Tell us a little bit about your commitment to Africare.
My husband and I have been a part of Africare since its inception over 40 years ago. In 1961, President John F. Kennedy announced the formation of the Peace Corps. My husband served as a Peace Corps volunteer in Thailand and a Peace Corps trainer in Hilo, Hawaii as a member of Group II of the Peace Corps. During his time working as a policy officer for the Philippines in Peace Corps Washington, he worked for Africare’s co-founder Dr. Joseph Kennedy and knew of Africare’s founder Mr. C. Payne Lucas.
After my Peace Corps staff service in Guyana, South America and in Malaysia, I became Director of Public Affairs for the Peace Corps's national headquarters in Washington.
During the 1970s and 80s we participated in Africare functions, and when I became a Foreign Service officer at the State Department, I often interacted with the Africare directors and staff abroad in Zambia, Zimbabwe, Madagascar, and the Central African Republic and in the regions where those countries are located.
As the U.S. Ambassador to Lesotho (2004-2007) and Sierra Leone (2007-2010), I was in regular contact with American NGOs, including Africare. The humanitarian goals of Africare are consonant with overall U.S. development policy. Thus, my support has been substantial throughout my career.
You have donated about $90,000 just in the last two years in direct donations, in-kind donations and tables for the Bishop John T. Walker Dinner! What made you decide to donate to Africare?
As a member of Africare's Board of Directors and a member of its Development Committee, I take my duties very seriously. Africare’s commitment to sustaining development in Africa – especially in the areas of food security and gender equity – is imperative. The need is great, and my firm belief is that those who are in a position to offer assistance to strengthen African nations are obliged to do so.