2011.03.31: March 31, 2011: Colombia RPCV Mike Murra writes: At Notre Dame's graduation ceremonies in 1961, I listened to our commencement speaker, Sargent Shriver, discuss the importance of service and a "higher calling." Intending to go to law school, I switched my plans and applied to join the first group to go abroad as newly minted Peace Corps Volunteers.

Peace Corps Online: Directory: Colombia: Peace Corps Colombia : Peace Corps Colombia: Newest Stories: 2011.03.31: March 31, 2011: Colombia RPCV Mike Murra writes: At Notre Dame's graduation ceremonies in 1961, I listened to our commencement speaker, Sargent Shriver, discuss the importance of service and a "higher calling." Intending to go to law school, I switched my plans and applied to join the first group to go abroad as newly minted Peace Corps Volunteers.

By Admin1 (admin) (70.254.224.177) on Thursday, September 15, 2011 - 5:27 pm: Edit Post

Colombia RPCV Mike Murra writes: At Notre Dame's graduation ceremonies in 1961, I listened to our commencement speaker, Sargent Shriver, discuss the importance of service and a "higher calling." Intending to go to law school, I switched my plans and applied to join the first group to go abroad as newly minted Peace Corps Volunteers.

Colombia RPCV Mike Murra  writes: At Notre Dame's graduation ceremonies in 1961, I listened to our commencement speaker, Sargent Shriver, discuss the importance of service and a higher calling. Intending to go to law school, I switched my plans and applied to join the first group to go abroad as newly minted Peace Corps Volunteers.

After two "'months of preparation at Rutgers University, our group - then ready to begin service as rural community development workers in South America - took the train down to Washington, D.C., to be received in the Rose Garden by President John F. Kennedy. Days later in Bogotá, Colombia, we were welcomed by the president and the Cardinal Archbishop of Bogotá. This was pretty heady stuff for a 22-year-old with a flat top haircut from suburban Chicago. The Peace Corps has come a long way. Our nation has made millions of friends in the countries served by Peace Corps and those friends remember us most often as real people they got to know by working and relaxing together. In Colombia, we built one-room schoolhouses, aqueducts and farm-to-market roads, all of which enabled local people to improve the quality of their lives. We learned how to be contributing adults who could fit in, understand and collaborate with people whose language and life experiences were decidedly different from our own. We also learned that friendships can indeed cross ethnic and national boundaries. In the small rural town where I lived, I was honored to stand as the godfather for children in two different families. This year, the Peace Corps celebrates its 50th anniversary. Volunteers are still in Colombia and have been in 138 other countries where our participation has made friends and changed lives. We've become a dimension of foreign aid that truly makes a difference and a force for foreign relations that builds lasting connections.

Colombia RPCV Mike Murra writes: At Notre Dame's graduation ceremonies in 1961, I listened to our commencement speaker, Sargent Shriver, discuss the importance of service and a "higher calling." Intending to go to law school, I switched my plans and applied to join the first group to go abroad as newly minted Peace Corps Volunteers.

Fifty years of the PEACE CORPS

Volunteerism • Celebrating Americans who brought the world closer and made millions of friends worldwide.

Fifty years of the PEACE CORPS

By Mike Murray STLtoday.com | Posted: Thursday, March 31, 2011 12:00 am | Loading…

In some respects, it seems like yesterday. At Notre Dame's graduation ceremonies in 1961, I listened to our commencement speaker, Sargent Shriver, discuss the importance of service and a "higher calling." Intending to go to law school, I switched my plans and applied to join the first group to go abroad as newly minted Peace Corps Volunteers.

After two "'months of preparation at Rutgers University, our group - then ready to begin service as rural community development workers in South America - took the train down to Washington, D.C., to be received in the Rose Garden by President John F. Kennedy.

Days later in Bogotá, Colombia, we were welcomed by the president and the Cardinal Archbishop of Bogotá.

This was pretty heady stuff for a 22-year-old with a flat top haircut from suburban Chicago.

The Peace Corps has come a long way.

Our nation has made millions of friends in the countries served by Peace Corps and those friends remember us most often as real people they got to know by working and relaxing together.

In Colombia, we built one-room schoolhouses, aqueducts and farm-to-market roads, all of which enabled local people to improve the quality of their lives.

