RPCV-NJ Annual Meeting – March 28th

The annual meeting of the Returned Peace Corps Volunteers (RPCVs) of NJ is being held on Saturday, March 28th from 10am-12pm at the Bridgewater Library. RPCVs, family members, friends and prospective Peace Corps volunteers are welcome!

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NPCA Ebola Relief Fundraiser

Toshi’s Penthouse in NYC was host of the National Peace Corps Association’s (NPCA) successful Ebola Relief Fundraiser on Nov. 17th. A large group of NPCA supporters and former Peace Corps Volunteers mixed and mingled during live music performances and comedic intermissions. “The fundraiser generated thousands of dollars in donations that will go directly to vetted West African organizations dealing with the Ebola crisis,” commented Jersey City filmmaker and former Peace Corps Volunteer (Guatemala) RJ Harper.

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“There was an awesomely committed team of Toshi patrons that also really made this event so special to me” said, event organizer, Antasha Durbin. “We certainly hope that other organizations concerned about the Ebola crisis step up and organize their indivdual networks and try to make a lasting impact on these countries and especially the children in need” she said. The Center for Disease Control (CDC) estimates that “there may be over one million Ebola cases by January 2015 if things don’t change.” The National Peace Corps Association is making tremendous strides in America and in West Africa bridging the gaps in the Ebola crisis because so many former Peace Corps professionals served in those affected countries. Americans really want to do something positive about the Ebola crisis and it appears that the NPCA Ebola Relief Fund is the best route to making a big impact on this growing healthcare crisis,” says Harper.

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Back by Popular Demand: Peace Corps Africa Shirts 2015!

A message from the Atlanta Area Returned Peace Corps Volunteers:

THANK YOU for helping us raise over $20,000 last year from people who care and support the Peace Corps mission abroad! This year, we are aiming even higher and we are counting on you.

You asked for it, and we listened–the “Peace Corps Africa–Everywhere Else Is Irrelephant” tee is back!  This time, it’s available in men and youth sizes in beautiful blue AND there’s a ladies version in bold fuchsia. The cost is $15, and it will be available until March 8th.

In February of 2014, AARPCV donated the final $3,100 towards a maternity house construction project led by a Peace Corps Volunteer in Togo.  The project, which is now finished, provides a safe place to stay adjacent to the health clinic for women who are in their last month of pregnancy.

So remember, all funds raised go towards Peace Corps Partnership grants. Again, thank you so much!  We could not have done all this without your love and support!

PEACE CORPS WEEK – March 1-7, 2015

Submitted by Rachel Bueide, Peace Corps Recruiter (North Jersey & Eastern Pennsylvania)

Peace Corps week is coming up in early March, marking the 54th anniversary of the establishment of the Peace Corps.

Activities will take place in New Jersey and participation by Returned Volunteers will provide an opportunity to fulfill the Peace Corps Third Goal:

To help promote a better understanding of other peoples on the part of Americans

The Peace Corps’ theme for 2015 is to recognize Host Country Heros.

Please mark your calendars and

  1. Look for RPCV-NJ eBlast messages with more details on NJ events for that week and help out if you are available.
  2. Consider reaching out to a school/university or organization in your area to give a presentation. Registering through World Wise Schools (WWS) http://www.peacecorps.gov/wws/ can help connect you with people looking for speakers in your geographic area. The WWS site also provides access to educational materials for your use.

Peace Corps Community Archive

The Peace Corps Community Archive curated by the American University Library collects, preserves, and makes available materials that were created and acquired by Peace Corps Volunteers. The archive is used to support student and scholarly research, create exhibits, and provide educational and public programs that document the experiences and impact of individuals who served in the Peace Corps.

What the Community Archive Needs from You

Started in 2012, the archive continues to solicit donations from RPCVs. Materials created and/or acquired by volunteers during their service can be donated, such as: correspondence, diaries, film, photographs, reports, lesson plans, scrapbooks, and sound recordings.

Why You Should Donate Materials to the Community Archive

Personal memorabilia from RPCVs’ service are needed in order to create a living history of the Peace Corps and the communities where volunteers have served. In order for the archive to provide rich and detailed information about this history, it must include materials from as many different countries of service and time periods as possible. By donating to the archive you will be ensuring that your personal legacy of Peace Corps service will not be forgotten; instead, your service will continue to have a positive impact for generations to come.

Why American University  

American University has enjoyed a long standing relationship with the Peace Corps, including President Kennedy’s commencement speech on peace in 1963. American University’s location in Washington DC, near the National Archives and Peace Corps Headquarters, makes it a very convenient location for RPCVs and future scholars to visit.

How Can You Donate to the Collection

If you are interested in making a donation please contact the archive at archives@american.edu by telephone at +1 (202) 885-3256. Our trained archivists will be happy to answer your questions and guide you through the process of making a donation.

RPCV-NJ Funded Project Update – Senegal Girls Camp

With your support, RPCV-NJ has been able to help provide funding for a Peace Corps project in Senegal. Here is an update from the volunteer who organized a week-long leadership development program for girls.  Continue reading

RPCV-NJ Art Exhibits at Rutgers- Spring 2015

Mark your calendars and come support RPCV artists at two different exhibits being displayed at Rutgers, New Brunswick venues. The exhibits are presented free of charge.

“Paintings from the Peace Corps Experience” by Nancie Gunkelman at the Art Library at Rutgers (71 Hamilton Street, New Brunswick, NJ 08901) located behind the Zimmerli Museum, New Brunswick Campus.

There is a parking lot off George Street behind the Zimmerli Museum and Library that is free. There are also metered parking on the streets with no charge on weekends.

Saturday,  March 7, 2015, Reception 2-4 pm (during Peace Corps week)

Join us for a meal after the reception at Harvest Moon Brewery!

Peace Corps Photo exhibit

RPCV art event

A Reception for the exhibit “Lasting Impressions,” a collection of artwork by RPCVs whose work was influenced by their Peace Corps experience.

April 11, 2015 from 1pm – 4pm

Mabel Douglass Library, Rutgers (71 Hamilton Street, New Brunswick, NJ 08901).

There is a parking lot off George Street behind the Zimmerli Museum and Library that is free. There are also metered parking on the streets with no charge on weekends.

Confirmed artists:

Adam Swart (RPCV Nepal)
Bernie Oberoski (RPCV Papua New Guinea)
Brian Knudsen (RPCV China)
Bruce Pacho Lane (RPCV Colombia)
Chuck Miley (RPCV Malaysia)
David Miller (RPCV Afghanistan)
Ellen Papciak-Rose (RPCV Botswana)
Ken Shuey (RPCV Malaysia)
Nancie Gunkelman (RPCV Kenya)
Owen Fitzgerald (RPCV Mali)
Owen Hartford (RPCV Mali)
Patricia McLaughlin (RPCV Costa Rica)
Rosemary Venter (RPCV Colombia)
Rosalind Pace (RPCV Afghanistan)
Terese Maineri (RPCV Guatemala)

Special speaker: NJ Assemblyman Dan Benson

Refreshments will be provided.

Family and friends are welcome.

Questions, contact Nancie Gunkelman ngunkelman@gmail.com

Social Dining: Seas and Savannahs International Kitchen – Teaneck, NJ

Seas and Savannahs- December 12, 2014

There were 21 diners at Seas and Savannahs in Teaneck. The gathering went very well. We had a great dinner that was a combination of African and European dishes that were served family style. There was lots of conversation and everyone had an enjoyable time. Rowland Bennett made a pitch for participation in lobbying day in Washington, DC to contact our Congressmen and women to increase funding for Peace Corps and support other relevant legislation.