Packing list for China

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{{Packing lists by country}}
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== About Us==
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This list has been compiled by Volunteers serving in [[China]] and is based on their experience. Use it as an informal guide in making your own list, bearing in mind that experience is individual. There is no perfect list! You obviously cannot bring everything we mention, so consider those items that make the most sense to you personally and professionally.  You can always have things sent to you later. As you decide what to bring, keep in mind that you have an 80-pound weight restriction on baggage. And remember, you can get almost everything you need in China.
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“Bringing the Experience Home”
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===General Clothing===
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RPCV/W is a volunteer-run organization representing the sizable community of Returned Peace Corps Volunteers and friends who live and work in the DC metropolitan region. They undertake 3-4 events per month and focus on three primary activities.
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* SmartWool socks
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* Holding social events such as happy hours, parties, field trips, and other fun, interest-based activities. Any member may start a club and utilize our network to organize it.
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* Good cotton underwear
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* Two-three pairs of khakis and two pairs of comfortable pants for leisure and travel (one pair of jeans and one pair of pants with zip off legs)
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* Four to six business casual shirts (men should have at least one shirt with a collar that can be worn with a tie)
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* One dressy outfit (a sport coat and a tie for men, a dress/skirt for women)
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* A good raincoat (a light raincoat, since it rains more in the summer)
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* Two pairs of long underwear (light/medium)
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* Winter coat, gloves, hat, and scarf
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* One or two heavy wool sweaters
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* Two to four long-sleeved shirts for layering
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* Shorts for sports/leisure 
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* Two to four casual shirts for travel/leisure shirts with a little spandex are great since your clothes will stretch out)
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* Pantyhose or tights (thick cotton or wool tights are important if you plan to wear skirts or dresses in the winter)
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* Easy-care skirts (not too short, at least knee-length), and maybe a wool skirt for winter
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* One or two short-sleeved or sleeveless dresses (no spaghetti straps) for summer Shoes
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* Helping local nonprofits engaged in community development meet their needs for volunteer assistance by organizing regular service projects and partnering toward shared goals.
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* Helping members advance their careers through structured professional development events and by establishing a vibrant, organized network of mentors in various industries.
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Note that good shoes are available in China but only in smaller sizes (up to size 8 for women and up to size 9 for men).  
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From time to time, they also engage in events of a symbolic or historic nature, such as marching in a parade or participating in a public ceremony. Membership is open to all who share a passion for community service, professional development, and international engagement.
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* One pair of sneakers (brand names are available locally but American prices)
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== 2012-2013 Mission Statement ==
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* One pair of teaching shoes (sturdy, comfortable, warm for winter)
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* One pair of sturdy sandals (leather is recommended) to wear in the warm season
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* One pair of waterproof hiking boots
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* One pair of dress shoes
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* One pair of “kick-around” shoes.
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Personal Hygiene and Toiletry Items
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* Deodorant (can be difficult to find in China)
 
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* A three-month supply of any prescription drugs you take (to have while the medical office orders your medication)
 
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* Contact lens solutions (available locally; note that the Peace Corps does not recommend wearing contact lenses, but most Volunteers who choose to have been able to wear them. You should still bring two pairs of glasses)
 
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* Any special makeup, facial soaps, or lotions you might want
 
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* Tampons (hard to find in-country)
 
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*      Tide Sticks (one or two)
 
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===Kitchen===
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"To serve as a resource to RPCVs and friends in the Washington DC area through social events, community service projects, and professional development programs that embody the 3rd Goal and spirit of the Peace Corps."
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Most cooking supplies are available in-country, including eating and cooking utensils.  
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The Mission Statement may be revised each year by the current Board of Directors.  
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* Spices: basil, thyme, sage, or other Western seasonings you use (can be purchased in Chengdu, but are nice to bring if you have favorites)
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== Primary Programs ==
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* A coffeemaker if you drink coffee (available locally but American prices); a French press is a good alternative and can be bought in Chengdu and at some other sites
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* Baking pans and measuring cups (if you love to bake and want to buy a toaster oven in chengdu—or maybe a former Volunteer left you one—you might need some supplies!)
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===Miscellaneous ===
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* Locks for travel and to keep valuables secure in your residence
 
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* Money belt or neck pouch
 
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* Sleeping bag that packs small for travel/warmth in winter
 
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* Swiss army knife or Leatherman tool
 
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* Watch (durable, water-resistant)
 
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* Camera, filters, and extra lens cap; batteries are available locally but may be difficult to find
 
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* Small gifts such as stickers, stamps, coins, maps, key chains, etc.
 
