WBEZ | Peace Corps http://www.wbez.org/tags/peace-corps Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en Peace Corps applications at a 40-year high http://www.wbez.org/programs/here-and-now/2015-10-14/peace-corps-applications-40-year-high-113343 <p><div class="image-insert-image " style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/Peace%20Corps%20Response%20Volunteer%20Nate%20Bloss%20worked%20as%20a%20project%20supervisor%20for%20the%20%E2%80%9CBridging%20the%20Gap%20Africa%E2%80%9D%20program%20in%20Kenyan%20communities%20where%20people%20and%20economies%20are%20affected%20by%20the%20ability%20to%20cross%20waterways%20safely.jpg" style="height: 415px; width: 620px;" title="Peace Corps Response Volunteer Nate Bloss worked as a project supervisor for the “Bridging the Gap Africa” program in Kenyan communities where people and economies are affected by the ability to cross waterways safely. (Courtesy of Peace Corps)" /></div><p style="text-align: justify;">Applications to the Peace Corps are up nearly a third over last year, to a 40-year high, Peace Corps Director&nbsp;Carrie Hessler-Radelet&nbsp;said Wednesday.</p><div id="attachment_63057"><p style="text-align: justify;"><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/0715_peace-corps-300x195.jpg" style="margin-left: 10px; margin-right: 10px; float: right; height: 163px; width: 250px;" title="Peace Corps Director Carrie Hessler-Radelet served as a Peace Corps volunteer in Western Samoa from 1981 to 1983. (Courtesy of Peace Corps)" />This is big news for the government-run&nbsp;volunteer program, which saw a 34 percent drop in applications between 2009 and 2013.</p><p style="text-align: justify;">It comes a little more than a year after the organization&nbsp;<a href="http://hereandnow.wbur.org/2014/07/15/peace-corps-changes" target="_blank">revamped its application process</a>&nbsp;to try to attract more volunteers.</p></div><p style="text-align: justify;"><em>Here &amp; Now&rsquo;s</em> Robin Young talks with Hessler-Radelet about the changes in the application process, the increase in the number of volunteers and what it all means for the Peace Corps.</p><p>&mdash; <a href="https://support.pmp.io/search?searchsort=date&amp;text=peace&amp;profile=story&amp;has=image" target="_blank"><em>via Here &amp; Now</em></a></p></p> Wed, 14 Oct 2015 13:28:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/programs/here-and-now/2015-10-14/peace-corps-applications-40-year-high-113343 Friends describe love's endurance after alcoholic husband's death http://www.wbez.org/series/storycorps/friends-describe-loves-endurance-after-alcoholic-husbands-death-110855 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/StoryCorps 140926 Lisa Sophia bh.JPG" alt="" /><p><p>Shortly after the fall of the Berlin Wall - and George H.W. Bush&rsquo;s &ldquo;thousand points of light&rdquo; speech - two young American women became close friends while serving in the Peace Corps in Hungary. Lisa Jurkovic and Sophia Forero were assigned to the same village for their two year stints. And during their stay, Lisa met another Peace Corps volunteer named Nick. Recently, Lisa stopped by the StoryCorps booth to talk with Sophia about the impact Nick had on both of their lives.<br /><br />&ldquo;Didn&rsquo;t you meet him playing volleyball?&rdquo; Sophia asks. &ldquo;Do you remember looking at him and thinking he was kind of cute?&rdquo;<br /><br />&ldquo;Black hair, fabulous green eyes,&rdquo; Lisa says. &ldquo;He was absolutely the life of the party. He was the one who wanted to go out for pizza afterwards. He was the one who gathered everybody together. If somebody felt bad, he made that person feel better. I liked how honest he was, and open, and friendly. He always made sure that I was happy.&rdquo;<br /><br />Lisa and Nick spent every weekend together, travelling by train, to meet one another.<br /><br />&ldquo;When did you realize this person was someone who was going to be special to you?&rdquo; Sophia asks.&nbsp; &ldquo;Two months in,&rdquo; Lisa says.</p><p>&ldquo;Was there anything in Nick&rsquo;s behavior that made you think that the road with Nick might be difficult?&rdquo;</p><p>&ldquo;Nick had a very hard time enjoying anything without drinking.&rdquo;</p><p>&ldquo;When you married him, did you ever imagine that ten years into your marriage he would become more withdrawn or as withdrawn as he became?&rdquo;</p><p>&ldquo;I don&rsquo;t believe that anyone sets out in a marriage predicting anything like that. I&rsquo;m 46 now. It&rsquo;s easy to look back. And at 24 the heart wants what the heart wants.&rdquo;</p><p>&ldquo;That&rsquo;s really true, isn&rsquo;t it?&rdquo; Sophia sighs. &ldquo;For the last three years of his life, he was slowly just drinking himself to death.&rdquo;</p><p>&ldquo;It became impossible for him to be in the house,&rdquo; Lisa says. &ldquo;He refused to seek help for eight years. And he was a liability. He was wrecking cars and it couldn&rsquo;t go on.&rdquo;</p><p>Sophia says, &ldquo;And you basically made the decision in order to make sure that your children&hellip;&rdquo;<br />&ldquo;&hellip;were safe,&rdquo; Lisa finishes.</p><p>&ldquo;Do you ever really think about how much courage that took? Are you able to process that?,&rdquo; Sophia asked.</p><p>&ldquo;It had to happen,&rdquo; Lisa responded.</p><p>&ldquo;I know, but do you realize how important it was for your children? He drove me crazy like a brother, but there&rsquo;s a part of me that really loved him,&rdquo; Sophia recalled, &ldquo;And there&rsquo;s a part of me&hellip;I just wanted to shake him and say: Just do this! Why can&rsquo;t you do this?