Tag Archives: Peace Corps’ Birthday

American University Celebrates Peace Corps Week

In celebration of Peace Corps Week, on Tuesday, March 2, American University hosted Peace Corps recruiter Chuck Cascio and more than 10 Returned Peace Corps volunteers, many of them American University students and alumni. Along with the opportunity to talk with Peace Corps volunteers, the event included displays of photos and objects related each RPCV’s service. These RPCVs shared their Peace Corps experiences, demonstrating how they each made a difference in their respective communities.

Last month, the Peace Corps ranked American University as one of the top medium-sized colleges and universities producing Peace Corps volunteers. As shown by Tuesday’s event, American University will continue its already strong relationship with Peace Corps service.

RPCV Lauren Kovach (Zambia, 2012-2014) and Rachel Teter (Panama, 2011-2013) inform American University students about the merits of Peace Corps service.

RPCV Lauren Kovach (Zambia, 2012-2014); left, and Rachel Teter (Panama, 2011-2013) ; right. inform American University students about the merits of Peace Corps service.

Happy Birthday, Peace Corps!

On March 1, 1961, President John F. Kennedy established the Peace Corps. 54 years later, the Peace Corps still reflects its original mission to “promote world peace and friendship.”

This year’s celebration of Peace Corps Week includes the video challenge, “Host Country Heroes: Who do you wish Americans knew from your Peace Corps country?”, digital “video chats” with Peace Corps Volunteers serving around the world, and multiple Peace Corps “festivals” and information sessions taking place throughout the country.

The Peace Corps Community Archive reflects the variety of contributions and experiences of 54 years of Peace Corps service. From training materials and community development reports, to photographs and correspondence, our collection helps document the 54 years of continued international service of the Peace Corps.

The photos from our collection below, feature Peace Corps volunteers in action.

PC Boge- Rose Ann Crimmins edit

Winifred Boge served in India from 1965-1967.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

22. This is our boat that will take us up the river on our spray mission. These boats are flat-bottomed, with automobile engines mounted on long propeller shafts.

Jonathan Green served in Thailand from 1973-1975.

 

 

Randall Children 2002

Alanna Randall served in Belize from 2001-2003.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Charlotte Daigle-Berney in Uganda

Charlotte Daigle-Berney

Country of Service: Uganda
Place of Service: Masaka, Mbale
Service Type: Education
Dates in Service: 1966-1968
Keywords: Masaka, Mbale, Sebei College

Accession Date: December 22, 2014
Access: No restrictions
Collection Size: 0.25 linear feet

Document Types

  • Correspondence
  • Photographs
  • Publications
  • Collection of African superstitions
  • Training materials
  • CD of photographs from RPCVs submitted to the New Mexico Peace Corps Association commemorating the Peace Corps 50th Anniversary

Cole Shaw in Mexico

Cole Shaw

Country of Service: Mexico
Place of Service: Nuevo Leon
Service Type: Engineering (CONACYT)
Dates in Service: 2009-2011
Keywords: Community Development, Information Technology, Health

Accession Date: July 10, 2014
Access: No restrictions
Collection Size: 1 item

Document Types

      • web blog

https://wayback.archive-it.org/1435/20140825194452/http://awolverineinmexico.blogspot.com/

Retelling the History of RPCV/W

In honor of Peace Corps Week, we are pleased to have Jesse Bailey, Historian of RPCV/W, as a Guest Blogger.  We invited him to tell us about his history project and the panel discussion held at American University on February 23rd.

RPCVW Panel

From right to left: Roger Landrum, Jerry Lutes, Debby Prigal, Lisa Martin, Jesse Bailey

Back in 2010 the board of the Returned Peace Corps Volunteers of Washington DC (RPCV/W), started to organize for the 50th anniversary of Peace Corps, which happened in September of 2011. All this organizing, and recapturing the history of Peace Corps got the board wondering about the history of our own organization. The board has recently, mostly consisted of people in their late 20’s or early 30’s, with average service of 2-4 years. This has led to a lack of historical knowledge of what the group had done in the past. That is how the creation of Historian was born, and how I became appointed to the board to look into our own history.

Over the past year and a half, I have been tracking down and interviewing former board members to learn what we have done as a group. As it turns out, we have done a lot, especially in the first several years of our existence. RPCV/W was formed in 1978, and back then there were very few country or regional groups in existence. Because our location in the nation’s capital and Peace Corps Headquarters, we have had a long history of working with Peace Corps and the National Peace Corps Association to celebrate major Peace Corps milestones. It was RPCV/W that ended up organizing the first Peace Corps reunion, the 20th in 1981. Five years later, we organized the major 25th Anniversary, which was much bigger than the 20th. It was in the wake of the 25th that a large number of country and regional groups were first formed.

After interviewing several board members, and learning about some of these events, I realized that it was a story that should be told to others. I felt that once I had interviewed enough former board members, that I should have a history panel event, where they could tell the story in their own words. After interviewing several more board members, I finally felt that I had a good understanding of our 36 year history, and that I could now invite former board members who could tell the history of the first 25 years. Since American University has become the official archive of NPCA and a number of country groups, such as Friends of Colombia, it seemed like a natural place to hold the history panel.

I had previously interviewed three of the panelists and had heard some interesting stories, which I prompted them to retell for the benefit of the audience. The panel proved to be a very nice forum to distil all my interviews in to manageable hour, for those who wished to hear it. After the panel, we opened it up to Q and A, and it turned out that there were a few other former board members who also had some information to add, as well as a lively discussion about where RPCV/W is today. Overall, I think it was a successful event that enlightened some of the audience including current board members on our storied history as an organization. It was good to start this dialogue in an open way and there maybe another panel some-time in the future as there are many more stories to tell. It was great to see a sample of the objects the Library currently has, and to hear from Susan McElrath what the collection contains now and what they are looking to add. I will look forward to seeing their collection grow, as they solicit and receive materials from individuals, country groups and regional groups. Peace Corps is now on its’ 6th decade and has its’ own lengthy storied past. Now that the Kennedy Library is only accepting materials from the first few years of Peace Corps history, it is great that there is now a home for all things Peace Corps. It is an honor that our group has been able to play a role in the history of Peace Corps.

Peace Corps Week 2014

This week marks the Peace Corps’ 53rd birthday.  The annual event commemorates the organization’s accomplishments at home and abroad, while also encouraging Peace Corps community members to renew their commitment to service.  

Whether returned or currently serving, the Peace Corps charges volunteers to increase cultural awareness by sharing their personal experiences and first-hand knowledge with other Americans.  This mission is fulfills the Peace Corps’ Third Goal, which seeks to promote peace through awareness and understanding of the diverse cultures around the world.

You can find more information about events in Peace Corps history by exploring the Interactive Timeline.