Thursday, September 11, 2008

Peace Corps budget cuts have an effect

Peace Corps Headquarters has required all offices worldwide to take a 15% budget cut. Peace Corps Niger is having to make cuts in many areas to meet this percentage; below are some of the most important decisions they've had to make. It really sucks, for everybody- staff, volunteers...personally I'll notice it most in the cut to regional shuttles; I have really appreciated having a monthly opportunity to get mail and supplies delivered to my village, as well as the help of Moussa, the driver. His ability to support the work I do will be diminished considerably.

Dare I speculate that the cost of war is severely affecting this program's ability to do effective, peaceful development work?

- Education Program Training Assistant position cut (this person runs all the training for a specific sector -in this case, education- during your first 9 weeks in country.)
- Programming and Training staff travel cut by 35%
- Close of Service Conference for volunteers exiting this year to be held in Hamdallaye instead of Park W.
- Fuel consumption for staff travel cut by 35%.
- Fuel for regional shuttles cut by 40% (this is the shuttle that used to come to my village once a month to bring mail or other supplies, and the time when Moussa would be available to facilitate meetings and conversations).
- Funds for PCV travel in country reduced by 25%
- Mid Service Training has been eliminated (this is a 3 day conference formerly held at the 1 year mark, for volunteers to receive additional training and to share work progress/questions/plans with each other.)
- Day-to-day medical supplies reduced (sunscreen, bug repellent etc)

Yup. I will send more info if I get it.*

*Hostels are under review for being cut.


NIGER1.COM said...

Believe me when i said this the gas station across the street from me cut their staffs in half so my buddies are laid off
The whole block is going thru major cuts ,job loss ,
Lehman brothers lost 3.9 billon on september 10 th so they lay off 500every body is bankrupt But we are still fighting

Anonymous said...

How much are the Washington staff paid? How many are waived by the Director for the five year opportunity law? How many now get pensions?

How much is the NPCA, morepeacecorps, 50 year anniversaries and, 'social networking cost?' These are all paid by PC to lobby. They also have lobbyists paid to lobby.

PC needs to do some cuts at the DC office and go from there. NPCA, which may be theat 10 million write off, was never wanted. We form groups fine on our own.


Another RPCV said...

Sorry Anonymous RPCV, not true. NPCA has a cooperative agreement with Peace Corps to provide mentoring to RPCVs and to provide PCVs with WorldView. *That's it.* NPCA's other activities are supported by contributions, membership. NPCA is working to increase support for PCVs. What is your beef with NPCA?

The Five Nomads said...

Kerry, I responded to your comment on my post but just in case yo didn't check back I thought I would post it here too...

Kerry, i believe we did indeed "meet" Jessica (not formally just sort of in a "hey, I hope my kid isn't bugging you to death" way) and I am pretty sure this was the second time I had met her. I told my husband that I thought I recognized her as someone I had met at another one of these type of functions. I can't tell for sure from the small picture on your blog and my pictures from the other night are horrible but I am pretty sure she is in one of them. We were the only people I saw there with a small child though so it seems it must have been us. Our little one was just taken with her and she doesn't do that with just everybody. The next time I see her I will make sure she has our numbers and if she ever needs something she can give us a call.

Kerry said...

Looking back on this now, as a mom, the thing that bothered me most about the cuts was the last item: sunscreen, bug repellent? These aren't optional things in Niger, where malaria looms big and the sun beats down relentlessly. Malaria and melanoma. Please, let us fund the Peace Corps.