“We want to get the young members of rural Azerbaijan to start thinking outside of their daily scope of how men and women are seen and valued in Azerbaijan, and move into what is possible for the future of their country.” 
Peace Corps Volunteers Rick Wiersma and Roxann Brown are working with members of their community to promote gender equality. Recently Wiersma and Brown held a group discussion on gender and development with more than 25 Azerbaijani students and community members in southern Azerbaijan. They reviewed the role of gender within families, women’s rights and gender equality.

 

“We want to get the young members of rural Azerbaijan to start thinking outside of their daily scope of how men and women are seen and valued in Azerbaijan, and move into what is possible for the future of their country.” 

Peace Corps Volunteers Rick Wiersma and Roxann Brown are working with members of their community to promote gender equality. Recently Wiersma and Brown held a group discussion on gender and development with more than 25 Azerbaijani students and community members in southern Azerbaijan. They reviewed the role of gender within families, women’s rights and gender equality.

 

gender equality azerbaijan youth students women's rights equality IWD International Women's Day Peace Corps Volunteers

She Works, She Lives! (Elle Travaille, Elle Vit! French, 2008) is a documentary that explores the role of women in Senegalese society and highlights the importance of girl’s education in particular. Each of the five Senegalese women interviewed for the film come from diverse backgrounds and followed distinct paths to get to where they are today. Some of them come from small villages while others come from urban environments, some from supportive families and others from less supportive families. But at some point in their lives, each of these five women realized that she had the potential to be more and to achieve more than what was expected of her. This documentary looks at the histories of these inspiring women, the feelings they have about their work and their upbringing, and their hopes for the future of women in Senegal.

The film is being distributed to Peace Corps Volunteers and schools throughout Senegal along with a packet of supplemental educational materials to facilitate discussions regarding the role of women in Senegalese society. 

International Women's Day video Senegal Senegalese Africa Peace Corps Volunteers IWD education girls' education inspiration diversity film documentaries

Peace Corps Volunteers Katy Todd and Melissa Bernard are working with local Togolese community members to promote women’s empowerment by organizing the third annual national women’s wellness and empowerment conference. Throughout the five-day conference, 30 women will participate in seminars and activities to enhance their personal development and entrepreneurial skills. Seminar topics will include family planning, maternal health, nutrition, food security, social entrepreneurship and financial literacy."The conference helps women realize their potential to become leaders and role models, and to have a positive impact on those around them,” said Bernard. “Participants leave equipped not only with valuable information, but with confidence in themselves and a belief that they can make a difference.”

Peace Corps Volunteers Katy Todd and Melissa Bernard are working with local Togolese community members to promote women’s empowerment by organizing the third annual national women’s wellness and empowerment conference. Throughout the five-day conference, 30 women will participate in seminars and activities to enhance their personal development and entrepreneurial skills. Seminar topics will include family planning, maternal health, nutrition, food security, social entrepreneurship and financial literacy.

"The conference helps women realize their potential to become leaders and role models, and to have a positive impact on those around them,” said Bernard. “Participants leave equipped not only with valuable information, but with confidence in themselves and a belief that they can make a difference.”

international women's day Peace Corps Volunteers women's empowerment Togo Africa family planning maternal health nutrition social enterpreneurship yoga



This photo was taken in the small village of Ain Chaib, Morocco, just east of Agadir, on my host grandmothers farm. It is early morning and Jdda (grandma) is sitting on a grain bag, sifting through argan nuts as she pours them into a hand operated grinder made of stone. I return to the U.S. in two weeks and she is making Argan Oil for me to take back to my family in America. She wants me to remember her and the two years we spent together on her farm. She is the only grandmother I’ve ever known.


