With a focus on continued service at home,
Atlanta Area Returned Peace Corps Volunteers (AARPCV) coordinates a community service project in the Atlanta area every quarter. For the first project of the year on Saturday,
March 24, thirteen Returned Peace Corps Volunteers gathered at a warehouse on the outskirts of Atlanta to volunteer their
time to the Global Soap Project, an organization that “recovers discarded soap from hotels, reprocesses it into new bars & distributes it to vulnerable
populations throughout the world,” including orphans, disaster victims, prisoners, and refugees in 18 countries. After an orientation introducing the group to the background of the project and the procedures involved in
the soap recycling process, volunteers gloved up and dived into the work. For the next several hours, everyone shaved
away at soap bars donated from hotels, cleaning them before reprocessing into new bars for distribution. “I
really enjoyed learning about the project and getting my hands dirty (or clean?) in the process!” said AARPCV Vice President
Jessica Otieno (Kenya, 2003-2005). Lara Wagner (Mongolia, 2009-2011) added, "It was wonderful
to roll up my sleeves again and get back to making a difference. It didn’t hurt that I was working alongside some amazing
people and it was great to bond over our shared Peace Corps connection." Several volunteers
had just returned and were eager to continue serving and creating a positive impact, including Leticia Davila (Honduras, 2010-2012).
“I felt right at home volunteering amongst other RPCVs, especially since I just returned from my service this February
as a Health Advisor in Honduras.” Many of the recipient areas for the finished soap product are also Peace Corps
service countries, such as Cameroon, Ecuador, Honduras, and Kenya, which made the project even more relevant and connected
volunteers with their country of service.