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;
Washington, DC—September 21 – 25, 2011
(Scroll down to Key Dates link on website for additional information)
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: email@example.com. 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
9:00am – 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.)
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 (http://peacecorpsfund.org). 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.)
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.
BRING THIS SCHEDULE WITH YOU TO DC!
REGISTER FOR FRIENDS OF AFGHANISTAN 50th EVENTS: Contact Jan West ASAP: firstname.lastname@example.org (Registration closed Sept. 2nd, but anyone still not registered should contact Jan at 707-677-3655.)
50TH SCHEDULE, CONT
Commemorate the Peace Corp’s 50th
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.
ORDERS MAY BE PLACED AT
Limited quantities available
SHOWING IN WASHINGTON, DC
Thursday September 22nd,
700 Pennsylvania Avenue, Northwest
Washington, DC 20408
You are invited to attend
Celebration of the Peace Corps
September 21 – 25, 2011
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
Please RSVP with Jan
West to be updated on our 50th group e-mail: email@example.com
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: firstname.lastname@example.org)
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
reservations asap! (Ask for Group Rate
We hope to schedule
two events here, including the Meet & Greet and Bazaar/Meeting/DVD.
for other hotels with discounts.
TO REGISTER FOR OFFICIAL NPCA EVENTS:
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.
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: www.pcafghanconference.info
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, 2010: Peace Corps Afghanistan Conference/Reunion will be held at the Marriott Hotel in Lancaster, PA
"Rekindling a sense of duty..."