Tuesday, September 19, 2006

[Museum exhibit] Smithsonian to show photographs taken by young Malians

Matthew Edwardsen passed along this info:

An Exhibit of Photography by African Youth

The Smithsonian
National Museum of Natural History
10th Street and Constitution Ave., N.W. - on the National Mall

Opens: October 2, 2006 - Closes: April 29, 2007

The museum is open daily from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. except Christmas

The exhibit is located in the Baird Ambulatory Gallery on the ground

Admission is free

The Malian sixth graders photographs are the result of the Academy for Educational Developments Visual Griots project, a series of interactive workshops in Mali led by U.S. and Malian photographers that empower and engage youth in a powerful process of self-exploration and expression through the lens of a camera.

Learn more at: www.aed.org/visualgriots

or contact Shawn Davis at 202.884.8233 / sdavis@aed.org.

The exhibit is dedicated to the memory of Nestor Hernandez, creator of Visual Griots.

[Job opportunity] Freetown International School looking for a director

International School Director Position Available in Freetown, Sierra Leone

Membership Director Stephanie Chasteen passed along this info:

The American Int'l School of Freetown has an opening for a qualified American school director starting the 2007-2008 school year. AISF is a State Department-assisted, nonprofit, private, independent school located in Sierra Leone, fully accredited by the U.S. Middle States Association Commission on Elementary Schools. Now in its 21st year, it has an enrollment of 70 students (PreK - 8th). The school operates on a standards based American curriculum and emphasizes community-wide multicultural collaboration. Flexibility and interest in a cross-cultural experience would be assets. Interested applicants should send their resumes, copies of degrees and certification, and three references by email attachment to aisfhead@yahoo.com.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

[Development news] Pre-packaged volunteer programs criticized

Pre-package volunteer programs organized by for-profit companies are increasingly popular these days. Though this category doesn't include the Peace Corps, which has a different structure and is not-for-profit, such programs often appeal to Returned Peace Corps Volunteers who want to serve again but aren't able to put forth another two-year commitment.

The UK Guardian newspaper ran an interesting article reporting on criticisms leveled by VSO (roughly a British counterpart to the Peace Corps) against such programs.

It is not feckless hedonism or misplaced idealism that VSO is criticising, but the booming industry in pre-packaged volunteering programmes. These are often run for a profit (although badly organised non-profit-making schemes may be just as harmful). "This is a growth industry and very competitive so the objectives may not be to deliver the maximum benefits to the communities these young people are working in", says the UK director of VSO.

The article suggested that anyone interested in such programs consult EthicalVolunteering.org or related sites to make sure the program they choose will actually do good.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

[Peace Corps news] PC director-designate has hearing before Senate committee

President Bush has nominated Ron Tschetter, an RPCV who served in India, to succeed the departed Gaddi Vasquez as Peace Corps director. Peace Corps Online, an independent website, has an account of Tschetter's hearing before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. PCO reports that Tschetter intends to make recruitment of baby boomers a priority. While the nomination of Vasquez 5 years ago sparked huge opposition from the RPCV community who thought him unqualified, PCO noted that these hearings were far more subdued and endorsed his nomination.