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* Headlamp (great for travel and working in the dark when you need both hands) 
 
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* Duct tape
 
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* Musical instruments if you play (also available locally at fairly reasonable prices)
 
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* Stain stick for laundry (your clothes will get filthy so bring a few)
 
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* Earplugs (for the loud 6 a.m. wakeup call on campus)
 
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* Fitted sheets and pillowcases (schools provide sheets, but they are not fitted); perhaps flannel for winter
 
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* Pictures of clothing from catalogs if you plan to have clothes made
 
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* Games such as Scrabble, Trivial Pursuit, Taboo, Scattergories, and chess
 
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* Frisbee
 
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* Lonely Planet or Rough Guide to China
 
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* Mandarin Chinese phrase book
 
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* Checkbook (note that checks written from your U.S.  bank account can take 40 days to clear at the local bank)
 
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* Books to supplement those assigned by the college.
 
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These might include:  
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In addition to organizing regular social events for members, RPCV/W divides its long-term programming into four areas:
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* The ESL Miscellany: A Treasury of Cultural and Linguistic Information: New 21st Century by Raymond C. Clark (Pro Lingua Associates, revised edition 2004)
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=== Community Service ===
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* High school history books
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* Books about your city or area
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* Children’s books (the pictures can be useful)
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* Books about U.S. holidays or customs
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* Literature anthologies
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* General references like a world almanac
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* A writing and grammar handbook
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* Activity books for English conversation and environmental classes 102 
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RPCV/W is committed to supporting local organizations engaged in community development in the DC area. Being all volunteers at heart, their members enjoy coming out on a weekend to assist with a worthy cause. Service events are organized by their Community Service Director. Local organizations are encouraged to submit calls for volunteers in their weekly newsletter.
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=== Partnership for Peace ===
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Each year, RPCV/W enters into a special relationship with a grassroots nonprofit that shares its goals and values. In addition to awarding them a cash grant based on the proceeds of their yearly fundraiser, they advertise their events and helps them organize volunteers for their activities. The Vice President is charged with coordinating and strengthening the PfP program. The process begins with a call for proposals, the Board selects the finalists, and group members vote for a winner during the end-of-year elections.
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=== Professional Development ===
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RPCV/W strongly believes that all RPCVs should be encouraged to network freely, and urges its members to make time for their peers who are looking to climb the ladder. To this end, they host regular networking events and career panels. They also track various RPCV groups that exist within government agencies and large employers. This program is overseen by a Professional Development Director who acts as the organization's chief networker and job coach. Jobs are posted in RPCV/W's Linkedin Group and individual members often post opportunities in its Facebook Group.
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=== Special Events ===
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RPCV/W is often called upon to plan and participate in major public events. In September of 2011, RPCV/W organized the 50th Anniversary of the Peace Corps commemoration at Arlington National Cemetery, which hosted over 5,000 participants and included a parade across the Memorial Bridge. Since 1984, they have gathered each year to lay flowers at the gravesite of John F. Kennedy. They have marched with Peace Corps in Presidential Inaugurations and are now participating in DC's LGBT Capitol Pride Parade.
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== Other Services ==
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=== Social Media===
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RPCV/W maintains a Facebook Group, Facebook Page, Twitter Feed, Linkedin Group, and a group on the NPCA Ning Network. It also maintains a robust website that allows members to interact with eachother, and a weekly newsletter that any member can utilize. With these tools, it is able to reach thousands of RPCVs and others.
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The Facebook Group is a popular spot for new arrivals to introduce themselves and ask about housing or jobs. Members with property to lease naturally prefer RPCV tenants, and use the group as an alternative to Craigslist. Some use it to ask the group to recommend services, places to eat, and things to do. Members may fundraise and share their causes there. In short, it's an open forum which supplements our physical activities and keeps the network fresh.
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The Linkedin Group is similar, but less outwardly active. Most of its use happens behind the scenes, as members search out peers to network for professional opportunities. The Twitter Feed and Facebook Page are controlled by the Public Relations Director, who is charged with keeping members informed and engaged.
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===Innovation===
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Members of RPCV/W are closely involved in the Peace Corps Innovation Challenge, and the organization promotes innovative uses of technology to benefit serving PCVs and returned volunteers.
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== History==
   