&rdquo;</p><p>&ldquo;Because his pride would not allow it,&rdquo; Lisa says.</p><p>&ldquo;You know that you loved him very much,&rdquo; Sophia says. &ldquo;You know that.&rdquo;</p><p>&ldquo;I still do,&rdquo; Lisa says.</p></p> Thu, 25 Sep 2014 15:09:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/series/storycorps/friends-describe-loves-endurance-after-alcoholic-husbands-death-110855 Global Activism: Developing women leaders in West Africa http://www.wbez.org/series/global-activism/global-activism-developing-women-leaders-west-africa-108717 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/Expanding Lives.jpg" alt="" /><p><p><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fapi.soundcloud.com%2Ftracks%2F107882079&amp;color=ff6600&amp;auto_play=false&amp;show_artwork=false" width="100%"></iframe></p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>As a Peace Corps volunteer in Niger in the late &lsquo;80s, Leslie Natzke noticed that there were very few young women and girls going to school. Since then, she&#39;s launched a non-profit aimed at developing leadership skills in young women in West Africa to empower them to become pillars in their communities. Natzke introduces us to her organization, <a href="http://www.expandinglives.org/">Expanding Lives</a>.</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>&nbsp;</p></p> Thu, 29 Aug 2013 15:05:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/series/global-activism/global-activism-developing-women-leaders-west-africa-108717 Former Peace Corps volunteer returns to village in Pakistan to see if things have changed http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2012-03-19/former-peace-corps-volunteer-returns-village-pakistan-see-if-things-have <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//segment/photo/2012-March/2012-03-19/4.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>After 50 years, Leslie Mass recently revisited the rural Pakistani village where she volunteered with the Peace Corps in 1962. The changes between the village she visited as a young college graduate, and now, is the topic of her new book, <em>Back to Pakistan: A Fifty Year Journey</em>.</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p><em>Leslie will speak four nights this week in Chicago:</em></p><p><em>Monday, March 19th, 2012 at 6:30pm-The Pakistan Club, University of Chicago's Gleacher Center</em></p><p><em>Tuesday, March 20, 2012 at 6:30pm-East West University. </em></p><p><em>Wednesday, March 21, 2012 at 6:00pm-Oak Park Public Library, Main Library Veterans Room</em></p><p><em>Thursday, March 22nd at 7:00pm-Evanston Public Library</em></p></p> Mon, 19 Mar 2012 16:58:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2012-03-19/former-peace-corps-volunteer-returns-village-pakistan-see-if-things-have Worldview 8.4.11 http://www.wbez.org/episode/worldview-8411 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//episode/images/2011-august/2011-08-03/ap080328039765.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Conversations about climate change have ranged from skepticism that it exists in the first place to strategies for ending it. Today, we have a different conversation with environmentalist <a href="http://markhertsgaard.com/" target="_blank">Mark Hertsgaard</a>, author of <em>HOT: Living Through the Next Fifty Years on Earth</em>. He believes the challenge is no longer just to halt and reverse global warming, but also to live through the substantial climate change that is now locked in for the coming decades. And, the Peace Corps celebrates its 50th anniversary this year. On <a href="http://www.wbez.org/globalactivism" target="_blank"><em>Global Activism</em></a> we commemorate the volunteer program’s legacy with several former Peace Corps volunteers.</p></p> Thu, 04 Aug 2011 14:43:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/episode/worldview-8411 Global Activism: Stories from the Peace Corps http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/%5Bfield_program_ref-title-raw%5D/global-activism-stories-peace-corps <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//Kennedy_greeting_Peace_Corps_volunteers,_1961.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Each Thursday on our <a href="http://www.wbez.org/globalactivism" target="_blank">Global Activism</a> series, we hear about an individual who’s decided to work to make the world a better place. On today’s segment we thought we’d do something a little different.</p><p>In 1960 Senator John F. Kennedy challenged students at the University of Michigan to serve their country in the cause of peace by living and working in developing countries. That speech was the beginning of the Peace Corps. The Peace Corps was Kennedy’s idea but it was his brother in law, Sargent Shriver, who would establish the agency and serve as its first director. Earlier this month Sargent Shriver passed away. We thought we’d remember his legacy today with several former Peace Corps volunteers.&nbsp;</p><p>Amy Maglio is the founder of the<a href="http://womensglobal.org/" target="_blank"> Women’s Global Education Project</a>. Patsy Mertz is the founder of <a href="http://www.ivorycoastaid.org/" target="_blank">Ivory Coast Mothers and Children</a>. Barbara Janes served as part of the very first Peace Corps class in 1961, in Pakistan. They have all been featured on the Global Activism series and they join us to reminisce about the Peace Corps.<br> &nbsp;</p></p> Thu, 27 Jan 2011 16:54:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/%5Bfield_program_ref-title-raw%5D/global-activism-stories-peace-corps