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Fw: Peace Corps Hearing Next Week - May NPCA Advocacy Update

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  • Stephanie Schuck
    In the end, we will conserve only what we love. We will love only what we understand. We will understand what we are taught. -Baba Dioum, Senegalese
    Message 1 of 1 , May 4, 2011

      "In the end, we will conserve only what we love.  We will love only what we understand.  We will understand what we are taught."
                                                                                           -Baba Dioum, Senegalese conservationist

      ----- Forwarded Message ----
      From: National Peace Corps Association <jonathan@...>
      To: schuck_stephanie@...
      Sent: Wed, May 4, 2011 6:37:44 PM
      Subject: Peace Corps Hearing Next Week - May NPCA Advocacy Update

      Advocacy Header

      May 4, 2011                                                                                                                        www.PeaceCorpsConnect.org

      Dear Stephanie, 


      --Next week, hearings will be held before a House Committee with a focus on physical and sexual assaults of Peace Corps volunteers.


      --If you believe in the importance of universal basic education, this is an important week to take action.


      --And, from late June through September, there are lots of opportunities to engage the offices of your lawmakers for direct advocacy.


      Here is your May monthly advocacy update. 

      US Capitol
      Congress Prepares for May 11th Safety/Security Hearing

      The House of Representatives Foreign Affairs Committee has scheduled a full committee hearing next Wednesday, May 11th, to take up concerns pertaining to sexual assault and other safety and security issues confronting Peace Corps volunteers.

      The morning hearing will include testimony from several RPCVs and the mother of Kate Puzey, a Benin volunteer who was murdered during service and the subject of an investigation aired earlier this year on ABC News.

      Also scheduled to testify are Peace Corps Director Aaron Williams on last year's agency assessment and the issue of agency reform. The Peace Corps Inspector General and a representative of the Rape Abuse and Incest National Network are also scheduled to testify.

      Follow this link for more details on the hearing.

      The group First Response Action, led by RPCV survivors of sexual assault, have launched a petition drive asking Congress to support legislation to establish certain rights for those subjected to sexual or physical assault while serving as volunteers. Follow this link to read and sign the petition.


      GreigsNational Day of Action 2011 Video


      A day of strong Peace Corps advocacy, the National Day of Action brought together RPCVs serving in every region of the world over all the Peace Corps eras to urge support for Peace Corps funding and Peace Corps Commemorative Legislation. 


      For those who couldn't attend, hear the comments of several participants about their advocacy experience.  View our video about the 2011 National Day of Action. 

      House Letter for Increased PC Funding Receives  

      108 Signatures

      Led by the trio of RPCV California Congressmen - Sam Farr, Mike Honda, and John Garamendi - and with the support and hard work of many members of the Peace Corps community, 108 members of the House of Representatives signed a Dear Colleague letter in support of increased Peace Corps funding. The letter supports President Obama's Peace Corps FY 2012 funding request of $440 million, a $40 million increase from last year.

      We face an uphill climb, however.  Last month, Congress finalized its budget for the current fiscal year which included a nearly $26 million cut in Peace Corps funding.  That's a reduction of 6.5 percent and drops spending for the current year to just over $374 million.

      >> Did Your Rep Sign the Peace Corps Letter?


      Milwaukee meetingReady to Advocate in Person?

      Various Opportunities Are On the Way 

      There are lots of opportunities to participate in advocacy meetings in the coming months.

      If you are coming to DC for the Peace Corps exhibits at the Smithsonian Folklife Festival in late June or early July:  Take advantage of this trip to schedule meetings with your lawmakers!  Contact us as soon as possible, so we can help you prepare for those meetings.  No previous advocacy experience necessary.

      If you are going to be close to home anytime between August 1 - 15: Make plans to participate in our August District Meeting Days.  With Congress scheduled to be on recess, this is a great time to plan for meetings back near your home.  Contact us as soon as possible to help coordinate meetings in your state/region...You can be just like members of the Milwaukee Peace Corps Association (pictured above) who met last August with staff in the District Office of Senator Herb Kohl.

