"I took this photo of myself with three second grade girls in a village in Guatemala, where my site mate and I worked with the community to build a three-classroom bottle school. These girls helped us collect bottles and fill them with trash. Someday I hope these girls will be able to attend school there." - Peace Corps Health Volunteer Rebecca Dreyfuss

"I took this photo of myself with three second grade girls in a village in Guatemala, where my site mate and I worked with the community to build a three-classroom bottle school. These girls helped us collect bottles and fill them with trash. Someday I hope these girls will be able to attend school there." - Peace Corps Health Volunteer Rebecca Dreyfuss

(Source: collection.peacecorps.gov)

Guatemala education bottle school recycling girls Peace Corps Volunteer schools community development health sanitation

Peace Corps Volunteers in Morocco recently hosted an HIV/AIDS awareness session for 60 girl students at a local high school in Tarmikt. Aside from info presentations and an awesome jeopardy game led by Peace Corps Volunteer Sairah Jahangir, the attendees also had a Skype session with two female HIV/AIDS patients from Washington, D.C. 
Moroccan counterpart Fatiha Haouat translated questions written by students who wanted to know things like what it’s like being HIV-positive, how the women found out their status, and what their lives are like with the disease. For all of the students it was the first time they had ever met an actual person living with HIV, nonetheless had the opportunity to talk frankly about what living with the disease is like. Perhaps it was one of the first times HIV-positive women have ever had a platform in Morocco to speak publicly about their status and be unashamed. Michelle and Charlene, the two women interviewed, did an amazing job sharing their life stories and helped to change many perspectives on the stigma of the disease, especially as it affects women. 
The resounding message was that HIV is like any other disease and that they lead very normal lives. They advocated inclusion and support of women living with HIV, and also helped promote a safe sex message among students. It was a moving interview that called into question ideas of victimhood in Morocco, and how blaming the victim is a kind of injustice: Charlene became HIV-positive when she was raped at the age of 8, an incident that also left her pregnant. Charlene is a practicing Sunni Muslim who is now a resident at N Street Village, the organization that facilitated the interview. The Volunteers who led the session said it was incredible to see the faces of these two women projected on the schoolroom wall, to hear their actual voices speaking truth to stigma in a country where HIV patients cannot speak out for fear of persecution.

Peace Corps Volunteers in Morocco recently hosted an HIV/AIDS awareness session for 60 girl students at a local high school in Tarmikt. Aside from info presentations and an awesome jeopardy game led by Peace Corps Volunteer Sairah Jahangir, the attendees also had a Skype session with two female HIV/AIDS patients from Washington, D.C. 

Moroccan counterpart Fatiha Haouat translated questions written by students who wanted to know things like what it’s like being HIV-positive, how the women found out their status, and what their lives are like with the disease. For all of the students it was the first time they had ever met an actual person living with HIV, nonetheless had the opportunity to talk frankly about what living with the disease is like. Perhaps it was one of the first times HIV-positive women have ever had a platform in Morocco to speak publicly about their status and be unashamed. Michelle and Charlene, the two women interviewed, did an amazing job sharing their life stories and helped to change many perspectives on the stigma of the disease, especially as it affects women. 

The resounding message was that HIV is like any other disease and that they lead very normal lives. They advocated inclusion and support of women living with HIV, and also helped promote a safe sex message among students. It was a moving interview that called into question ideas of victimhood in Morocco, and how blaming the victim is a kind of injustice: Charlene became HIV-positive when she was raped at the age of 8, an incident that also left her pregnant. Charlene is a practicing Sunni Muslim who is now a resident at N Street Village, the organization that facilitated the interview. The Volunteers who led the session said it was incredible to see the faces of these two women projected on the schoolroom wall, to hear their actual voices speaking truth to stigma in a country where HIV patients cannot speak out for fear of persecution.

Morocco youth girls gender HIV AIDS AIDS-free generation N Street Village trigger warning: rape stigma Skype Washington DC global health health victim blaming HIV-positive HIV+ students school education

graceoverseas:

“The problems of the world cannot possibly be solved by skeptics or cynics whose horizons are limited by obvious realities. We need men who can dream of things that never were.”-JFK

We made it!! Group 125 officially swore in as Peace Corps Volunteers in Thailand today :) Here’s to two great years!

swearing-in ceremonies Thailand

sheenabeenaghana:

Bismark, my small boy, and Kwame’s son, decided to jog with me this morning and do a lil yoga.

He doesn’t speak English  and my Twi is terrible. But talking doesn’t matter when you lead through example. I’m just doing me and suddenly I realize I’m not just a Peace Corps Volunteer telling cashew farmers what to do, I’m a role model to kids. 

