Togo

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{{CountryboxAlternative
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== About Us==
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|Countryname = Togo
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|CountryCode = to
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|status = [[ACTIVE]]
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|Map = To-map.gif
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|Welcomebooklink = http://www.peacecorps.gov/welcomebooks/tgwb693.pdf
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|Region = [[Africa]]
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|CountryDirector = [[Rebekah Lee]]
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|Sectors = [[Education]]<br> ([[APCD]]: [[Ayawavi Kpomblekou]])<br> [[HIV/AIDS]] <br>([[APCD]]: [[Tchao Bamaze]])<br> [[Small Business Development]] <br>([[APCD]]: [[Alexis Anani]]) <br> [[Environment]] <br>([[APCD]]: [[Gabriel Tucker]])
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|ProgramDates = [[1962]] - [[Present]]
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|CurrentlyServing = 141
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|TotalVolunteers = 2460
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|Languages = [[Bassar]], [[Cotocolis]], [[Ewe]], [[French]], [[Gourma]], [[Ife (Ana)]], [[Kabiye]], [[Komkonba]], [[Moba]], [[Tchamba]], [[Tchokossi]], [[Tem]]
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|Flag = Flag_of_Togo.svg
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}}
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“Bringing the Experience Home”
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Togo's numerous pressing development challenges have increased in recent years due to political and economic instability. A significant percentage of Togo's rural population lives in extreme poverty. Less than 30 percent of the female population has the opportunity for education or training that can equip them to participate in the development of their communities. AIDS and other sexually transmitted diseases continue to increase at an alarming rate, with HIV infection estimated at 6 percent of the adult population. Deforestation and other forms of environmental degradation are worsening as the country's growing population places increased demands on its natural resource base. The Peace Corps works to promote self-sufficiency in the areas of business and micro-enterprise development, environment, health, and education.
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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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* 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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==Peace Corps History==
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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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''Main article: [[History of the Peace Corps in Togo]]''
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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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The Peace Corps began its work in Togo in 1962, as part of the second wave of countries where the Peace Corps began service. Since that time, more than 2,000 Volunteers have served in Togo. Peace Corps/Togo has a successful history of collaboration and involvement with the Togolese people at all levels. The Volunteers’ efforts build upon counterpart relationships and emphasize low-cost solutions that make maximum use of local resources, which are usually people. Collaboration with local and international private organizations, as well as international development organizations, is an important component of Volunteer project activities.
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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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== 2012-2013 Mission Statement ==
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==Living Conditions and Volunteer Lifestyle==
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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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''Main article: [[Living conditions and volunteer lifestyles in Togo]]''
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The Mission Statement may be revised each year by the current Board of Directors.
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Volunteers in Togo are provided housing as part of the community’s contribution to their work. Most Togo Volunteers live in villages in a two or three-room house, most likely in a compound with a Togolese family. Some Volunteer houses have tin roofs; a few have straw roofs. It is unlikely that you will have running water or electricity although they are more common in larger city posts. Water sources in villages can be traditional wells, bore-holes equipped with pumps, cisterns, and natural water sources—in some cases, rivers. Whatever your source of drinking water, you will have to treat it before use.
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== Primary Programs ==
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==Training==
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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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''Main article: [[Training in Togo]]''
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=== Community Service ===
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Training is held in communities that are as similar as possible to the typical site for a given project. During your pre-service training, you will live with a host family. Other trainees from your program will live in the same village, but you will all have your own host family. All of your language, technical, cross-cultural and community development, and personal health and safety sessions will take place either in your host village or a neighboring community. Current Volunteers are available during PST to assist in training and to answer your questions.
 
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Training days are long and demanding, so be prepared. Your day will start at 7:30 a.m. and continue until 5:30 p.m., with a two-hour break for lunch and other short breaks throughout the day. On Saturdays, you will have classes from 7:30 a.m. until noon. Training is an essential part of your Peace Corps service. Our goal is to give you sufficient skills and information to prepare you for living and working in Togo. Pre-service training uses an experiential approach wherever possible. Rather than reading and/or hearing about Volunteer activities, you will be practicing, processing, and evaluating actual or simulated activities.
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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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The 11 weeks of pre-service training are divided into two phases. Phase I runs for the first six weeks and is very intensive in French language and cultural training. Additionally, there are sessions on safety and security, medical/health, and some technical training. This first phase will help you develop basic language and cultural adaptation skills.
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=== Partnership for Peace ===
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Phase II is also very intensive, but it centers on technical training. Language classes will continue, and technical material will increasingly be presented and practiced in French. Some trainees will begin local language classes during this phase, depending on their level of French. Safety and Security training and medical/health training also continue.
 
