How to Support Your Loved One When They Join the Peace Corps

What to do when your loved one goes to peace corps

So – you’ve just found out that your loved one is due to move to another country with the Peace Corps, on their mission to improve the lives of others around the globe.  It may be a shock to the system when you get the news, and you’ll feel emotional, especially as they’ll be away from their family for so long. But, it is important to remember that they are doing an amazing thing, by helping the less fortunate so selflessly. So, let’s help them transition into this new chapter. The guide below contains a list of things that you can do to let your loved one know that you care about them from hundreds of miles away.

Throw a Leaving Party

Throwing a leaving party is the perfect way to round up everyone they care about in one place, so they can catch up with the people they care about. It’s a thoughtful way to spend valuable time with their nearest and dearest – they might not see them in person again for a couple of years, so invite everyone you know and make it a night to remember!

Write Regular Letters

Make sure they don’t feel too homesick by sending them regular personal letters. Include photos, updates on what’s going on in your hometown, and messages of encouragement which will make them feel loved and reconnected with home.

Ask them questions, and ask to receive letters back (if possible) about what they’ve been up to, friends they’ve made and new experiences they’ve had. This shows you’re truly interested in their life, and means they have a great memory bank of their time spent abroad when they get home. They’ll be able to re-read the letters and reflect on what they were thinking and doing at the time.

How to Support Your Loved One When They Join the Peace Corps

Send Them Money

You may want to offer support by sending money to their local bank account in their post country. (Since they will be based there for around 2 years, let them know they should open a local bank account so they can keep track of their finances and buy things easily.)

The Peace Corps are a charitable organization that pays their volunteers a small amount. So, the volunteer will need to save up their own money before leaving.

You want to be assured that your money is delivered safely and securely – and the best way to do this is using a money transfer app like Pangea Money Transfer. With this service, you can instantly send money to 15 different countries, straight from your bank account to theirs.

As a parent, using the app is great for sending living expenses money to support your child’s mission, and for sending money for flight tickets back home.

Send Care Packages

If you can, wrap up parcels of clothes, toiletries and items that will remind your loved one of home. This might only be possible in some locations, as they might be stationed in a remote African village, for example, where the post may not reach them.

If you can’t send packages, be sure to telephone them on regularly, to stay connected and let them know you care.

Help with Adjusting to Life in a New Country

Before your loved one leaves, here are a few helpful ideas to support them in adjusting to their new country and culture:

  • Get them a language book, some tuition, or a subscription to a language learning service, so they can begin to communicate with the locals.
  • Buy them a few clothing items, like sandals and t-shirts, as they’re most likely going to a hot country.
  • Find a guide (like a Lonely Planet book) about their new country, so they can learn about cultural norms and what’s expected of them there, such as clothing expectations, the climate, local amenities, etc. These in-depth guides usually have sections for each city and town in the country, so they can learn exactly what to expect from their new location. (Make sure you get the most up-to-date edition!)

It may be tough for you to say goodbye to your loved one, but remember they are feeling the pain of leaving their family behind too. By, staying connected and regularly sending them reminders that you’re not going anywhere, will help them adjust to their new life and to look forward to reuniting with you again soon.

Do you have a loved one who is in the Peace Corps? How do you cope? Please share your tips in the comments below.

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Leyla Preston (599 Posts)

Leyla Preston is the owner and Editor of Motherhood Diaries global magazine for parents. Leyla is a busy mother of two even busier boys; Aron, 8, and Aidan, 7. When Leyla isn’t feeding, managing a gazillion tasks or cleaning the infinite mess at home, she is busy working on this magazine and a new cooking channel coming very soon – no rest for the wicked! You can follow Leyla on Twitter (@M_Diaries) or join the busy Motherhood Diaries Facebook group where all mums get together and share stories and solutions with one another: