In 1961, the Peace Corps was established by President John F. Kennedy. Its purpose: to promote world peace and friendship. Over the years 200,000+ Peace Corps volunteers have served in 139 countries.
The mission of the Peace Corps is comprised of 3 goals:
- Helping the people of interested countries in meeting their need for trained men and women.
- Helping promote a better understanding of Americans on the part of the peoples served.
- Helping promote a better understanding of other peoples on the part of Americans.
Over the years, the Peace Corps has accomplished these goals by adapting to the needs of the local communities and issues of the times. Volunteers address a wide range of needs including education for young people, access to clean drinking water for entire communities, business development assistance, HIV/AIDS awareness and information technology training and support.
The Peace Corps has 3 key programs:
- Peace Corps Response: provides returned Peace Corps Volunteers (RPCVs) with the opportunity to participate in short-term assignments around the world that are high impact.
- Graduate School: through the Master’s International program, Peace Corps Volunteers typically study for one year on one of more than 80 U.S. campuses then spend two years volunteering overseas while earning academic credit.
- World Wise Schools: originally established as a correspondence match program between U.S. school children and Volunteers around the globe, World Wide Schools provides educators with a range of resources to broaden students’ perspectives on geography, service and cultural understanding including videos, stories, classroom speakers, publications and lesson plans.
To learn more about the Peace Corps, their 50 year legacy and how you can get involved in their future, click here.
Congratulations to the Peace Corps – 50 years of creating positive change around the globe!
Photo by US Mission Canada (http://www.flickr.com/photos)/us_mission_canada/)