In 1987, Peace Corps' Information Collection and Exchange (ICE) division produced a manual to help Education Volunteers start what were then called "secondary projects," activities the Volunteers could organize during school recesses when they were otherwise unemployed. The manual discussed the philosophy of secondary projects and provided guidelines for their execution. Chapters dealt with such topics as situational analysis, needs assessment, feasibility studies, project planning, problem solving, evaluation, and documentation.
With its focus on Education Volunteers and formal projects, however, the manual did not reflect the actual experience of many other Volunteers who were involved in a variety of outside activities. Also, using the term project made it difficult to distinguish these activities from Peace Corps Projects as defined by the Agency's Programming and Training System (PATS). After discussions with Peace Corps staff and Volunteers, ICE therefore decided it was time to produce a new manual that would demonstrate these additional Peace Corps Volunteer accomplishments.
Part I of this new manual, Above and Beyond, takes an in-depth look at seven "success stories." We try to show what prompted the Volunteers to get involved, what they did and how they did it.
In Part II we briefly describe some 50 different activities that Volunteers in the past have tried, to stimulate PCVs to come up with ideas of their own and act on them. Drawing on the experience of our success stories, we then present in Part III a series of guidelines that PCVs can apply to any secondary activity, from a women's handicraft business to a village cleanup campaign. A bibliography at the end cites publications mentioned in the manual as well as others that can be used to initiate, organize, or implement community activities. All are available through Peace Corps' Information Collection and Exchange (ICE) or In-Country Resource Centers (IRCs) in Peace Corps posts.
As you read through the material, consider your own interests as well as your community's needs and think about what you can do to satisfy both. We wish you the very best in launching this new venture and facing the challenges.