If you are not aware of Encore! (formerly PC Encore!) that was started by two RPCVs, you might be interested in this message and visiting their website to see if you'd like to sign up for short (or long) term assignments overseas. If you are already part of Encore!, then you probably have already received this message.
Please feel free to pass this message along to other RPCVs.
RPCV/Nigeria & Liberia
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I am writing to all Encore! Members to update you on what is happening at Encore!, and to ask for your help.
As of today's date, almost 2,000 former Peace Corps Volunteers and/or Staff have registered with Encore! The skills of Encore! Volunteers are wide-ranging and impressive, and include expertise in education, engineering, the environment, agriculture, business, technology, health care, and non-profit management, just to name a few. This year, thanks to our Volunteers, Encore! has supplied teacher trainers and development experts to an indigenous NGO in India providing education and training to young girls, and provided organizational development expertise to a non-profit in Swaziland helping children orphaned by AIDS.
Here are the seven steps Encore! Staff needs to follow in order to develop a capacity building project. It is a labor-intensive process but each step is essential, and the positive impact of our projects makes it worthwhile:
1) Screen NGOs to evaluate safety, suitability, program strength & support for Volunteers
2) Confirm project parameters with the NGO
3) Craft specific job descriptions or scopes of work with concrete deliverables
4) Recruit and interview qualified Volunteers, verify overseas experience, health and references
5) Orient Volunteers for the project and help with departure logistics (visas, etc.)
6) Conduct regular check-ins with the host NGOs and the Volunteers during the assignment
7) Conduct an exit interview with the Volunteer and with the NGOs to evaluate the project, collect final reports and prepare a final internal report
As a result of our careful work, the Johnson & Johnson Foundation recently awarded Encore! a grant to develop a three-year project to provide nurse training in Kenya, Malawi and Swaziland. Encore! was also recently awarded a second grant from United Way International (UWI), this time to support organizational development efforts in both India and Uganda. There is also funding for Encore! pending from several international organizations for agricultural projects in Africa, and finally, Encore! has been asked to prepare concept papers to realize multi-country projects involving large groups of Volunteers, by one of the world's largest foundations.
We are delighted with the progress that we have made, but I am asking you to consider giving more than your time, as very valuable as I know your time is.
There are many ways that you can help:
-- Make a tax-deductible contribution to Encore!s Local Project Fund. This fund helps to cover the cost of Volunteer project supplies (training materials, textbooks and DVDs), communications (local cell phones, air cards for Internet service) and other project costs (local transportation, shipping costs, etc). And if you contribute $500 or more, designate a region where you would like your tax-deductible donation be directed. Do you want to focus your contribution on the region where you served, or another region of the world you have become connected to? Designate your area of interest (Africa, Asia, Latin America, etc.), and you will be notified where your funds will be used, and emailed progress reports.
-- Link us to one or more NGOs where your personal knowledge (and possibly even your existing relationships) can shorten our screening process and create sound assignments for Encore! Volunteers.
-- Fund a project yourself, and be involved in selecting the project to which your funds will be directed. The cost of an average one-month overseas project (excluding Encore!'s overhead costs) is $2,000, and the cost of an average six-month project is $6,000. Fund a one-month or longer project, and you will receive periodic project reports in addition to a final report and project photos. You will have the option of visiting the project on your own and seeing your donation at work.
-- Become a Fundraising Partner, and help identify sources of funding where you have access or special contacts (foundations, government agencies, corporations, individuals, faith communities, civic groups, etc.). Encore! will draft the appropriate proposals, concept papers or solicitation letters.
Your contribution to Encore! is tax deductible, and will be matched two or three-fold: first by the in-kind contributions of volunteer staff at Encore!, second by the host NGO we are assisting, and third by your fellow Encore! Volunteer, assigned to a particular project. To make a secure donation, go to What's New" on our website (the direct link is: http://www.encoreservicecorps.org/news.cfm)
, or mail your check to Encore! P.O. Box 34064, Washington, DC 20043.
In closing, I thank you for taking the time to read this letter thoroughly, and for thinking about your possible role in Encore!'s continuing evolution. If you believe passionately as I do in the ability of local NGOs or similar institutions to effect significant social change, and you believe with equal passion that RPCVs are uniquely qualified to help, then you will agree that this is an exciting, and crucial, time for Encore! Please feel free to give me a call at (202) 299-0489 or email me at susan@...
if you have any suggestions, feedback, or questions. I look forward to hearing from you.
Susan Ely, Executive Director
Encore! Service Corps International
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