This week, Frame of Mind presents “Waging Peace: The Peace Corps Experience.”
Filmmaker Allen Mondell served as a Peace Corps volunteer in Sierra Leone from 1963-1965, shortly after President John F. Kennedy initiated the program. Mondell says his time in the Peace Corps was an “intimate, personal experience.” There, he taught English literature and world history, and also introduced his students to volleyball and basketball. In Waging Peace: The Peace Corps Experience, he not only recounts his time abroad, but he also highlights a diverse group of volunteers who sacrificed the comforts of home to serve in countries vastly different than their own.
Whether in Azerbaijan, Kenya or Guatemala, each volunteer offered their service in the form of teaching, assisting people with disabilities, and even magic – a universal language, as one volunteer
describes it. These volunteers wrote blogs and journals and took pictures that are shared in the film. But Waging Peace: The Peace Corps Experience also delves into the present lives of these volunteers and how their Peace Corps service continues to impact them.
Mondell is a long-time documentary filmmaker whose work has often aired on KERA. He wants his audience to realize that they “don’t have to make major changes, [even] small changes can make a difference in people’s lives.” He says he hopes that people of all ages considering the Peace Corps, will join.