April 18, 2005: Headlines: COS - Congo Kinshasa: COS - Mali: NGO's: The Lebanon Daily News : Mali RPCV Randal Rhoade will stay in Bukavu, a city in the Democratic Republic of Congo, at least a year, serving as financial and human-resources administrator for Action Against Hunger-USA, a nonprofit group dedicated to combating hunger around the world

Peace Corps Online: Directory: Congo - Kinshasa (Zaire): Peace Corps Congo Kinshasa : The Peace Corps in Congo - Kinshasa: April 18, 2005: Headlines: COS - Congo Kinshasa: COS - Mali: NGO's: The Lebanon Daily News : Mali RPCV Randal Rhoade will stay in Bukavu, a city in the Democratic Republic of Congo, at least a year, serving as financial and human-resources administrator for Action Against Hunger-USA, a nonprofit group dedicated to combating hunger around the world

By Admin1 (admin) (pool-151-196-181-108.balt.east.verizon.net - 151.196.181.108) on Saturday, April 23, 2005 - 9:45 pm: Edit Post

Mali RPCV Randal Rhoade will stay in Bukavu, a city in the Democratic Republic of Congo, at least a year, serving as financial and human-resources administrator for Action Against Hunger-USA, a nonprofit group dedicated to combating hunger around the world

Mali RPCV Randal Rhoade will stay in Bukavu, a city in the Democratic Republic of Congo, at least a year, serving as financial and human-resources administrator for Action Against Hunger-USA, a nonprofit group dedicated to combating hunger around the world

Mali RPCV Randal Rhoade will stay in Bukavu, a city in the Democratic Republic of Congo, at least a year, serving as financial and human-resources administrator for Action Against Hunger-USA, a nonprofit group dedicated to combating hunger around the world

Local man finds the beat in Congo to his liking

By Chris Sholly
The Lebanon Daily News
Lebanon, Pa.
April 18, 2005

Taking his cue from the Apostle Paul, Randal Rhoade has spent a decade working among less-fortunate people around the world.

The 35-year-old South Londonderry Township man arrived last month at his new assignment in Bukavu, a city in the Democratic Republic of Congo, bordering Rwanda and Burundi.

"It is the most beautiful area I have lived in during the past 10 years," the 1988 Palmyra Area High School graduate said in an e-mail interview.

The South Londonderry Township man, the son of Ron and Beota Rhoade, will stay in Bukavu at least a year, serving as financial and human-resources administrator for Action Against Hunger-USA, a nonprofit group dedicated to combating hunger around the world.

After graduating from high school, Rhoade attended Shippensburg University, earning a bachelor's degree in finance in 1993. He landed a state job in Harrisburg, working as an auditor in the Treasury Department for a year.

"He was just very discontented," his mother, Beota Rhoade, recalled during an interview last week.

With a friend's encouragement, Rhoade signed up for the Peace Corps and spent two years in Mali. His mother said he roughed it, living a hut in an African village.

Despite the hardships he endured, he wrote, he found the work fulfilling.

"Living in Mali for two years made me realize that I really enjoy working overseas and in cross-cultural settings," Randal Rhoade wrote.

His next job took him to Haiti, where he stayed for eight years working at the Albert Sweitzer Hospital and later for Habitat for Humanity.

"Randy told me that he felt God was pulling him there," Beota Rhoade said. "Randy prays about everything. We're always OK with whatever he feels he's led to do."

His mother said she is not surprised her son has taken this path in life. The Rhoades also have three daughters, Candy, Tammy and Mandy.

"I call him my miracle son," she said, explaining that they almost lost him when he was 9 months old because he contracted meningitis. "I always said that the Lord has something for Randy that's different."

While in Haiti, Rhoade started working on a master's degree in organizational leadership through California's Azusa Pacific University. When he finished his degree, he began to look for a job where he could use his management and financial skills in a long-term relief program.

"I saw a posting online and read some information about the organization [Action Against Hunger]," he recalled. "I knew that this would probably be my next work experience."

The Democratic Republic of the Congo, formerly known as Zaire, has a population around 45 million people. Bukavu, where Rhoade is living, has a population of more than 160,000. The area has endured a long history of war, which has taken its toll.

"Many of the population live or have been forced into areas where there is drought or little food available because of the war," he said.

Rhoade said being a part of something that helps others who are in desperate need of assistance is very satisfying work.

"The best thing about my job is that this is what I know I am to do," he said. "It's interesting and exciting work. No day is the same. I meet all kinds of interesting and neat people. I learn and appreciate new ways of doing things and looking at life."

