FY2016 Annual Report

This annual report of CRPCA’s activities, membership, and finances covers the period from October 1, 2015 to September 30, 2016.

Grants Awarded

We distributed grants totaling $4,000 to projects with connections to Oregon/Washington.

  • $1,250 was awarded to African Road toward a traditional dance collaborative for girls in Gasogi, Rwanda.
  • $1,000 was awarded to Portland-Mutare Sister City Association toward a camp for deaf students in Mutare, Zimbabwe.
  • $1,000 was awarded to Schools for Salone toward a sanitary station for students in Jaiama Bongor, Sierra Leone.
  • $750 was awarded to PCVs Rick and Wanda Likens toward English literature books for Kisaba school library in Lushoto, Tanzania.

Service Activities

We expanded our relationships with service organizations.

  • At our six service shifts at St André Bessette’s Evening Hospitality (October, December, January, March, May, and August), we served hearty meals to people surviving poverty and homelessness in downtown Portland.
  • At our two service shifts at the Oregon Food Bank (November and June), we sorted, bagged, and boxed food to promote food security in Oregon and southwest Washington.
  • On two dates (both in November), we worked together on the worldwide Open Street Mapping initiative, tracing buildings in Francistown, Botswana.
  • We assisted St Stephens Episcopal Church’s services to the community at Clay Street Table (July) and Asian Breakfast Saturday (September).
  • On Earth Day (April), we assisted in maintenance of the Eastside Learning Garden .

Refugee Assistance

We took concrete steps this year to assist refugees.

  • In July our core team received orientation from the Refugee Core Collective.
  • Our August we began a sponsoring relationship with the Li Family, religious refugees from China.

Community Engagement

We continually strive to promote the Peace Corps’ third goal of bringing the world back home.

  • In February we sponsored the Cascade Festival of African Films.
  • Our Writers’ Workshop gathered every month to enhance participants’ writing skills. We had two special events: In January we hosted Judith Barrington, author of Writing the Memoir. In April we hosted James Beebe, in a joint gathering with CRPCA’s Book Club, to discuss Those Were the Days, his memoir that was inspired by participation in CRPCA’s Writers’ Workshops.
  • After taking ownership of the Portland community’s world flags, we marched with our country of service flags in the 82nd Avenue of Roses Parade (April) and the Grand Floral Parade (June).

Fundraising Activities

100% of the funds we raise through our fundraising activities each fiscal year are available for grant awards in the next fiscal year.

  • In the fall and winter we sold 2016 International Calendars.
  • In October we organized a Indian Fundraising Dinner.

Post-Potluck Programs

Our four programs over five nights covered many aspects of the contemporary human experience.

  • November: The Naturalness of Human Migration: Immigrant advocate Polo Catalani inspired us toward a greater appreciation of Portland’s immigrant populations.
  • February: From War to Peace: The Transformational Role of Youth in Promoting Reconciliation in Sierra Leone: Portland State University’s Vandy Kanyako spoke to us about his work with young people in Sierra Leone through Peace Links.
  • March and May: The Reasons for So Much Instability in Africa and the Middle East: Portland State University’s Peter Bechtold shared secrets from his years of diplomatic work in Sudan and the Middle East.
  • June: A Story of War and Survival: Poet Flamur Vehapi reported on growing up amid war in Kosova and how it sparked his interest in peaceful conflict resolution.

Book Discussions

Our Book Club discussed twelve books, and we had author participation in five of our discussions.

  • October: Iran Awakening: A Memoir of Revolution and Hope (2006) by 2003 Nobel Peace Prize laureate Shirin Ebadi, with Azadeh Moaveni.
  • November: The Orphan Master’s Son (2012), winner of the 2013 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction, by Adam Johnson.
  • December: Long Walk to Freedom: The Autobiography of Nelson Mandela (1995) by 1993 Nobel Peace Prize laureate Nelson Mandela.
  • January: And the Mountains Echoed (2013) by Khaled Hosseini.
  • February: Don’t Let’s Go to the Dogs Tonight: An African Childhood (2003) by Alexandra Fuller.
  • March: Kilometer 99 (2014), winner of the 2015 Maria Thomas Fiction Award, by Tyler McMahon, RPCV El Salvador (1999-2002). The author participated in our discussion via Skype.
  • April: Those Were the Days: A Peace Corps Volunteer in the Philippines in the Late ’60s (2016) by James Beebe, RPCV Philippines (1968-1973). The author participated in our discussion in person.
  • May: Landfall (2015), winner of the 2016 Maria Thomas Fiction Award, by Ellen Urbani, RPCV Guatemala (1991-1993). The author participated in our discussion in person.
  • June: Wind in the Bamboo: A Journey in Search of Asia’s “Negrito” Indigenous People (2014) by Edith Mirante. The author participated in our discussion in person.
  • July: Full Tilt: Ireland to India with a Bicycle (1965) by Dervla Murphy.
  • August: Golden Leaf: A Khmer Rouge Genocide Survivor (2009) by Kilong Ung. The author participated in our discussion in person.
  • September: Waiting for Snow in Havana: Confessions of a Cuban Boy (2003), winner of the 2003 National Book Award for Nonfiction, by Carlos Eire.

