Email Newsletter for April 2010
Greetings from the West Cascade Peace Corps Association!
April 6: Chef's Night Out
The West Cascade Peace Corps Association has been helping Food for Lane County with their fund raisers for many years. They put on the event. WCPCA volunteers help clean up afterward. See below for more info.
April 8: WCPCA Fundraising Committee Meeting at Evangelina Sundgrenz's home from 6-8pm.
April 14: WCPCA April Board Meeting at James's house at 7pm.
April 30: WCPCA April Potluck
Our next potluck will be on Friday, April 30th, 6:00 pm, at the home of Mike and Chris Helm, 1147 East 26th Avenue, Eugene. Please bring a dish to share for 4-6 people. Plates and utensils will be provided. More information on the "Healthy Hearth" program below.
50th Anniversary Exhibits
As many of you might guess, many activities are being planned nationally as well as locally in celebration of Peace Corps' 50th anniversary in 2011. There are two events in which you can participate. The first is an exhibit of artifacts, stories, photos, etc. from RPCV's to be on display at the Oregon Historical Society in Portland. This promises to be a very interesting and informative exhibit if enough people choose to participate. Please read the following invitation and consider how you might be able to contribute. Please note the deadline for responding is April 15.
And now for the second event: if you feel you need more time and/or would prefer to participate in a similar exhibition planned locally to be on display at the University of Oregon's Knight library, please know we will be notifying you soon with more details of this event. The Peace Corps recruiter at the University of Oregon, Justin Overdevest is overseeing the organization of this, our own commemorative exhibit, in celebration of Peace Corps turning 50 this next year. I urge all of you to seriously consider sharing your Peace Corps experience by participating in one or both of these activities.
4/15 Deadline for Photos of Objects to be in 2011 Peace Corps Exhibit
(This Time We Really Mean It)
In celebration of the upcoming 50th anniversary of the Peace Corps in 2011, the Committee for a Museum of the Peace Corps Experience (CMPCE) has teamed up with the Oregon Historical Society (OHS) to create an exhibit commemorating the contributions of Peace Corps volunteers. To make this unique exhibit a reality, we need YOUR stories, artifacts, and support to make this project a true representation of the Peace Corps experience. Whether it be loaning an object for display in the exhibit, sharing your personal story, or helping us fundraise, there are many ways to get involved in this inspiring project. The exhibit, opening March 2011, will present a variety of objects, from leatherwork, carvings, and furniture to pieces of art and personal mementoes. If you have an object(s) you would like to loan to the exhibit and share your experience with us, please let us know! The deadline to submit artifacts is April 15, so take a break from your taxes to show your support of the Peace Corps! Email firstname.lastname@example.org with a brief description of your object(s), the year and country of service, and a low res digital image of your object(s) by April 15! You're also invited to fill out the loan worksheet (http://westcascadepca.org/newsletter/PCLoanWorksheet.doc).
Oregon Historical Society
As of the March board meeting WCPCA account balances were the following:
- Oregon Community Credit Union General Fund: $7,313
- Oregon Community Credit Union Beryl Memorial Fund (restricted): $1590
- Beryl Brinkman Memorial Fund at the Oregon Community Foundation: $26,020.45
Potluck and Program:
Our next potluck will be on Friday, April 30th, 6:00 pm, at the home of Mike and Chris Helm, 1147 East 26th Avenue, Eugene. Please bring a dish to share for 4-6 people. Plates and utensils will be provided.
Our program topic is "Healthy Hearth: the work of Stove Team International to bring fuel efficient stoves to the world." Nancy Hughes, a Eugene resident and founder of Stove Team International, will describe the organization's work in central America including the involvement of PCVs. Our hosts, the Helms, have worked with Nancy in El Salvador and will add their personal experience.
Stove Team International manufactures and trains users of the Ecocina stove. Detailed information about the organization's work is available on its website at http://www.stoveteam.org.
Aficionados may enjoy an excellent article about the development of these new health and fuel saving stoves. Please see "Hearth Surgery: the quest for a stove that can save the world," The New Yorker, December 21 & 28, 2009. The role of the Cottage Grove organization, Aprovecho Research Center, is featured.
