When one of my fellow volunteers was highlighted on the Peace Corps Moldova Facebook page a few days ago, her grandfather responded: “So proud of our granddaughter making it a better world!”
When the page highlighted another volunteer, a friend of her mother posted: “You have a very special daughter!”
For another volunteer, the comments included:
- It’s young people like you who do make a difference in this crazy world.
- That’s our grandson and we are so proud.
- That’s my son. I am so proud of the work you’ve accomplished and know that you have more to offer in the future. Great job!
- Awesome. Keep up the good work!
During the past several weeks, the “Spotlight” series on the Peace Corps Moldova Facebook page has told the stories of these and other volunteers. Each entry briefly describes what the volunteer did previously in the United States and how he or she is now serving in Moldova. Two photos illustrate “then” and “now.” The stories appear in both English and Romanian, and sometimes in Russian, so local audiences can enjoy them, too.
Liuba Chitaev, who manages communications for Peace Corps Moldova, came up with the idea and has been updating the series regularly with my assistance. She conceived it as a way to “put a human face” on Peace Corps programs, reflecting our shared belief that people often learn best through personal stories. We didn’t fully anticipate the heart-warming responses the posts would elicit from family and friends back home:
“This is absolutely wonderful,” wrote the cousin of one volunteer. “Congratulations on a job so well done!”
“Congratulations to my lovely niece,” wrote the aunt of another. “I’m so very proud of you and your accomplishments. Well done to your Mom and you.”
The articles have also attracted attention from Moldovan readers, helping them understand the diverse backgrounds of Peace Corps Volunteers and their motivations for leaving home for more than two years to serve abroad. The articles are read by others as well, such as potential Peace Corps applicants back home.
For both Liuba and me, putting these volunters in the spotlight has been a labor of love. All of the posts and comments are public on the Peace Corps Moldova Facebook page, which will be sharing more of these features in the future. We’ll leave the light on for you.