A Program to Educate the Peace Corps Community On Health
RPCV Health Crusade wanted to develop an education program that meets the unique needs of the Peace Corps community. While we are able to leverage our own experiences as RPCVs, we also needed to understand the needs of the greater community. We share helpful information all the time between each other.
We decided that the best way for us to take control of our health is to share all the helpful health information we can collect. This platform can be a central location for the RPCV community to share their wealth of tips and tricks. After all, we are stronger together and knowledge is power.
Education Program Key Concepts
Sharing what we know with each other
Learning what we don’t know but need to know
Focusing on being inclusive in the perspective of information shared
RPCV Health Crusade wanted to build a collection of helpful health information to share within the Peace Corps community. We are not trying to collect all the health information scattered across cyberspace. We are looking to find those gems of information that would be most helpful to PCVs and RPCVs.
When sharing with other PCVs and RPCVs, what information do you think would be helpful to them? Where can they get some much needed help? Can you help them cut through some red tape and avoid some of the hurdles that you have already tackled? How can we help each other with cost saving options?
The time that we spend as PCVs are significant, so we include health resources that could be helpful to applicants, trainees, and PCVs. But Peace Corps offers very little assistance or contribution to our health after service so we wanted to make sure we included health resources for our lives after service. And our health is a broad concept that includes more than just illness and injuries so we also looked for resources for prevention and maintenance as well as support.
Essentially, the Resource Library is our way of organizing the information we need to help us take charge of our health before, during, and after service.
We determined that the best way to understand the needs of the overall Peace Corps community is for the community to tell us what they most need and want. So, we will periodically launch surveys to help us collect information directly from the source. We may even launch follow-up surveys to hone in on thoughts and needs expressed in the original.
The surveys will help us better understand the most relevant needs. And, the surveys could also help us track health patterns and trends over time. We may limit or extend survey windows based on the individual survey or our own timelines and availability.
But the survey responses will be kept anonymous to ensure privacy and confidentiality so that the survey taker can be open and honest with their responses. We are not here to judge. We just want the opportunity to better understand so that we can all have the information and resources that we need to take charge of our health.
When the surveys close, we then start the tedious work of sorting through all that data and trying to make sense of it. Of course, we want to share our work so that everyone can benefit from our efforts. But be patient as it could take a little bit of time and work to put it all together.
RPCV Health Crusade’s COVID-19 Education Initiative creates the opportunity for RPCVs to work together to do our part in tackling this pandemic. This initiative must be as fluid as needed to adapt to the changing situation and most recent regulatory guidance.
This pandemic has taken too many lives. And it is time for RPCVs to join the fight and work towards making a difference. As usual, this is an effort from a group of volunteer RPCVs. You should always confirm any and all information before relying on it.
As volunteers, we have limited resources so we focused on what we can do:
- Raise awareness for everyone to stay safe by staying physically apart, wear masks when not with members of your household, wash your hands often, and quarantine yourself if you are experiencing symptoms or came into contact with someone infected;
- Tracking the statistics on the number of infection cases, recoveries, and unfortunate deaths;
- Collecting information specifically to help people with disabilities;
- Organizing information around at-home tests;
- Collecting information about covid vaccines;
- Building a list of free COVID-19 test options; and
- Encourage everyone to get tested.