March 1, 2006: Headlines: COS - Mali: Directors - Vasquez: Peace Corps: Peace Corps Director Gaddi Vasquez travels to Mali

Peace Corps Online: Directory: Mali: Peace Corps Mali : The Peace Corps in Mali: March 1, 2006: Headlines: COS - Mali: Directors - Vasquez: Peace Corps: Peace Corps Director Gaddi Vasquez travels to Mali

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Peace Corps Director Gaddi Vasquez travels to Mali

Peace Corps Director Gaddi Vasquez travels to Mali

"Some donors give money while others give equipment," stated President Touré. "Peace Corps volunteers give their hearts, and you can't put a price on that."

Peace Corps Director Gaddi Vasquez travels to Mali

Peace Corps Director Travels to West Africa

WASHINGTON, D.C., March 1, 2006 Peace Corps Director Gaddi H. Vasquez returned to the U.S. after a two-week trip to three West African countries, where he met volunteers and dignitaries in Benin, Togo, and Mali.

Rounding out his two-week West Africa trip with a final stop in the Republic of Mali. Director Vasquez had the opportunity to meet with President Amadou Toumani Touré, who invited him to Mali after the two met at Peace Corps headquarters in 2003. President Touré has long been a supporter of the Peace Corps and took this opportunity to praise the more than 2100 volunteers who have served in Mali since 1971.

"Some donors give money while others give equipment," stated President Touré. "Peace Corps volunteers give their hearts, and you can't put a price on that."

As part of his travels through Mali, Director Vasquez visited several volunteers; including Robert Miller of Fall River, Mass. Miller is a small enterprise development volunteer working with the Ministry of Microfinance and the Mali Finance organization. Among his many responsibilities, Miller serves as a liaison between American business and the Ministry. He and Director Vasquez discussed the success of microfinance programs in Mali and other Peace Corps countries.

Director Vasquez also met with the U.S. Ambassador to Mali, Terence McCulley and Mali's Minister for the Promotion of Investments, Ousmane Thiam. Director Vasquez thanked Minister Thiam for his continuing support of the Peace Corps. He also discussed further collaboration efforts between the Peace Corps and the Ministry for the development of small and medium-sized businesses and the promotion of investment programs.

"As I traveled through many towns and villages in Mali, I was moved by the strong friendships that exist between Peace Corps volunteers and their communities. Peace Corps volunteers are making a difference in the lives of many Malians today, just as they have over the 35 year history of Peace Corps Mali," Director Vasquez said.

Currently, 128 Peace Corps volunteers are working within Mali to confront imminent food shortages due to a rapidly growing population and frequent droughts. Volunteers strive to improve domestic food production, as well as find solutions to difficulties in water availability, environmental conservation, and micro-enterprise development. Volunteers are also providing education on preventative health care and HIV/AIDS awareness. Over 500 Peace Corps volunteers have served in Mali since 1993. To learn more about Mali, please visit the Where Do Volunteers Go? section.





Director Gaddi H. Vasquez returns to the U.S. after trip to West Africa

Peace Corps Online

Peace Corps Director Gaddi H. Vasquez returned to the U.S. after a two-week trip to three West African countries, where he met volunteers and dignitaries in Benin, Togo, and Mali.





When this story was posted in March 2006, this was on the front page of PCOL:


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March 1, 1961: Keeping Kennedy's Promise Date: February 27 2006 No: 800 March 1, 1961: Keeping Kennedy's Promise
On March 1, 1961, President John F. Kennedy issues Executive Order #10924, establishing the Peace Corps as a new agency: "Life in the Peace Corps will not be easy. There will be no salary and allowances will be at a level sufficient only to maintain health and meet basic needs. Men and women will be expected to work and live alongside the nationals of the country in which they are stationed--doing the same work, eating the same food, talking the same language. But if the life will not be easy, it will be rich and satisfying. For every young American who participates in the Peace Corps--who works in a foreign land--will know that he or she is sharing in the great common task of bringing to man that decent way of life which is the foundation of freedom and a condition of peace. "

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The Peace Corps Library Date: February 24 2006 No: 798 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. New: Sign up to receive PCOL Magazine, our free Monthly Magazine by email. Like to keep up with Peace Corps news as it happens? Sign up to recieve a daily summary of Peace Corps stories from around the world.

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Paid Vacations in the Third World? Date: February 20 2006 No: 787 Paid Vacations in the Third World?
Retired diplomat Peter Rice has written a letter to the Wall Street Journal stating that Peace Corps "is really just a U.S. government program for paid vacations in the Third World." Director Vasquez has responded that "the small stipend volunteers receive during their two years of service is more than returned in the understanding fostered in communities throughout the world and here at home." What do RPCVs think?

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Timothy Ronald Obert has pleaded guilty to sexually abusing a minor in Costa Rica while serving there as a Peace Corps volunteer. "The Peace Corps has a zero tolerance policy for misconduct that violates the law or standards of conduct established by the Peace Corps," said Peace Corps Director Gaddi H. Vasquez. Could inadequate screening have been partly to blame? Mr. Obert's resume, which he had submitted to the Peace Corps in support of his application to become a Peace Corps Volunteer, showed that he had repeatedly sought and obtained positions working with underprivileged children. Read what RPCVs have to say about this case.

Military Option sparks concerns Date: January 3 2006 No: 773 Military Option sparks concerns
The U.S. military, struggling to fill its voluntary ranks, is allowing recruits to meet part of their reserve military obligations after active duty by serving in the Peace Corps. Read why there is opposition to the program among RPCVs. Director Vasquez says the agency has a long history of accepting qualified applicants who are in inactive military status. John Coyne says "Not only no, but hell no!" and RPCV Chris Matthews leads the debate on "Hardball." Avi Spiegel says Peace Corps is not the place for soldiers while Coleman McCarthy says to Welcome Soldiers to the Peace Corps. Read our poll results. Latest: Congress passed a bill on December 22 including language to remove Peace Corps from the National Call to Service (NCS) military recruitment program

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When the National Call to Service legislation was amended to include Peace Corps in December of 2002, this country had not yet invaded Iraq and was not in prolonged military engagement in the Middle East, as it is now. Read the story of how one volunteer spent three years in captivity from 1976 to 1980 as the hostage of a insurrection group in Colombia in Joanne Marie Roll's op-ed on why this legislation may put soldier/PCVs in the same kind of danger. Latest: Read the ongoing dialog on the subject.

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Gaddi H. Vasquez has established the Kennedy Service Awards to honor the hard work and service of two current Peace Corps Volunteers, two returned Peace Corps Volunteers, and two Peace Corps staff members. The award to currently serving volunteers will be based on a demonstration of impact, sustainability, creativity, and catalytic effect. Submit your nominations by December 9.

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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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