Taking a break from a leadership development meeting, Peace Corps Volunteers in Ukraine visited an orphanage to spend a few hours playing with infants, along with host country counterparts. About 55 children live at the orphanage, ranging in age from newborn to 3 years. The Volunteers also donated coloring books, markers, and diapers to the orphanage.

Ukraine orphans Eastern Europe

Happy First Day of Spring!

"In my small village in Ukraine, The Meeting of Spring is the single largest public celebration held each year around March 1st. Each Street creates a float-type submission and everyone who lives on the street passes through the town before doing a skit on the main stage. In these photos, I’m with my host mother Laryssa and her street neighbors who were dressed as aliens!"

- Peace Corps Youth Development Volunteer Jessie Park

(Source: collection.peacecorps.gov)

Ukraine Eastern Europe spring First Day of Spring culture cultural exchange Peace Corps Volunteers host family host community celebrations costumes fun

These photos were taken on May 20, 2011 at the HIV/Aids candlelight memorial in Ukraine. Students of all ages participated in a candlelight walk, quizzes focused on prevention and stigma reduction, behavior pledges, and presented interpretive dance, song and readings. The evening ended with an outdoor disco in what is now an annual event.  

Peace Corps Community Development Volunteer Victoria Lamb 

(Source: peacecorps.gov)

Candlelight vigil Ukraine World AIDS Day eastern europe education health memorial stigma students youth

This photo was taken during a World AIDS Day observance in Lovech, Bulgaria in 2011. Youth volunteers from the Bulgarian Red Cross spent the afternoon passing out brochures, condoms, etc. in the Lovech city center. The event culminated with the lighting of an AIDS awareness ribbon.
- Peace Corps Health Volunteer Horace Askins 

This photo was taken during a World AIDS Day observance in Lovech, Bulgaria in 2011. Youth volunteers from the Bulgarian Red Cross spent the afternoon passing out brochures, condoms, etc. in the Lovech city center. The event culminated with the lighting of an AIDS awareness ribbon.

- Peace Corps Health Volunteer Horace Askins 

Bulgaria Eastern Europe World AIDS Day red ribbon HIV AIDS


I took this photo during an excursion to the remote village of Xinaliq in Azerbaijan. Xinaliq is possibly the most remote village in Azerbaijan and at the time we visited the only way in was via a very rough dirt road only accessible with a 4WD vehicle. The villagers of Xinaliq speak their own language, called Ketsh. 

Peace Corps Education Volunteer Peter Mittelholzer

I took this photo during an excursion to the remote village of Xinaliq in Azerbaijan. Xinaliq is possibly the most remote village in Azerbaijan and at the time we visited the only way in was via a very rough dirt road only accessible with a 4WD vehicle. The villagers of Xinaliq speak their own language, called Ketsh. 

Peace Corps Education Volunteer Peter Mittelholzer

Azerbaijan pretty places Eastern Europe Ketsh Xinaliq Peace Corps Digital Library

Peace Corps Volunteer Simon Williams is working with his Ukrainian village to build a community athletic field and create a soccer league for the local school. Williams, who played baseball professionally with the St. Louis Cardinals organization, says the current athletic field at the village school is inadequate. 

“The school sits on top of a hill and the field that they have is the size of half a basketball court, which is not sufficient for most physical education activities,” he explains. “Having been active in athletics my whole life, and knowing how soccer-crazy all these kids are, it would be great to see them have an adequate place to play.

“The plan is to make this a very hands-on project,” says the University of Maine graduate, who was Captain of the UMaine baseball team. “The village and its people have very little money but are excited to be a part of building a soccer field for the school.”

Williams has been working as a Youth Development volunteer since 2011, teaching English to students in a Kindergarten through 11th grade school. “We are playing stick-ball and the kids love it. I cut down a broom handle, bought a tennis ball and made the bases out of rocks and they are beginning to grasp the basics. The students always try for a home run, which is hilarious. I like their hustle,” he adds.

In order to receive funding through the Peace Corps Partnership Program, a community must make a 25 percent contribution to the total project cost and outline success indicators for the individual projects. This helps ensure community ownership and a greater chance of long-term sustainability.

One hundred percent of each tax-deductible PCPP donation goes toward a development project. Support Williams’ project in Ukraine

(Source: details for https)

Peace Corps Peace Corps Volunteer baseball st. louis cardinals soccer sports Peace Corps Partnership Program Ukraine Eastern Europe youth