On Friday, April 2 from 9 a. m. to 1 p.m., three WCPCA members, responding to an invitation from Deon Saraceno who teaches with the Eugene International High School, paticipated in the 6th annual African Conference and Celebration held in the Wheeler Pavilion at the Lane County Fairgrounds. The event was attended by over 400 ninth graders who came together to learn about and celebrate the African continent and its people. West Cascade PCA was one of several information "booths" set up by different community organizations whose purpose was to share various aspects and experiences regarding Africa. The three people representing the Peace Corps as returned volunteers were Brenna Glenn, The Gambia 2005-2007, Amanda Garcia, Ghana 2004-2006, and James Cloutier, Kenya 1964-66. We appreciate their willingness to assist in this community activity and be available to respond to those students eager to learn more about Peace Corps work in Africa.
Coming up: Bluegrass Jam for Peace
WCPCA is sponsoring a family-friendly fundraising event on Sunday, May 2nd, 6:30-8:30 pm at Cozmic Pizza, 199 W. 8th Avenue in downtown Eugene. The event will feature a local bluegrass band, The Fork Coast Ramblers, and is open to the public.
There is a $5 cover charge for most guests but the event is free for children under 12. Please come and bring your family and friends to enjoy great local food and music while making a difference around the world.
The WCPCA board will grant proceeds from the fundraiser to humanitarian programs.
Grants Awarded by WCPCA
At the March board meeting, WCPCA's board of directors approved awarding a total of $1,000 in two grants to worthy Peace Corps Partnership Projects of current Oregon PCVs. A grant of $230 was awarded for the completion of a primary school library in a rural Somoan village, while $770 was awarded to support Girls Leading Our World (Glow), a leadership camp in Armenia.
Both projects scored high using the evaluation tool developed to assist the board in making unbiased assessments of each of the projects considered. You can find the scoring rubric and details of the projects on our website or by clicking on http://www.westcascadepca.org/projects.php.
At its February meeting the board also granted $100 to a fundraiser for Haitian relief programs, Espwa Fe Viv, which is included on the funded project list. This event was organized locally by a Eugene resident who is an RPCV from Haiti.
Thus in the first three months of the year WCPCA awarded $1,100 in three grants bringing the total granted to humanitarian programs by the organization since its inception to $32,200.
Espwa Fe Viv Celebration
On March 12, 2010, over 80 people gathered in Eugene to celebrate Haitian art and culture and raise money for three organizations affected by the January 12th Haitian earthquake. The event, Espwa Fe Viv (Haitian Creole for Hope Makes Life), was hosted by Vero Espresso House in Eugene and sponsored by numerous local businesses and organizations including West Cascade Peace Corps Association. The event included a silent auction featuring traditional Haitian paintings and metal art.
Espwa Fe Viv raised $5,800 which was split among the Haitian Education Leadership Program (HELP), PAZAPA, and Fonkoze. All three organizations suffered devastating losses to students, staff, and infrastructure due to the earthquake. And all are now working to maintain and increase critical services for the Haitian people during this period of recovery and long-term reconstruction. The event was organized by Kathy Lynn, a Returned Peace Corps Volunteer and Eugene resident, who served in Haiti, 1996 - 1999. More information on the event and links to the organizations can be found at: http://www.espwafeviv.com/Site/Home.html.
As of April 3rd WCPCA has 131 members. New members who have joined this year are listed below. Most are included in the new directory. If you want to contact a new member who isnít listed in the directory, please let me know. Letís plan to welcome our new members at upcoming social events.
Keith and Cathy Beyer
Notes: We also served abbreviated tours in Thailand and Russia.
Nick and Julie Bosustow
Moving to Eugene soon.
Nick served on PC Staff Suriname, 2004-2006 and was a PC Recruiter in the SF Bay Area, 2006-2009.
Christopher M. Clark
Service: Niger, 2008-2009
Service: West Africa
Currently serving in Peru
Hood River, OR
Service: Costa Rica, 1980-1982
Service: Lesoto, 1999-2001
State Department staff in Africa; formerly US Ambassador to Guinea-Conakry.
