Archive for September, 2006

39 Peace Corps Volunteers Readied to Contribute to Development

September 28th, 2006 by bobebill

Swearing-In Ceremony August 30, 2006

Swearing in group picture.jpgThirty-nine new Peace Corps Volunteerstake the oath of allegiance at the swearing-in ceremony, preceded over by U.S. Ambassador Niels Marquardt.

Ambassador speaks.jpgA new group of Peace Corps Volunteers, specializing in small enterprise development and secondary education, took the oath of service in an emotive ceremony witnessed by Peace Corps authorities, host families, officials and the press.

Ambassador R. Niels Marquardt, a former Peace Corps Volunteer in Rwanda himself, administered the oath and spoke of the lasting contribution Peace Corps makes in every community it touches. He stressed the dual-learning experience, whereby volunteers take home the best of the culture in which they serve and bring to Americans knowledge about their host country.

Strauss speaks.jpgThe presence of the media enabled individual Peace Corps volunteers to give their personal stories. Ambassador Marquardt, in an interview, told the press that the Peace Corps experience contributed to the person he is today.

His praise for the new volunteers, recorded by the press, brought the public closer to the volunteers’ selfless dedication: “We Americans are born and blessed with more choices, more options, more opportunities than anyone on Earth. Among all the choices that you had, you have chosen to give two years of your life to the people of another country.”

PC swearing in.jpg

July FOC Newsletter

September 22nd, 2006 by admin

View the newest edition HERE

Attention early 80s Cameroon RPCVs

September 15th, 2006 by bobebill

Dear Peace Corps/Cameroon Friends (from early 1980s),

We are writing to invite you to come to Italy next summer for a Peace Corps/Cameroon reunion. We are contacting those who were in Cameroon around the early 1980s. Colette and I have been living in Italy for about 12 years now where I work in the Forestry Department at FAO in Rome. For those of you who remember James, he’s now 23 and living in the U.S.

The idea is to gather in the Orvieto area of Umbria, about an hour outside Rome, using our house as the main meeting point. There are a few housing options to consider for those of you who decide to come. They include renting nearby villas or farm houses or staying at a bed and breakfast or “agriturismo”. We would organize at least a couple of get togethers (pig roasts, ndole feasts, etc.) at our house during the week, with plenty of ‘Jobajo’, 33 and whatever other traditional fare we can get hold of. There will be lots of flexibility for those who want to explore other parts of Umbria or elsewhere in Italy. We are targeting the week of July 22 – 28 as the likely time to do this.

If you know of anyone who might be interested but who may not have received this message, please feel free to spread the word to others.

Let us know as soon as you have an idea of whether you think you can make it and we’ll start to build a list of maybes, definites, or whatever.

If you need any more info at this time, let me know and we’ll try to provide it.

Hope to see a good number of you next July.

Our best to all,

Doug (PC Cameroon 81-84) and Colette McGuire
phone (H): +39 06 4543 2309
Phone (O): +39 06 5705 3275
address: Località Botto, 31
05010 Canale-Orvieto (TR)

Do you know of a returned Peace Corps volunteer who is a “social entrepreneur?”

September 8th, 2006 by bobebill

A social entrepreneur is someone who recognizes a social problem and uses traditional entrepreneurial principles to organize, create, and manage a venture to make social change. Whereas business entrepreneurs typically measure performance in profit and return, social entrepreneurs often start non-profits and citizen groups, or promulgate a “big idea” within an organization. Performance is measured in terms of systemic change.

The Peace Corps community has a strong ethos of social entrepreneurship—one could argue it is a common thread weaving together our differing decades, countries and programmatic areas of service. For many, the Peace Corps experience is the catalyst for a lifetime’s worth of ideas, institutions, projects, and products…all of which have changed, and continue to change, communities at home and abroad.

We need your help in identifying 50 social entrepreneurs within our community. NPCA has been approached by Social Edge, a project of the Skoll Foundation, to help produce 50 profiles of social entrepreneurs which will appear on the Social Edge Web site in the form of brief “podcast” interviews.

We have many possible candidates in mind…but we want your ideas to make sure these profiles are as diverse, inclusive and representative of our community as possible. These can be changemakers on the local, national or international level.

Surprise us. Tell us the stories of people we might not know about. Send your “nominations” to Erica Burman, NPCA News Director, at


Erica T. Burman (The Gambia 87-89)
News Director
National Peace Corps Association
1900 L Street, N.W.
Washington, DC 20036

Confronting HIV/AIDS education in Cameroon

September 5th, 2006 by bobebill

Kumba AIDS sign_1.jpgDuring my visit to Cameroon over the past summer, one thing that I hadn’t seen during my Peace Corps service in the 80’s became very obvious as a major problem in Cameroon today. The most pressing health issue confronting the people of Cameroon right now is the fight against the spread of HIV/AIDS. As in much of the developing world, getting information to the public has been a challenge, but a necessary one if behaviors are going to be changed. The Cameroon government is engaged at all levels, and there are signs along every road and posters almost everywhere you go, attempting to warn people of the dangers they face from the disease. Continue reading ‘Confronting HIV/AIDS education in Cameroon’

The Politics of Pidgin English in Cameroon

September 4th, 2006 by bobebill

By Dibussi Tande

pidgin4.jpg Although Pidgin English is the most widely-spoken language in English-speaking Cameroon, and rivals French as the language of choice in some parts of French-speaking Cameroon (particularly in the Littoral and Western Provinces), it is still treated with scorn and disdain by the Elite who consider it a language for the illiterate masses. The origins of disdain go back to the pre-colonial and colonial eras when Pidgin was the lingua franca used by Cameroonians to communicate with Europeans. Hence the descriptions of Pidgin as bad, bush, or broken English. “It is interesting that even today Cameroonians popularly associate Standard English, commonly known as “grammar”, with the elite; Pidgin English is perceived as the language of the common man, ” says Augustin Simo Bobda. Continue reading ‘The Politics of Pidgin English in Cameroon’