September Potluck in Saratoga National Historial Park

One of the unique things of the Returned Peace Corps Volunteers of Northeastern  New York is our monthly Potlucks.  As you probably know, on the first Tuesday of every month, returned Volunteers gather together at different locations in the Capital Region  These potlucks not only serve as social gathering to reminisce and eat, but also, as informative meetings of upcoming fundraising events, community activities, and learning experiences.  This particular potluck, we met up at the sweet Saratoga National Historical Park with Superintendent, Amy Bracewell.  Presentation topics included history of the National Park Service and then question and answer.  To round up, a rainbow joined us at the event.

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2016 Membership Survey Results

Hi everybody,

After much ado and much delay (sorry about that) here are the results from the 2016 RPCV NENY Membership Survey. Those of you who were able to attend our April meeting received these results and the presentation attached, but for those of you who weren’t they are here below. If you have any questions, please email me at rpcvneny@gmail.com.

2016 Membership Survey responses

2016 RPCVs of NENY Membership Survey

Thanks,
Sarah Janeski
President RPCVs NENY
RPCV Kazakhstan 2009-2011

 

Annual RPCV NENY Summer Picnic on Saturday, July 16th at 2pm – All are welcome!

It’s that wonderful time once again! Mark your calendars for our Annual RPCV NENY Summer Picnic! Bob Crowley has once again offered to host us in the backyard of his beautiful home in Poestenkill, NY. The picnic will be held on Saturday, July 16th beginning at 2pm and ending whenever people decide to pack it up.
Who can come:
-EVERYONE! This is a no holds barred get together. Bring your family, friends, casual acquaintances, bring literally anyone you can think of to this picnic. All are welcome!
What to bring:
– A dish or beverage to share
– A bathing suit if you want to swim in the pool
– Maybe some extra chairs, just to be safe
 …
Where to go:
Bob’s house is located at 10 Plank Rd., Poestenkill, NY 12140. Parking is available in Bob’s driveway and across the street at the Post Office, which is closed on Saturday afternoons. If you park at the Post Office, just make sure that you park in an official spot and not block the loading dock, because a truck will be coming by to drop off mail.
 …
Note: this picnic will be in lieu of our regular July meeting, so we will not have a meeting the first Tuesday of July.
 …
If you have questions, email us at rpcvneny@gmail.com.
 …
See you all there!
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2016 Peace Corps Connect Conference in DC.

The NPCA will be hosting its annual Peace Corps Connect Conference in Washington D.C. from September 21 – 25. If you’d like to see the schedule, register, or would like more general information, you can find it all on the website:http://www.peacecorpsconnect.org/community/annual-gathering/.  
 
If any member or members would like access to the Augusta Field Memorial Lifelong Learning Fund, please see terms and conditions below in our bylaws. The amount we have allocated in our 2016 budget is $300. If you have any questions, or if you’d like to request access to the funds, please email rpcvneny@gmail.com.
 
 
“5.2: Augusta Field Memorial Lifelong Learning Fund: In memory of former group president Augusta Field, the group shall establish and annually fund  one or more current members’ participation in Peace Corps Connect annual conference or another Peace Corps related conference, seminar or event. This fund celebrates the memory and service of our beloved former president, Augusta Field. Augusta, who passed away in 2015, was a volunteer in Lesotho in 1988. She was a very active, passionate, and warmhearted part of our group for many years. Her friendly and collegial spirit added vitality and welcomed members new and old. This fund salutes her work in higher education, her many contributions to the group, and serves to keep her memory alive.
 
The support this fund, the group shall make available a minimum amount of money each year (up to $300). Current office holders should, after reviewing the group’s finances, propose a specific amount as part of the annual budget. Members may request some or all of this funding in writing to any of the group’s officers. The group’s officers should bring worthy funding requests as well as their recommendation on approval to the group for a vote. Members receiving funding will be responsible to present to the group about their experience at Peace Corps Connect or whichever event is funded by the group’s donation. Members accepting funds agree to attend the event in question or refund in total the amount granted. This amount shall not accumulate year upon year. A new amount shall be authorized by the group’s officers each year. The group’s officers should promote the availability of funds via email, on the group’s website, and through contact with members.”

RPCVs-NENY Give Back: Freedom From Fistula

FistulaClinicThe RPCV NENY-sponsored Freedom From Fistula event on April 12th was a rousing success. The program included a speaker, film, patient testimonial, plus light food, and silent auction. The evening’s activities were well received and many of those who attended expressed how much they learned from the program and enjoyed the company. Through ticket sales and donations $6,362 was raised to prevent and treat obstetric fistula! The funds have been donated to the Freedom From Fistula Foundation (FFFF) to support the Fistula Centre in Lilongwe, Malawi.

RPCV-NENY’s original goal for this fundraiser was to sell fifty tickets and raise $1300. We underestimated the incredible generosity and heart of the greater northeastern New York region, and our families and friends across the country. We sold over seventy tickets and more than quadrupled our fundraising target donation. In addition, small businesses in the region and many individuals were contributors to our silent auction, which helped raise significant funds.

We wish to extend a special thanks to the congregation of Hamilton Union Presbyterian Church in Guilderland for the use of their facilities and their support.

The FFFF will use the funds for surgeries to restore a woman to health, life, and a future. Each surgery costs $500. They will also be used to support the Patient Ambassador Program at the Malawi Fistula Centre. The Patient Ambassador Program trains former fistula patients to be outreach ambassadors in remote areas of Malawi. The ambassadors identify women suffering from fistula and bring them into the center for surgery. The ambassadors also help prevent fistula by encouraging pregnant women to get to medical facilities in time to deliver with medical assistance. A portion of the funds will enable the Center to purchase bikes for the ambassadors, to further their outreach.

This event would not have been possible without the dedication and hard work of the steering committee that carried out the myriad required tasks over the course of several months. Quite a community was built in a short amount of time. We were also fortunate to have been able to use the blueprint of the successful 2014

RPCV NENY-sponsored Ebola event and the group now has significant “event” experience.

We are planning to create a package that documents our process and products so that other groups that want to undertake an awareness and fund raising event can be provided the tools and procedures that worked so well for us…without having to reinvent the wheel. We will distribute this how-to package to the Freedom From Fistula Foundation, and will also provide it to the National Peace Corps Association for the benefit of other RPCV groups.

~Courtesy of Becky Raymond

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The group received a thank you message from Margaret Moyo, Director of the Malawi Fistula Centre:

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Click the link above to view the video. Text can be found below:

“My name is Margaret Moyo, Director, Fistula Care Center, Malawi. As a center we repair more than 350 mothers every year. We don’t just concentrate on the physical repair. We rehabilitate, empower and reintegrate these women back into society.

Our patient ambassador program is a great success. On a monthly basis we admit more than 16 mothers brought in by the Patient Ambassadors. We are very grateful for the continuing support you are giving to us.

Thanks very much.”