The Peace Corps experience provides a unique perspective of the world which we are quite excited to share with your group or classroom. A primary goal of the Peace Corps is for volunteers to bring their experiences home to broaden our fellow Americans’ understanding of the world.
CRPCA provides a Speakers Bureau that can help you find a speaker who matches your needs.
To request a speaker:Please send your name, contact information, type of group, potential dates, and special requests to our Education Coordinator, Laura Kutner, at education AT crpca.org or 503-250-0997.
To join the Speakers Bureau: Please fill out the CRPCA Speaker Survey
(opens Word document), which can be returned by mail or e-mail.
Here are some facts about our speakers.
- The CRPCA Speakers Bureau currently includes 50 individuals, who served in the following countries: Bulgaria, Guatemala, Haiti, Iran, Kazakhstan, Lesotho, Kenya, Mauritania, Mongolia, Mozambique, Namibia, Niger, Paraguay, Philippines, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Solomon Islands, Thailand, Togo, Ukraine, and Uzbekistan.
- Many of our speakers are professional educators, several have achieved Toastmasters Competent Communicator or higher status, and others gained public speaking experience during Peace Corps.
- Some of our speakers are also willing to deliver their talks in Bulgarian, French, Portuguese, Russian, or Spanish.
- Other countries (not mentioned above) in which our speakers have worked include Azerbaijan, Brazil, East Timor, France, Iceland, Indonesia, Iraq, Kuwait, Mexico, Serbia, and South Africa.
- All speakers bring visuals: digital presentations, printed maps/images, and/or 35mm slides. One has a video made during Peace Corps.
- Our speakers also bring art, baby carrier cloth, baskets, books, candles, clothes, fabrics, fetish items, flags, headrests, historic pieces, makalani nuts, masks, medicine horn boxes, money, musical instruments, posters, pottery, shoes, souvenirs, and/or stamps from their countries of service to enliven their presentations.
Here is a sampling of the special topics our speakers are eager to work into their talks.
Peace Corps in General: daily life, cultural exchanges, etc.
- The benefits of learning a foreign language, and opportunities to use language beyond the classroom. Development work in a rural setting. Life in West Africa. Fundraising and project management for school construction and agricultural work.
- A country right before a civil war.
- Daily life in rural Salone. What IS a “custom,” anyway? Factors affecting health in Sierra Leone and what it takes to be happy.
- Hands-on “stuff” from the country, with discussion of what the items are used for.
- Iran in the current world, Islam, women in the Middle East, the Iranian people, Iran before the revolution vs. today.
- Life in Mongolia, Peace Corps after retirement, womens’ role in Mongolian business/economy, and the ecological disaster that is currently taking place.
- Southeast Asian culture, the benefits and drawbacks of being in a touristy and fairly well developed country, the vast difference between rural Thailand and tourist/city Thailand, being a woman in the Peace Corps, how to be culturally appropriate without compromising your morals.
- West African culture, politics, health, women, millet beer as a cottage industry for women, animist religious practices, funeral practices. Peace Corps in general.
Education and Youth Development
- Education system in Kazakhstan, Russian and Kazakh languages, Peace Corps life.
- Education in Africa, HIV/AIDS in Africa, Youth Empowerment.
- Youth in Ukraine, Volunteering and Leadership education, Cross cultural experiences and education, Information Technology education (for youth and teachers), Project design and development in a Peace Corps country. Misconceptions/stereotypes about former USSR countries.
- Education programs in China, India, Morocco, Turkey.
- Photography, HIV/AIDS, sustainable development, education.
- Income generating projects, life in Namibia soon after apartheid ended, youth leadership, the inpact of HIV/AIDS.
- The Uzbek-English curriculum, educational structure comparisons, living and working in Uzbekistan, building working relationships in Uzbekistan, my personal observations of Uzbek culture, living with an Uzbek family, my personal culture shock, public transportation in Uzbekistan.
- Developing a life skills curriculum from scratch.
- Starting a youth group.
- Library and literacy work with youth and adults.
Agriculture, Environment, and Sustainability
- Burnable fuel made from local resources.
- Katrina relief.
- Social and environmental conditions in a Hausa village.
- Starting up a feeding program, community garden project, made film of PC Life as well as life of various tribes and communities, training health educators, creating culturally appropriate materials, life in a Muslim world, slavery, work as a peace corps trainer after service.
- Building out of plastic bottles and trash in Guatemala.
- Making tire gardens.
Business and Non-Governmental Organizations
- Microcredit/microfinance, nongovernmental organizations, European Union accession, Peace Corps technical training, Post socialist/communist culture, agriculture in Bulgaria, Roma/minorities.
- Work with Unicef, collaboration with other nongovernmental organizations, HIV/AIDS, training of trainers
Health and Nutrition
- Service trips for Northwest Medical Teams to Serbia, Mexico.