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National Peace Corps Association Announces Round Two Winners for Africa Rural Connect Competition

By Alison Beckwith

Beekeeping for cash income and crossbreeding chickens for higher egg yield win top ideas

Washington, D.C.─ The National Peace Corps Association (NPCA), the nation's leading nonprofit organization supporting Returned Peace Corps Volunteers and the Peace Corps community, announced today the top winners of the second round of the 2010 Africa Rural Connect (ARC) ideas competition. Launched last year, ARC is an online program of NPCA that taps the creativity and knowledge of former Volunteers and the international community to find ways to address some of rural Africa's greatest needs.

“We continue to be amazed at the strength of the ideas proposed on the Africa Rural Connect site,” said Molly Mattessich, manager of online initiatives for the National Peace Corps Association and a former Peace Corps Volunteer in Mali. “It's always difficult to narrow the ideas down because there are so many creative and thoughtful proposals submitted on a regular basis.”

The winners of round two for the ARC 2010 ideas competition are Christopher Thompson of the United States and Derek Bruce of Kenya. A Peace Corps Volunteer who served in Togo from 2006 to 2008, Thompson proposed dramatically expanding a small beekeeping operation in a Togolese village to allow residents to sell honey. A development worker with a degree in food and nutrition, Bruce proposed helping rural widows and orphans in a Kenyan village replace indigenous chickens with ones crossbred to have higher meat and egg yields.

The winners will receive $1,000 each to implement their ideas and will be eligible for the grand prize of $12,000 to be determined in December of 2010. Two more winners will be selected in the third round, which runs through Sept. 15.

“Both of these projects present a sustainable vision for the communities that can be kick started with a small investment upfront,” Mattessich said. “The winners also showed their deep knowledge and understanding of the communities they hope to help with their proposals.”


To submit your idea and join the discussion, visit: www.AfricaRuralConnect.org

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About The National Peace Corps Association (NPCA)
Founded in 1979 and headquartered in Washington, D.C., NPCA is the nation's leading 501 (c) (3) nonprofit organization supporting Returned Peace Corps Volunteers and the Peace Corps community through networking and mentoring to help guide former Volunteers through their continued service back home. It is also the longest-standing advocate for an independent and robust Peace Corps and its values.

To learn more, visit: www.peacecorpsconnect.org