   
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Note: Books are really heavy to pack. The Peace Corps Information and Resource Center (IRC) is a great resource, as well as the Book Aid International program. Many reference materials are also available online. It may be more effective to bring a flash disk with your favorite handouts and lessons, and to print those things in-country. Family and friends can also send books from home if needed. Www.bookdepository.com offers free shipping to China for all books, calendars, etc.
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RPCVs have been coming to DC since the Peace Corps was founded. Many were involved in the Peace Movement of the 1960s and there are several documented instances where RPCVs gathered to protest the war in southeast Asia. They found jobs in the civil and foreign service and set down roots. They began forming groups in the 1970’s, banding together for social solidarity and to support projects abroad. RPCV/W was formed in 1979 as an offshoot of the National Council of Returned Volunteers, which is now known as the National Peace Corps Association. RPCVs in DC banded together to do service projects, network, and commemorate special events such as Peace Corps anniversaries.  RPCV/W was formally incorporated as a 501c3 nonprofit organization in 1991. As the years passed, a diverse, multi-generational community of RPCVs came into being, with new members arriving every week.
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There are an estimated 5,000 Returned Peace Corps Volunteers living in the Washington, DC Metro area. Over 1,000 are active, dues-paying members of RPCV/W.
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According to a 2012 survey, most of RPCV/W's members join to network, make friends, and to become familiar with the DC Peace Corps Community. 83% attended at least one event throughout the year. 85% receive the weekly email newsletter. Most reported making friends, participating in events, and getting involved with local volunteer projects. Others reported getting jobs, finding mentors, and even meeting their significant other through the network.
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The median age of RPCV/W's membership is 32, and over half possess an advanced degree. They work in international development and the nonprofit sector primarily. 74% are female and 29% are male. Columbia Heights is their neighborhood of choice. There are also large concentrations in Shaw, Bloomingdale, and Eastern Market.
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==Membership Policy==
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Membership in RPCV/W is open to all. First year is always free. Member dues have remained $15 per year since 1986.
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* Members are eligible for discounts to special events.
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* Members are granted access to our online directory to search for and contact other members.
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* Members can register for and attend restricted "Members Only" events.
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* Members can access and freely network in our private Linkedin Group.
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* Members may submit news items, including fundraisers and events, to our weekly newsletter.
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* Members may post fundraisers or small events requiring payment in our Facebook Group, which serves as the public forum of our organization.
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* Members may participate in sub-committees called by the Board of Directors and lead Board-sanctioned events.
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* Members shape the organization by organizing clubs, electing the Board of Directors, and assuming leadership roles.
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==External Links==
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[http://www.rpcvw.org Returned Peace Corps Volunteers of Washington D.C.]
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[http://www.facebook.com/rpcvw RPCV/W's Facebook Page]
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* Pictures or slides of your family, hometown, and “typical” America (supermarkets, schools, street scenes, historical sites, weddings and other celebrations)
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[http://www.facebook.com/groups/rpcvw/ RPCV/W's Facebook Group]
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* World atlas and maps of the world, United States, your state, etc.
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* Restaurant menus, job application forms, sales announcements, product catalogs, college brochures, recycling handouts, and sightseeing brochures to use in classes
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* A key chain with a small flashlight attached
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* Copies of your diploma and teaching certificates (universities may ask for these)
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* Calendar (hard to find here)
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* Picture frames (also hard to find; if you like frames for your family pictures, etc., bring some)
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* Documents from home (if you are considering a future move such as graduate school, etc. It will make your life much easier if you bring certain documents or copies from home [e.g., GRE scores, an unofficial transcript]; if you own a house and are renting, bring a copy of your lease, and if you may sell your house, pack a copy of deed information)
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* Laptop
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* iPod or mp3 player, CDs, speakers
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* Contact information for former employers, references, schools, election office (to request an absentee ballot), bank
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* Hard and electronic copies of resume
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* Checkbook and ATM card tied to account
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* Credit card
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* Power of attorney
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You may consider having some things, like heavy and bulky winter clothing, sent to you after you have arrived at your site, or you may consider bringing funds to purchase clothing (depending on your size). The key is to bring what you love and don’t bring too much!
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[http://www.twitter.com/rpcvw/ RPCV/W's Twitter Feed]
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Also See:[[Packing List from China Volunteers Perspective]]
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[http://www.rpcvw.us4.list-manage1.com/subscribe?u=6542714c69023bc7f6fa51510&id=b97898cf65/ RPCV/W's Free Weekly Newsletter]
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[[Category:China]]
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[[Category:Regional Associations]]
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[[Category:RPCV Associations]]
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[[Category:RPCV 50th Anniversary]]

Revision as of 19:12, 11 July 2013

Contents

About Us

“Bringing the Experience Home”

RPCV/W is a volunteer-run organization representing the sizable community of Returned Peace Corps Volunteers and friends who live and work in the DC metropolitan region. They undertake 3-4 events per month and focus on three primary activities.

From time to time, they also engage in events of a symbolic or historic nature, such as marching in a parade or participating in a public ceremony. Membership is open to all who share a passion for community service, professional development, and international engagement.

2012-2013 Mission Statement

"To serve as a resource to RPCVs and friends in the Washington DC area through social events, community service projects, and professional development programs that embody the 3rd Goal and spirit of the Peace Corps."

