In developing nations, a relatively simple footbridge can make the difference between getting an education and staying at home, between receiving health care and being sick. 

Peace Corps Response Volunteer Nate Bloss has been working with Bridging the Gap Africa as a project supervisor in Kenyan communities where people and economies are affected by the ability to cross waterways safely.

Check out these pictures from the “walking world” – and see how a bridge can make all the difference.

Kenya Africa Bridging the Gap Africa international development bridges

On the 50th anniversary of his passing, we honor the legacy of President John F. Kennedy. We trace our roots and mission to 1960, when then-Senator Kennedy challenged students at the University of Michigan to serve their country in the cause of peace by living and working in developing countries. His inspiration led to the establishment of this agency in 1961 with a mission to promote world peace and friendship.
Today, we are more vital than ever, working in collaboration with public and private partners in emerging and essential areas such as education, information technology, agriculture and environment, and business development in countries around the world. The Peace Corps is committed to giving all Americans who want to serve the opportunity to make a difference and bring their experience back home to enrich their communities here in the United States.

Since 1961, more than 215,000 Americans of all ages and backgrounds have responded to Kennedy’s enduring challenge, demonstrating how the power of an idea can capture the imagination of an entire nation.

On the 50th anniversary of his passing, we honor the legacy of President John F. Kennedy. We trace our roots and mission to 1960, when then-Senator Kennedy challenged students at the University of Michigan to serve their country in the cause of peace by living and working in developing countries. His inspiration led to the establishment of this agency in 1961 with a mission to promote world peace and friendship.

Today, we are more vital than ever, working in collaboration with public and private partners in emerging and essential areas such as education, information technology, agriculture and environment, and business development in countries around the world. The Peace Corps is committed to giving all Americans who want to serve the opportunity to make a difference and bring their experience back home to enrich their communities here in the United States.

Since 1961, more than 215,000 Americans of all ages and backgrounds have responded to Kennedy’s enduring challenge, demonstrating how the power of an idea can capture the imagination of an entire nation.

(Source: 1.usa.gov)

John F. Kennedy JFK Peace Corps University of Michigan

"I think their favorite part of the tour though was playing on the beach because many of them had never seen the ocean before.”

A group of Peace Corps Volunteers in Namibia recently came together in collaboration with a local nonprofit organization to lead a week-long educational tour of the country for 40 at-risk youth. The tour is an annual initiative led by Peace Corps Namibia’s diversity committee aimed at providing orphans and marginalized youth — many of whom have never traveled outside of their own community — with the opportunity to explore Namibia, develop a respect and appreciation for other local cultures, and build healthy lifestyle and leadership skills. 

(Source: peacecorps.gov)

Africa Namibia at-risk youth diversity culture health leadership travel

Peace Corps Volunteer Juliette Keeley worked with a group of young women during her service in Guinea to publish a magazine for girls that tackles tough issues routinely faced by young women in the country. The magazine, Aicha, addresses topics of interest to young women in the community – including education, fashion, agriculture, cooking and women’s rights – as well as more sensitive topics like women’s health, HIV/AIDS, early marriage and relationships.

Peace Corps Volunteer Juliette Keeley worked with a group of young women during her service in Guinea to publish a magazine for girls that tackles tough issues routinely faced by young women in the country. The magazine, Aicha, addresses topics of interest to young women in the community – including education, fashion, agriculture, cooking and women’s rights – as well as more sensitive topics like women’s health, HIV/AIDS, early marriage and relationships.

No Sex for Fish - Redefining Gender Relationships in Lake Victoria, Kenya

Women living along the shores of Lake Victoria whose livelihood depends on trading fresh fish are exceptionally vulnerable to contracting HIV. In order to acquire fresh fish daily, the women are often pressured into having sex with the fishermen who supply the fish. It is not uncommon for the fishermen to maintain several such relationships simultaneously with women at different beaches where they land with their fish. As such, women fish traders are extremely susceptible to contracting HIV.

A couple of years ago, two Peace Corps Volunteers – Dominik Mucklow (an Education Volunteer, 2009-11) and Michael Geilhufe (a Community Economic Development Volunteer, 2010-12) – who lived near Lake Victoria decided to do something to help these women. With support from the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), they assisted a group of women fish traders to acquire their own fishing boats. The women then employed men to go fishing using these boats. This simple advancement allowed the women to be free from sexual exploitation in order to secure their fish supply.

A third Volunteer, Samantha Slater (a Community Economic Development Volunteer, 2011-13) just completed her service. Samantha dedicated her work to helping the women with the business aspects of operating the boats and their fish trade. The women have since obtained additional loans to purchase new nets or replace damaged nets. They were also taught how to keep sound financial records and manage the business well enough to be able to pay back their loans in a timely way. Recently-arrived Volunteer Lori Armstrong will continue working on good business practices with the women. The work that these volunteers initiated has generated significant interest in development circles, and there is now a clear push to expand this “No Sex For Fish” initiative to other beaches along Lake Victoria. With additional support, this simple initiative promises to completely re-write the gender relationships that rule Lake Victoria’s fishing industry today.

(Source: blog.aids.gov)

AIDS gender sexual exploitation PEPFAR Africa Kenya Lake Victoria community development economic development fishing global health small business development women

Acting-director Carrie Hessler-Radelet gets ready to throw out the first pitch at the @Nationals vs @Braves game during #PeaceCorps Night at #Nationals Park #baseball #MLB #RPCV

Acting-director Carrie Hessler-Radelet gets ready to throw out the first pitch at the @Nationals vs @Braves game during #PeaceCorps Night at #Nationals Park #baseball #MLB #RPCV

mlb baseball rpcv nationals peacecorps

Peace Corps Volunteer Ginger Anderson works with participants at Camp TechKobwa. Created by Peace Corps Volunteers in Rwanda, Camp TechKobwa focused on empowerment for girls through gaining skills and confidence using computers and media technology. The camp encouraged young women to become active citizens by building their self-esteem and confidence, and helped them start computer and media clubs with their information and communication technology teachers upon returning to their schools. #Africa #Rwanda #camp #genderequality #girls #women #empowerment #computers #technology #media #USAID #latergram

Peace Corps Volunteer Ginger Anderson works with participants at Camp TechKobwa. Created by Peace Corps Volunteers in Rwanda, Camp TechKobwa focused on empowerment for girls through gaining skills and confidence using computers and media technology. The camp encouraged young women to become active citizens by building their self-esteem and confidence, and helped them start computer and media clubs with their information and communication technology teachers upon returning to their schools. #Africa #Rwanda #camp #genderequality #girls #women #empowerment #computers #technology #media #USAID #latergram

empowerment computers africa camp girls genderequality usaid rwanda media technology latergram women