We learned how to be contributing adults who could fit in, understand and collaborate with people whose language and life experiences were decidedly different from our own.

We also learned that friendships can indeed cross ethnic and national boundaries.

In the small rural town where I lived, I was honored to stand as the godfather for children in two different families.

This year, the Peace Corps celebrates its 50th anniversary. Volunteers are still in Colombia and have been in 138 other countries where our participation has made friends and changed lives.

We've become a dimension of foreign aid that truly makes a difference and a force for foreign relations that builds lasting connections.

More than 200,000 Americans have served, including at least 3,000 Missourians.

Today, not all the volunteers are fresh-faced and 22; many of them are more than 50 years old. The Peace Corps remains true to its roots: to help the people of interested countries in meeting their need for trained men and women; to help promote a better understanding of Americans on the part of the peoples served; and to help promote a better understanding of other people on the part of Americans.

Today at Washington University, the St. Louis Peace Corps Association will honor two Missourians who exhibit the spirit of the Peace Corps. Former U.S. Sen. Christopher "Kit" Bond of Missouri and Dr. Patricia Wolff of St. Louis will receive the first annual Global Stewardship Awards.

Sen. Bond will be honored for his singular leadership in advocacy on behalf of the Peace Corps. Dr. Wolff is being honored for her volunteer work in combating malnutrition among children in Haiti. Her program has reached more than 23,000 children. Everyone is invited; if interested, please send an email to stlouispeacecorps@gmail.com.

Today, the annual budget for the Peace Corps is $400 million, about the same as the budget for the Army marching band.

Five years after launching the Peace Corps, Sargent Shriver had 15,000 volunteers on the ground in 50 countries; today there are 8,600. At a time when America needs to repair its reputation, we need to consider, as Sen. Bond says, putting sandals on the ground instead of boots, in countries under stress.

Many Americans have a desire to serve; many countries are asking for volunteers. But Congress has allowed the budget of the Peace Corps to languish, and it is under attack.

We urge Senators Claire McCaskill and Roy Blunt and all members of the House of Representatives from Missouri to maintain the current levels of funding for the remainder of the fiscal year and to support the President's request of $440 million for FY 2012.

We hope that all the members of our Congressional delegation, as well as other leaders in our region and state, will join with us to support this extraordinary 50-year venture so that it might continue to connect us with new friends around the world.

Mike Murray was a Peace Corps volunteer in Colombia from 1961- 1963. He is president of the St. Louis Peace Corps Association.




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Headlines: March, 2011; Peace Corps Colombia; Directory of Colombia RPCVs; Messages and Announcements for Colombia RPCVs; The 1960's





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DC you in September Date: August 12 2011 No: 1532 DC you in September
Come to Washington DC to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Peace Corps from September 21 to 25. There will be an open house at Peace Corps Headquarters, advocacy training, a service day, a staff reunion that all living directors will attend, Peace Corps Night with the Washington Nationals, the Peace Corps Gala, Third Goal Bash, a memorial to fallen Peace Corps Volunteers at Arlington Cemetery, the 50th Anniversary Walk of Flags and the NPCA's Peace Festival. Here's the schedule of events.

Peace Corps Featured at Smithsonian Date: July 15 2011 No: 1527 Peace Corps Featured at Smithsonian
Take a look at our photo essay of Peace Corps' featured program at the 2011 Smithsonian Folklife Festival on the National Mall in Washington DC to see how the festival showcased the work of Peace Corps volunteers in economic development and income generation; ways volunteers have helped support local groups to help educate communities; and food and cooking traditions that have played a role in the Peace Corps experience. New: Enjoy photos from the second week of the exposition.

