The ANA Messenger - Spring Edition
Returned Peace Corps Volunteers Shadow ANA Staff
February 24th through March 2nd was National Peace Corps Week, an annual event honoring the 250,000 plus Americans who have served in the Peace Corps since it beginning in 1961. Many Returned Peace Corps Volunteers (RPCV) work and have worked for the Administration for Native Americans. Currently, eight RPCVs work for ANA and they have served in a diverse array of countries including Guatemala, Senegal, Bulgaria, Morocco, Burkina Faso, and have worked on health, environment, youth education, and small business development projects. They speak Arabic, Berber, Spanish, Bulgarian, French, Seereer, and Wolof among other languages.
On March 1st ANA once again participated National Peace Corps Week by hosting newly returned volunteers for Take an RPCV to Work Day. This event is designed to encourage RPCVs to visit corporations, federal agencies, nonprofits and other host organizations around the country. It aims to help newly returned volunteers learn more about professional opportunities and build networking connections. Participating organizations benefit from learning about the cultures and traditions of the countries where Volunteers served, while also sharing the mission and values of their organization with the talented, passionate, and resourceful members of the RPCV community.
This year three newly returned volunteers visited ANA. Marlene Riquelme, Danielle Sanni, and Alayna Garvin served in Costa Rica, Lesotho, and Romania respectively. Originally from New Jersey, Chicago, and Seattle these three women have worked with diverse populations and communities both in the US and in Eastern Europe, Africa, and Latin America. While at ANA they learned about the work of the Division of Program Operations, Division of Policy, Planning, and Evaluation, the Office of the Commissioner, and Training and Technical Assistance. They learned about ANA’s work with Tribes and Native organizations throughout the United States as well as about Federal Indian Policy and working in Indian Country. Part of their day was spent presenting about their countries of service and projects to the staff of ANA and other RPCVs throughout the Administration for Children and Families. They spoke about women’s empowerment and nurse education in Lesotho, a country ravaged by HIV/AIDS; about working with educators and programs helping the marginalized Roma people of Romania; and helping teach English as a second language to aspiring students and workers in Costa Rica.
The Peace Corps traces its roots and mission to 1960, when then Senator John F. Kennedy challenged students at the University of Michigan to serve their country in the cause of peace by living and working in developing countries. From that inspiration grew an agency of the federal government devoted to world peace and friendship. Today, over 250,000 Peace Corps Volunteers have served in 139 host countries working in issues ranging from AIDS education to information technology to environmental preservation. You will find them in academia; research organizations; local, state and federal governments; nonprofits; international non-governmental organizations; political organizations, and as businesses leaders and educators.To learn more about the Peace Corps visit www.peacecorps.gov