Washington, DC—September 21 – 25, 2011


(Scroll down to Key Dates link on website for additional information)

Afghanistan Peace Corps Volunteers Celebrate 50 Years of Service in Washington DC

posted Sep 9, 2011, 9:12 AM by Terry Dougherty

Group to Advocate for Peace and Security in Afghanistan,

Repatriate Antique Quran, Lead Parade of Nations at JFK Gravesite


For Release: Savannah, Georgia September 11, 2011


The Peace Corps community will hold the largest celebration in its fifty year history to commemorate the organization’s Golden Anniversary, and Friends of Afghanistan is honored to be playing an important role in the festivities.


An agenda filled with Peace Corps events is set to take place in Washington D.C., from September 22-25, 2011 beginning with Advocacy Day. This occasion will give a delegation of officers and members of Friends of Afghanistan, officially representing the more than two thousand Returned Peace Corps Volunteers (RPCVs) who served in Afghanistan from 1962 right up to the Soviet invasion in 1979, an opportunity to meet with Members of Congress and their staff. Advocacy Day marks fifty years since the September 22, 1961 date on which Congress officially approved legislation establishing the Peace Corps. President John F Kennedy described the legislation as authorizing "a peace corps of talented men and women" who would dedicate themselves to the advancement of peace and progress in the developing countries of the world.


While Peace Corps and the National Peace Corps Association have prepared a full schedule for the attending RPCVs, Friends of Afghanistan will also offer a number of country specific events. “The program” said FoA event coordinator Jan West, “will include an authentic Afghan Bazaar and a series of presentations featuring a retrospective from our Country Directors.” The Directors’ discussion will be led by Bob Steiner, the first Country Director for Peace Corps Afghanistan. Steiner was personally recruited by Sargent Shriver in 1961 to start up the Peace Corps effort the following year in Afghanistan. After serving as our host at a dinner on Friday evening, the new Afghan Ambassador Eklil Hakimi, will offer the Keynote address on Saturday morning. Other speakers will include Bruce Freyer who is a co-founder of the Global Partnership for Afghanistan. Bruce will provide a presentation on what may prove to be the template for future sustainable charity programs in the region. Suzanne Griffin will wrap up our morning program with a presentation on the status of education in Afghanistan which is among Friends of Afghanistan’s top priorities.


During the Friday dinner at the Embassy Friends of Afghanistan’s Board of Directors will present the Afghan Ambassador with an antique hand scribed copy of the Quran for repatriation back into Afghanistan. Anthony Agnello, FoA President said, “Our gift of the Holy Quran, returned to the Afghan people after nearly five decades in America, is being presented as a symbol of respect and as a declaration of the affection and friendship that we PCVs feel in grateful recognition of the hospitality and kindness that we received during our service to their country.”


The closing ceremonies, which begin Sunday morning, will commence with a parade of flags, to be led by RPCVs from Friends of Afghanistan. We will carry the banners of the United States of America and Afghanistan at the front of the procession to Arlington National Cemetery. Final events will include a tribute to PCVs who have died in service and a commemorative wreath-laying ceremony at President Kennedy’s gravesite. The weekend celebration will end with a procession past the Eternal Flame and a march with all Country of Service flags across the Memorial Bridge to the National Mall. Nancy Cunningham a founder and former President of FoA said, “Drinking our first cup of tea as Peace Corp Volunteers in Afghanistan we were merely acquaintances with our Afghan hosts. But by the second cup of tea we had truly become fast friends. Now, many years past the third cup of tea, we recognize and honor the people of Afghanistan as our sisters and brothers and we intend to continue our advocacy for peace and security in their homeland for as long as we are able.” ###


Contact: Anthony Agnello, Phone #716-353-3067; email

50th Anniversary Celebration of the Peace Corp

posted Sep 7, 2011, 11:00 AM by Terry Dougherty   [ updated Sep 16, 2014, 1:55 PM ]

PC Afghanistan image
Washington, DC—September 21 – 25, 2011

2011 Reunion in Washington D.C.

Daniel Wilkinson's photos from the Embassy dinner with Ambassador Hakimi

Friends of Afghanistan- March of Flags Washington DC 2011

Friends of Afghanistan Washington DC Reunion 2011



(Scroll down to Key Dates link on website for additional information)

9/22 Thurs.

