PPCA COVID-19 Support Fund – still available

Due to the impacts of COVID-19, the Portland Peace Corps Association has established a special COVID-19 Support Fund to support our community members. Beginning immediately, newly evacuated PCVs and local RPCVs in NW Oregon and SW Washington may apply for funds based on their needs. Please refer to the information below to learn more about this funding opportunity and how to apply.

What: PPCA has established a special fund for one-time payments to support community members with crucial needs due to their evacuation and/or impacts from the coronavirus pandemic.

Who: Newly evacuated PCVs and local RPCVs in NW Oregon and SW Washington

Eligibility: Individual must describe how they have been impacted, their need, and what they will use the funds for.

How to apply for assistance: Take our COVID-19 Support Survey NOW at https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/7H27S7V.

Note: We will never divulge anything that could be used to identify recipients, but we may paraphrase applicants’ needs to promote donations to our COVID-19 Support Fund.

When: We are considering new support applicants now! The first round of payments was made in early May, providing 6 newly evacuated PCVs with $2,300 in support. Future payments are dependent on member contributions to our COVID-19 Support Fund.

Who makes the selection decision?: PPCA has named a four-person committee to review requests and maintain confidentiality.

Amount of funds: As of May 20, thanks largely to member generosity, the total fund exceeds $750. As a result, we are willing to consider payments between $200 and $500.

Method of payment: Payments will be made via Venmo or by check.

Seeking additional donations to this fund: PPCA seeks additional donations to our COVID-19 Support Fund at http://www.crpca.org/checkout/.

February 2021 Book Club Selection

Never Leaving Laramie
Haines, John W.: Never Leaving Laramie: Travels in a Restless World (2020)

Discussion: Monday, February 15, 2021, 6:30-8:00 pm. Online meeting via Zoom; e-mail bookclub AT crpca.org for the login information. Participating in our discussion will be John Haines, the book’s author!

Synopsis: John Haines spent the better part of two decades traveling the world: biking through Tibet, kayaking the length of the Niger River, taking the Trans-Siberian Express from Beijing to East Berlin. Various friends and compatriots—frequently from his hometown of Laramie, Wyoming—accompanied Haines on his trips. In 1999, everything changed. While leaping from a moving train in the Czech Republic—something he’d done many times in many places—Haines fell and broke his neck. Damage to his spine left him without use of his legs and radically changed his life. In the years since, Haines has added writer to a résumé that already included baker and banker. In Never Leaving Laramie, he pulls stories about traveling into an exploration of home: How a rural home fueled and sustained a worldview. How beauty and danger blend together with humility and ego. How itchy feet combine with the comfort of home in Laramie, a tough railroad town turned college town and a launchpad for wanderers. Throughout, Haines returns to ideas of rivers and movement. He ends with a chapter on a different kind of travel, reflecting on how his accident did and did not change him and the varied ways that people can move through the world.

Where to find it:
Vendors: OSU Press | Amazon

January 2021 Book Club Selection

The Secret Lives of Glaciers
Jackson, M*: The Secret Lives of Glaciers (2019)

* RPCV Zambia 2007-2008

Discussion: Thursday, January 14, 2021, 5:00-6:30 pm. Online meeting via Zoom; e-mail bookclub AT crpca.org for the login information. Participating in our discussion will be M Jackson, the book’s author!

Synopsis: The Secret Lives of Glaciers explores just what happens when a community’s glaciers slowly disappear. Meticulously detailed, each chapter unfolds complex stories of people and glaciers along the southeastern coast of Iceland, exploring the history of glacier science and the world’s first glacier monitoring program, the power glaciers enact on local society, perceptions by some in the community that glaciers are alive, and the conflicting and intertwined consequences of rapid glacier change on the cultural fabric of the region. Powerfully written, The Secret Lives of Glaciers reaches beyond Iceland and touches on changing glaciers worldwide, revealing oft-overlooked interactions between people and ice throughout human history. The Secret Lives of Glaciers delivers a critical message: understanding glaciers and people together teaches us about how human society worldwide experiences being in the world today amidst increasing climatic changes and the anthropogenic transformation of all of Earth’s systems. Instead of creating another catalog of the ice the world is losing, The Secret Lives of Glaciers explores what we may yet find with glaciers: the hopeful possibility of saving humanity’s glaciers.

Where to find it:
Libraries: Clackamas Co | Ft Vancouver | Multnomah Co | Washington Co
Vendors: Powell’s | Amazon | Barnes & Noble

December 2020 Book Club Selection

Dead Aid
Moyo, Dambisa: Dead Aid: Why Aid is Not Working and How There is a Better Way for Africa (2009)

Discussion: Monday, December 14, 2020, 6:30-8:00 pm. Online meeting via Zoom; e-mail bookclub AT crpca.org for the login information.

Review: © Publishers Weekly: In this important analysis of the past fifty years of international (largely American) aid to Africa, economist and former World Bank consultant Moyo, a native of Zambia, prescribes a tough dose of medicine: stopping the tide of money that, however well-intentioned, only promotes corruption in government and dependence in citizens. With a global perspective and on-the-ground details, Moyo reveals that aid is often diverted to the coffers of cruel despotisms, and occasionally conflicts outright with the interests of citizens-free mosquito nets, for instance, killing the market for the native who sells them. In its place, Moyo advocates a smarter, though admittedly more difficult, policy of investment that has already worked to grow the economies of poor countries like Argentina and Brazil. Moyo writes with a general audience in mind, and doesn’t hesitate to slow down and explain the intricacies of, say, the bond market. This is a brief, accessible look at the goals and reasons behind anti-aid advocates, with a hopeful outlook and a respectful attitude for the well-being and good faith of all involved.

Where to find it:
Libraries: Multnomah Co | Washington Co
Vendors: Powell’s | Amazon | Barnes & Noble