On Our Radar: April 17, 2015

We love to read Peace Corps Volunteers’ blogs! They tell the real story of life overseas, the adventures of service and the cultural insights of each Volunteer’s experience. Every Friday, we’ll feature a few of our favorite Volunteer blog posts in a weekly round-up. Whether you are a current Volunteer or thinking about applying, it’s always fun to learn about Peace Corps service around the world.

ONE // Culture Quiz

Think you know your etiquette? Would you call someone and then hang up right away? Tend to lick your fingers after a meal? Take Thomas’ culture quiz to see how you would fare in Mozambique!

TWO // English and Girls’ Education Student Showcase

Last month Julie held a showcase complete with skits, rap and dances to demonstrate the importance of letting girls learn in Togo. Over 300 people, including traditional chiefs and journalists, turned up for the event. #LetGirlsLearn

THREE // Saying Goodbye

This Preventative Health Education Volunteer’s service has come to an end in a bittersweet and touching way. See how he said goodbye to Senegal.

FOUR // The New Normal

After six months of service, Cathy reflects on what small things have changed in her life, from looking in the mirror less to making friends with lizards in Mozambique.

FIVE // The Life of a Schoolboy

Sometimes learning and teaching can be difficult. Rachel describes one outstanding case of perseverance and success in Benin.

// Do you have any favorite Peace Corps blogs? Let us know in the comments!

How to Make an Impact on Earth Day with the Peace Corps!

Want to make a difference and protect the environment around the world? The Peace Corps is the perfect place to do just that! We have 25 current openings in the environment and agriculture sectors in 10 countries around the world. Celebrate Earth Day by applying to our current openings.

To learn more, join us for an online discussion of global environmental issues on Wednesday, April 22 from 2:00pm-3:00pm EST in honor of Earth Day! RSVP HERE

Earth Day

Click here for the online interactive version of this infographic!

A Peace Corps internship on my own college campus?

Ambassadors Blog photo 1

Get this: there’s a way to become a Peace Corps insider well before you serve—or even apply. It’s through an internship program that’s taking off at hundreds of colleges across the country: Campus Ambassadors.

Ambassadors are undergrad students who work as peer-to-peer outreach experts, kicking up dust around campus, sharing about the life-changing, career-jumpstarting opportunity that Peace Corps offers.

Ambassadors Blog photo 2Here’s the idea

  • Our Peace Corps Recruiters visit college campuses like crazy through the fall and spring semesters, but with all the turf they have to cover it’s never enough.
  • So each year we bring on some local experts to help shake things up a bit. Campus Ambassadors. That means you.

What do Ambassadors do?

  • They multiply the impact of recruiters by helping with their events and keeping the fire alive through the rest of the year.
  • In practice, that means a variety of targeted outreach: social media blasts, presentations to student groups, event planning and more.

What do Ambassadors get?Ambassadors Blog photo 3

  • Professional development, some sweet Peace Corps swag and a close relationship with a Peace Corps Recruiter (who’d be happy to advise you through the Peace Corps application process, though they can’t guarantee acceptance).
  • Oh, and this: an internship with a deeply respected federal agency.

Now, it is work, averaging out to a few hours a week. It’s unpaid. And we’re asking for a two-semester commitment—next fall and spring.

But it’s a vibrant way to boost your résumé, make a name for yourself on campus and… help share Peace Corps’ mission of world peace and friendship.

Interested? Apply now! Applications are due by April 30, 2015. Send questions to ambassadors@peacecorps.gov.

Ambassadors Blog photo 4

Clayton KennedyClayton Kennedy is the University Outreach Specialist in Peace Corps’ Office of Diversity and National Outreach. His journey with the Peace Corps began five years ago along a ridgeline in the highlands of El Salvador, where he served as a Community Organization and Economic Development volunteer, bolstering local progress and encouraging men to wash their own dishes. This article was originally posted on the Peace Corps Passport blog on April 1, 2015. 