Ghana Africa yoga youth


"I can’t say this experience is for everyone, it takes serious commitment. But if you are a traveler at heart, if you recognize that you are not done learning but are tired of being taught from a book or lecture, if you want a serious challenge, self-growth and the chance to try to make a difference, then this is for you. Nothing I have ever done prepared me for this, but nothing has ever been so rewarding either. It has defined me and given me more purpose for whatever I may chose to do next and empowered me with skills that will apply to every aspect of my life, be it work or personal. If any of this seems appealing, I would say, at the very least look it at it, consider it. There’s so much to gain.” 

- Peace Corps Health Volunteer Mariana Andrade-Bejarano, Madagascar

"I can’t say this experience is for everyone, it takes serious commitment. But if you are a traveler at heart, if you recognize that you are not done learning but are tired of being taught from a book or lecture, if you want a serious challenge, self-growth and the chance to try to make a difference, then this is for you. 

Nothing I have ever done prepared me for this, but nothing has ever been so rewarding either. It has defined me and given me more purpose for whatever I may chose to do next and empowered me with skills that will apply to every aspect of my life, be it work or personal. If any of this seems appealing, I would say, at the very least look it at it, consider it. There’s so much to gain.”

- Peace Corps Health Volunteer Mariana Andrade-Bejarano, Madagascar

(Source: peacecorps.gov)

Peace Cops Volunteers madagascar Africa health Latina inspiration George Mason University



“Peace Corps is an organization for which I have a strong personal affinity. The dedication and professionalism of Peace Corps Volunteers in our education system made a great impact on me during my formative years. Since 1962, Peace Corps Volunteers have been great ambassadors to my country and I know they will continue to play a critical role as we write the next chapter in the history of my country.” 


During his visit to Peace Corps Headquarters today, President Ernest Bai Koroma of the Republic of Sierra Leone was reunited with Returned Peace Corps Volunteer Sharon Kasper Alvarado. Alvarado served in Sierra Leone from 1964 to 1966 as an education Volunteer and got to know President Koroma’s family and schoolmates. The two had not seen each other for nearly 50 years.

“Peace Corps is an organization for which I have a strong personal affinity. The dedication and professionalism of Peace Corps Volunteers in our education system made a great impact on me during my formative years. Since 1962, Peace Corps Volunteers have been great ambassadors to my country and I know they will continue to play a critical role as we write the next chapter in the history of my country.” 

During his visit to Peace Corps Headquarters today, President Ernest Bai Koroma of the Republic of Sierra Leone was reunited with Returned Peace Corps Volunteer Sharon Kasper Alvarado. Alvarado served in Sierra Leone from 1964 to 1966 as an education Volunteer and got to know President Koroma’s family and schoolmates. The two had not seen each other for nearly 50 years.

President Ernest Bai Koroma Republic of Sierra Leone Sierra Leone Africa Peace Corps Volunteers history education politics

anythingforamonth:

A week of food in Vanuatu, part two

i) pounded roasted breadfruit with cream of coconut

ii) oatmeal and bananas

iii) breakfast cracks for life

iv) boiled crabs

v) watermelon

vi) crabs with taro, sweet potato and coconut milk

vii) breadfruit, roasted

viii) laplap - grated taro baked in banana leaves and topped with island cabbage and tin fish

ix) the worst thing i’ve ever eaten in Vanuatu: a heaping plate of rice topped with a stew of chicken flavored noodles, onions, peppers, tin tuna and flying fox (bat) 

x) the cucumbers are huge here 

Vanuatu island food culture Peace Corps Volunteer reblogs coconut oatmeal bananas rice fruit

World Water Day: Did you know?

85% of the world population lives in the driest half of the planet


6 to 8 million people die annually from the consequences of disasters and water-related diseases


About 66% of Africa is arid or semi-arid and more than 300 of the 800 million people in sub-Saharan Africa live in a water-scarce environment


Water for irrigation and food production constitutes one of the greatest pressures on freshwater resources. Agriculture accounts for ~70% of global freshwater withdrawals (up to 90% in some fast-growing economies)

World Water Day: Did you know?

  • 85% of the world population lives in the driest half of the planet

  • 6 to 8 million people die annually from the consequences of disasters and water-related diseases

  • About 66% of Africa is arid or semi-arid and more than 300 of the 800 million people in sub-Saharan Africa live in a water-scarce environment

  • Water for irrigation and food production constitutes one of the greatest pressures on freshwater resources. Agriculture accounts for ~70% of global freshwater withdrawals (up to 90% in some fast-growing economies)

statistics United Nations World Water Day agriculture environment freshwater Africa hygenie