Archive for March, 2016

A Towering Task Documentary #IgnitePeaceCorps

March 15th, 2016 by admin

I’m personally writing to you about a new and exciting documentary about the Peace Corps, called A Towering Task, which is currently in production. Unlike previous documentaries, A Towering Task will focus on the bigger picture of the agency and tie the threads of the Peace Corps’ history, it’s impact on countries served, and why we need to bring peace to the world through the Peace Corps now more than ever.

You may have seen an email from the National Peace Corps Association (NPCA), who has partnered with us to help us fundraise. We are planning a joint-crowdfunding campaign to ignite the entire RPCV/PC community of 220,000.

As a community, we now have the unique opportunity to fund a world-class documentary that will help reignite Peace Corps’s purpose and sense of community, as well as pave the way toward a more peaceful world.
For more information on the documentary and a video trailer, click on this link:
To support the documentary with a donation visit
Heather Schultz
RPCV Benin 2010-2012
RPCV Group Member Outreach for A Towering Task

Why I call myself a Peace Corps Child

March 3rd, 2016 by bobebill

Why I call myself a Peace Corps Child
By Danielle Green on Wednesday, March 2nd, 2016


Bill Strassberger and Alphonse in his front yard. Njinikom, 1982

Like millions of people around the world, Chia Tasah encountered a Peace Corps Volunteer and it changed his life. Here, in honor of Peace Corps Week, we share his story.

My autobiography is the story of how I came to call myself a Peace Corps child. It begins in Cameroon 1980 when my life became entangled with a Peace Corps Volunteer and continues until I became a U.S. citizen in 2012.

My story begins with me being unable to continue my secondary education because of my family’s financial situation. At age 14, I was lured into Club 185, a popular bar in Nijinikom, to work as a bartender. It was there that I met Alan Lakomski and Danny Hunter who were serving as Cameroon Peace Corps Volunteers at the time. Lakomski occasionally visited the bar and was appalled at me working a bartender instead of attending school. He offered to sponsor my secondary education and allowed destiny to take its course.

Learning Self-Reliance

When Lokomski and Hunter left, I was fortunate enough to met Bill Strassberger, another Peace Corps Volunteer, who offered to continue the payment of my school fees. Strassberger instilled a self-reliant spirit in me. He encouraged me to work holiday jobs to support my schooling. Eventually, I was able to receive a tuition scholarship that paid the rest of my school fees until I passed the General Certificate of Education Exam.

The confidence I gained propelled me to the University of Buea, Cameroon. It was here that I met my third Peace Corps mentor, Christine Swanson. She advised me to apply to the Human Resource Development Program at the University of Minnesota. I was admitted and Swanson assisted my visa process.

With only $85 in savings, I arrived in the U.S. to attend university. Swanson provided me temporary lodging in her neighbor’s condo but when money began to run low I fled to a friend’s home for fear of homelessness.

Reconnecting with Volunteers

I decided to reach out to my previous Peace Corps benefactors and Swanson was able to provide me with a contact list of returned Peace Corps Volunteers. I was able to reconnect with Lakomski and Strassberger!

Both of them readily accepted and supported me as they had years ago in Cameroon. Strassberger educated me on American culture and Lakomski forestalled the threat of homelessness by providing me with financial support.

I now hold a Master’s Degree of Education in Human Resource Development and am married with two kids. A world of thanks goes to the Peace Corps Volunteers that helped raise me.

Long live the Peace Corps!

Want to know more?

Currently Chia Tasah works at All World Languages and Cultures, Inc., in Kansas City. Check out his new book, “The Life of An African Peace Corps Child”.

Do you think more people should hear stories like this? Here are two things you can do:

Support NPCA’s National Day of Action for a bigger better Peace Corps.
Ignite our community by supporting the production of A Towering Task: A Peace Corps Documentary.