In August 2013, we had the unique opportunity to be a part of Peace Corps’ first Third Goal Mobilization Summit at the Washington DC headquarters, through their Blog It Home contest. We were joined by our new PCV friends from Ethiopia, Mexico, and Thailand.
Traditionally, Peace Corps’ Third Goal (promoting a better understanding among Americans of other people and cultures around the world) has primarily been achieved when volunteers return home. However, with the increased availability of technology abroad, the impact of Third Goal is shifting to currently serving volunteers who have a captive audience at home.
In sharing and brainstorming with the Office of Third Goal and the other Blog It Home contest winners, together we compiled a list of principles, tips, and ideas for blogging about the third goal. We really learned a lot from each other about how to be better bloggers and better cross-cultural ambassadors.
Hopefully some of the thoughts we came up with will be able to inspire and guide other currently serving volunteers who are interested in bringing their country of service home through their blogs.
Third Goal Blogging Tips and Resources
Other INFORMATION FROM THESE POSTs HAve MOVED TO: THE ULTIMATE GUIDE TO AWESOME, MEANINGFUL BLOG POSTS WHILE LIVING OR TRAVELING ABROAD
Why Blog About Third Goal:
To Change Perceptions and Provide New Perspectives
Consider what others in the US think of your country. What three words would they choose to describe your country of service? How might you want to change that? You can give your audience a new way of seeing the world. Peace Corps is probably challenging your own individual viewpoint. Never again will you have such a captive audience as you do during your service, so take others on the journey as your perceptions are changing and evolving.
Keeping in Touch/Sharing
Blogging is a unique way to reach multiple audiences with one post. It’s nice for friends and family, but also for potential volunteers, and for people (outside of the PC community) who want to know what PC life is like. Also, you never know when an expat or RPCV from your country of service will come across your blog who is hungry for news from home and appreciates your efforts to educate others.
World Wise Schools
If you’re involved in WWS, blogging is an easy way to keep in touch with your classroom without having to wait on unreliable mail. You may want to have a special section on your blog specifically geared toward your WWS audience.
When your work in country (first goal) gets difficult or leaves you less than satisfied, remember Goal Three is just as much a part of your overall experience. Blogging, when done properly, is a great way to achieve the third goal, which is 1/3 of the purpose of our service.
Peace Corps Language Courses – a compilation of language learning materials from Peace Corps posts around the world. Share your host language with friends and family at home.
Peace Corps Week – Check out the Video Challenge or Classroom Challenge to see how volunteers answered the prompt, “what I wish Americans knew about my Peace Corps country”