Spontaneous Partnership Connections
by Charlie Hunt
Sometimes opportunities present themselves and you have to be ready to act… even if you are on vacation.
A few months ago my friend Rebecca Sweetland, RPCV Dominica, invited my wife Nancy and me to join her on a trip back to Dominica. We landed there on a Wednesday and the next day we stopped into the Peace Corps office so Rebecca could say hello to staff she knew from her service there 10 years ago. While there, we met the Associate Peace Corps Director, Lancashia Joseph-John, who invited us in to meet two PCVs and their counterparts. They were at a stopping point of an in-service training on project design, budgeting, and funding of small grants that could help the schools where they teach. I mentioned that I knew a few things about the topic in relation to the Rotary - PC partnership and Lancashia invited me back to present the next morning. What are the odds that would happen on my vacation?
The next morning, I presented everything from why there is a partnership between PC and Rotary to how to connect with Rotary clubs in the United States and in-country to develop the funding they might need. I explained how it could be very small (a few hundred dollars) to Rotary Global Grants of over $30K. Turns out, Lancashia knows some Rotarians in Roseau and even had a Rotarian present at preservice training on another topic. She said she’ll have them back again to discuss how, as a Rotarian, their club could be a connection for PCVs.
I also mentioned to the PCVs how Rotary could help them during their return to the U.S. by providing professional connections and continued international service through Rotary and Rotary Peace Fellowships. I have to say without boasting, everyone thoroughly appreciated my presentation because of the context of the work they are doing. Lancashia said she would pass the information to other PC staff in the Caribbean and I offered to Zoom in to assist with training. I was thanked multiple times as I was leaving.
A couple of days later, I met with Roseau Rotarians Marie Joseph Edwards and Annie Edwards to bring them up to speed on the Rotary - Peace Corps partnership. I also made email introductions with Lancashia to close the loop, encouraging everyone to meet on a regular basis to share the work they are doing and how they might work together.
When you are traveling, you never know when opportunities to make the world a better place might happen through Rotary connections.