Crisis Corps Reaches Historic High Mark

WASHINGTON, D.C., March 13, 2003—Today, Peace Corps announces the departure of Crisis Corps’ 500th volunteer, Jason Lewis Crooks of Uncasville, CT. Crooks arrived in Tanzania this week for a six-month assignment as part of the Crisis Corps’ HIV/AIDS Initiative in Africa.

The Crisis Corps is an innovative Peace Corps program that utilizes returned Peace Corps volunteers to provide short-term assistance in disaster relief and humanitarian response efforts. The program was established in 1996 and volunteers have served in 31 countries. Currently, Crisis Corps Volunteers are working in six African countries in the areas of drought relief, HIV/AIDS education, and assistance to refugees and internally displaced persons.

Crooks will work as a Behavioral Change Specialist in Zanzibar with Africare-ZANGOC. Africare-ZANGOC is a consortium of non-governmental organizations on the island whose goals are to improve upon already existing HIV/AIDS education efforts through the development of behavior change communications and activities.

Crooks previously served in the Peace Corps as a Water and Sanitation volunteer in Kenya from 1997-2000. In addition to creating income gathering projects to fund water and sanitation projects in his village, Crooks spent a significant amount of time focusing on HIV/AIDS education in his community. Crooks is a current Masters of Public Heath student at the University of Connecticut and an analytical chemist with Pfizer Pharmaceuticals.

Since 1961, more than 168,000 volunteers have served in the Peace Corps, working in such diverse fields as education, health, HIV/AIDS education and awareness, information technology, business development, the environment, and agriculture. Peace Corps volunteers must be U.S. citizens and at least 18 years of age. Peace Corps service is a two-year commitment.

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