Category Archives: RPCVs

Returned Peace Corps Volunteers and the Third Goal

The Peace Corps has always operated with a three-point goal in mind: serve host countries, introduce host countries to Americans, and to help Americans better understand non-Americans. [1] Peace Corps Volunteers do not stop fulfilling this third goal when they finish their service. One of the ways that Returned Peace Corps Volunteers (RPCVs) have accomplished this goal is by establishing organizations that work to help their country of service.

The American University Archives features materials from these organizations, whether donated by a Volunteer or the organization itself. Returned Peace Corps Volunteers often founded these associations in the final decades of the twentieth century. Many have the title “Friends of [Country of Service].” These groups provide a way for members who served together or in the same country to keep in touch. However, they also have a central focus on providing resources to and keeping American attention on their country of service. As such, they continue to fulfill the third goal of the Peace Corps.

This flyer shows how the Friends of Costa Rica Organization clearly thought of themselves as fulfilling the Peace Corps’ third goal and wanted other RPCVs to do the same. Friends of Costa Rica, “Third Goal Forum!” 1996, American University Archives, Washington, D.C.

The Peace Corps Community Archive has materials from organizations for RPCVS from five countries: Colombia, Nigeria, Ghana, Kenya, and the Dominican Republic. A former fellow has written an amazing post about materials from the Friends of Nigeria, but the other four groups’ collections are also fascinating. Of especial note is the Friends of Colombia, which has been donating material since before the Peace Corps Community Archive began. The archive now has several decades of the organization’s materials, as well as the collections of dozens of Colombia RPCVs. These boxes are filled with stories, such as the organization’s founding, Colombian RPCV reunions, and donations and events that the group facilitated to help Colombians. However, Friends of Colombia has also worked to make a wider circle of Americans become more familiar with Colombians, such as through their participation in President Clinton’s 1992 inaugural parade. [2]

The founders of the Friends of Colombia in the living room where they started the organization. Photo undated, circa 2000. American University, Washington D.C.

While the archives does not have as much material from the Friends of the Dominican Republic, Ghana, or Kenya, these collections are still incredibly interesting. The Friends of Ghana organization has donated materials including meeting notes, newsletters, and the donation information. Members of the Friends of the Dominican Republic donated materials from their time assisting the organization (a list of members and related blog posts can be found here). Robert Scully donated materials from the Friends of Kenya. These groups also helped to facilitate connections between RCPVs, the country in which they served, and other Americans. For example, Robert Scully’s collection features Friends of Kenya materials from the 1990s and early 2000s, when he served on the organization’s board. During his tenure, the group donated to causes such as fighting polio in Kenya. Similar to Friends of Colombia, the group also interacted with Kenyans at the highest levels of government. This included the Kenyan ambassador to the United States, as seen below.

This is Robert Scully’s invitation to the thirty-third anniversary celebration of Kenya’s independence, courtesy of the Kenyan ambassador to the United States. American University Archives, Washington, D.C.

All of these organizations have also continued to carry out the Peace Corps’ third goal. The Peace Corps Community Archive has information on dozens of charitable projects that these five organizations alone have assisted. As shown above, these groups frequently have a great deal of influence due to their ties to the Peace Corps and former country of service. Meetings with ambassadors or other high-ranking officials from their countries of service, such as Scully’s, are not uncommon. Such work has made it more likely that other Americans will learn about their countries of service. These groups have all helped Americans, whether or not they are RPCVs, better understand non-Americans, therefore fulfilling a key Peace Corps purpose.

 

 

 

 

[1]”2020 Fact Sheet,” Peace Corps, December 2019, https://files.peacecorps.gov/multimedia/pdf/about/pc_facts.pdf.

[2] “Friends of Colombia (FOC) Activities,” c. 1996. American University Archives, Washington, D.C.

