From Peace Corps Wiki
Status: Presently Inactive
Program Dates: 1992-2003
Volunteers Served: 729
Peace Corps Volunteers work to nurture business development by providing business education, consulting, and support to government officials, entrepreneurs, business institutes, schools, and NGOs. One Volunteer collaborated with Russian business owners, business professors, U.S. technical assistance providers, and fellow Volunteers to produce a series of marketing videos based on Russian case studies. These videos will be used in seminars and workshops for Russian entrepreneurs.
Volunteers have also created the University of Alaska's Russian-American Business Center, which works to develop the business skills of female entrepreneurs as well as offering workshops on business planning over the Internet. Business Volunteers provide a wide range of seminars and workshops for the management and staff of Russian NGOs. A Volunteer-developed NGO training course is being incorporated into the course offerings of the Volga-Vyatka Academy of Public Service, which trains government officials in the Volga region.
As Russian English teachers continue to leave local schools to take higher paying positions in the private sector, the Peace Corps is focusing its efforts on training the next generation of Russian English teachers. Russia's economic problems have made it difficult for the Ministry of Education to provide modern textbooks to schools, many of which are still using Soviet textbooks containing anti-American propaganda. In Western Russia, Volunteers authored five textbooks that were published regionally at low cost.
Volunteers also work with students at the high school level. Volunteers in Western Russia conducted a two-week summer immersion program called "Camp America" for over 100 teenagers. In the Russian Far East village of Arsneniev, a Volunteer founded the first English-language newspaper for teens. This for-profit newspaper is written by advanced students from different schools, who are learning layout design, marketing and editing. The profits from the paper provide revenue for new English materials.
The Environment program is located in the Russian Far East, an area similar to the Pacific Northwest of the United States. The incredible natural beauty of this area provides motivation for increasing environmental awareness. Environmental Education Volunteers contribute to the growing environmental preservation movement through their work in schools, extra-curricular environmental centers, NGOs, and nature preserves. One Volunteer organized the youth in his village to construct solar dehydrators, which were used by local farmers to dry herbs and mushrooms for the winter.
Volunteers are assisting NGOs with grant proposal writing, organizational development, and fundraising techniques. A Volunteer in Vladivostok helped the Resource Center for Environmental Education, a local NGO, successfully implement a proposal to send several Center members and a film technician to the United States to make a documentary about outdoor education. The film will be shown on Russian television and used in seminars with other environmental NGOs.