The British Council Creates Global Connections and Impact Through Dialogue and Service

Professor Mike Hardy

Professor Mike Hardy, Photo by Kate Anderson

Amy Potthast first wrote about the British Council’s event and because I live in the nation’s capital, where the event was held, I had the good fortune of attending.

Admittedly, I was still reeling from Michelle Obama’s visit to CNCS — so the British Council event was yet another highlight on my calendar which made that week unforgettable, to say the least.

An impressive crowd gathered—approximately 50 attendants—at the Rayburn House Office Building for what was absolutely a lovely affair.  Lovely is not a word I usually use to describe a professional engagement, but I think this word comes to mind because of my British, or as I say, Bree-teesh, bias. Yes, I’m a sap for their accents and covet their seemingly inborn urbane manner.

Prior to the event, I was only loosely familiar with the work of the British Council—the United Kingdom’s international Continue reading

British Council Hosts Global Service and Active Citizenship Event Tonight

Jody Olsen, Acting Peace Corps Director

Jody Olsen, Acting Peace Corps Director Photo by Kate Anderson

The British Council will host an event in Washington, D.C., tonight that convenes advocates of citizen service.

Tonight’s event celebrates volunteerism and global citizenship. It will features speakers Rep. Sam Farr (D-CA) — lead sponsor of the Peace Corps Expansion Act of 2009 which is now in the House Foreign Relations Committee. (Read more.) Other featured speakers include Acting Peace Corps Director Jody Olsen, and Professor Mike Hardy, the British Council’s Head of Intercultural Dialogue Programming.

The British Council, which also partners to run Global Xchange, has recently launched the U.S. publication of its book Volunteering: Global Citizenship in Action by Aurelie Brockerhoff and Nick Wadham-Smith which was inspired by the
volunteers’ experiences.

The goal of the event is to bring together pre-eminent U.S. volunteerism and service advocates and to expand the conversation about global action and citizenship.

The British Council is the United Kingdom’s international organization for educational opportunities and cultural relations. Read more about the British Council.

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More Peace Corps Legislation Could Enable More to Serve Abroad

As the Serve America Act becomes law, it offers no support of Peace Corps. Legislation to increase the capacity of Peace Corps was introduced in the House of Representatives earlier this year.

A fish farming family

A fish farming family

In mid-February, Rep. Sam Farr (D-CA) introduced H.R. 1066, the Peace Corps Expansion Act of 2009. The legislation calls for gradually increased funding for Peace Corps (up to $750 million in 2012), enabling more Volunteers to serve, and increasing the amount of the readjustment allowance Volunteers receive at the end of their service term.

13,011 Americans applied in 2008 to volunteer their service in the Peace Corps, a 16 percent increase over the 11,246 applications received in 2007. While applications to Peace Corps and other service corps are seeing record numbers, Peace Corps has funding for 400 fewer Volunteers this year (compared with 2008), and is reportedly offering one-year deferrals to candidates.

(In 1966, according to the Boston Globe, 15,000 Peace Corps Volunteers served in the field.)

According to the Boston Globe article about Peace Corps from this past weekend, former Peace Corps Country Director Mark Gearan said, “We spend more on the military marching bands. …This is 1 percent of 1 percent [of the federal budget]. There’s Continue reading