Charlie Hunt posted an articleConnecting Peace Corps Recruiters with local Rotary Clubs – it’s never to late too be a Peace Corps VolunteerHave a Peace Corps Recruiter present to your Rotary Club see more
It has been my pleasure to be part of the Rotary International – Peace Corps partnership for the last three years as the Outreach Chair for Partnering for Peace: Friends of Peace Corps and Rotary. As the partnership grows and increases in scope, our outreach committee is currently focused on connecting local Peace Corps Recruiters with local Rotary Club programming chairs through our database of Returned Peace Corps Volunteers Rotarians and district leaders who fully understand the opportunity of working with the Peace Corps community. The outreach committee, under the lead of Reggie O’Brien, has made introductions between Peace Corps Recruiters and 80 Rotary Districts around the country who are in our database. The purpose of the introductions is for Peace Corps Recruiters to do presentations in as many Rotary clubs across the U.S. on what it is like to be a Peace Corps Volunteer and that it is never too late to be a Peace Corps Volunteer.
I can attest to that as I was sworn in as a Peace Corps Volunteer when I was 55 years old. The inspiration came when I happened upon the Peace Corps website and the home page celebrated a volunteer who was celebrating his 80th birthday during service. As Rotarians, this is a great way to fulfill “service above self”. Personally the experience changed my life as a Rotarian serving overseas and I would suggest to everyone that Returned Peace Corps Volunteers are idea candidates to become Rotarians. There are two opportunities to be a Peace Corps Volunteer: the classic two year commitment and Peace Corps Response, which is a project specific volunteer opportunity that last for three to eight months.
If you are interested in having a Peace Corps Recruiter do a zoom presentation to your Rotary club, feel free to contact me. I have a list of all recruiters around the country including my local District 5450. I would be glad to help you make that connection for your individual club.
Charlie Masilae Hunt
Outreach Chair - Partnering for Peace - NPCA Affiliate Group
Peace Corps Rotary Alliance Committee – District 5450
Denver LoDo Rotary Club
RPCV Vanuatu 2006-2008
Partnering for Peace - Friends of Peace Corps and Rotary posted an articleStrengthening The Connection Between Peace Corps Volunteers And Rotary Members see more
I felt right at home when my wife Ligia and I arrived at the impressive University of Denver campus to participate in the Partnering for Peace workshop, hosted by District 5450 as a precursor to Peace Corps’ annual alumni conference. The forces that shaped my life would be at this conclave, whose theme was Partnering for Peace: Taking Collaborations to New Heights. Returned Peace Corps Volunteers (RPCVs), alumni of the Peace Corps international service program, and Rotarians are my kind of people.
Over 85 Rotarian Returned Peace Corps Volunteers gathered at our workshop to discuss how to better support the communities we serve through local and international service projects. Several project leaders presented on their joint initiatives made possible through collaborations between clubs and nearby Peace Corps Volunteers: establishing a computer lab in Honduras and Senegal, transporting medical equipment to Kenya, equipping a community with access to clean water in Burkina Faso, and a joint effort to identify school needs and help fill gaps with literacy resources in Costa Rica.
Attendees broke up into small groups for the final session to discuss strategies for:
- Rotary clubs and Returned Peace Corps Volunteers to find one another and work together to enhance community and international service projects.
- Identifying and promoting projects to help others learn from successful partnerships.
- Sharing inspirational stories of joint projects to encourage members of both organizations to explore local collaboration opportunities.
- Identifying the many different ways clubs and current and returned Peace Corps volunteers work together.
To conclude the workshop, District 5450’s Governor Abbas Rajabi shared his story of being taught by a Peace Corps volunteer in his home country of Iran, which inspired him to continue servicing others.
The District 5450 Peace Corps Alliance Committee, focused on connecting local Rotarian RPCVs, formed Partnering for Peace to engage Rotarian RPCVs all around the globe. Partnering for Peace is a group of Rotarians and Returned Peace Corps Volunteers working to build partnerships to create sustainable projects locally and around the world in order to promote peace.
The workshop was our first big step in connecting Rotarian RPCVs and inspiring action. We’ll continue facilitating introductions and promoting resources to help clubs and Peace Corps volunteers and alumni work together more closely in the communities most in need of our support. We are also eager to guide clubs and RPCVs on how to plan and implement joint service activities either locally or internationally.
It’s exciting to see the Rotary-Peace Corps partnership continue to grow with the involvement of more RPCVs and we concluded the workshop energized and excited to continue working together with members of both organizations. I describe my own journey with Rotary and the Peace Corps in my new book, Different Latitudes: My Life in the Peace Corps and Beyond, but the formation of Partnering for Peace will take that trek for me and many other Rotarians and RPCVs to an entirely new level.
~Mark D. Walker, Returned Peace Corps Volunteer, Guatemala (1971-1973)