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National Peace Corps Association Wins Interactive Media Award™ for Africa Rural Connect Project

By Alison Beckwith
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Web site aimed at helping rural farmers recognized for design excellence

Washington, D.C. – Africa Rural Connect (ARC), an online project launched last summer by the National Peace Corps Association (NPCA), the nation's leading nonprofit organization supporting Returned Peace Corps Volunteers and the Peace Corps community, is the recipient of this year's Interactive Media Award™ (IMA). With an overall score of 463 under the category “agriculture,” ARC won the 2010 Outstanding Achievement Award, the second highest honor bestowed by IMA.

“We are thrilled to be recognized for the planning and execution of a very creative online community,” said Molly Mattessich, manager of online initiatives for the National Peace Corps Association and a former Peace Corps Volunteer in Mali. “We hope this recognition will draw even more people to the site to submit their ideas and engage in a discussion on how to help rural Africa.”

Now in its second year, ARC is an online community hosted by NPCA that encourages the remixing of ideas to spur collaboration and develop new ways to help solve rural Africa's greatest challenges. The site is powered by an innovative software program called Wegora, which allows users to read and remix each other's ideas at a press of a button.

The IMAs are issued by the Interactive Media Council and recognize the highest standards of excellence in Web site design and development. Judges evaluate each Web site on five different criteria including design, content, feature functionality, standards compliance and usability and those that receive the highest scores are considered for an award.

“Africa Rural Connect is a growing online community that's already generated hundreds of innovative ideas to help address rural issues facing farmers like food insecurity and lack of water resources,” adds Mattessich.”Receiving an award like this from leading professionals in the industry is a testimony to our commitment to bring together returned volunteers, the African diaspora and anyone who has lived and worked in Africa to come together and share their knowledge and ideas.”

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About The National Peace Corps Association (NPCA)
NPCA is the nation's leading 501 (c)(3) non-profit organization connecting, informing and engaging returned Peace Corps Volunteers, former Peace Corps staff and friends of Peace Corps committed to fostering peace through service, education and advocacy. The NPCA network also includes 140 member groups across the U.S. To learn more, visit: www.peacecorpsconnect.org.