      And, don't forget to join us in Washington in September, as our 50th anniversary activities will kick off with an advocacy orientation on the evening of September 21st, and a full day of Capitol Hill advocacy on September 22nd.  More than 400 people have already registered for this event.  Register for advocacy day and other 50th events by clicking here.

      Blue RibbonBig Week for Global Education

      To build support for action on behalf of the estimated 70 million children around the world who don't have a chance to receive basic education, May 2nd through 8th has been designated as a Global Action Week to bring more awareness to this issue.

      How can you help?  For one thing, the simple act of wearing a blue ribbon will demonstrate solidarity and serve as an opportunity to engage others who will inquire about your ribbon.

      There's more.  A lot more.  Schools, families and communities in more than 100 nations are organizing a "Lesson For All" to build understanding and awareness about basic education.

      No matter how you take action, drop us a note, send us a photo and let us know how you took part in Global Action Week. 


      Shriver Condolence Book Delivered

      Shortly after his passing, NPCA invited RPCVs to submit their recollections of Sargent Shriver to be compiled into a book of condolences for the family.

      Over a two-week period, we received almost 650 responses from individuals representing every decade of Peace Corps service, from virtually every state in the nation.

      Your reflections on Sargent Shriver were collected into a book of condolences and delivered to Sarge's son, Tim Shriver, last week at the offices of the Special Olympics.  Thanks to everyone who contributed to this remembrance.

      >>Read More


      Jenifer Bubenik
      Featured Advocate:

      Jenifer Bubenik
      Clayton, NC 

      A serious ankle injury forced Jenifer Bubenik to return stateside in the course of her Peace Corps service as a Municipal Development volunteer in Honduras.

      Jenifer saw an NPCA flyer seeking volunteers and came to our offices to find out how she could help.  "Being here in the NPCA office has been a great experience.  I'd invite other (medevac'd PCVs) to do so."

      With Jenifer's ankle on the mend, our advocacy program put it to the test!. She helped distribute NPCA letters to approximately 200 congressional offices, urging lawmakers to sign onto the Peace Corps funding Dear Colleague letter (see story above).

      The workings of government is not a new experience for Jenifer. From 1999 - 2000, she served as a Legislative Assistant for then State Senator and current Congresswoman Virginia Foxx (R-NC).  Between 2005 - 2008, she was a Field Representative in the San Diego district office of Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA).

      "I would like to see more of our representatives in Congress visit Peace Corps volunteers to see us in action and see how we are living," says Jenifer, who adds the Honduras Peace Corps program is planning for a reduction in volunteers due to budget cuts.  "I'd like to see funding spent on more sustainable projects, to make sure those projects keep going...I'd also like to see more professional volunteers with advanced degrees, and a continued expansion of the Fellows Program."

      Jenifer is scheduled to return to her Peace Corps assignment on May 19th.  We wish her the very best as she continues to serve our country, and thank her for her recent service to the NPCA community!

      Congress Schedules Peace Corps Hearing

      RPCV Advocates: In Their Own Words

      108 Support Peace Corps Funding Letter

      Be an Advocate in Person!

      Global Ed Week of Action Underway

      We Remember Sarge

      Featured Advocate is a PCV on the Mend

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      You still want to make a difference. Be a member to continue serving, connect with others, and support the legacy of the Peace Corps.

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      This Month's Featured Advocate...        



      Jenifer Bubenik 


      2010 - Present

      Clayton, NC    

      Read More Below 

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      Coming to PA in May  

      TX in June


      NPCA Advocacy Coordinator Jonathan Pearson will be on the road during the next two months with the hope of connecting with you!


      Current plans call for a May 21st advocacy gathering in Wyomissing, Pennsylvania in advance of a major gathering of the Peace Corps community May 22nd in Philadelphia.


      Also in the works?  A multi-stop swing through Texas in mid-to-late June.


      Contact us for more details or if you want to help plan these visits.

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      50th Anniversary Contests with Prize Money!



      Are you an RPCV (or group of RPCVs) with a great idea for an overseas development project?


      Or, do you know an RPCV champion who should be honored for his/her continued commitment to serving others?


      Follow this link to read about NPCA's Shriver Award and our Global Community Project competition.


      Please don't delay.  The deadline for submissions is approaching.

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