About Ethiopia & Eritrea RPCVs

Ethiopia & Eritrea RPCVs (E&E RPCVs) was organized in 1991 at the RPCV conference to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the Peace Corps.

Incorporation and non-profit status!
During 2003, E&E RPCVs became a non-member Not-for-Profit Corporation, incorporated in the state of New York, and led by a Board of Directors. All members of the former E&E RPCVs Steering Committee have members of the Board of Directors.
     The stated purpose of the Corporation reads as follows:

"The Corporation is formed and shall be operated exclusively for charitable and educational purposes that include, to promote world peace and understanding, particularly among the peoples of the United States, Ethiopia and Eritrea; to inform and educate the general public about other countries, particularly Ethiopia and Eritrea; to promote opportunities for achieving sustainable economic development and the relief of poverty in Ethiopia and Eritrea, by providing volunteers, equipment, services and financial resources which are needed to further this purpose."

     Additionally, the group has been granted 501 (c)(3) non-profit tax-exempt status by the I.R.S. Consequently any donations you make in support of Legacy Program projects or other projects of E&E RPCVs will be tax deductible. The annul charge of $15 that you pay for the newsletter, website and other services is NOT tax deductible. Nor would be payments for reunion/conference activities, etc.
     A special thanks to Ed Lynch (Nazareth 63–65), who arranged for an attorney to assist our group in dealing with these applications.
     You can read the documentation provided to the state of New York and the IRS:

  • NEW The By-laws of E&E RPCVs
  • NEW The Certificate of Incorporation of E&E RPCVs
  • NEW The commentary that accompanied the application for tax exemption.

The group is an affiliate of the umbrella organization National Peace Corps Association (NPCA). It has a "joint membership" affiliation with the NPCA — that is, all who suscribe to the newsletter and other services of E&E RPCVs must also be members of the NPCA.

The Board of Directors that meets annually at the NPCA conferences or off-year business meetings, and communicates via email.

Please join E&E RPCVs.


RPCV Legacy ProgramTM
E&E RPCVs has launched an effort to pursue projects to address the great needs in Ethiopia and Eritrea. Famine, drought followed by floods followed by malaria, an HIV/AIDS epidemic, and deforestation are among the most dire needs that these countries face. Our undying affection for the people of these countries drives our efforts to address these problems personally.
E&E RPCVs' award winning publication is The Herald.
Since 1994, E&E RPCVs has sought to offer short-time, expenses-paid, volunteer opportunities for our RPCVs in Ethiopia and Eritrea, subject to the availability of resources for this purpose. Over the years Leo Cecchini (Asmara 62–64), Nancy Horn (Addis Ababa 66–68) and Dave Gurr (Addis Ababa 62–64), have led this effort. Dave is currently the enCORPS Coordinator
Peace Initiative
During the border war between Ethiopia and Eritrea, Leo Cecchini (Asmara 62–64), with Dave Gurr (Addis Ababa 62–64), represented E&E RPCVs in frequent talks with officials of both governments, as well as those at the State Department and from other countries, offering to all any resource we might have available that would aid in bringing a quick and peaceful resolution to the conflict.
     At the opening ceremonies of the 40+1 Conference was the announcement of this year’s Loret Miller Ruppe Award. The NPCA describes the award: The Ruppe Award is presented annually by the NPCA to an outstanding affiliated group for a project or projects that promote the Third Goal of Peace Corps or continue to serve host countries, build group spirit and cooperation, and promote service. The purpose of the award is not only to recognize the great work that its groups are doing, but also to generate ideas that other groups may emulate in their communities.”

Ruppe Award Winner 2002
     At the opening ceremonies of the 40+1 RPCV Conference, Ethiopia & Eritrea RPCVs was awarded the 2002 Loret Miller Ruppe Award for the “Peace Initiative” project by the National Peace Corps Association. The Ruppe Award, named for an outstanding Peace Corps Director, is presented annually by the NPCA "to an outstanding affiliated group for a project or projects that promote the Third Goal of Peace Corps or continue to serve host countries, build group spirit and cooperation, and promote service. The purpose of the award is not only to recognize the great work that its groups are doing, but also to generate ideas that other groups may emulate in their communities.”
     This award is the most prestigious award an RPCV group can receive, and our group is delighted to be recognized for the devoted efforts of Leo and Dave but also for those who supported the project including our members who volunteered to participate as border monitors should the need have arisen.
     The award was presented by Phil Ruppe and Mary Ruppe Nash, Loret's widow and daughter, to Marian Haley Beil, chair of the E&E RPCVs Steering Committee, and Leo Cecchini.
     With the Ruppe Award, the group received a certificate and a prize of $500.

