Recent advocacy news from the National Peace Corps Association (NPCA) is the endorsement of "Rethinking the Battlefield," which is U.S. Senator Chris Murphy's (D-Conn) alternative budget proposal representing a powerful vision for American leadership in International Affairs. This proposal includes funding for 15,000 Peace Corps Volunteers by 2022.
While growing Peace Corps to 15,000 Peace Corps Volunteers in the field is an exciting vision, the current focus for advocacy is the request to maintain level funding of Peace Corps at $410 million. NPCA has assembled great resources to help with advocacy efforts ranging from details on how to connect with elected officials to how to submit letters to the editor or otherwise gain media attention about the importance of Peace Corps. Check out the resources here.
News released by the National Peace Corps Association (NPCA) on March 16, 2017.
Just hours ago, President Trump’s budget proposal requested drastic cuts of 29 percent to the International Affairs budget, which includes the Peace Corps. While funding for the Peace Corps is not specifically referenced, it could face disproportionate cuts when the full budget is released later this spring.
The top-line cuts to International Affairs will have potentially serious impact on the Peace Corps, including greatly reduced Volunteer numbers, the inability to open new country programs or expand in others, and diminished cross-agency partnerships with PEPFAR and USAID.
I know that the Peace Corps community will not let this happen.
In anticipation of this announcement, National Peace Corps Association launched the #ProtectPeaceCorps campaign to ensure the future of the Peace Corps. By mobilizing our grassroots and grasstops communities to advocate to Congress for the Peace Corps, our goal is to hold the line for no less than current funding levels of $410 million for the Peace Corps and $60 billion for International Affairs.
We will achieve this through an unprecedented mobilization of the Peace Corps community.
Right now, take your first step in the campaign by urging Congress to provide adequate funding for the Peace Corps and International Affairs.
Your continued activism will be crucial, so join the #ProtectPeaceCorps movement.
This past weekend, the Trump Administration confirmed that it will propose "fairly dramatic reductions" to International Affairs in a budget to be released on or around March 16. The cuts, reportedly upwards of 37%, would have significant impact on America's diplomatic and development programs, including the Peace Corps.
To ensure the future of America's greatest institution, NPCA is launching the #ProtectPeaceCorps campaign to mobilize our community and secure no less than level funding of $410 million for the Peace Corps, and $60 billion for the International Affairs Budget.
NPCA is currently working with Advocacy Coordinators and Affiliate Group Leaders to mobilize the community. Stay tuned for more announcements and actions.
Take Action Now: Urge Congress to support robust funding levels for the Peace Corps and International Affairs.
The following message was shared by the National Peace Corps Association (NPCA) on Sunday, January 29, 2017. Given the important reminder of the oath given by Peace Corps Volunteers, it is being shared by the Returned Peace Corps Volunteers of Colorado (RPCVCO).
In Support of Refugees
In 1958, then-Senator John F. Kennedy wrote A Nation of Immigrants. The text outlines the history and importance of immigration to the United States, as well as proposals to liberalize immigration law.
As one of his first presidential acts, President Kennedy established Executive Order 10924 to promote world peace and friendship through a Peace Corps. Since 1961, 225,000 Volunteers have been welcomed in 161 countries — including Muslim majority ones, as well as many below our southern border. As foreigners, we were accepted without prejudice into homes, schools, offices, and houses of worship by our hosts.
At the time, each of us made an oath: I promise to serve alongside the people of my Country of Service. I promise to share my culture with an open heart and open mind. I promise to foster an understanding of the people of my Country of Service, with creativity, cultural sensitivity, and respect. I will face the challenges of service with patience, humility, and determination. I will embrace the mission of world peace and friendship for as long as I serve and beyond. In the proud tradition of Peace Corps’ legacy, and in the spirit of the Peace Corps family past, present, and future - I am a Peace Corps Volunteer.
Because of this, those of us who have served in the Peace Corps have a special responsibility. We are tasked with sharing, in a spirit of humility and respect, what it means to be an American. We must speak up on behalf of the refugees who have now been prevented from entering our country and receiving our welcome in return.
Now is the time to rededicate ourselves to the mission and goals of the Peace Corps, to commit ourselves to constructive dialogue – to representing the open hand of America, rather than the closed fist.
To do this, multiple channels exist:
Our national security depends not on building walls, but bridges. Peace is a product of friendship and understanding, and the Peace Corps community demonstrates our lifelong commitment to those ideals by following through when it’s needed most.
President & CEO
RPCV Guatemala 1988-91
Copyright © 2017 National Peace Corps Association, All rights reserved.
This email was sent by:
National Peace Corps Association
1900 L Street, NW, Suite 610
Washington, DC, 20036
If you’re like me, you know the incredible value of service. And if you’re like me, you know that many more Americans should have the opportunity to serve.
Please join me in calling and writing your members in the House and Senate to urge them to prioritize national service in the 2017 budget.
