Introducing Our New Board Members
Amanda Sutker (Adaba, West Arsi, 2012-14)
My name is Amanda Sutker and I served as a Peace Corps/Ethiopia G7 Volunteer from 2012 to 2014. I was an English teacher trainer in Adaba, a small town in West Arsi between Shashemene and Robe. During my service, I worked with Ethiopian English teachers, many of whom studied English under PCVs in the 1960s and 1970s. I also taught seventh and eighth grade spoken English courses, mentored a group of high school girls, and coordinated a story development initiative between PCVs and graduate writing students in the United States that resulted in the distribution of 2,000 English language anthologies throughout Ethiopia.
I currently live in Washington, D.C. and work as a writer with the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service’s Legislative and Public Affairs program. Outside of work I mentor a recent Ugandan refugee, practice yoga, and attend a small, diverse church (where an Oromo congregation meets in the afternoon).
I decided to join the board because I appreciate the formal organization of a returned Peace Corps group, and I’d like to help build a bridge between the generation of RPCVs who have taken leadership of the E&E RPCV group and recently returned RPCVs like me. Since I live in DC, I also think I have a lot to offer in planning E&E reunions at the NPCA conference. I’m working with Barry Hillenbrand (Debre Marcos 63–65) to plan a small event for E&E RPCVs in January, and we’ve even coordinated a local Ethiopian-American comedian to attend the dinner.
I look forward to working on the Board.
Kristen (Straw) Barredo (2007–09)
My name is Kristen (Straw) Barredo and I was in the first Peace Corps group to re-enter Ethiopia in 2007. I was assigned to the Finote Selam (West Gojjam) HIV/AIDS Prevention and Control Office. During my time in Finote Selam I worked with women and youth affected by HIV/AIDS, as well as the People Living with HIV/AIDS Association, to start income generating projects. Through grants and other funding our office was able to raise, we were able to support groups to start a grain mill, hair salon, a new café near the hospital, small shops, and Finote Selam’s first automatic washing machine for a laundry service! I also participated in many Woreda HIV/AIDS education campaigns and guest-taught health and English classes at the middle schools and high school.
Since 2009, I have been working in the humanitarian and emergency relief sector and had the opportunity to return to Ethiopia multiple times and live there again during 2012–2013.
I am excited to use my experience in managing grants and privately funded projects to continue the good work the E&E RPCV Legacy Program is doing. I look forward to hearing your ideas on how we can continue to support projects in Ethiopia and Eritrea!