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Peace Corps Volunteer Helps Build Community Playground in Ukraine

WASHINGTON, D.C., July 24, 2012 - Peace Corps volunteer Anne Jasperson of Corvallis, Ore., is working with people in her Ukrainian community to build a playground that will ensure that children have a safe area to play. A portion of the funds for the project will be raised through the Peace Corps Partnership Program (PCPP), a program that helps support Peace Corps volunteer community projects worldwide.

“Playgrounds are a vital part of communities as they provide children with physical, social and mental benefits as well as helping children build self-confidence, “said Jasperson, a graduate of The University of Denver. “In my community, children don’t have a safe place to gather and play. Instead, they play on old, broken equipment which is dangerous and very limiting.”

Community members will clean up the area before construction and plant flowers and trees around the playground.  A local construction company will also be in charge of the maintenance and cleaning to ensure the playground is safe and accessible to children. The town council is donating the land for the playground and purchasing a sandbox, benches and garbage cans for the area.

“Everyone recognizes the importance of having a safe place for children in the community to congregate and have contributed their time and manpower accordingly,” said Jasperson, who has been living and working as a community development volunteer in Ukraine since March 2011. “The safety of the children within this community is paramount. Community members have recognized the need for safer play areas and are working diligently to address this need.”

The community donated 38 percent of the total cost for the project. In order to receive funding through the PCPP, a community must make a 25 percent contribution to the total project cost and outline success indicators for the individual projects. This helps ensure community ownership and a greater chance of long-term sustainability.

One hundred percent of each tax-deductible PCPP donation goes toward a development project. Those interested in supporting Jasperson’s project in Ukraine can visit: www.peacecorps.gov/donate. Jasperson’s project number is 343-328.

About Peace Corps/Ukraine: More than 2,505 Peace Corps volunteers have served in Ukraine since the program was established in 1992. Currently, about 536 volunteers serve in Ukraine. Volunteers work in the areas of education, economic development, and youth development. Volunteers are trained and work in Russian and Ukrainian.

About the Peace Corps: Since President John F. Kennedy established the Peace Corps by executive order on March 1, 1961, more than 200,000 Americans have served in 139 host countries. Today, 9,095 volunteers are working with local communities in 75 host countries. Peace Corps volunteers must be U.S. citizens and at least 18 years of age. Peace Corps service is a 27-month commitment and the agency’s mission is to promote world peace and friendship and a better understanding between Americans and people of other countries. Visit www.peacecorps.gov for more information.

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