#HowISeePC Instagram Takeover: The Gambia

ICYMI: Our Instagram was taken over by a Peace Corps‬ Volunteer in ‪The Gambia. Beth Eanelli (The Gambia, 2014-2016) showed us a day in her life as a Health Volunteer from sunrise and call to prayer to the clinic caring for babies to a night with her host family.  #HowISeePC

About Peace Corps/The Gambia: There are 70 volunteers in The Gambia working with their communities on projects in education, health and the environment. During their service in The Gambia, volunteers learn to speak local languages, including: Jola, Mandinka, Pulaar, Sarahule and Wolof. More than 1,700 Peace Corps volunteers have served in The Gambia since the program was established in 1967.

Check out our openings in The Gambia and start your application now!

After an Impressive Career, Rocky Mountain Resident Begins Peace Corps Service in Namibia

WASHINGTON, D.C., April 14, 2015 – Allison Daniel, 57, of Rocky Mountain, N.C., has been accepted into the Peace Corps and will depart for Namibia on April 13 to begin training as an Urban Youth Development volunteer. Daniel will live and work in a community to develop programs for at-risk youth.

Allison Daniel

“I was inspired to serve by a CS Lewis quote that says, ‘You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream.’ At the end of the day, I’d like to know I helped make a difference,” said Daniel.

Daniel is the mother of Alan, Andrew, and Abby and a graduate of Eastern Kentucky University in Richmond, Ky. She then attended graduate school at UNC Chapel Hill in Chapel Hill, N.C., where she earned a master’s degree in social work in 1986. During her impressive career, she has worked as a Children’s Home Society Caseworker, Halifax Academy School Counselor, and Rocky Mount Academy College Counselor.

During the first three months of her service, Daniel will live with a host family in Namibia to become fully immersed in the country’s language and culture. After acquiring the necessary skills to assist her community, Daniel will be sworn into service and be assigned to a community in Namibia, where she will live and work for two years with the local people. Her projects will include vocational training, working with kids, and self-esteem and leadership development activities.

Daniel will work in cooperation with the local people and partner organizations on sustainable, community-based development projects that improve the lives of people in Namibia. Daniel joins the 148 North Carolina residents currently serving in the Peace Corps and more than 4,146 North Carolina residents who have served in the Peace Corps since 1961.

There has never been a better time to apply to Peace Corps, and reforms have made the process simpler, faster, and more personalized than ever before. In 2014, applications reached a 22-year high for the agency, with more than 17,000 Americans taking the first step toward international service. Through a one-hour online application, applicants can now choose the countries and programs they’d like to be considered for. Browse available volunteer positions at www.peacecorps.gov/openings.

About Peace Corps/Namibia: There are 132 volunteers in Namibia working with their communities on projects in education, health, and community economic development. During their service in Namibia, volunteers learn to speak local languages, including: Afrikaans, Damara, Khoekhoegowab, Oshikwanyama, Oshindonga, Otijherero, Rukwangali, and Silozi. More than 1,475 Peace Corps volunteers have served in Namibia since the program was established in 1990.

6 schools with serious Peace Corps spirit

We’re excited to announce the winners of the Peace Corps Campus Ambassadors photo competition. These seven students’ winning photos come from six different colleges and universities, showing that Peace Corps spirit extends coast to coast.

National Winner: Amanda Stelter, San Diego State University
(also pictured: Kayla DeLucia, Thomas Jung, Claire McKinnon and Maya Lowe)

National - San Diego State U . Amanda Stelter

“I want to be someone who can make those initially small but integral differences in the lives of people because that is what can give them the potential to improve and strengthen their quality of life to the best of their ability! Culture is always something that has kept me interested, whether it is learning languages or asking someone I just met about their own culture’s history. I feel like the Peace Corps is my calling for the beginning of my career in public health.”

Peace Corps Northeast Winner: Viulka Arias Guzman, Susquehanna University

NERO - Susquehanna University . Viulka Arias Guzman

“I am interested in the Peace Corps because I know firsthand what it is like to enter a new culture and work to understand its people, values and traditions while maintaining respect of the things I cannot change but do not agree on. For my future, I hope to continue learning and understanding just how similar the human race is from all parts of the world.”