Leo Shelley in Liberia

Place of Service: Gbarnga (Cuttington University)

Service Type: Education, Libraries

Dates in Service: 1964-1967

Keywords: Education, Libraries, Youth

Accession Date: July 27, 2023

Access: No restrictions

Collection Size: 0.01 linear feet (located in small collections)

Document Types

  • Publications

Finding Aid:

  • Two articles about Shelley’s service; 1967, 1986
  • Liberia IV training materials, 1964

Ann Marie Quinlan (Culhane) in Jamaica

Place of Service: Ocho Rios

Service Type: Business

Dates in Service: 1990-1992

Keywords: Business, Community Development

Accession Date: February 11, 2023

Access: Restrictions on one folder [see below]

Collection Size: 0.25 linear feet

Document Types

  • Correspondence
  • Photographs

Finding Aid:

  1. Documents
    1. Correspondence
      1. Correspondence with Lavae Aldrich and Lynne Alexander, 1990-1992
      2. Correspondence with parents Tom and Jane Culhane, June 1990-August 1991 (Part I)
      3. Correspondence with parents Tom and Jane Culhane, September 1991-May 1992 (Part II)
      4. Letters to Quinlan from Jamaica Group 54 post-return, May 1993-May 1994
    2. Other Documents
      1. Peace Corps Application and Invitation paperwork, c. 1989-1990
      2. Training Materials, 1990
      3. ID Cards, calendars, planners, and journal, c. 1990-1992
      4. Travel Brochures and Pamphlets, undated, c. 1990
      5. Plane Ticket and Map of Jamaica, undated, 1992
      6. Group 54 RPCV Soon Come Newsletter, undated, 1993
      7. Application Materials and Peace Corps ID Cards, c. 1989-1990 (Restricted)
  2. Photos
    1. Photo Slides, c. 1990-1992

Robert T. K. Scully in Kenya

Place of Service: Bungoma (St. Mary’s Kibabii Secondary School)

Service Type: Education

Dates in Service: 1964-1966

Keywords: Education, Youth

Accession Date: March 23, 2023

Access: No restrictions

Collection Size: 3 linear feet

Document Types

  • Correspondence
  • Photographs
  • Reports
  • Publications
  • Film/Video
  • Sound

Related Items in Other Repositories:

Oral History Interview [Kennedy Presidential Library]

Finding Aid:

  1. Box 1: Peace Corps Experience and Connections, c. 1964-2001
    1. Correspondence
      1. Peace Corps Correspondence, 1964
      2. Peace Corps Correspondence, 1965
      3. Peace Corps/Kenya/Kibabii Correspondence, 1966 undated, January-June 1966
      4. Peace Corps/Kenya/Kibabii Correspondence, July-December 1966
      5. Kenya/Kibabii Correspondence, 1967-1968
      6. Kenya/Kibabii Correspondence, 1970
      7. Kenya/Kibabii Correspondence, c. 1971-1972
      8. Kenya/Kibabii Correspondence, c. 1973-1979
      9. Kenya/Kibabii Correspondence, 1980-1987
      10. Kenya/Kibabii Correspondence, c. 1994-2001
    2. Peace Corps Journal, 1964-1966
    3. Training Materials and Information
      1. Peace Corps Training Papers, 1964
      2. Peace Corps Training Notebooks, 1964
      3. Peace Corps Kenya Information, 1964
    4. Mary’s Kibabii Secondary School Materials
      1. Kibabii Student Essays, 1965 (1 of 2)
      2. Kibabii Student Essays, 1965 (2 of 2)
      3. Kibabii Student Essays, 1966
      4. Kibabii School Student Papers on Local History, 1966
      5. Kibabii Chronicle, 1966
      6. Drama Society Script Drafts, c. 1966
      7. Kibabii Student Reunion, 1995
    5. Publications
      1. Scully’s Kenya-Related Publications, 1969-1979
      2. Scully’s Thesis, “The Elgon Bantu Before the Coming of the Europeans,” 1970
      3. Box 2: Scully and Kibabii Publications, 1970-1995
    6. Miscellaneous
      1. Congregation of Our Lady of the Sacred Heart Utrecht Yearbook, 1966-1967 [in Dutch]
      2. Ticket Books, 1966-1968
  2. Later Trips to Kenya with Students, c. 1970-1993
    1. Fort Sites
      1. Bukusu- South Mateka Fort Sites [Lumboka], 1970
      2. Bukusu- Seritanga Area Fort Site, 1970
      3. Bukusu- Chwele Area Maps and Fort Sites, 1970,
      4. Bukusu- Sangalo Maps and Fort Sites, 1970
      5. Chetambe Hill Project, Bukusu, Kenya, c. 1970
    2. Notebooks
      1. Numbered Field Report Books,1970-1971
      2. Unnumbered Field Notebooks, 1970-1971
      3. Scully’s Kenya Student Trip Reports, 1974 (1 of 2)
      4. Scully’s Kenya Student Trip Reports, 1974 (2 of 2)
    3. Publications and Assignments
      1. Scully’s Kenya Student Trip Reports: Related Correspondence and Publications, c. 1974-1993
      2. Dean Cowen 1974 Student Trip Report, “The History of Kibabii,” 1974
      3. Bukusu Clan Papers and Related History, c. 1970
      4. Scully Bukusu Fort publication, 1975
    4. Maps
      1. Bukusu Maps, c. 1970 (1 of 2)
      2. Bukusu Maps, c. 1970 (2 of 2)
  3. Friends of Kenya and National Peace Corps Association Materials, c. 1989-2011
    1. Documents
      1. Friends of Kenya Board Notes and Emails, c. 1996-1997
      2. Box 3: Friends of Kenya Peace Corps Correspondence, c. 1995-2011
      3. Friends of Kenya Newsletters including “Moto Moto,” c. 1994-2002
      4. Friends of Kenya Notes/Meetings; undated, 1989-2000
      5. Friends of Kenya Correspondence and Miscellaneous; undated, 1992-2003 (1 of 2)
      6. Friends of Kenya Correspondence and Miscellaneous; undated, 1992-2003 (2 of 2)
      7. Friends of Kenya Correspondence and Miscellaneous; undated, 1995-2002 (centered around 2000) (1 of 2)
      8. Friends of Kenya Correspondence and Miscellaneous; undated, 1995-2002 (centered around 2000) (2 of 2)
      9. Kibabii-St. Mary’s School Meetings and President Daniel Arap Moi Meeting, c. 1995-1998
      10. Friends of Kenya Correspondence and Related Publications; undated, c. 2000-2003 (1 of 2)
      11. Friends of Kenya Correspondence and Related Publications; undated, c. 2000-2003 (2 of 2)
      12. Peace Corps/Teachers for East Africa Alumni Meeting/ The Carter Presidential Library, c. 1998-2009
      13. Miscellaneous Correspondence, Friends of Kenya, Kibabii, Kenya Programs and Contacts; undated, 1993-1999
      14. National Peace Corps Association (NPCA) Board Notes; undated, 1997-2003 (1 of 2)
      15. National Peace Corps Association (NPCA) Board Notes; undated, 1997-2003 (2 of 2)
      16. Peace Garden Program, 1999
      17. Friends of Kenya-Polio Kenya Program, undated, 1996-1999
      18. Friends of Kenya Miscellaneous Correspondence; undated, 1997-1998, 2000-2002 (1 of 2)
      19. Friends of Kenya Miscellaneous Correspondence; undated, 1997-1998, 2000-2002 (2 of 2)
      20. Friends of Kenya Directory, 1994
    2. Other
      1. Friends of Kenya- Marafiki Tee Shirt, undated
      2. Box 4: Friends of Kenya and Friends of Malawi Miscellaneous Tapes, 1994-1995
  4. Photos, c. 1964-2000
    1. Peace Corps Kenya Photos, c. 1964-1969 (1 of 3)
    2. Peace Corps Kenya Photos, c. 1964-1969 (2 of 3)
    3. Peace Corps Kenya Photos, c. 1964-1969 (3 of 3)
    4. Chetambe Hill Project Photos, Bukusu, Kenya, c. 1970
    5. Miscellaneous Photos of Circumcision Ceremony, August 1966 (Content Warning)
    6. Miscellaneous Photos, c. 1964-2000
    7. Miscellaneous Negatives, c. 1964-2000

Ruth Chandler in Brazil

Dates in Service: c. 1964-1966

Keywords: Community Development, Education, Youth

Accession Date: September 29, 2022

Access: No restrictions on research. No deed of gift as donation through third party.

Collection Size: 0.1 linear feet (located in small collections)

Document Types

  • Correspondence
  • Publications

Finding Aid:

  • Hot Lunch Digest Brazil VII newsletter, 1964-1965
  • Associated Correspondence with the newsletters, 1969, 2017
  • Missionary flier for RPCVs, undated