WE AS MEMBERS OF FCRPCV WISH TO PROMOTE A BETTER UNDERSTANDING OF OTHER PEOPLE ON THE PART OF AMERICANS. WE WANT TO FACILITATE MEANINGFUL INTERACTION BETWEEN LEGAL ARRIVALS, AND US CITIZENS WITH THE OBJECTIVE OF FOSTERING MUTUAL UNDERSTANDING, TOLERANCE AND PEACEFUL COEXISTENCE.
We arrived at the above statement of purpose, after a three year journey. Our signature statement is expected to guide FCRPCV,Inc. current and future service activities. We did not arrive at this position until we tried other Third Goal activities.
2016 SIGNATURE EVENT
Midway through 2015 several Board members worked to create our first Signature Project. In May of 2016, we delivered to Jacksonville, The Third Goal International Film Festival to Celebrate the 55 th Anniversary of the Peace Corps. By all measures this event was a success. The underwriting of the Film Festival by Scott and Nancy McLucas, Senegal,the partnership with Players By The Sea and sponsorship by NPCA, Total Wine, Lin Smith Design was instrumental in this success. Donations by 34 persons, including non RPCVs, was very helpful.Of course the membership gave of its time and talents to provide food representing countries of service. It was indeed a grand Festival.
2017 SIGNATURE EVENT
Early in 2017, the Board wanted to continue the Signature Project concept. At a January Board Retreat, it was apparent to us that the refugee crisis was of paramount importance. We have members who are working full time with two of the three Refugee Resettlement Programs in Jacksonville. Their insights, experiences and passion helped us formulate a "getting started" project. An opportunity presented itself, in the form of a welcome dinner for refugees, partially funded with a Federal Grant and performed by staff of the Catholic Charities Refugee Resettlement Program. At the first organizing meeting of the committee,comprised almost entirely of refugees, FCRPCV was asked to provide an dessert in the form of Chocolate Chip cookies, 1000 of them. We were also asked to attend, "because North Americans buy tickets, but they don't come, because they are afraid of us." So our 'getting started" Signature Project for Refugees resulted in our membership baking1000 Chocolate Chip cookies and raising money to support for the 4th Multicultural Tasting for the Refugee Community in Jacksonville on behalf of POWR. Total cash contribution from FCRPCV was $964. Non-cash contribution was reported at $1,228 for a total of $2,192.
2018 SIGNATURE EVENTSE
On Thursday April 26, at Jan Miller's home, the first Signature Project event of 2018 was held. "A Taste of Ethiopia" was the focus of food and discussion with Muni from Ethiopia via Somalia. Muni's family, was resettled, as refugees, with the help of the Catholic Charities Resettlement program. Jan & Muni shopped and prepared the food. 20 invited guests came and enjoyed the Ethiopian meal.
After the meal, Jan addressed the group explaining FCRPCV’s Third Goal: to promote understanding of others on the part of Americans. The purpose of our events is to foster mutual understanding, tolerance and peaceful coexistence.
Jan then introduced Muni and helped Muni tell her refugee story. Many questions were asked and answered. At the end of the evening everyone went away with a little more knowledge about Ethiopia, Ethiopian food, culture and the refugee story.
On Saturday September 29 , at Maureen and Steve Orr's home, the second Signature Project dinner was held. "A Taste of Afghanistan" was prepared by Hellia who brought her son and daughter. A four course meal was prepared complete with choice of appetizers and entrees. After a full meal, the group of 16 entered into a full discussion of Hellia's journey to the United States.
We are planning a third dinner in November. We are already scheduled for January 2019. If you are interested in hosting we have refugee families willing to collaborate with us through our partners at Catholic Charities and Luthern Social Services
Click here to read the original Committee report.