Anna Omura, operations manager at the Legatum Center for Development and Entrepreneurship at MIT, was presented earlier this month with a special award from the U.S. Peace Corps, in which she served from 2004 to 2006.
Omura, of Somerville, Mass., was one of nine returned Peace Corps volunteers who received the Franklin H. Williams Award, which honors ethnically diverse returned volunteers who exemplify a commitment to community service and to promoting a better understanding of other peoples on the part of Americans. Peace Corps Director Aaron S. Williams presented the awards to Omura and her fellow volunteers at a ceremony on Sept. 9.
Omura served in Peace Corps-Togo, West Africa, as a natural resource management (NRM) extension volunteer. Her work included reforestation, energy conservation, eco-tourism and agro-forestry. Additionally, Omura built, stocked and staffed a rural health clinic and worked with Togolese women's groups to start small enterprises.
Omura has served on the board of directors of the Boston Area Returned Peace Corps Volunteers (BARPCV) since 2009, chairing a group that connects returned Peace Corps volunteers with speaking opportunities at schools and events in the Boston area. In addition, Anna has led the BARPCV through a complete redesign of its website and continues to help maintain the site, which will allow for more returned volunteers in the Boston area and beyond to connect and continue their service.
Franklin H. Williams was an early architect of the Peace Corps. He worked at the agency from its inception in 1961 to 1963 and helped Sargent Shriver, the first Peace Corps director, promote the agency and its programs to the world. Nearly 200,000 Americans have served with the Peace Corps to promote a better understanding between Americans and the people of 139 host countries. To learn more about the Peace Corps, please visit www.peacecorps.gov.