The Mission Statement may be revised each year by the current Board of Directors.

Primary Programs

In addition to organizing regular social events for members, RPCV/W divides its long-term programming into four areas:

Community Service

RPCV/W is committed to supporting local organizations engaged in community development in the DC area. Being all volunteers at heart, their members enjoy coming out on a weekend to assist with a worthy cause. Service events are organized by their Community Service Director. Local organizations are encouraged to submit calls for volunteers in their weekly newsletter.

Partnership for Peace

Each year, RPCV/W enters into a special relationship with a grassroots nonprofit that shares its goals and values. In addition to awarding them a cash grant based on the proceeds of their yearly fundraiser, they advertise their events and helps them organize volunteers for their activities. The Vice President is charged with coordinating and strengthening the PfP program. The process begins with a call for proposals, the Board selects the finalists, and group members vote for a winner during the end-of-year elections.

Professional Development

RPCV/W strongly believes that all RPCVs should be encouraged to network freely, and urges its members to make time for their peers who are looking to climb the ladder. To this end, they host regular networking events and career panels. They also track various RPCV groups that exist within government agencies and large employers. This program is overseen by a Professional Development Director who acts as the organization's chief networker and job coach. Jobs are posted in RPCV/W's Linkedin Group and individual members often post opportunities in its Facebook Group.

Special Events

RPCV/W is often called upon to plan and participate in major public events. In September of 2011, RPCV/W organized the 50th Anniversary of the Peace Corps commemoration at Arlington National Cemetery, which hosted over 5,000 participants and included a parade across the Memorial Bridge. Since 1984, they have gathered each year to lay flowers at the gravesite of John F. Kennedy. They have marched with Peace Corps in Presidential Inaugurations and are now participating in DC's LGBT Capitol Pride Parade.

Other Services

Social Media

RPCV/W maintains a Facebook Group, Facebook Page, Twitter Feed, Linkedin Group, and a group on the NPCA Ning Network. It also maintains a robust website that allows members to interact with eachother, and a weekly newsletter that any member can utilize. With these tools, it is able to reach thousands of RPCVs and others.

The Facebook Group is a popular spot for new arrivals to introduce themselves and ask about housing or jobs. Members with property to lease naturally prefer RPCV tenants, and use the group as an alternative to Craigslist. Some use it to ask the group to recommend services, places to eat, and things to do. Members may fundraise and share their causes there. In short, it's an open forum which supplements our physical activities and keeps the network fresh.

The Linkedin Group is similar, but less outwardly active. Most of its use happens behind the scenes, as members search out peers to network for professional opportunities. The Twitter Feed and Facebook Page are controlled by the Public Relations Director, who is charged with keeping members informed and engaged.

Innovation

Members of RPCV/W are closely involved in the Peace Corps Innovation Challenge, and the organization promotes innovative uses of technology to benefit serving PCVs and returned volunteers.

History

RPCVs have been coming to DC since the Peace Corps was founded. Many were involved in the Peace Movement of the 1960s and there are several documented instances where RPCVs gathered to protest the war in southeast Asia. They found jobs in the civil and foreign service and set down roots. They began forming groups in the 1970’s, banding together for social solidarity and to support projects abroad. RPCV/W was formed in 1979 as an offshoot of the National Council of Returned Volunteers, which is now known as the National Peace Corps Association. RPCVs in DC banded together to do service projects, network, and commemorate special events such as Peace Corps anniversaries. RPCV/W was formally incorporated as a 501c3 nonprofit organization in 1991. As the years passed, a diverse, multi-generational community of RPCVs came into being, with new members arriving every week.

There are an estimated 5,000 Returned Peace Corps Volunteers living in the Washington, DC Metro area. Over 1,000 are active, dues-paying members of RPCV/W.

According to a 2012 survey, most of RPCV/W's members join to network, make friends, and to become familiar with the DC Peace Corps Community. 83% attended at least one event throughout the year. 85% receive the weekly email newsletter. Most reported making friends, participating in events, and getting involved with local volunteer projects. Others reported getting jobs, finding mentors, and even meeting their significant other through the network.

The median age of RPCV/W's membership is 32, and over half possess an advanced degree. They work in international development and the nonprofit sector primarily. 74% are female and 29% are male. Columbia Heights is their neighborhood of choice. There are also large concentrations in Shaw, Bloomingdale, and Eastern Market.

Membership Policy

Membership in RPCV/W is open to all. First year is always free. Member dues have remained $15 per year since 1986.

External Links

Returned Peace Corps Volunteers of Washington D.C.

RPCV/W's Facebook Page

RPCV/W's Facebook Group

RPCV/W's Twitter Feed

RPCV/W's Free Weekly Newsletter

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