700 Former Peace Corps Volunteers To Gather in St. Paul This Week
August 11, 1999August 11, 1999, Washington, D.C.—More than 700 returned Peace Corps volunteers will participate in a four-day national conference beginning tomorrow in St. Paul, Minn.
Sponsored by the National Peace Corps Association and the Minnesota Returned Peace Corps Volunteers, the conference is an opportunity for former volunteers to rekindle old friendships, discuss global issues and celebrate peace.
The conference will focus on today's international development issues. Peace Corps Acting Director Charles Baquet III will give an overview of current Peace Corps operations on Friday morning.
Carol Bellamy, executive director of UNICEF and a former volunteer and former Peace Corps director, will give her view of the world's children in a keynote address Friday morning.
Her remarks will be followed by an address by Dane Smith Jr., a recently retired U.S. ambassador to Senegal and former Peace Corps volunteer in Ethiopia, who is now the new president of the National Peace Corps Association.
Peter and Linda Biehl, who founded the Amy Biehl Foundation Trust in Cape Town, South Africa, after their daughter was killed there in 1993, will be the main speakers at Saturday night's award banquet.
On Sunday morning, returned volunteers will dedicate a garden for peace behind the chapel of St. Thomas Aquinas on the campus of the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul.
Also during the conference, there will be five workshops, led by authors John Coyne, Mike Tidwell, and others, who will discuss travel writing, non-fiction, children's literature and writing styles. Global education specialists will conduct workshops on classroom presentations and connecting American classrooms to volunteers currently in the field. In addition, attendees can learn about overseas opportunities at a career fair and visit an international bazaar.
Participants can also join in the 5-kilometer Walk/Run for Peace. They will have the opportunity to continue with what for many returned Peace Corps volunteers is a lifelong commitment to volunteer activities. Service projects will include a park cleanup and restoration, a Habitat for Humanity house, Books for Africa, and a summer recreation program for kids.