Peace Corps Mid-Atlantic Winner: Abby Kramer, University of Delaware

MARO - U of Delaware . Abigail Kramer

“I originally became interested in the Peace Corps because I saw it as my opportunity to travel the world after college. However, after some further research I fell in love with the Peace Corps’ mission of sending qualified American Volunteers overseas. The Peace Corps offers me a unique opportunity to combine my love of the environment with my love for service work, all while helping me be an agent of better cross-cultural understanding. It’s a unique opportunity that I couldn’t pass up.”

Peace Corps Southeast Winner: Samantha Monteith, North Greenville University

SERO - North Greenville U . Samantha Monteith

“The Peace Corps holds a high degree of interest for me because it is a beautiful combination of service, cross-cultural experience and exchanges, and life changing opportunities. It offers Volunteers the chance to become completely immersed in another culture, to impact others lives in a positive and powerful way and to have the adventure of a lifetime!”

Peace Corps Midwest Winner: Adrienne Cruz, Eastern Michigan University

MWRO - Eastern Michigan University . Adrienne Cruz

“From where I stand, the Peace Corps provides a valuable experience to its Volunteers and the communities they impact, by filling various distinct needs in our world. As a PC student ambassador, I’ve learned from many returned Volunteers that while it’s unlikely that your two years of service abroad will change the world, you’re bound to change someone’s world… and it starts with the way you view your own.”

Peace Corps Southwest Winner: Brittany Bealer, Colorado State University

SWRO - Colorado State University . Brittany Bealer

“I’d like to join the Peace Corps so I can experience, and learn from, other cultures, while also assisting them in achieving their localized developmental goals.”

Peace Corps West Coast Winner: Maya Lowe, San Diego State University
(pictured: Kayla DeLucia, Thomas Jung, Claire McKinnon and Amanda Stelter)

WCRO - San Diego State U . Maya Lowe

“I became interested in the Peace Corps after studying abroad in India last year. While I was there, I met many amazing people and learned about the top global health issues that affected their country. That experience made me fall in love with traveling and meeting people from different cultures, and led me to want to become a Peace Corps Volunteer where I can help make a real global health impact.”

This article was originally posted on the Peace Corps Passport blog. 

Peace Corps Job of the Week: Secondary Education English Teacher Trainer in Ecuador

Apply by July 1, 2015: Secondary Education English Teacher Trainer in Ecuador

The three general goals of Peace Corps Ecuador’s TEFL Program are:
1.Capacity building of public high school English teachers
2.Developing English materials
3.Community outreach

Activities could involve the following:

  • Co-planning and co-teaching with local teachers to improve linguistic and methodological capacities to implement participatory activities that promote authentic communication and critical thinking
  • Training English teachers in new and current methodologies, subject content and resource development, thus creating sustainable improvements in teaching and establish learning tools
  • Enhancing English language skills to make use of academic and technical resources published in English
  • Promoting critical thinking within language classes to improve the quality of life and labor opportunities
  • Working with local teachers to design English teaching materials that are relevant to students’ lives
  • Creating opportunities for professional development workshops promoting communicative language
  • Developing life skills classes or clubs for local youth
  • Organizing and working with community groups to implement needs-based development projects
  • Offering English classes to community members

Volunteers will also participate in a pilot of Peace Corps’ newly-developed TEFL training program which provides you with a Peace Corps TEFL Certificate upon your successful completion of service.

Apply for this opening by July 1 to be abroad by January! Read the full job posting here or explore all our education openings.

About Peace Corps/Ecuador: There are 112 volunteers in Ecuador working with their communities on projects in youth development, education and health. During their service in Ecuador, volunteers learn to speak local languages, including Spanish and Kichwa. More than 6,200 Peace Corps volunteers have served in Ecuador since the program was established in 1962.