It is Rhoade's job to make sure Action Against Hunger's food-distribution programs work efficiently so they can reach as many people in need as possible with the limited resources available. Action Against Hunger-USA focuses on food distribution as well as water and sanitation projects in Africa, he said.

"The water projects are aimed at providing reliable and potable water sources in areas where drought and disease occur," he explained.

One of his biggest challenges lies in human resources, Rhoade said.

"I live and work with a variety of expatriates who come from very different cultures, and all of us work in a country that is very different from our own," he explained. "Each culture has different values. For example, some cultures value hard work, organization and efficiency, while others value relationships and community more.

"I must be involved in many of the conflicts that arise from such differences," he added.

Because the community is small, everyone knows everything each person does, Rhoade said.

"We are always ambassadors and representatives of the organization we work for and the country we come from, so there is always that underlying pressure to not mess up, even in stressful situations," he said.

Rhoade said it's difficult to pinpoint one person who influenced him, but he said he was inspired by the story of the Apostle Paul in the New Testament.

"He lived a certain way until a significant personal event caused him to completely change his life around," he said. "As a result, he changed his thinking and was not afraid to admit that he was previously wrong. He then knew what he was destined to do in this world and committed himself to live and die for what he believed in."

Beota Rhoade said it takes a special person to live and work with the people in Third-World countries.

"He has no interest in [material] valuables," she said of her son. "The major thing for him is the contentment and the peace inside," she said.





When this story was posted in April 2005, this was on the front page of PCOL:


Peace Corps Online The Independent News Forum serving Returned Peace Corps Volunteers
The Peace Corps Library Date: March 27 2005 No: 536 The Peace Corps Library
Peace Corps Online is proud to announce that the Peace Corps Library is now available online. With over 30,000 index entries in 500 categories, this is the largest collection of Peace Corps related stories in the world. From Acting to Zucchini, you can find hundreds of stories about what RPCVs with your same interests or from your Country of Service are doing today. If you have a web site, support the "Peace Corps Library" and link to it today.

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April 17, 2005: This Week's Top Stories Date: April 18 2005 No: 556 April 17, 2005: This Week's Top Stories
The Coyne Column: A Peace Corps Writer Discovery 17 Apr
Chris Van Hollen supports Peace Corps budget 17 Apr
Joseph Goldstein founded Forest Refuge 17 Apr
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Wangari Maathai meets with Kenya Country Director 15 Apr
Simon James says corps' days numbered in Uzbekistan 15 Apr
Peace Corps not heard anything about Uzbekistan 15 Apr
Novak says Chris Dodd attacking anti-Castro officials 14 Apr
Taylor Hackford not pleased with content editing 14 Apr
Activist W. Retta Gilliam dies in DC 13 Apr
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Tom Bissell discusses recent events in Kyrgyzstan 11 Apr
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April 17, 2005: Special RPCV Events Date: April 18 2005 No: 558 April 17, 2005: Special RPCV Events
RPCV Kent Island Family Weekend on May 6 - 8
Joseph Opala speaks in Rhode Island on April 19
South Carolina RPCVs to see off PCVs on April 18
Terry Deshler speaks in Wyoming on April 18
Cameroon RPCVs selling special Pagne
Bush proclaims National Volunteer Week
RPCVs: Post your stories or press releases here for inclusion next week.

RPCVs and Friends remember Pope John Paul II Date: April 3 2005 No: 550 RPCVs and Friends remember Pope John Paul II
Tony Hall found the pope to be courageous and capable of forgiving the man who shot him in 1981, Mark Gearan said the pope was as dynamic in person as he appears on television, Maria Shriver said he was a beacon of virtue, strength and goodness, and an RPCV who met the pope while serving in the Solomon Islands said he possessed the holiness of a man filled with a deep love and concern for humanity. Leave your thoughts here.

Friends of the Peace Corps 170,000  strong Date: April 2 2005 No: 543 Friends of the Peace Corps 170,000 strong
170,000 is a very special number for the RPCV community - it's the number of Volunteers who have served in the Peace Corps since 1961. It's also a number that is very special to us because March is the first month since our founding in January, 2001 that our readership has exceeded 170,000. And while we know that not everyone who comes to this site is an RPCV, they are all "Friends of the Peace Corps." Thanks everybody for making PCOL your source of news for the Returned Volunteer community.


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Story Source: The Lebanon Daily News

This story has been posted in the following forums: : Headlines; COS - Congo Kinshasa; COS - Mali; NGO's

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