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During the second or third week of training, your program director will interview you about possible sites to help identify a post that is linked to your skills, interests, and needs. During the seventh or eighth week, you will spend a week at your site. This will be your first contact with your future site and will provide an idea of what real Volunteer life is like, what work options exist, and an opportunity to know more of Togo. It also gives you a break from the intense, structured regime of the pre-service training schedule.  
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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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==Health Care and Safety==
 
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''Main article: [[Health care and safety in Togo]]''
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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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The Peace Corps’ highest priority is maintaining the health and safety of every Volunteer. Peace Corps medical programs emphasize the preventive, rather than the curative approach to disease. The Peace Corps in Togo maintains a clinic with two full-time medical officers, who take care of Volunteers’ primary healthcare needs. Volunteers who become seriously ill or injured will be transported to either an appropriate medical facility in the region or to the United States.
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=== Special Events ===
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==Diversity and Cross-Cultural Issues==
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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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''Main article: [[Diversity and cross-cultural issues in Togo]]''
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== Other Services ==
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In Togo, as in other Peace Corps host countries, Volunteers’ behavior, lifestyles, background, and beliefs will be judged in a cultural context very different from our own. Certain personal perspectives or characteristics considered familiar and commonly accepted in the United States may be quite uncommon, unacceptable, or even repressed.
 
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Outside of Togo’s capital, residents of rural communities have had relatively little direct exposure to other cultures, races, religions, and lifestyles. What is advertised as “typical” cultural behavior or norms may also be a narrow and selective interpretation, such as the perception in some countries that all Americans are rich and have blonde hair and blue eyes. The people of Togo are justly known for their generous hospitality to foreigners; however, members of the community in which you will live may display a range of reactions to differences that you present. We will ask you to be supportive of one another, and encourage you to share American diversity with the Togolese.
 
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In order to ease the transition and adapt to life in Togo, you may need to make some temporary, yet fundamental compromises with who you are as an American and as an individual. For example, female trainees and Volunteers may not be able to exercise the independence available to them in the United States; political discussions will need to be handled with great care; and some of your personal beliefs may best remain undisclosed. You will need to develop techniques and personal strategies for coping with these and other limits. The Peace Corps staff will lead diversity and sensitivity discussions during your pre-service training and will be on call to provide support, but the challenge ultimately will be your own.
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=== Social Media===
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* Possible Issues for Female Volunteers
 
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* Possible Issues for Volunteers of Color
 
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* Possible Issues for Senior Volunteers
 
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* Possible Issues for Gay, Lesbian, or Bisexual Volunteers
 
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* Possible Religious Issues for Volunteers
 
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* Possible Issues for Volunteers with Disabilities
 
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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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==Frequently Asked Questions==
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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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''Main article: [[FAQs about Peace Corps in Togo]]''
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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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* How much luggage will I be allowed to bring to Togo?
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===Innovation===
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* What is the electric current in Togo?
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* How much money should I bring?
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* When can I take vacation and have people visit me?
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* Will my belongings be covered by insurance?
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* Do I need an international driver’s license?
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* What should I bring as gifts for Togolese friends and my host family?
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* Where will my site assignment be when I finish training and how isolated will I be?
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* How can my family contact me in an emergency?
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* Will there be e-mail and Internet access? Should I bring my computer?
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==Packing List==
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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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''Main article: [[Packing list for Togo]]''
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== History==
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All of the items on the packing list are recommended but not required. Almost anything you would truly need is available here in Togo. Everyday items are nearly the same price, or cheaper than the U.S. Electronics or computer related equipment will be 50 percent to 100 percent more expensive here compared to the U.S. You may want to consider bringing some extra cash and lightening your luggage in the process.  
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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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* General Clothing
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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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* Women
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* Men
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* Men and Women
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* General use items
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* Entertainment
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* Kitchen
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* Medical
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==Peace Corps News==
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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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Current events relating to Peace Corps are also available by [[News | country of service]] or [[News by state|your home state]]
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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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''The following is automatic RSS feed of Peace Corps news for this country.''<br><rss title=on desc=off>http://news.google.com/news?hl=en&ned=us&scoring=n&q=%22peace+corps%22+%22togo%22&output=rss</rss>
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==Membership Policy==
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<br>'''[http://peacecorpsjournals.com PEACE CORPS JOURNALS]'''<br>''( As of {{CURRENTDAYNAME}} {{CURRENTMONTHNAME}} {{CURRENTDAY}}, {{CURRENTYEAR}} )''<rss title=off desc=off number=10>http://peacecorpsjournals.com/rss/to/blog/50.xml</rss>
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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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==Country Fund==
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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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Contributions to the [https://www.peacecorps.gov/index.cfm?shell=resources.donors.contribute.projDetail&projdesc=693-CFD Togo Country Fund] will support Volunteer and community projects that will take place in Togo. These projects include water and sanitation, agricultural development, and youth programs.
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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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==See also==
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[http://www.facebook.com/rpcvw RPCV/W's Facebook Page]
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* [[Volunteers who served in Togo]]
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* [[List of resources for Togo]]
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* [[Pre-Departure Checklist]]
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* [[Inspector General Reports]]
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==External links==
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[http://www.facebook.com/groups/rpcvw/ RPCV/W's Facebook Group]
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* [http://www.peacecorpsjournals.com/to.html Peace Corps Journals - Togo]
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[[Category:Togo]] [[Category:Africa]]
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[http://www.twitter.com/rpcvw/ RPCV/W's Twitter Feed]
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[[Category:Country]]
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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:Regional Associations]]
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[[Category:RPCV Associations]]
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[[Category:RPCV 50th Anniversary]]
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[[Category:RPCV/W]]

Revision as of 21:25, 22 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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