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The Peace Corps volunteers and staff throughout Morocco have been shocked by the death of twenty-three year old So-Youn Kim. Her work at Tamagourte in the youth centre has been highly praised by those associated with her. And today, throughout Morocco, Peace Corps workers paused to remember and pay tribute to the young volunteer.
Back in the USA Director Aaron S. Williams echoed everyone’s thoughts by saying. ”
I am deeply saddened to report a respected member of our Peace Corps family in Morocco, Volunteer So-Youn Kim, unexpectedly passed away today after an illness.
So-Youn, 23, a native of San Francisco and a 2007 graduate of Stanford University, had been serving for one year as a Youth Development Volunteer in Tamagourte. Her primary assignment was in a youth center where she was involved in a wide range of activities in her dual role as English teacher and youth development worker.
Her secondary activities focused on helping the village of Tamagourteâ€™s pottery cooperative and developing an apprenticeship program. She got her hands dirty both literally and figuratively with the lives, pottery and culture of her community. She loved to teach children, support the cooperative and respect the historic craft that is so firmly rooted in that region of Morocco.
So-Youn was a remarkable writer, a voracious reader, a tireless advocate and talented in many languages. Thoughtful and hopeful would be the best way to describe her Peace Corps Aspiration Statement and other communications she has shared.”
Our thoughts and prayers are with So-Youn and her family and friends.
FROG would like to give a big shout out to Ale Barahona of alebarahona.com for working with us to create a new design that we’ll use for shirts, mugs and other fundraising items in the future.Â We love her sense of style!Â Check it out!
Come to our DC fund raiser!Â This Thursday, November 12th at Garretts Restaurant and Railroad, 3003 M St, NW Georgetown, Washington, DC from 6:00 PM to 9:00 PM.
There will be a raffle with great prizes, drink specials, good people, and great conversation.Â A $5 donation is suggested at the door with all proceeds going to the non-profit.
For more inf0rmation about Garretts please visit, www.garrettsdc.com.
See you there!
Norway agreed on Monday to pay Guyana up to $250 million by 2015 to preserve forests in the South American nation as part of a scheme to slow climate change.
Norway, which has led donor nations in slowing tropical deforestation with a budget of 3 billion Norwegian crowns ($530 million) a year, said it wanted to help Guyana maintain forests that cover 75 percent of its land.
“Saving the world’s remaining tropical forests is a crucial element in the battle against climate change,” Norwegian Environment Minister Erik Solheim said of a memorandum he signed in Guyana with President Bharrat Jagdeo.
“Provided that the expected results are achieved and that other elements of the partnership fall into place, our support for the years up to 2015 could add up to as much as $250 million,” he said in a statement.
Plants soak up carbon dioxide as they grow and release it when they are burnt or rot. The United Nations says deforestation accounts for about a fifth of all greenhouse gas emissions from human activities.
Until now, nations with high levels of forest cover have attracted less cash than worse performers promising to slow high rates of deforestation.
The Guyana Project is made up of 11 young designers. As a group, we are united by an interest in sustainable materials and ethical working environments. Inspired to learn firsthand how our concepts become products, we traveled to Georgetown, Guyana in May of 2009 to work in the Liana Cane Factory, which uses only non-timber rainforest products (NTRP) and is run by local activist and entrepreneur Jocelyn Dow. This same factory welcomed designer William Gordon, whose experience in social entrepreneurship was featured on Core77 in December of 2008. Our trip was organized by Pratt Institute’s Rebecca Welz, a design instructor and artist, and designer Patty Johnson, of the North South Project.
In Guyana we met and collaborated with factory workers and indigenous artisan weavers from the Wai Wai tribe. For over 8 hours each day we steamed, bent, cut, sanded and wove alongside the men and women of Liana Cane. At each step of the way, our designs were also shaped by the material constraints and constant direction of the skilled workers, whose knowledge of this process greatly surpassed our own.
“You have to take pride in your work and know good measurement,” said Shawn Singh, who has been working at the factory since it opened in 1993. “The hardest part about the work is finishing. First you have to rough sand, then another sand with another grain of sandpaper, then you apply sand sealer, maybe twice, and then you sand again with a finer grain of sand paper. And then finally, you apply the lacquer.”
Anticipation is building up around the UN Climate Change Conference scheduled for December 7-18 in Copenhagen, with environmental advocates expressing increasing concern that certain world powersâ€“including the United Statesâ€“wonâ€™t take a strong enough stand to reduce global greenhouse gas emissions.
But whatever comes of the Climate Change Conference with respect to international environmental accords, thereâ€™s one piece of exciting news we can expect to see coming out of Copenhagen: the launch of â€œHope Plus,â€? a new online platform thatâ€™s been dubbed the worldâ€™s â€œonline Peace Corpsâ€? by founder Phil Noble, also founder of PoliticsOnline and technology adviser to President Obama during his campaign.
U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton Tuesday praised as “one of the best” the oldest Peace Corps volunteer in the world, an 85-year old Florida woman serving in Morocco.
Clinton recognized Muriel Johnston during a meet-and-greet session of U.S. Embassy officials and other Americans in Marrakech, Morocco. Clinton was representing the U.S. at an international conference in Morocco, during a trip that stretched from Pakistan to the Middle East.
“I have to recognize — I just learned about this last night — Muriel Johnston. Muriel? Stand up, Muriel,” Clinton said to applause and cheers from Johnston’s fellow Peace Corps workers and other Americans.
“My young staff said, ‘Oh my goodness, Muriel Johnston, she’s the oldest Peace Corps volunteer in the world.’ I said, ‘That’s not the way we think about it.’ No, Muriel and I might say she is one of the best Peace Corps volunteers in the world,” Clinton said to more applause, emphasizing “best.”
A Peace Corps Volunteer died recently in Tanzania in a rock climbing incident.Â Joseph Chow, 23 from Scarsdale, NY died in southern Tanzania after previously serving in Kenya until their program was suspended.Â He then transferred to the Tanzania program and served as an education volunteer until his death on September 23, 2009.
You can read more about the article here:Â http://peacecorpsonline.typepad.com/peacecorpsonline/2009/09/peace-corps-mourns-the-loss-of-tanzania-volunteer-joseph-chow.html
Fortunately, during my service I didn’t have to go through anything like this.Â Peace Corps is already a difficult experience without something tragic like this happening.Â I can’t imagine what the other PCV’s, PC Staff, his friends, and students are going through.Â I hate to hear about unfortunate accidents like this during a PCV’s service.Â It is also difficult for families who send off their loved ones assuming that they will be safe.Â It goes to show that accidents can happen anytime, anywhere, and you never know when your time will come.Â You just never expect it will come at a time when you are so young and experiencing some thing so great.
After my Peace Corps service I traveled through Central America.Â I was on a secluded beach swimming with a friend when the tides came in and started to pull us out.Â We were in a huge cove and no matter how hard we swam we just couldn’t get back to shore.Â I remember swimming on my back, swallowing water, losing my breath, and I looked around and thought, “Is this where I die?”Â I’ve never asked my self that question before but I was at the point where it could have went either way.Â Luckily, both my friend and I made it back in but I’ll never forget that feeling.Â Even on the most beautiful beach, where you think you are safe, where death is the last thing you are thinking of, it can creep up on you, and remind you that you are vulnerable when you least expect it.
Good luck to those who knew Joseph, I’m sure he was a wonderful person.Â The Peace Corps community, whether current PCV’s or RPCV’s, we are all thinking of Joseph.Â Peace Corps was the greatest experience of my life and I will be forever grateful for my time as a PCV.Â I bet Joseph felt the same way about his time as a PCV, like most of us do.