It is count down to the Pan African Festival popularly known as Panafest. The Month of September is almost over and that cannot happen without this great celebration!!!!
Please join the ACCDF and the Montgomery County’s African Affairs Advisory Group (AAAG) on Saturday September 26, for Panafest 2015 at 1 Veteran Plaza, Silver Spring, MD from 12 noon to 10:00 PM. In keeping with our Theme “We Love African Heritage Unity”, we have a jam packed program this year with performances from over 25 African Countries and Special Guests and Dignitaries from round the globe.
This year, Panafest is honoring our brothers and sisters from Sierra Leone, Guinea and Liberia after the Ebola Crisis. There will be special recognition of Dr. Salia (The Sierra Leonean Doctor who was flown to the U.S. after he contracted the disease and died) and Dr. Khan, the first Doctor who died from Ebola after saving the lives of hundreds of Sierra Leoneans.
We are honored to have the presence of His Excellency Bockari Stevens, the Ambassador of Sierra Leone to the United States. Also present will be representatives from the Guinean and Liberian communities as well as the communities at large.
Among the Performers for this year’s event are presidential Band Dambadjoya all the way from Chad, —– from Ethiopia, Guinean Artist Ramiro Naka from France and the International Acclaimed group Artist with One Voice.
The streets and platform will be loaded with vendors from all over Africa and the Caribbean. Come and experience Africa!!!!! Remember Its September 26, from 12:00 PM to 10:00 PM, at 1 Veteran Plaza, Silver Spring, MD.
Have you ever wanted to learn Pidgin English? When I entered Peace Corps in Cameroon, we underwent more than three weeks of introductory Pidgin before we were posted. The manual may have been updated by now, but David Bellama’s team did a great job getting it started. Click the button next to “Have” and download the first six chapters.
Job hunting? RPCVs should go to:
Peace CorpsCareer Fair
RPCV Career Fair: Network Your Way to a Job
You have the skills and knowledge that employers want. Now find out how to make yourself stand out from other job seekers. Network with returned Volunteers who served around the world and meet with 50 employers looking to hire YOU at the East Coast National RPCV Career Conference and Job Fair in Washington, D.C. Register now.
Noncompetitive Eligibility (NCE) Jobs
Education Program Specialist – Dept. of Education – Washington, DC
CIS Clerk – Citizenship and Immigration Services – Anaheim, CA
Passport Specialist – Dept. of State – Detroit, MI
Environmental Protection Specialist – Environmental Protection Agency – Denver, CO
Peace Corps Response and
Global Health Service Partnership Assignments
Climate and Weather Advisor – Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme – Samoa – 12-month commitment
Education Accreditation Specialist – Chuuk State Department of Education – Micronesia and Palau – 12-month commitment
Nurse Educator – Public Sector Academic Medical Institutions – Various Countries – 12-month commitment
Physician Educator – Public Sector Academic Medical Institutions – Various Countries – 12-month commitment
View All PCR / GHSP Assignments
Security Manager – American Bar Association – Tunisia
Principal Technical Advisor – Management Sciences for Health – Uganda
Program Manager – World Learning – Vietnam
Agricultural Research and Development Fellow – Meds & Food for Kids – Haiti
Communications Manager – Harvard University – Cambridge, MA
Caseworker – International Rescue Committee – Glendale, AZ
Health Coordinator – High Country Community Health – Boone, NC
Software Engineer – Kiva Microfunds – San Francisco, CA
Bilingual Housing Specialist (Spanish) – Lakeside Community Development Corporation – Chicago, IL
Virtual Info Session: Careers at the State Department
In case you missed it, we recently heard from a panel of Foreign Service Officers and civil service staff about the many ways to launch a career at the State Department. Watch the virtual info session and get answers to common State Department questions.
Congratulations to the newest group of Education Volunteers who were sworn-in on August 5, 2015 by Matthew Smith, US Embassy Charge d’Affaires in Cameroon. After 10 weeks of intensive pre-service training, the 21 new Volunteers took the Peace Corps oath and pledge with proud and excitement.
The swearing-in ceremony was coupled with the renewal of #PeaceCorpsCameroon MOU with its longest Cameroon Government partner, the Ministry of Secondary Education. Country Director Mark Orlic and Minister Louis Bapes Bapes, on behalf of their respective organizations, reiterated their commitment to support and promote education for all in the country.
On July 9th, Peace Corps/Cameroon bid farewell to 12 of the Education and Agrobusiness/ Ex-CED Volunteers who came to the end of their service in Cameroon.
In ?#?PeaceCorpsCameroon?, they call the farewell ceremony for the departing Volunteers the “ngong-out”. This is in reference to the traditional instrument, the “ngong”, that is used to call staff and all partakers to the ceremony; the same instrument that was used in yesteryears (and may still be used) in Cameroonian villages to call people for gatherings. As a testimonial of their attachment to their respective regions of service, the Volunteers dressed up in traditional attires.
