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Rotary and Peace Corps — a Partnership

In May 2014, Rotary International and the US Peace Corps joined in a partnership to promote global development and volunteer service. Under the Memorandum of Understanding, Rotary clubs and Peace Corps volunteers can share their resources and knowledge to boost the impact of development projects globally. Both Peace Corps and Rotary are committed to improving lives and building stronger communities by addressing the root causes of violence and conflict, such as poverty, illiteracy, disease, and lack of access to clean water and sanitation. By working together, Rotarians and active and returned Peace Corps Volunteers enhance goodwill, international understanding, and build capacity in communities around the world.

 

I'm a Rotarian-RPCV, a member of the Rotary Club of Hilo since 1993 and a former Peace Corps Volunteer (Afghanistan, 1970-72). There are RPCVs who have heard about Rotary, or maybe even know a Rotarian here in Hawai'i. The 53 Rotary Clubs in Hawai'i are known collectively as Rotary District 5000. RPCV of Hawai'i welcomes working with Rotary District 5000 to create alliances to promote international service projects, funded by Rotary Foundation grants. As a member of the District 5000 International Service Team, I help Rotary Clubs write the grant documents needed to fund international projects.

 

Peace Corps - The Toughest Job You'll Ever Love, and RPCVs wholeheartedly agree with that appealing slogan. Peace Corps changed my life, and probably yours too. And then there's Rotary, with it's motto, Service Above Self, like a rule of conduct. I joined Rotary because for me, it was a great way to continue to serve others, internationally. So, what do you think? This year, Peace Corps celebrates its 60th anniversary and Rotary celebrates its 116th anniversary. Rotarians and RPCVs have a great opportunity to put together service projects to promote our causes, in partnership. Through a Peace Corps Alliance Program, Rotary clubs can provide grants to support volunteers and their communities. Opportunities for collaboration include supporting community projects, training, networking, and community education.

 

Alan Kusunoki
Returned Peace Corps Volunteers of Hawai’i, Vice President
Rotary Club of Hilo, Past President
Rotary District 5000, Past Asst Governor
RPCV (Afghanistan 1970-72)