E&E RPCVs hosts a reunion for its members at every NPCA conference. These always include country updates and an injera-and-wat dinner, plus opportunities for casual reconnecting with friends. CJ Smith Castagnaro (Harar; Debre Zeit; Addis Ababa 65–66, 67–69) is currently our Reunion Chair.
For more about our reunions . . .
Under the leadership of Dennis Ekberg (Ambo 62–64), E&E RPCVs launched a website in 1998. Since that time it has been a resource for those wishing to reconnect with friends and those seeking to know more about Ethiopia and Eritrea, and a communication venue for the group. The current webmaster is Marian Haley Beil (Debre Berhan 62–64).
     At the 40+1 Conference, in the NPCA competition for outstanding websites by country-of-service groups, the E&E RPCVs site was named Second Place winner.
Hayward Allen (Harar 62–64) maintains a sizable E&E RPCVs library which contains books, articles, tapes, and more that can be borrowed at no cost by returned Volunteers from Ethiopia and Eritrea.
A database of all those who served in the Peace Corps in Ethiopia and Eritrea has been maintained since 1987. It is used both for the group to communicate with the RPCVs, but it is a resource for all our RPCVs — and their friends — to use for reconnecting. If you would like to contact a fellow RPCV, email Marian Haley Beil at mhbeil@rochester.rr.com for contact information including address, phone number and email address.

If you are seeking an RPCV for whom we do not have contact information, a notice will be placed in The Herald.

For those who did not serve as PCVs, we will be glad to notify your RPCV friends that you would like to reconnect. Send your address, phone number and email address, and that information will be forwarded on to the RPCV you'd like to contact.

Email Updates
E&E RPCVs sends out occasional notices that we feel would be of interest to our members. These notices will be of a timely nature and will relate to group news, Ethiopia, Eritrea, the Peace Corps, and RPCVs from Ethiopia and Eritrea. These notices will he sent to every RPCV on the database for whom we have an emaii address. If you would like to receive these OCCASIONAL notices, please drop a brief note to that effect to mhbeil@rochester.rr.com.
News Updates
Member Shlomo Bachrach sends out to interested members news articles from Ethiopia and Eritrea (and/or their URLs). If you would like to maintain a deeper knowledge of what is happening in these countries, drop Shlomo a note at shlomo@catiusa.com and ask him to add you to his mailing list. These can number between a half dozen and fifty per week.
E&E RPCVs was represented by Ray Donaldson (Ambo, Debre Berhan 62–64) at the National Summit on Africa in 2000. Ray's report.

Additionally, Ray is the Advocacy Contact for E&E RPCVs. Ray has a long history of interest U.S. foreign policy and its impact on the world — and the Third World in particular. In 2000, he represented E&E RPCVs at the National Summit on Africa
     In his new role, Ray will receive announcements from the NPCA about advocacy issues they are focusing upon, review them to determine which he feels will be of special interest to our members, summarize the selected material and then share that information with members, as well as how you can have your voice heard on these issues..
     If you would know of advocacy issues that you feel our members should be made aware of or would like to work with Ray, contact him at raydonaldson@hotmail.com

Book Locker project
During the '90s when Peace Corps Volunteers were serving in Ethiopia and Eritrea, E&E RPCVs sent thousands of books for recreational reading to the Peace Corps libraries in Addis Ababa and Asmara. This project was directed by John Coyne (Addis Ababa 62–64).

E&E RPCVs also purchased and shipped to the two libraries scholarly texts about Ethiopia, Eritrea, the Horn of Africa and Africa. Joe Tenn (Addis Ababa 62–64) directed this project and worked closely with PC staff members in each country to assure that we provided the titles that they felt would be most helpful to the Volunteers.

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