace Corps in the Congo - Brazzaville : March 20, 2003: Headlines: COS - Congo - Brazzaville: Service: Maryland Gazette Newspapers: RPCV Ruth Snyder raises funds to build school in Congo Brazzaville

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RPCV Ruth Snyder raises funds to build school in Congo Brazzaville

RPCV Ruth Snyder raises funds to build school in Congo Brazzaville

Couple brings African feast to Frederick
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by Robert Schroeder
Staff Writer
Mar. 20, 2003

Guess who's coming to dinner in Frederick Sunday night?

Forget Thai. Never mind the sushi. And hold the fusion cuisine: for one night only, a Frederick couple is offering an authentic African feast.

Sound exotic? Maybe. Then again, maybe not: Puma Mbuyu, a native of the Democratic Republic of Congo, will whip up fish, cassava, sweet potatoes, cabbage, rice, meat stew and other dishes. But they'll all have a distinctly African flair.

It's all part of Mbuyu's dream of Africa. More specifically, the dinner is part of Mbuyu's and wife Ruth Snyder's dream of educating students in the Tshamalale village in Congo, where they have built a school serving 424 students.

All proceeds of the dinner will go to Snyder and Mbuyu's educational foundation, called Able and Willing. Suggested donation is $25 for ages 12 and up. The dinner will be from 4-7 p.m. Sunday at The Orchard restaurant, 45 N. Market St., Frederick.

Orchard owner Jim Hickey met Snyder and Mbuyu through Frederick's Quaker community.

"I really don't like to take too much credit," Hickey said of the one-night-only feast. "These folks do all the work."

Snyder, who served as a Peace Corps volunteer in Congo from 1988 to 1990, met Mbuyu while working on an agriculture project. The couple later married and began to think how they could contribute to development in Mbuyu's native country.

"We had struggled with the idea of development," Snyder said. "What's the best way to help a country? We decided that basic education was easy to help with."

Snyder and Mbuyu are hoping to raise about $54,000 this year from multiple sources in order to build a chicken house, pay teacher salaries, build new composting toilets, train teachers and buy textbooks.

"Because we have so many students now, we need more toilets," Snyder said.

The couple is hoping that between 100 and 200 people attend the this year's dinner, which is the third that The Orchard has hosted.

"We thought it was a tremendously good cause," Hickey said.

Snyder and Mbuyu are planning to build another school, and are looking at raising about $20,000 to put towards it. In the meantime, their plan is for the first school to become self-sufficient.

In addition to helping with school costs, Snyder has a simpler reason for coming to dinner on Sunday night.

"It's yummy," she says.

When this story was prepared, here was the front page of PCOL magazine:

This Month's Issue: August 2004 This Month's Issue: August 2004
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 who can come up with the funniest caption for our Current Events Funny?

Exclusive: Director Vasquez speaks out in an op-ed published exclusively on the web by Peace Corps Online saying the Dayton Daily News' portrayal of Peace Corps "doesn't jibe with facts."

In other news, the NPCA makes the case for improving governance and explains the challenges facing the organization, RPCV Bob Shaconis says Peace Corps has been a "sacred cow", RPCV Shaun McNally picks up support for his Aug 10 primary and has a plan to win in Connecticut, and the movie "Open Water" based on the negligent deaths of two RPCVs in Australia opens August 6. Op-ed's by RPCVs: Cops of the World is not a good goal and Peace Corps must emphasize community development.

Read the stories and leave your comments.

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Story Source: Maryland Gazette Newspapers

This story has been posted in the following forums: : Headlines; COS - Congo - Brazzaville; Service



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