- Peace Corps Business Development Volunteer Leslie Mansour

This photo was taken in the small village of Ain Chaib, Morocco, just east of Agadir, on my host grandmothers farm. It is early morning and Jdda (grandma) is sitting on a grain bag, sifting through argan nuts as she pours them into a hand operated grinder made of stone. I return to the U.S. in two weeks and she is making Argan Oil for me to take back to my family in America. She wants me to remember her and the two years we spent together on her farm. She is the only grandmother I’ve ever known.

- Peace Corps Business Development Volunteer Leslie Mansour

Morocco aragan oil grandmothers culture Peace Corps volunteers host family business development

sarahreichle:

Your Ecuadorian Fruit Education
Lesson #1: Taxo

One of my New Year’s resolutions and goals of year numero dos in Peace Corps is to try more Ecuadorian fruit. It’s not as if I don’t eat a bastante amount of fruit here, I really do. I just usually stick to the basics like mango, pineapple, papaya, grapefruit and oranges. I’ve tried other fruits here of course but I don’t usually buy them on my own… but that’s all about to change! I have a brand-spanking new blender with a juicer too! It would be a complete waste not to use it and to not aprovechar my time down here with trying delicious tropical fruits. So, get ready for installment one in your Ecuadorian fruit education!

Up first is taxo. I’m not sure what taxo is called in English or if there even is an English translation. It’s a strange yellow fruit that’s about 3 inches long and shaped like some large gorilla finger or a fat stumpy cigar. When you cut it open, the insides look like a pomegranate or maracuyá with the orange, gelatinous fruit surrounding many small black seeds. Taxo is basically only used in juices but as the lady at the fruit stand tells me, you can also cut it open and chupar (suck) the fruit out. According to my awesome Peace Corps cookbook, it’s also used as a topping for ice cream but since I had no ice cream around the house, I settled for making juice.

I cut them open, scooped out the insides and put it my blender with a bit of water. After blending for a bit, you simply strain out the seeds and bam, you have jugo de taxo! I added some sugar to the juice primarily because I’ve integrated here and you can’t drink anything without copious amounts of sugar added and secondly because taxo does have a slightly sour taste that needs some sweetness added. Overall, not my favorite Ecua-fruit and it probably wouldn’t be my first juice choice but taxo definitely has an interesting flavor and unlike any fruits I would typically eat in the States.   

This fits today’s Peace Corps Week Theme “Invite the World to Your Table" so well, we had to reblog! 

 

Peace Corps Volunteers Ecuador food fruit taxo reblogs Peace Corps Week

Join the global celebration of Peace Corps service!
Peace Corps Week celebrates how Peace Corps Volunteers make a difference in host countries around the world and in the United States, commemorating the date President John F. Kennedy signed the executive order to establish the Peace Corps—March 1, 1961.
Don’t miss your chance to support world peace and friendship by furthering the Peace Corps Third Goal of helping promote a better understanding of other peoples on the part of Americans! Learn more @ www.peacecorps.gov/pcweek

Join the global celebration of Peace Corps service!

Peace Corps Week celebrates how Peace Corps Volunteers make a difference in host countries around the world and in the United States, commemorating the date President John F. Kennedy signed the executive order to establish the Peace Corps—March 1, 1961.

Don’t miss your chance to support world peace and friendship by furthering the Peace Corps Third Goal of helping promote a better understanding of other peoples on the part of Americans! Learn more @ www.peacecorps.gov/pcweek

Peace Corps Week Peace Corps Volunteers Returned Peace Corps Volunteers RPCVs President Kennedy

Peace Corps Volunteers Lead Gender Equality Discussion in Azerbaijan

“The goal of the presentations was to promote social awareness as well as critical thinking in local community members,” said Wiersma, a graduate of Liberty University who has been living and working in Azerbaijan since September 2011. “We want to get the young members of rural Azerbaijan to start thinking outside of their daily scope of how men and women are seen and valued in Azerbaijan and move into what is possible for the future of their country.”

Azerbaijan gender equality education community development Peace Corps Volunteers gender women's rights social awareness culture