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From the Desk of the Executive Director
 

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From the Civic Education Project Newsletter, Volume 1, Number 2, Summer 1995

In the middle of July, the fifth annual contingent of Civic Education Project lecturers -- roughly 125 strong -- will gather in New Haven, Connecticut for their pre-departure orientation. Already, they are working intensively with CEP's New Haven staff to prepare their late-August departures: arranging flights, ordering books and teaching materials, coping with the maddening complexities of long-term visa applications.

At the same time, their predecessors, the 112 1994-95 CEP lecturers, are packing their belongings and heading home after a rewarding and challenging year teaching students and helping foster educational reform in Donetsk, Vilnius, Timisoara, Krasnodar and 40 other large and small cities throughout Eastern Europe and the NIS.

Meanwhile, in Washington, an intense debate rages about U.S. government assistance to reform in these newly-democratizing countries, with the kind of rhetorical excess and "waste and abuse" stories usually reserved for the equally intense debate on welfare reform.

Like any diverse group of educated people from many different countries, CEP lecturers hold a wide range of views on the merits of foreign aid programs, the proper balance of public and private funding for such efforts, and the relative importance and effectiveness of different types of assistance. Yet they share one simple conviction: that in their own modest ways, with energy and creativity rather than deep pockets, Western volunteers can serve as vital agents of change in Eastern Europe and the NIS.

On behalf of the Board of Directors and staff of the Civic Education Project, I salute and congratulate the 1994-95 CEP teaching corps for the countless small miracles they have wrought in this past year, and I welcome our 1995-96 faculty to the great adventure that awaits them.

Kerry Stephen McNamara
Executive Director
Civic Education Project