The link above will connect you with your member offices and give you guidance on what to say. A few minutes of your time could mean a lifetime of change for an American and the community they serve.
Congress has until December 9, 2016 to reach a budget deal that will fund federal programs through 2017, including funding for service year opportunities like the Peace Corps, AmeriCorps and YouthBuild. Today we have the opportunity to stand with our partners in service and ask Congress to provide more opportunities for Americans to serve their country at home and abroad.
Please take sometime from your day and tell Congress: LET US SERVE.
If we want a greater culture of service in America, it starts with us.
President & CEO
RPCV Guatemala 1988-91
In preparation for upcoming advocacy efforts, the National Peace Corps Association (NPCA) is looking for RPCVs willing to share three to four sentences about life after Peace Corps. Any RPCV can respond to this request and NPCA is hoping to profile the amazing, innovative, and dedicated individuals and couples who served in Peace Corps and now work in businesses, non-profit organizations, for the government, in the media, and more!
We're excited to announce that Steve Werner was honored with the 2016 Outstanding Returning Peace Corps Volunteer award, which was given as part of the Governor's Service Awards, presented by Serve Colorado, on September 15, 2016. Steve served in Korea, with his wife Patti from 1976 to 2978. He was nominated by RPCVCO because "Steve's approach to volunteerism and service is that of a global citizen - someone who does not just work to address the needs of those he meets on a day-to-day basis, but instead he seeks out ways to serve others at home and abroad."
In demonstration of his continual dedication to service, Steve left for Peace Corps Response in mid-September and was unable to attend the awards ceremony. However, he shared the following message that was read at the ceremony:
"I want to thank the RPCVs of Colorado and especially Suzanne Smith, president, for nominating me for this award. I also want to thank everyone who supported the nomination but especially friends Suzanne Hammer, Rotary and work colleague, and Charlie Hunt, Rotarian and returned Peace Corps volunteer colleague. I also want to thank my wife Patti Werner, who served with me in South Korea from 1976 to 1978 and my children Brian, Matthew, and Christine and Christine’s husband and children, Rick Garcia and Vivian and Amelia. Finally, I also want to thank past recipients of this award and all of the Colorado returned Peace Corps volunteers and staff who have served over the years. I really believe that we stand on the shoulders of giants when we are recognized by this type of award.
In closing, I want to recount something I was told by a Korean Ministry of Health senior staff person who spoke at our Peace Corps Korea reunion back in Korea several years ago. He worked with several volunteers when we did tuberculosis control work in rural health centers. He told us that Koreans could have solved their huge problem with TB without Peace Corps, but that PCVs motivated them to work harder because they were impressed that we took time from our families and lives to help Korean people. They appreciated that we did that and made friends with the Korean people. Many volunteers do incredible work with the technical aspects of their assignments, but the longer term benefits of Peace Corps come from the relationships and example that we demonstrate through our service. I’m proud that the State of Colorado is the leading state in the per capita number of Peace Corps volunteers and how we are using our experience to help our fellow Coloradoans."
This is the third year that RPCVs were honored during the Governor’s Service Awards. Along with the Outstanding Returning Peace Corps Volunteer award, the following individuals and organizations were also honored for their service to others:
Know someone who should be nominated next year? Let us know!
The National Peace Corps Association (NPCA) has issued a challenge to the Peace Corps community:
Can we send Congress 10,000 messages by June 1, 2016 asking for $450 million for the Peace Corps?
This call to action is because the Senate and House committees leading fiscal year 2017 appropriation bills are schedule to have those bills ready soon. The NPCA is hoping that the call for strong support for Peace Corps comes through loud and clear in time for this part of the budget process.
It is easy to take action by clicking here.
During the last advocacy push in March, Peace Corps supporters in Colorado sent a total of 84 messages. Let’s see if we can beat this total for May!
Politico recently featured an article by General Anthony Zinni and Admiral James Stavridis about the importance of supporting programs such as USAID and Peace Corps. In "Don't shortchange foreign aid", the authors highlight the benefit of civilian programs such as Peace Corps, stating "...despite the escalating needs, we’ve increasingly seen resources stripped from the International Affairs Budget in recent years – which makes up just a mere 1 percent of the entire federal budget. While our military is the strongest and most skilled in the world, we must always be prepared for the next danger on the horizon. This means we must strengthen our strategic investments in America’s development and diplomatic programs in order to confront the challenges we face and prevent crises before they happen. assist in the international affairs of the U.S."
The article can be found here on Politico.
According to the Politico article biography, "General Anthony Zinni, USMC (Ret.) is the former Commander in Chief of U.S. Central Command. Admiral James Stavridis, USN (Ret.) is former NATO Supreme Allied Commander for Europe".
Your support of Peace Corps is needed to encourage members of Congress to sign on to the Dear Colleague letters about the Peace Corps budget. It is easy take action:
Sending an email takes less than a minute, so lend your voice to this effort now!