Greg and Patty Morrow
Service: Afghanistan, 1973-1974
Service: Paraguay, 2007-2009
Mill City, OR
Service: Botswana, 1989-91
Wednesday Morning TLC April 7th
Talk, listen, and have coffee (TLC) Wednesday morning, April 7th, from 7:30 am to 9:00 am, at Midtown Marketplace, on Willamette at 16th. The talk and listen topics are local, regional, national, and especially international social, political, and economic events, from the perspective of former Peace Corps Volunteers. No fixed topics; bring your own ideas from recent news events and we'll go from there.
Drop by anytime between 7:30 am and 9:00 am, before you go to work or whatever. Coffee, pastries, and breakfast are available, also the Register-Guard and The New York Times. Ample parking, if you aren't walking or taking the bus, on the north side and on nearby streets. I'm willing to be the informal host to pick a table and get the discussion started (Jack Meacham, beard, glasses, bald on top).
A Call to Dutch or Sranan Tongo Speakers
RPCV Racquel Yamada received a grant from the National Science Foundation for a 9-member Karin'ja Auran (Carib language) documentation and revitalization team to attend the language documentation and teaching program at the U of O (in conjunction with NILI and InField). The team members are from Donderskamp, Suriname, where Racquel and I were volunteers from 1995 - 1998.
The team will be attending classes from June 21 through July 9, and we will need volunteers to help translate some of the lectures and discusssions from English to Dutch or Sranan Tongo. At the moment, we are collecting names and email addresses for people who might be interested in volunteering during this time period, and we will create a sign up sheet for the class times once we are closer to June.
NPCA and PC News from Joe Hindman, Western Rep to the NPCA
FY 2011 Peace Corps Budget. $465M is the amount of the presidentís proposed FY 2011 budget. Please contact your Congressional representatives and urge them to support the continued improvement/expansion of the Peace Corps.
Peace Corps Expansion: PC has very recently sent volunteers to Indonesia, after a 45 year hiatus. And it hopes to announce soon another new (re-entry?) program in a large South American country. (If I knew which, I would tell you...)
Among the newest RPCV groups to form is the "RPCVs at the State Department" group, which now is an official member group of the NPCA.
Speaking of groups; if your group has not completed the NPCA renewal process, please do so quickly. The deadline is March 31.
Membership change: At the Board of Directors meeting in Washington, DC on March 7, the board approved an NPCA staff proposal to redefine its membership structure. The new membership structure is three tiered: Associate Members, Members, and Directorís Circle Members. Associate members would be those individuals who support PCís values, but do not pay annual dues (ex: like many of the RPCVs with profiles on Peace Corps Connect). Members would be those individuals who support PCís values and pay the annual dues. Directorís Circle members would be those individuals that make an exceptional commitment to donating $1000 or more to the NPCA.
Financially, the NPCA continues to operate with a projected annual budget surplus for 2010.
Peace Corps Connect and Africa Rural Connect continue to attract more users.
RPCV Pol Power: There are presently five RPCVs serving in the US Congress; four in the House of Representatives, and one, Chris Dodd, in the Senate.
Upcoming Elections for NPCA board positions; One for the Midwest USA region and 3 for country of service representatives (The Americas; West/Central/Southern Africa; Asia and the Pacific (one-year term). The deadline for filing is April 1st. For more information, go to http://www.peacecorpsconnect.org/2010BoardElections
The next NPCA board meeting, Group Leaders Forum, and Annual General Meeting will be held in Washington, DC on June 24.
Peace Corps in the News
RPCV Amy Dreves, OSU etymologist, tackles Asian fruit fly infestation
The Oregonian, March 20, 2010
Nicholas Kristoff: Teach for the World vs. Peace Corps
New York Times blog, March 12, 2010
British PM Gordon Brown wants thousands of young Europeans to volunteer across developing world in new organization shaped on US Peace Corps
The Guardian, March 25, 2010
The full text of the minutes is available on the website.