Dear Friends of Paraguay,
As you likely know, Peace Corps recently evacuated all Volunteers worldwide in response to COVID-19. About 200 Volunteers abruptly ended their lives in Paraguay and returned to the United States. In response to the situation, the board of Friends of Paraguay would like to show our support to the newest Paraguay RPCVs. We are currently exploring how to waive the $15 annual membership dues for evacuated Volunteers, and we are preparing a message of support to be shared with them.
In addition to these measures, we would also like to explore establishing a mentorship program. Initially, the program would focus on mentoring of evacuated Volunteers, while over the medium to longer term we would hope to broaden the program to include mentoring of RPCVs who have returned within the past few years. The board believes that there are many Paraguay RPCVs who would make excellent mentors. Attributes of a good mentor include (but are not limited to) being a good listener, possessing empathy, having diverse professional experiences, and being able to imagine/create possibilities. Mentors could expect to:
- Share expertise, best practices and lessons learned on specific career issues. Preparation of a CV, resume, or cover letter would be examples.
- Provide constructive feedback; share information on "unwritten rules for success."
- Act as a sounding board for ideas, concerns, etc.
- Identify resources to help someone enhance career development.
- Build self confidence and strength.
If you would be interested in serving as a mentor, please send us an email. If we receive sufficient responses and believe a mentorship program is viable, we will reach back out to those who have expressed interest. You do not have to be a paid member in order to participate in the mentorship program; however, we encourage all whose membership may have lapsed to pay dues by visiting the National Peace Corps Association website (either log-in if you were previously a member or "join now" for new members and choose Friends of Paraguay as your affiliate group). After paying our minimal operating costs, we use the remaining funds to provide grants to organizations working in Paraguay. In 2018 and 2019, we provided a grant to the Superkids Foundation.
If you are not available to mentor but would like to support evacuated Volunteers in other ways, this Google Form allows you to share how you can support. (For ideas of what others are offering, check the spreadsheet here.)
If you believe there is an additional way that we as Friends of Paraguay can support the evacuated Volunteers, please let us know!