“Ngong-outs are always bittersweet moments because it’s hard to say goodbye to family members. But we know they are off to new and exciting adventures. We also know they will always keep Cameroon in their hearts whenever they go.
” On est ensemble!”
The Proliferation of Ancestors: Death Celebrations in the Cameroon Grassfields
Cameroon RPCV Michael Jindra produced one of the best, if not the best, studies on death celebrations in the North West Province as his doctoral thesis. If you ever wondered what was taking place and why, this is a must read.
“This dissertation is a regional study of the mortuary cycle in the Northwest Province of Cameroon, and of transformations in the cycle due to twentieth century historical changes. Mortuary practices are explained, detailed and differentiated across the province, including death, burial and mourning practices. Special attention is paid to the final “death celebration,” the largest, most common, and most important ritual/festival of the region.”
Fort Hays State University graduate joins the Peace Corps
FHSU University Relations
Tre L. Giles, Colorado Springs, Colo., graduate of the 2015 class at Fort Hays State University, has been accepted into the Peace Corps and will depart for Cameroon May 26 to begin training as a primary education teacher trainer.
“Giles will make a difference by providing formal and informal training and support to elementary school teachers in a co-teaching environment,” said a news release from the Peace Corps Office of Press Relations.
“I have always wanted to join the Peace Corps right after I graduated college, and thankfully the people around me did not let me give that dream up,” said Giles in the Peace Corps news release.
Giles, son of Tammy Giles and a graduate of Widefield High School of Colorado Springs, earned a Bachelor of Arts in organizational leadership.
“Fort Hays State invested in me, and my advisors and mentors kept me motivated to reach my goals and dreams,” Giles told the Peace Corps. “Most majors give you one hard skill, but with the leadership degree, that is not the case. My major has developed my soft skills. I have learned the best ways to motivate people, to conduct relationships and business in an ethical manner, how powerful the follower is, and other simple things like how valuable it is to actually listen to people. These are very transferable skills in any job, but especially for the Peace Corp.”
The Peace Corps said Giles will spend his first three months in the Peace Corps living with a host family to become familiar with the language and culture. Giles will be sworn into service and assigned to a community in Cameroon where he will serve for two years, working alongside local teachers and teaching English.
According to the Peace Corps news release, Giles is one of nearly 90 Fort Hays State University alumni who have served in the Peace Corps since 1961.
Nursing grad goes from commencement to Cameroon
by Kyle Hobstetter Towson University
For as long as she can remember, Caitlin Stephens has felt a calling to serve others. It’s why she studied nursing and will graduate with her bachelor’s degree from Towson University’s College of Health Professions on Friday, May 22 at 10 a.m. But instead of working in a hospital like a lot of her fellow nurses, the Olney, Maryland, native is heading to Cameroon with the Peace Corps.
Initially, she saw herself as an ICU nurse. During her time at Towson, though, Stephens served as a clinical nurse extern at Johns Hopkins Hospital working with many homeless patients. It helped her realize her heart wasn’t in intensive care, but that she still wanted to help patients who were less fortunate.
“I realized this call to serve others was leading me towards serving populations that have unreliable access to healthcare and primary care or those without health insurance and no way to pay for medical treatment,” she said.
Another clinical rotation captured her interest: labor and delivery. Through working with expectant mothers, she “absolutely fell in love with obstetrics and women’s health.”She thought about working on a labor and delivery unit but still didn’t want to be in a traditional hospital setting. Ultimately, she could not ignore the unequal access to preventive healthcare resources and discrepancies in care she saw both locally and globally.
“Through my journeys, I ultimately chose the Peace Corps,” she noted. “There I am able to provide necessary health access and education to populations and geographic locations that do not have the consistent access. The program I am participating in is focused specifically on maternal and child health, which is an area I am very passionate about.”
Stephens feels the past four years have flown by. While at Towson, she was a member of the Honors College, a writing assistant at the campus Writing Center, a peer instructor coach at the IDEA Center in the nursing department and part of the executive board for Towson’s Catholic Campus Ministry.
She feels prepared to start her next phase not only because of her Towson education but also the different extracurricular activities that had an impact on her.
“It really has shaped me as a person and a leader,” she added. “It truly benefited me more in the long run than simply being challenged academically.”
After graduation, she will spend the summer with her family before leaving in early September. While she will miss her family and friends, she is committed to helping those in need.
“I am really excited and really grateful for this opportunity, and I cannot wait to see what the two years have in store for me,” Stephens said. “I am also nervous, as I am walking into many unknowns. However, I feel the bigger the risk, the bigger the reward, and I am very hopeful for a rewarding, albeit challenging, two years.”