Kristen Moses Peace Corps Georgia

American University Student and Peace Corps Volunteer Opens Social Enterprise Café in Georgia

Washington, D.C., March 29, 2015 - Peace Corps volunteer Kristen Moses of Silver Spring, Md., is working to increase entrepreneurship and host professional training activities with her community in Georgia by opening a social enterprise café. A portion of the funds for her project were raised through the Peace Corps Partnership Program (PCPP), a program that helps support Peace Corps volunteer community projects worldwide.

The café will teach professional development training to employees and increase the skill set of young adults in the Tserovani Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) Settlement in eastern Georgia. The café will buy and hire locally as well as display local artists’ work and host community events.

“While the social enterprise café operates as a typical for-profit business, its mission is to serve the community and follow socially responsible business practices,” said Moses, who is completing a master’s degree in Social Enterprise through the Peace Corps Master’s International program at American University, in Washington, D.C., and has been living and working in Georgia since April 2013.

“In a community of about 7,000 people, it is surprising that there are only a few bakeries, only one restaurant, and one café. Furthermore, it is not uncommon for a local business to open and close its doors within the space of 3 months,” continued Moses.

Kristen Moses Peace Corps Georgia

Moses’ goal is to help change this and increase local entrepreneurship. She currently works with six different individuals and organizations throughout Georgia that make handicrafts and need assistance to sell their merchandise. In the past month, the group secured a store to rent and hired two managers. They hope to open for business in the next couple of weeks.

Through donations, Moses’ project was fully funded in December 2014 and also raised an additional $1,200. In order to receive funding for the café through the PCPP, the community made a 25 percent contribution to the total cost and outlined success indicators for the project. This helps ensure community ownership and a greater chance of long-term sustainability. One hundred percent of each tax-deductible PCPP donation went toward the social enterprise café.

Along with opening the café, Moses was able to complete a professional training for fourteen-year-olds in the community. The participants wrote resumes, practiced interview skills, and attended other practical lessons before receiving internship assignments with local businesses and governmental offices.

Moses is one of the 41 American University alumni and students currently serving in the Peace Corps. More than 967 Eagles have served in the Peace Corps since 1961. Those interested in supporting projects like Moses’ in Georgia can visit: www.peacecorps.gov/donate.

About Peace Corps/Georgia: There are 86 volunteers in Georgia working with their communities on projects in English education and community economic development. During their service in Georgia, volunteers learn to speak Georgian. More than 585 Peace Corps volunteers have served in Georgia since the program was established in 2001.

On Our Radar: March 27, 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 // Bad Breaks and Heartbreak

PCV Kaan discovered what the value of a good companion is… and what it means to lose it in Namibia. In this post, he muses on the loss of his rusty old bike.

TWO // My Search For Smiles

As a secondary project, PCV Charlotte works with Operation Smile in Madagascar to bring cleft lip and cleft palate patients from rural villages to the capital for surgery. She writes of the trust she’s building with the Malagasy people in order to convince them to get these sometimes lifesaving surgeries.

THREE // Finding Home

Sometimes two years is not enough. In PCV Emily’s case, this was true. When Emily was scheduled to return to the United States, she couldn’t bear the thought. She is now serving an extra year in Senegal in search of home.

FOUR // Nasre, The Nepali Dream

As a Peace Corps Volunteer, you’ll have the chance to meet all sorts of interesting and diverse people that you never would’ve connected with otherwise. We love PCV Hannah’s series of community profiles in Nepal including this one of 28-year-old Nasre.

FIVE // When A Child Gets a Chance to Create…

PCVs in Cambodia recently organized an event called Create Cambodia, which encouraged high school students from all over the country to tap into their creative sides and have fun. PCV Garlaine even led a group of trainees in teaching and performing a show tunes medley at the festival.

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

#HowISeePC Instagram Takeover: Fiji

ICYMI: Our Instagram was taken over by a Peace Corps‬ Volunteer in ‪Fiji.  Trenton Mendenhall (Fiji, 2014-2016) showed us his country’s traditional food and dance, a celebration of National Fiji Day, and his adorable (and large!) host family. #HowISeePC

About Peace Corps/Fiji: There are 63 volunteers in Fiji working with their communities on projects in health and youth development. During their service in Fiji, volunteers learn to speak local languages, including Fijian and Hindi. More than 2,385 Peace Corps volunteers have served in Fiji since the program was established in 1968.

Check out our openings in Fiji and start your application now!

Peace Corps Job of the Week: Health Volunteer in Paraguay

Apply by July 1, 2015: Health Volunteer in Paraguay

Volunteers work in semi-rural areas and small towns in coordination with health posts, health centers, elementary and high schools, and in some sites with district hospitals. As a Health Volunteer, you will work to promote improved health behavior with community members and local organizations. Volunteers typically focus on improved dental hygiene, prevention of non-communicable diseases, sexual and reproductive health, life skills, and improved sanitary living conditions. Volunteers act as a catalyst in promoting behavior change.

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

About Peace Corps/Paraguay: There are 226 volunteers in Paraguay working with their communities on projects in agriculture, community economic development, the environment and health. During their service in Paraguay, volunteers learn to speak local languages, including Guaraní and Spanish. More than 3,885 Peace Corps volunteers have served in Paraguay since the program was established in 1966.

Peace Corps FAQ: How does the Peace Corps teach Volunteers a language?

Short answer: You will receive oral and written training from local language facilitators, materials to study on your own, and one-on-one tutoring if necessary during your 3 months of pre-service training. Once becoming a Volunteer, integration into your community will help increase your fluency in a new language.

What was the most prized possession you packed for Peace Corps?

