Saturday, August 3, 2013

PC/Botswana Project Advisory Committee

Being a Peace Corps Volunteer opens up many doors for unique experiences. This takes shape in the work we do, the people we stand to meet, and the places we get to see. Every day can be an adventure if you are open to it. I have been fortunate to seize many such opportunities. I am delighted to say that, in my third year, they continue to present themselves to me.

On 29 July 2013, my Country Director called to invite me to be a member of Peace Corps Botswana's Project Advisory Committee (PAC). The PAC is new to our post but has already made a significant impact on the work we do in Botswana. Essentially, PAC is comprised of Peace Corps Botswana's key project stakeholders, who are among the highest level officials in the country (having representatives from the heads of key Ministries and the National AIDS Coordinating Agency (NACA)) and acts as the voice that helps Peace Corps ensure that it develops credible, realistic, and responsive projects and training programs. Additionally, the PAC provides input and guidance to Peace Corps and helps to ensure stakeholder coordination and serves as an advisory body to the post's Program and Training Teams. My role on PAC, my CD explained, would be to represent the 102 volunteers currently serving in country and to shed light on what is happening on the ground. This offer was an honor and an opportunity I jumped at.

As I expected, my first PAC meeting was well attended and impressive. The stakeholders were outspoken, energetic, and eager to discuss the issues before the committee. Included in the topics were: the new project frameworks, preliminary results and a sampling of volunteer activities, administrative matters pertinent to the Ministries, site development, the incoming group of trainees, and projections for the upcoming year.

I was most taken by the collaboration between these groups and their passionate and keen interest in furthering and supporting the Peace Corps projects. This working group felt productive and I believe a great stepping stone towards enhancing the work we do around the country. It is no secret that I feel strongly about the potential of Peace Corps Botswana to make a real impact. PAC is a move in the right direction to get everyone on board and working together to ensure that our post can achieve a higher level of functionality and have a profound effect on the communities we reach. I am grateful to be a part of it as we move forward.

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