Interview with Joe Green, July 19, 2021
Project: Peace Corps: The Returned Peace Corps Volunteer Oral History Project
Interview SummaryJoe Green served as a Peace Corps Education volunteer in Swaziland from 1987-1989. His interest in international development was sparked at 14 years old by a four week work camp project he participated in St. Lucia, and organized by Crossroads Africa. In spite of mixed reactions from friends and family, he applied and accepted an education sector position in Swaziland (eSwatini) one year after college graduation in 1987. The youngest and least experienced of 12 Peace Corps Trainees (PCTs), Joe's eight week pre-service training was held in Sebebe, 10 miles outside of Swaziland's capital, Mbabane. Joe was one of two African-American Peace Corps Volunteers (PCVs), and reported to have received strong support from a Black APCD during his first months. Assigned in the Hhohho region of northwest Swaziland in Ntfonjeni, he struggled to launch his adult vocational school coordination activities, because he received minimal information about available resources and history of those adult education coordinators who preceded him. And like non-Swazi Africans, he found his community was accustomed to international development workers, but many had difficulty relating to him as a young, single, foreign Black American man. Still, he launched sewing trainings, a co-op garden, remedial classes for elementary school teachers, and other vocational activities that the community continued when his contract ended. At his Close of Service (COS), he was nominated to be a Peace Corps Fellow and was brought to DC for APCD training. He was instrumental in developing the Youth Development program, which was the sector he supervised as an APCD in Jamaica from 1991-1993.
Interview KeywordSwaziland (eSwatini) siSwati language St. Lucia Chicago, Illinois vocational training adult education Peace Corps training Crossroads Africa volunteer service African-American culture South Africa apartheid South African divestment Boer culture (South Africa) international development intercultural understanding rural education community gardening teacher education teacher certification Peace Corps administration Jamaica Peace Corps Fellows program Youth in Development program Peace Corps Jamaica Peace Corps Swaziland Associate Peace Corps Directors administrative training program
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Green, Joe Interview by Craig Tower. 19 Jul. 2021. Lexington, KY: Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries.
Green, J. (2021, July 19). Interview by C. Tower. Peace Corps: The Returned Peace Corps Volunteer Oral History Project. Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries, Lexington.
Green, Joe, interview by Craig Tower. July 19, 2021, Peace Corps: The Returned Peace Corps Volunteer Oral History Project, Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries.
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