Interview with Joan Barker, August 15, 2023

Project: Peace Corps: The Returned Peace Corps Volunteer Oral History Project

Interview Summary

Joan Barker served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Niger from 2005 through 2007 in the Health Program. While attending Providence College in Rhode Island, Joan spoke to a Peace Corps recruiter at a job fair, and decided to apply. She was invited to serve in Niger after missing the cut off date for Kenya due to medical clearance. Her group trained in Hamdallaye, east of Niamey. Joan studied Housa language. Trainees were housed with local families. Joan’s first assignment was in Zongo Mozague to teach health and nutrition. Joan enjoyed her interaction with the people, but unrealistic expectations of village elders and opposition to women’s education made her job difficult. In her second year Joan moved to Birnin Konni to work with regional NGOs, visiting villages with local nurses to provide health education. She also taught English informally to members of her community. Joan credits Peace Corps service with giving her confidence and setting her on a path to work in adult education and Teaching English as a Foreign Language (TEFL). She has taught in the UAE and Afghanistan. She currently works with asylum seekers in Maine.

Interview Accession

2023oh0850_pcrv0855

Interviewee Name

Joan Barker

Interviewer Name

Julius "Jay" Sztuk

Interview Date

2023-08-15

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Barker, Joan Interview by Julius Sztuk. 15 Aug. 2023. Lexington, KY: Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries.

Barker, J. (2023, August 15). Interview by J. Sztuk. Peace Corps: The Returned Peace Corps Volunteer Oral History Project. Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries, Lexington.

Barker, Joan, interview by Julius Sztuk. August 15, 2023, 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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