As early as 1994, the government of Georgia indicated interest in hosting Peace Corps Volunteers. In late 1999, after repeated inquiries from the Georgian government and with affirmations from the U.S. embassy that the security and development situation was highly favorable for Peace Corps Volunteer activities, the potential for a program was reassessed. Following a positive review, the Peace Corps began designing the Georgia program in 2000.
In exploring various programming opportunities, Georgian government officials and Peace Corps staff determined that an education project targeting English language learning, interactive teaching methods, and the use of new technologies would meet the nation’s growing demand for English language competence and have great potential for enhancing the capacities of the Georgian education system. In 2001, 21 Volunteers arrived to work in secondary English teaching assignments. In 2004, Peace Corps/Georgia initiated a nongovernmental organization (NGO) support project with 10 Volunteers, which has evolved into the Individual and Organizational Development project.
The unexpected August 2008 invasion of Georgia by Russian forces led to the evacuation of all Peace Corps/Georgia Volunteers. By mid-August all fighting had ceased, but Russian forces continued to occupy areas of Georgian territory well beyond the boundaries of Abkhazia and South Ossetia. With no immediate resolution in sight, Volunteers either transferred to other posts or closed their service. Peace Corps/Georgia welcomed the next group of Volunteers in 2009. The program gained strength with both English Education and Individual and Organizational Development Volunteers serving across the country. Then in 2010, Peace Corps/Georgia initiated the Peace Corps Response program and brought in 15 Volunteers with specialized skills in different areas such as environmental education, tourism, English teacher training, and others. Since then, a new group of Response Volunteers has served in short-term assignments each year. Since 2001, more than 500 Volunteers have served with Peace Corps/Georgia.