By Carrie Hessler-Radelet, acting director of the Peace Corps
I come from a family of Rotarians. My father is a Rotarian, and my Aunt Ginny — whose Peace Corps service inspired me to become a volunteer — was also a Rotarian. Peace Corps volunteers and Rotarians like my father and aunt are bound by a common purpose: service. That’s why I’m excited about Peace Corps’ partnership with Rotary International and to see what we can accomplish together.
The missions of our two organizations reflect and reinforce each other, and our two families — encompassing Rotarians, Peace Corps volunteers and returned volunteers — overlap and intersect, many times over. In an increasingly interconnected world, coming together in common cause provides more opportunity than ever to have the greatest impact.
The Peace Corps and Rotary are old friends. Our organizations have collaborated on projects in literacy, water, sanitation, and health. Volunteers of both organizations work as members of local communities to address community needs. Rotary contributes to the Peace Corps Partnership Program, a mechanism for Peace Corps volunteers and their communities to access small amounts of funding to support grassroots, sustainable development projects. Rotary funds have helped to purchase everything from construction materials to library books.
This new collaboration will build on our continued efforts to promote service and global development, beginning in three pilot countries: Philippines, Thailand, and Togo. By piloting ways of working together, we hope to be more strategic at the country level, find administrative efficiencies and maximize our development impact.
We are eager to join together as we continue to inspire volunteerism across the country and around the world. If you are a Rotarian working with a Peace Corps volunteer, or a Peace Corps volunteer working with a Rotarian, please feel free to share your story!
Carrie Hessler-Radelet is the acting director of the Peace Corps. She began as deputy director on 23 June, 2010. She is a returned Peace Corps volunteer (Western Samoa 1981–83) with more than two decades of experience in public health focused on HIV/AIDS and maternal and child health.
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In June 1996 I went to Armenia as a PC Business Volunteer, along with 23 other A-4’s, 10 Business Volunteers and 14 ESL Teachers. Toward the end of training in Yerevan I met Serop (I have forgotten his last name), an American Armenian who had returned to his ancestor land to see what he could do to help the country after collapse of the USSR. After training I was assigned to Armenian Business Support Center as Senior Advisor (I celebrated my 64th and 65th birthdays in Armenia). The ABSC office was close to the building where Serop had an apartment and office, so we kept in contact. Serop was an avid Rotary International member in California and he started the first RI organization in Armenia. I had the pleasure of attending several of the early organizing meetings and also the inaugural meeting. I wonder if RI is still active in Armenia?
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One highlight that was missed in this article was the number of Returned Peace Corps Volunteers (RPCVs) who have gone on to serve as Rotary Peace Fellows. I know of at least three who attended ICU in Tokyo, and there must be more across all the different Rotary Peace Centers worldwide.
We are here on earth to serve others as Jesus did. Especially those that need it the most. You will be great at your volunteer adventure. I enjoy all that I can do to make someone else’s day a bit brighter. I enjoy most sharing my memoir about my life with polio. My days are getting slower and I certainly need to rest more. Time to get some reading done that I never take time to do. Best of luck.
Hi…I am Rtr. Jasmeet…would like to be a volunteer in the peace corps..
I do believe one of the partnership’s opportunities is involving Rotaractors as volunteers in the Peace Corps. Rotaractors are the perfect match to portray the objectives of both organisations.
in kenya and will like to participate in peace corp,young and kenya was affected by tribal clashess in 2007,,,looking forward to here from you
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