In the photo, I was teaching two of my host sisters, Samira and Hafsa, about how in America we make wishes on dandelions. We live in the Sahara desert but near an Oasis. Here the children know every plant, herb and even weed that grows. They always want me to eat some strange seed, or smell a weird plant. Now they know another use for dandelions! Photo taken by fellow Volunteer, Jo Troyer.

Peace Corps Youth Development Volunteer	Rachel Rubinski

In the photo, I was teaching two of my host sisters, Samira and Hafsa, about how in America we make wishes on dandelions. We live in the Sahara desert but near an Oasis. Here the children know every plant, herb and even weed that grows. They always want me to eat some strange seed, or smell a weird plant. Now they know another use for dandelions! Photo taken by fellow Volunteer, Jo Troyer.

Peace Corps Youth Development Volunteer Rachel Rubinski

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“When you join the Peace Corps, you think you’re going to another country to give of yourself—but you end up receiving much more than you give,” says Anne-Claire Benoit (MPA ’12), who is doing her best to balance the scales.

During her three years in the Peace Corps in Niger, Anne-Claire formed a very deep connection with a young woman named Ramatou. “I met her on my first day in the village, and as soon as I saw her I knew we would be connected,” she declares, describing her friend as having a bubbly, happy personality and being extremely smart.

(Source: blogs.miis.edu)

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This photograph was taken during technical training in the small community of La Cumbre, Dominican Republic in 2008. A group of volunteers woke up early to embark on a hike with a host brother through the Dominican forest. This young boy was eating a mango for breakfast in the morning light outside of a traditional “campo” home.

Peace Corps Environment Volunteer Amy Martin

This photograph was taken during technical training in the small community of La Cumbre, Dominican Republic in 2008. A group of volunteers woke up early to embark on a hike with a host brother through the Dominican forest. This young boy was eating a mango for breakfast in the morning light outside of a traditional “campo” home.

Peace Corps Environment Volunteer Amy Martin

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Race to Benefit Senegalese Girls' Education

A West Michigan man says the empowerment of women in Senegal helps not only them, but benefits the environment as well.  

Andrew Oberstadt became an ally to women in that West African nation when he helped organize Race for Education, a run that will raise money for girls’ education in Senegal’s Tambacounda region.

He and Geoff Burmiester, both of Holland, organized the event with fellow Peace Corps Volunteers.

Oberstadt didn’t intend to take up the cause when he first moved to Senegal via the Peace Corps in 2010. He was more focused on issues such as environmental protection.

What Oberstadt didn’t realize was how keeping women in school could positively affect the environment, he said.

If women earn degrees, they begin careers. When they begin careers, many postpone marriage and pregnancy. When they can plan and space their pregnancies, they have fewer children. Overpopulation — a major issue for the African continent — wreaks havoc on the environment, as the demand for resources increases.

“I am now convinced that women’s empowerment and family planning are some of the best causes we can support to make a positive change in the world,” Oberstadt said in an email.

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I came across this bridge that had locks in formed into the shape of a heart. I learned from the locals that when you fall in love you take your significant other to the bridge lock on a new lock and then throw the key into the river to signify never ending peace and love.

Peace Corps Youth Development Volunteer Tondraya Burton, Ukraine

I came across this bridge that had locks in formed into the shape of a heart. I learned from the locals that when you fall in love you take your significant other to the bridge lock on a new lock and then throw the key into the river to signify never ending peace and love.

Peace Corps Youth Development Volunteer Tondraya Burton, Ukraine

Peace Corps love Valentine's Day locks heart hearts Ukraine culture traditions