Peace Corps Community Resources: An interview with Erica Burman and Molly Mattessich of the National Peace Corps Association

Molly Mattessich

Molly Mattessich

The New Service podcast from features the national group of Peace Corps alumni. Listen here.

As Peace Corps nears it’s 50th Anniversary in 2011, applications are on the rise, fewer Volunteer positions are getting funded, the Senate just confirmed a new agency director, and the number of Peace Corps  alumni is nearing 200,000.

Helping connect the dots among the agency’s fiscal needs, and Volunteers past, present, and future is the National Peace Corps Association—the independent organization of former Peace Corps Volunteers, known as Returned Peace Corps Volunteers or RPCVs.

The National Peace Corps Association offers the Peace Corps community tools and resources to stay informed and engaged, and advocates for Peace Corps funding and support.

Today’s guests are Erica Burman and Molly Mattessich of the National Peace Corps Association. Erica Burman is the Director of Communications at NPCA, and a Returned Peace Corps Volunteer who served in The Gambia in the late 80s. Molly Mattessich manages the Africa Rural Connect project at NPCA, as well as the Peace Corps Connect online social network. Molly served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Mali from 2002-2004.

I talked with Erica and Molly about NPCA’s initiatives like the More Peace Corps Campaign, Africa Rural Connect, the RPCV Mentoring Program, and Global Teachnet.

We also talked about the new online social network for the Peace Corps community Peace Corps Connected, the Peace Corps Polyglot blog, and World View magazine.

Finally, we discussed the new Peace Corps director — and departing NPCA board member — Aaron Williams, and how online communication tools are changing the Volunteer experience.

Africa Rural Connect Wants You to Collaborate, Share and Strengthen Ideas

Africa Rural Connect logoA contest of ideas to change African lives — deadline to vote is tomorrow at noon EDT!

A new collaboration and idea aggregator site called Africa Rural Connect launched recently, with the mission of improving lives in sub-Saharan Africa by connecting rural farmers of sub-Saharan Africa, members of the African Diaspora, development practitioners, scholars, technology innovators, returned Peace Corps Volunteers, and anyone who cares about Africa.

Developed by the National Peace Corps Association — the independent group of Returned Peace Corps Volunteers — the site offers anyone a platform for proposing ideas for Africa, and for endorsing and/or helping to develop the ideas that others have proposed. According to project director Molly Mattessich, the project was the brain child of returned Peace Corps Volunteers who served in Africa and developed energy and ideas to create sustainable change in their communities.

The contest

According to contest guidelines, people who care about rural poverty in Sub-Saharan Africa and the importance of agricultural development can submit, rate, and comment on ideas, proposals and analyses, all of which will form action Continue reading