Luigi Zeccardo served in Peace Corps Fiji Group 91 from 2014-2016. Group 91’s program was The Community Health Empowerment Project (CHEP) focusing on health education and capacity-building. Luigi was placed on the Island of Koro, working at the health center in the Village of Nasau. Luigi is currently working in the Office of Safety and Security at Peace Corps HQ in Washington D.C.
Seokmin Kim served as a Youth Empowerment Worker from 2014-2016 with Group 91. With the Community Health Empowerment Project (CHEP), he focused on health education and capacity-building. He worked at Nadarivatu Primary School in Nadala Village (Nadarivatu District) and is currently getting a Masters in Environmental Management from the Nicholas School of the Environment with Duke University at Durham, NC.
Madeleine Pennock served in Peace Corps Fiji Group 91 from 2014-2016. Group 91’s program was The Community Health Empowerment Project (CHEP) focusing on health education and capacity-building. Madeleine was placed in the capital city of Suva, working with the Ministry of Youth and Sports. Madeleine traveled around Fiji facilitating youth empowerment camps. Madeleine is currently working at United States Citizenship and Immigration Services as an Immigration Officer.
Paul was a Fiji 24 volunteer from 1975 - 1977. He was assigned to the Suva Grammar School, Adi Cakobau School (Savani). Paul was a Secondary Education Teacher in Math and English. He currently lives in Palo Alto, CA and leads the Global Alliances at Red Hat, Inc. He is trying to establish a FoFiji group here in the Bay Area with Fiji RPCVs and local Fijians. Paul is active with the ACS Old Girls and Crystal Queens.
Cynthia Grant was a Fiji IX volunteer from 1971-1975. Cynthia was assigned to Koro Junior Secondary School, Lelean Memorial School, Nuasori as a Math teacher. She is currently residing in Washington, DC.
Betty Ansin Smallwood served in Peace Corps Fiji Group IV from 1969-1971. Group IV’s program was Elementary and Secondary Education providing classroom teachers primarily in remote and hard-to-serve areas. Betty was placed on the island of Gau (in Lomaiviti), and taught 5th grade at Navukailagi District School as a new teacher. She has been working in the field of ESL education ever since, teaching students (ages 5-55) and teachers (PK-12) in the US and around the world. Dr. Smallwood was the Director of PK-12 ELL Education at the Center for Applied Linguistics, in Washington, DC, where she is now a Senior Fellow. Betty is semi-retired and has returned to teaching! She lives in Bethesda, MD.
David Downes was a Volunteer in the first Peace Corps Fiji group (1967-1969). He taught English at Navua High School and edited “SA!”, the PCV newsletter. He was then on the PC staff from 1970 to 1985 as a trainer, recruiter, selection/placement officer, South Pacific Regional Program Officer (based in Suva), policy/planning and program analyst, and senior management staff member. David, a founding member and former president of the Friends of Fiji board of directors, is retired and lives with his wife Willa (also a Fiji 1 RPCV) in Fairfax, VA.
John Cortright served in Peace Corps Fiji Group 92 from 2015-2017. Group 92’s program was The Community Youth Empowerment Project (CYEP) focusing on health education and capacity-building. John was placed in the Ministry of Education to build teacher capacity and implement a national health curriculum. He resided in the capital, Suva. John is currently in Washington D.C. assisting Friends of Fiji with our 50th Anniversary Celebration preparations.
Jay was a Fiji XXI volunteer in 1974 through 1976. He was assigned to the Architects Section of the Public Works Department in Suva, where he worked on projects for the Ministry of Health, including some rural nursing stations, and the maternity wing at CWM hospital. Jay met a young island beauty named Joanna Kleimann in Suva and they recently celebrated their 40 anniversary. Work has taken them from California to the Marshall Islands, Japan, and finally to Annapolis MD. He currently works for the Department of Veterans Affairs in DC.
Anne Baker served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Fiji group 56 from January 1985 until December 1986, then trained Fiji group 62 through January 1987. She was in the Education program, teaching Form VI physics and maths and Form V physical science at Lomaivuna High School (Naitasiri, Viti Levu). Anne moved to the Washington, DC area in 1996 to take a position with National Peace Corps Association, where she is currently Vice President. She started the Peace Corps trend in her family; six members/spouses over three generations have since served as volunteers, including her father and (currently) her niece.
Meaghan Connor served in Peace Corps Fiji Group 92 from 2015-2017. Group 92's program was The Community Youth Empowerment Project (CYEP), focusing on health education and capacity-building. Meaghan (aka Ma) served on Beqa Island, where she taught at Beqa Yanuca Secondary School and Raviravi Nursing Station in Raviravi Village. Meaghan currently works at the Environmental Defense Fund in Washington D.C.
Connor MacKenzie served in Peace Corps Fiji Group 92 from 2015 - 2017. Group 91's program was The Community Youth Empowerment Project (CYEP) focusing on youth capacity-building and health. Connor was placed on the Island of Kadavu, working at Richmond Methodist High School and living in the Village of Natokalau. Connor is currently working at The Meridian International Center in Washington D.C. on the U.S. State Department's International Visitor Leadership Program.
Katie Williams is a 2016-2018 RPCV from Fiji Group 93. She served as a Community and Youth Empowerment volunteer on Beqa Island, focused on reproductive and sexual health education, economic empowerment, and gender equity and resilience. Katie currently works as a Program Coordinator for the international development consultancy, The Kaizen Company.
Jovilisi hails from Vanua Balavu, Lau. His mom is from Nakasaleka, Kadavu. However, he spent most of his childhood days in Nasau, Koro, where his mom was raised. Jo attended Holy Trinity Anglican School and then Marist Brothers High School. Later attended Fiji College of Advanced Education to be a trained High School Teacher. He taught at All Saints High School, Assembly of God High School then Basden College. Jo rugby played for Macuata, Suva Highlanders, Naitasiri and Northland Tailevu. Jo also played for the Potomac Exiles Rugby Team. Jo received a teaching contract in the Marshall Islands where he taught for four years. He met his wife there and wed in Fiji. Jo has done postmates, dog walking, personal training at the Balance gym, and currently been the Administrative Assistant for the Fiji Embassy in Washington DC. He has also coached the DC Furies’s team (women’s team) and currently coaching the Washington Rugby Football Club.
Esther was born and raised in Fiji and moved to DC 5 years ago after she met her husband who was serving as a Peace Corp. volunteer in Fiji at the time. A fluent Fijian speaker, Esther works as a senior associate at the Pew Trusts and travels to Fiji multiple times a year for Marine conservation matters and of course some good lovo. Before graduating from the University of the South Pacific, Esther represented Fiji at multiple international forums, including as one of the pioneers of the Kizuna program
Gerald was a Peace Corp. volunteer in Ra, Viti Levu from 2011 to 2013. With his masters in Environmental engineering, Gerald worked on several projects ranging from agriculture to renewable energy and bridge architecture. Gerald travels to Fiji at least once a year to visit in laws and volunteer village. Gerald keeps in regular contact with his host family and continues to support projects. After marrying in Fiji, Gerald and Esther moved to Fiji and he now works at the Environment Protection agency as an Environment Engineer.