Today, the National Peace Corps Association established a discussion group on its social networking site Connected Peace Corps for the Peace Corps Community to ask questions and learn more about disaster relief efforts in the wake of Tuesday’s devastating earthquake near Port au Prince, Haiti.
Peace Corps Volunteers have been stationed in Haiti over the years, but none are currently serving there according to Peace Corps Director Aaron Williams. (Read more about Peace Corps’s history in Haiti — the program seems to have been suspended in 2005.)
The number of members on the Haiti Disaster Relief discussion group has climbed throughout the day and contributors to the chat are sharing endorsements of organizations to support and clearing up rumors circulating on other social media sites. Others are sharing memories of their own experiences in Haiti, or its neighbor the Dominican Republic, or are sharing insights based on natural disasters they’ve been survivors of.
Currently Peace Corps Response (formerly Crisis Corps), the agency’s program that mobilizes former Peace Corps Volunteers to serve in short-term, high-impact volunteer roles, doesn’t show any listings for Haiti – but it’s still early. This Facebook group has been started to get feedback and ideas to Peace Corps and encourage Peace Corps Response to get a group together to serve in Port au Prince.