Member Support

Our networking services consist of our Job Search Support Group and our participation in the national RPCV Mentoring Program.

  • Our Job Search Support Group gathered eight times, serving RPCVs who had served in Burkina Faso, Guatemala, Kenya, Malawi, Panama, and Zambia.
  • We received no new mentor requests this year.

Speaking Opportunities

Our members enjoy sharing Peace Corps experiences with our community.

  • We received community speaker requests from Court Appointed Special Advocates, International School of Beaverton, National College of Natural Medicine, National Lawyers Guild, and Terwilliger Plaza.
  • We assisted Peace Corps recruiters by providing speakers and organizing happy hours for participants in the RPCV Career Conference in March and the Peace Corps Send-Off in May.

Campouts

One highlight of our campouts was some of the best-ever wild berry picking.

  • In June we held our 8th annual Family Campout at Lake Sylvia State Park near Montesano, Washington.
  • In August our members attended the 26th annual Northwest Regional Peace Corps Campout at Grayback Gulch near Idaho City, Idaho, hosted by Idaho RPCVs.

Social Activities

We offered many ways for Peace Corps folks/families/friends/partners in and around Portland to spend good times together.

  • We shared stories and drinks at eight Pub Nights and at four International Development Happy Hours. Our partner organizations in IDHHs are IRCO, Jubilee Oregon, RESULTS Portland, and Women’s International Leadership and Learning.
  • We dined together at Restaurant Gatherings for Moroccan cuisine (December), Asian fusion cuisine (February), and Ethiopian/Eritrean cuisine (March).
  • We held our first Iftar Dinner (June) to break the Ramadan fast while learning about Islam in our community.
  • Our Salon Francophone occurred dix fois.
  • Our Sí, se puede occurred ocho veces.

Association Business

Association decisions are generally made our business meetings, in which all members are welcome to participate.

  • At our four Business Meetings (October, January, April, and September), we awarded grants, elected officers, and determined our budget and priorities for FY2017.
  • We hosted the Northwest Peace Corps Group Leaders meeting in March, with guest speakers from Museum of the Peace Corps Experience and the National Peace Corps Association. Participating member groups included CRPCA, INPCA (Spokane), SEAPAX (Seattle), and WCPCA (Eugene).

Activity Level

This was the most active year in CRPCA’s history!

  • Throughout the year, we offered an average of 8.5 events per month.
  • June was our month with the most events (11).
  • December was our month with the fewest events (6).

Member Communications

Member communications continued to be exclusively electronic.

  • We sent 39 e-updates to our current members, generally weekly in the weeks without newsletters.
  • We published 12 newsletters to our members and on our website.

Financial Report

Income Expenses
Membership $2,200.00
Individual/corporate donations $1,250.00
Transfer of assets,
Citizens for Global Solutions
$2,433.19
Events
Fundraising Event $628.00
Other member events $1,609.16 $945.00
Events Subtotal $2,237.16 $945.00
Grants Disbursed
$3,500.00
Calendar Sales $3,264.00 $1,528.05
Operating Expenses
Website, PO box, etc. $428.66
Fees (State of Oregon) $50.00
Operating Expense Subtotal $478.66
Interest Earned $0.25
Total $11,394.60 $6,451.71

Membership Information

As of December 31, 2016…

  • CRPCA has 204 member households and 251 individual members..
  • 5% of our members are currently serving Peace Corps Volunteers.
  • 34% of our members are Returned Peace Corps Volunteers in their free first year of membership.
  • CRPCA’s members have served or are serving in 84 different countries. Among our members, 22 served in the Peace Corps twice, and 7 served in the Peace Corps three times.
  • The most frequent countries of service among our members are Morocco (10 members), Ecuador (9 members), Tanzania (8 members), and Ghana, Liberia, Nicaragua, and Thailand (7 members each).

Here is the breakdown of our PCV/RPCV members by first year of service:

  • 1960s: 50 members
  • 1970s: 29 members
  • 1980s: 35 members
  • 1990s: 34 members
  • 2000s: 29 members
  • 2010s: 60 members