At a recent staging for a group heading to El Salvador, we asked trainees to show off the most prized possession they packed for the Peace Corps.

1. Juanita Mercado: “I brought my husband, Mano Trejo. He is important for me to bring along because he is going to make this experience much easier than if I were alone.”

On March 17th, 2015 Volunteers who are about to leave for their service in El Salvador show the most prized possession that they packed in their bag. This content was captured at a staging event in Washington DC.

2. Brianna Melgar: A photo box my sister made for me. It mostly has pictures of my family in Michigan, but also some photos of my little brother who died in 2008.

On March 17th, 2015 Volunteers who are about to leave for their service in El Salvador show the most prized possession that they packed in their bag. This content was captured at a staging event in Washington DC.

3. Kelsey Moe: Teddy bear. It is important to me because I’ve had it since I was born. It was given to me by my parents. I sleep with it every night.

On March 17th, 2015 Volunteers who are about to leave for their service in El Salvador show the most prized possession that they packed in their bag. This content was captured at a staging event in Washington DC.

4. Ingrid Valder: I brought my water bottle. I like to stay hydrated and water is the most important item in my life!

On March 17th, 2015 Volunteers who are about to leave for their service in El Salvador show the most prized possession that they packed in their bag. This content was captured at a staging event in Washington DC.

5. Miki Kenrick: A pocket-sized ‘adventure guidebook’ that my younger sister made for me using a collage of photos from my three sisters and my travels. I love it!

On March 17th, 2015 Volunteers who are about to leave for their service in El Salvador show the most prized possession that they packed in their bag. This content was captured at a staging event in Washington DC.

6. Janice Flores: My dog Rocky would take this bear from its shelf every single time he wanted to play. It reminds me of his playful character and my family’s love, which surrounds him. Rocky ties the whole family together. That’s why I brought this bear with me.

On March 17th, 2015 Volunteers who are about to leave for their service in El Salvador show the most prized possession that they packed in their bag. This content was captured at a staging event in Washington DC.

7. Ellen Wuertz: Things are not important to me. Relationships with people are. Sometimes things get in the way of those relationships, so I’m just bringing my heart, soul and compassion.

On March 17th, 2015 Volunteers who are about to leave for their service in El Salvador show the most prized possession that they packed in their bag. This content was captured at a staging event in Washington DC.

8. Renick Lalancette: I brought photos of my home and family in Vermont because I’ll miss it a lot.

On March 17th, 2015 Volunteers who are about to leave for their service in El Salvador show the most prized possession that they packed in their bag. This content was captured at a staging event in Washington DC.

9. Jorge Ignacio Jimenez: Photo of family. Because you have to remember where you come from to know where you will go.

On March 17th, 2015 Volunteers who are about to leave for their service in El Salvador show the most prized possession that they packed in their bag. This content was captured at a staging event in Washington DC.

10. Alex Gazer: This ukulele was a parting gift from one of my best friends. She had it since she was 8 years old and carried it all the way from Hawaii.

On March 17th, 2015 Volunteers who are about to leave for their service in El Salvador show the most prized possession that they packed in their bag. This content was captured at a staging event in Washington DC.

11. Annalise Gardella: This is my travel journal that my family got me. My family and friends wrote me letters and poems and snuck them into my journal for me to find here as a reminder of home and my inspiration for joining the Peace Corps.

On March 17th, 2015 Volunteers who are about to leave for their service in El Salvador show the most prized possession that they packed in their bag. This content was captured at a staging event in Washington DC.

12. Alex Gruber: This Red Sox hat is special to me because it represents my home city, Boston, and it is from my father’s annual bike ride, the PMC. The PMC raises money for cancer research in Boston, and I have volunteered for the PMC for a total of 10 years starting when I was 9 years old. It was the start of my volunteering in life, and that experience clearly left its mark.

On March 17th, 2015 Volunteers who are about to leave for their service in El Salvador show the most prized possession that they packed in their bag. This content was captured at a staging event in Washington DC.

13. José Ruiz: I brought my turtle necklace with me. It reminds me of my family I’m leaving behind in California and Hawaii. In Hawaii culture, turtles can represent ancestor spirits that keep us safe and protect us. Turtles also can find their way home no matter how long they are separated.

On March 17th, 2015 Volunteers who are about to leave for their service in El Salvador show the most prized possession that they packed in their bag. This content was captured at a staging event in Washington DC.This was originally posted on the Peace Corps Passport blog on March 19, 2015.

Wisdom Wednesday: Kate Glantz (Tanzania, 2008-2010) and (Senegal, 2013-3014)

This week’s #WisdomWednesday comes from Returned Peace Corps Volunteer Kate Glantz (Tanzania, 2008-2010) and (Senegal, 2013-3014). To learn more about our programs, visit Tanzania’s and Senegal’s websites and explore our current openings.

Kate Glantz Peace Corps Tanzania Senegal

“Haraka haraka haina baraka. Swahili proverb roughly translated as ‘going very fast yields no blessings.'”

About Peace Corps/Tanzania: There are 198 volunteers in Tanzania working with their communities on projects in education, agriculture and health, including volunteers in the Global Health Service Partnership program. During their service in Tanzania, volunteers learn to speak Kiswahili. More than 2,620 Peace Corps volunteers have served in Tanzania since the program was established in 1961.

About Peace Corps/Senegal: There are 264 volunteers in Senegal working with their communities on projects in agriculture, the environment, health and community economic development. During their service in Senegal, volunteers learn to speak local languages, including: Bambara, Fulakunda, Jaxanke, Malinke, Pulafuta, Pulaar du Nord, Mandinka, Seereer and Wolof. More than 3,555 Peace Corps volunteers have served in Senegal since the program was established in 1962.