The return of all Peace Corps Volunteers to the United States is heartbreaking to witness, however Friends of Colombia is particularly devastated to know that the countless positive relationships the PCVs formed in Colombia have been unceremoniously interrupted. In this challenging moment, FOC wanted to reassure the 96 volunteers who had to leave Colombia early know that they will always be welcome back. We expressed this idea directly to Colombian Ambassador to the United States Francisco Santos, and, in the true Colombian nature, Ambassador Santos recorded a message of gratitude and open arms. “What you give back Colombia, we appreciate it immensely,” said Ambassador Santos. “And we hope you can return soon.”
Along with Ambassador Santos, Friends of Colombia is committed to maintaining a strong connection between Colombia and those who have served there. If you are interested in learning more about how you can support the 96 PC Colombia Volunteers that were recently evacuated, please write us directly at firstname.lastname@example.org
FOC Launches Mentorship Program to Support Evacuated Colombia RPCVs
If you’d like to become a mentor, fill out the survey on our Contact page.
Since our Mentorship program was launched a few months ago, over 30 matches have been made for mentees seeking career advice, emotional support, and networking resources.
FOC has already heard of many positive experiences and we plan to continue this program through continued relationships and expanded geographical reach in order to be a central resource in numerous ways for all Colombia RPCVs.
If you are a mentee seeking a mentor, please fill out the survey here.
NPCA Affiliate Group News
What can FOC do to support the 96 PC Colombia Volunteers that were recently evacuated?
The following are highlights from a letter NPCA sent out to each Affiliate Groups on March 20th, 2020:
Dear NPCA Affiliate Groups:
Thank you for your eagerness to support the more than 7,000 evacuated Volunteers who are returning home and facing difficult challenges in the midst of a global pandemic. The newly returned volunteers will need help with things such as housing, jobs and emotional support.
Many of you have asked how you can help. Below are a few suggestions to get started.
- A group of RPCVs have organized a Facebook group, called Returned Peace Corps COVID-19 Evacuation Support [Community-Generated], where volunteers are posting questions and requests for assistance. We encourage you to join the group and post your group’s contact info, website, or Facebook group/page—the best place where they can seek assistance from you. The Facebook group has created a calendar for events (virtual and in-person) for the evacuated Volunteers. If you have an event, send details to email@example.com to be included.
- NPCA hosted two town halls this week for affiliate groups to get information and begin to share ideas on how to help. Some of the discussion and FAQs from the town halls can be found here.
- Peace Corps continues to update information based on the current situation at www.peacecorps.gov/coronavirus.
- Make sure your members activate and/or renew their NPCA and affiliate group memberships.
- Encourage your membership to contact your lawmakers to urge financial support for Peace Corps to cover the extraordinary costs associated with the global suspension of programs. Click here for more about this new action.
- Here is a quick link to an email form (which can be edited) that will auto send to your Senators and Congressional representative. Please share with your networks.