8:00am – 8:00 pm NPCA Advocacy Day: Join NPCA advocates for a full day of congressional meetings, a rally onthe grounds of the Capitol featuring notable political figures, an end-of-day event (Russell Senate Office Building Room 325). (Registration closed.)  

 Noon Friends of Afghanistan screening of ―Once in Afghanistan:‖ The story of the smallpox vaccinators will be shown on DVD at the National Ar-chives Museum, 700 Pennsylvania Ave. at the McGowan Theater, fol-lowed by Q & A.  Contact Person: Jill Vickers, cell 802-989-2840  

 4:00 – 6:00p m FoA No-Host Meet & Greet, L’Enfant Plaza Hotel Bar & Starbucks: Join fellow Afghan PCV’s/Staff for a friendly gathering. (Registration re-quired with FoA. See Registration info at end of schedule.  Contact: Dan Tuttle, cell 703-819-0565  

 6:00 – 9:00 pm Dinner at the Bamian Restaurant. Tickets $53. RSVP with Patrick Pink-son-Burke: Transportation available at 6 pm from in front of L’Enfant Hotel or about 6:45 pm from the Russell Building. RSVP & payment required.  Contact: Dan Tuttle, Organizer, cell 703-819-0565  Contact: Patrick Pinkson-Burke, RSVP’s, cell 603-372-2607    

9/23 Fri.

9:00am – 8:00 pm NPCA Service Day: Join NPCA in a day of service. This day will begin with an opening ceremony at one of the site locations in Washington, DC. The final list of service locations will be provided the week before the event. (Registration required with NPCA.)  

 5:00 – 6:00 pm FoA session with Afghan Ambassador Hakimi at the Afghan Embassy. Location: 2341 Wyoming Ave., NW (Walk from Dupont Circle Metro stop or take taxi.) (This event has been closed to further registration.) (Ifyou need to cancel for any reason at any time--even last minute--please call so someone else can attend.)   Contact: Betsy Amin-Arsala, cell 202-374-8127  

  6:00 – 8:00 pm FoA Afghan Dinner at the Embassy, Guests of the Ambassador. ( Space is limited to 70 guests and the event has been closed to further registra-tion.)  

9/24 Sat.

8:30-9:55 am Bazaar will feature ethnic/tribal jewelry & textiles, peace jewelry, plus items attendees bring to donate. Proceeds to FoA Afghan charities. (Sample donations: wine, small household & clothing accessories, art, books about Afghanistan, etc.) No early arrivals, please! 
Contact: Jan West, cell 707-845-4741, home 707-677-3655  

Open 8:30 – 9:00 am for PC Afghanistan only. Open to public at 9:00 – 9:55 am. Lo-cation: L’Enfant Hotel, Renoir Room.   

10:00 am – 1:00 pm Program: Speakers include Afghan Ambassador Hakimi, Suzanne Griffin from Afghanistan Ministry of Education, Global Partnerships with Bruce & Dana Freyer, and three former PC Afghanistan Directors: Bob Steiner, Walter Blass & Lou Mitchell. Registration is required and includes sack lunch.  Contact: Jan West, cell 707-845-5741, home 707-677-3655
 1:00-4:00 pm NPCA Panel Conversations: How will the Peace Corps community continue to grow and strive for a world of peace and prosperity for the next 50 years? Three country leaders will discuss their experience with the Peace Corps. The panel will be moderated by Bill Moyers, thefirst deputy director of the Peace Corps. The panelists include: Atiku Abubakar (former Vice President of Nigeria (1999-2007), President Paul Kagame (President of the Republic of Rwanda), Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai (former Finance Minister and 2009 Presidential Candidate inAfghanistan).  The second session will feature two competitive proposals for a global community project. The audience will vote for the most deserving pro-ject. (Registration closed.)  Location: National Theatre, 1321 Pennsylvania Ave. NW Metro Directions: Take any line to METRO CENTER, EXIT toward 13th and G Streets. Continue on 13th Street in the direction of the exit esca-lator. The theatre is two blocks down 13th Street to E Street, and 1/2 block to the right. (Note: At 13th Street, E Street becomes Pennsylvania Avenue.)  