May 26, 2011: The RPCV in the White House Date: May 26 2011 No: 1522 May 26, 2011: The RPCV in the White House
The RPCV in the White House 8 Apr
Peace Corps Recruiter Remembers Thomas Maresco 2 Mar
Robbie Schwartz writes: How would my life have been different? 2 Mar
Rajiv Joseph is a fresh and compelling voice in theater 5 Mar
Robert Textor Releases Peace Corps Classic 13 Mar
Chris Matthews writes: What's the Real Mission In Libya? 22 Mar
Peace Corps Faces Budget Ax in FY2012 23 Mar
Brendan Moroso writes: Revolution comes to North Africa 23 Mar
Jessica Moon Bernstein has exhibition "Ourrubberos" 26 Mar
Joshua Stern Founds Envaya to Provide Interent Access 26 Mar
Richard Sitler Photographs PCVs around the world 27 Mar
Scott Lacy is Executive Director of African Sky 29 Mar
American Sailor Accused of Raping PCV in Uganda 24 Apr
Scott Koepke Shares his Love for Dirt 26 Apr
Jane Wolkowicz tried to be Strict Vegetarian in Kazakhstan 27 Apr
George Packer Writes: Bin Laden: Better Late Than Never 2 May
Clare Major Screens Film "Feast & Sacrifice" 4 May
Steve Kruse and Salifu Mansaray met 40 years ago 4 May
SuZanne Kimbrell Rocks in Dallas 12 May
Nancy Sathre-Vogel writes:A Long Path to Nowhere 15 May
Gal Beckerman writes: What is Peace Corps for? 15 May
Katie Dyer Founded Fair Trade Folk Art Gallery 17 May
Henry Wilhelm Honored for his Photography 25 May

Congressional Hearings on Sexual Assault Date: June 3 2011 No: 1523 Congressional Hearings on Sexual Assault
Congress held hearings on the sexual assault of Peace Corps volunteers. Read the testimony of RPCVs on how the problem is still ongoing, and not limited to any particular country or region. Director Williams says that "it has become apparent to me that the Peace Corps has not always been sufficiently responsive or sensitive to victims of crime and their families. I sincerely regret that." Read what the Peace Corps is doing to address the issue. Latest: Background on sexual assault of PCVs.

Peace Corps: The Next Fifty Years Date: March 8 2011 No: 1513 Peace Corps: The Next Fifty Years
As we move into the Peace Corps' second fifty years, what single improvement would most benefit the mission of the Peace Corps? Read our op-ed about the creation of a private charitable non-profit corporation, independent of the US government, whose focus would be to provide support and funding for third goal activities. Returned Volunteers need President Obama to support the enabling legislation, already written and vetted, to create the Peace Corps Foundation. RPCVs will do the rest.

How Volunteers Remember Sarge Date: January 18 2011 No: 1487 How Volunteers Remember Sarge
As the Peace Corps' Founding Director Sargent Shriver laid the foundations for the most lasting accomplishment of the Kennedy presidency. Shriver spoke to returned volunteers at the Peace Vigil at Lincoln Memorial in September, 2001 for the Peace Corps 40th. "The challenge I believe is simple - simple to express but difficult to fulfill. That challenge is expressed in these words: PCV's - stay as you are. Be servants of peace. Work at home as you have worked abroad. Humbly, persistently, intelligently. Weep with those who are sorrowful, Care for those who are sick. Serve your wives, serve your husbands, serve your families, serve your neighbors, serve your cities, serve the poor, join others who also serve," said Shriver. "Serve, Serve, Serve. That's the answer, that's the objective, that's the challenge."

PCV Murder Investigated Date: January 18 2011 No: 1477 PCV Murder Investigated
ABC News has investigated the murder of Benin PCV Kate Puzey. Read our original coverage of the crime, comments on Peace Corps actions, the email Puzey sent her country director about sexual incidents with Puzey's students and with another PCV, the backstory on how RPCVs helped the Puzey family, and Peace Corps' official statement. PCOL Editorial: One major shortcoming that the Puzey murder highlights is that Peace Corps does not have a good procedure in place for death notifications.

Join Us Mr. President! Date: June 26 2009 No: 1380 Join Us Mr. President!
"We will double the size of the Peace Corps by its 50th anniversary in 2011. And we'll reach out to other nations to engage their young people in similar programs, so that we work side by side to take on the common challenges that confront all humanity," said Barack Obama during his campaign. Returned Volunteers rally and and march to the White House to support a bold new Peace Corps for a new age. Latest: Senator Dodd introduces Peace Corps Improvement and Expansion Act of 2009 .



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Story Source: STL Today

This story has been posted in the following forums: : Headlines; COS - Colombia; 1960s

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