 6:00pm-12:00 am Peace Corps Bash: Night of international music & dancing, George Washington University Smith Arena. Tickets $33 from Peace Corps Fund ( Proceeds fund Third Goal Projects.  

 7:00 –10:00 pm   NPCA Promise of the Peace Corps Gala: Tickets $250/member, $300/non-member. Chris Matthews, the host of ―Hardball‖ political TV show and an RPCV from Swaziland will Emcee. (NPCA registration required—tickets still available.) 
9/25 Sun. 
10:00-11:30 am NPCA Arlington National Cemetery Presentation, Wreath Laying (at JFK gravesite): Arlington Memorial Amphitheater, gates open at 8 am. B Line Metro: 1000 North Memorial Drive.
 12:00-2:00 pm Walk of Flags: Members of Friends of Afghanistan will carry our banner and the country flag leading the parade across the Arlington Memorial Bridge to the Lincoln Memorial. Ethnic clothing encouraged.  

 12:00-5:00 pm   NPCA Closing Ceremony: NPCA will end the weekend’s activities with a festive get together highlighting the community through mini demonstrations, booths and entertainment. Location TBA.  
REGISTER FOR FRIENDS OF AFGHANISTAN 50th EVENTS: Contact Jan West ASAP: (Registration closed Sept. 2nd, but anyone still not registered should contact Jan at 707-677-3655.)

"Once in Afghanistan" documentary to be featured at the National Archives

posted Jun 17, 2011, 7:59 AM by Terry Dougherty

                                  Commemorate the Peace Corp’s 50th

Once in Afghanistan

A documentary




  The story of one Peace Corps group’s extraordinary experience in Afghanistan before the Soviet occupation in which they traveled village-to-village vaccinating against smallpox with their Afghan counterparts.  In the film they share vivid memories, embarrassing moments, and life lessons, which, woven in with their photos and film footage from the 60’s, help build a bridge of understanding.




Limited quantities available


Thursday September 22nd, 12:00 Noon


National Archives

McGowan Theater

700 Pennsylvania Avenue, Northwest

Washington, DC 20408  

50th Anniversary Celebration of the Peace Corps

posted Apr 5, 2011, 7:40 AM by Terry Dougherty   [ updated Jun 17, 2011, 5:31 PM ]

You are invited to attend the

50th Anniversary Celebration of the Peace Corps

 Washington, DC

September 21 – 25, 2011  


Update from Jan West

Fiends of Afghanistan is planning a series of events for the 50th anniversary celebration of the Peace Corps in Washington, DC.  About 75 people have registered so far, with about 110 indicating an interest.  Please register right away by e-mailing for a registration form.  The registration fee of $25/person can be mailed to Box 30, Trinidad, CA  95570.

Our exciting news is the Afghan Ambassador has agreed to give a presentation after the opening of our Saturday program at 10 am at the L’Enfant Plaza Hotel, followed by a question and answer period.  The Embassy dinner event for Friday night is now filled to capacity with a 70-person limit. 

In our Friends of Afghanistan presentation to the Ambassador on Friday evening, Jan is editing, revising, and reducing the length the DVD “Rekindling Afghan Connections” to show the work of the Peace Corps in Afghanistan from 1972-79.  It will now also include photographs of the work of Volunteers/Staff since returning home for the benefit of Afghanistan, such as projects, presentations, or activities you may have done for Afghanistan.  Also, photographs of Herat are needed.

Please send digital photographs of you on the job in Afghanistan or of the work you’ve done since you’ve been back in the United States to benefit Afghanistan to by July 10th.  This is a time-consuming project, hence the early deadline for receiving the photographs. 

You can send the photographs to me on a CD or if they are posted online, send me the link to your albums.  This is our chance to show the real impact of our service in Afghanistan—“Once a Volunteer, always a Volunteer!”



Officers & members of Friends of Afghanistan are coordinating plans for PC Afghanistan Volunteers at the Nati

onal Peace Corps Association’s 50th Anniversary Celebration.  We need to know if you are planning to come! 

Please RSVP with Jan West to be updated on our 50th group e-mail:

A list of attendees will be updated and sent to those in the group RSVP e-mail.

Over 50 Afghanistan RPCV’s have already indicated they are planning to attend!

*Jack & Jan West:  Organizer Cycles 5/6

*Will & Fran Irwin:  Organizer Group VIII

*Jill Vickers:  Organizer XV

(Volunteer to be a Group Organizer by contacting Jan West:





Friends of Afghanistan recommends L’Enfant Plaza Hotel so we can be together:  1-800-635-5065. 

Only 60 rooms left at discounted rate:  $179 Single or Double. 

Please make reservations asap!  (Ask for Group Rate PC 50th.)

We hope to schedule two events here, including the Meet & Greet and Bazaar/Meeting/DVD.

See for other hotels with discounts. 







TO REGISTER FOR FRIENDS OF AFGHANISTAN EVENTS:  Jan will send the RSVP form via e-mail or by letter.   Send the information online or print out the RSVP form and return by mail to Box 30, Trinidad, CA  95570.

August 19-21, 2010 Reunion being organized by Charles Arnold and Glenn Rogers in San Francisco

posted Jul 14, 2010, 12:43 PM by Terry Dougherty

August 19-21, 2010 Reunion being organized by Charles Arnold and Glenn Rogers in San Francisco: Contact Charles or Glenn 
Message from Charles:
You are invited! Please join us and other RPCV/Afghanistan for a reunion in San Francisco this summer. We've lined up a hotel at the gates of Chinatown, a picnic in beautiful Samuel P. Taylor State Park.... and a traditional mehmaani in Little Kabul. Follow the link to this email to see the reunion hotel. Then RSVP at

Peace Corps 2010 - San Francisco
San Francisco - 
Dec 28, 2009
by Charles
Take a look at Little Kabul and the places on the agenda of the Peace Corps Afghanistan - San Francisco Reunion 2010. Mark August 19 - 21, and join us in San Francisco.

See a video about San Francisco

Peace Corps Afghanistan Conference/Reunion sponsored by Cycles 5/6 - Lancaster, PA - 6/25-27 2010

posted Jan 17, 2010, 3:36 AM by Terry Dougherty   [ updated Feb 10, 2010, 11:32 AM ]

This is a
 national Peace Corps Afghanistan event for all who served in Afghanistan:  Volunters and Staff, Afghan and American. Please join us in honoring our Smallpox Vaccinators and celebrating the 40th Anniversary of Cycles 5/6, sponsors of the event.  Our bazaar, with vendors and an auction, has the goal of raising $10,000 for Afghan charities. This is your chance to participate and contribute to a worthy cause

We invite you to attend our Peace Corps Afghanistan Conference/Reunion!  Anyone who served in Afghanistan with the Peace Corps is invited, along with spouses and partners.  For more information about this event, please go to our website:

       On the home page, click on the link "invited" to download the official invitation.
       To download the RSVP form, go to the RSVP page and click on the link!  It's easy!

       This event will be the first national gathering of Peace Corps Afghanistan, so we hope you will plan to attend!  One of our goals is to raise $10,000 for Afghan charities with a bazaar/auction--please contribute and participate!  Invite friends from your group to attend.  We need you!

                       Phil Smith and Jan West
.June 25-27, 2010Peace Corps Afghanistan Conference/Reunion will be held at the Marriott Hotel in Lancaster, PA 

 "Rekindling a sense of duty..."

Phil Smith: or     717.392.6309                        Cell: 215.872.1329
Jan West:                                 707.677.3655                        Cell: 707.845.5741

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