Director Vasquez Meets with Volunteers Making a Difference in Gulf Coast

October 3, 2005

WASHINGTON, D.C., October 3, 2005 – From Houston to Baton Rouge, Crisis Corps volunteers continue to provide assistance to those in the Gulf Coast region who have been uprooted by Hurricane Katrina.

Today, Peace Corps Director Gaddi H. Vasquez visited areas of Louisiana devastated by Hurricane Katrina. While there, he met with volunteers and officials to ensure the Peace Corps continues to provide the most needed resources to the area.

"As Americans, we have an obligation to share our resources and assist when help is needed. The Peace Corps Crisis Corps program was founded on the premise of mobilizing when a crisis occurs, and this time the crisis was here at home," said Director Vasquez.

Presently, 132 volunteers have been deployed as part of the Federal Emergency Management Agency's efforts to assist the thousands of people who were forced to evacuate the area. Since Crisis Corps volunteers are trained in a variety of sectors and have diverse skill sets, they have taken a leading role in distributing supplies, as well as collecting information to help those who have been displaced.

Peace Corps began sending volunteers to the Gulf Coast on September 8 to work on 30 day assignments. This is the first time in the Peace Corps' 44-year history that volunteers have been sent to work domestically.

To complement the efforts of the Crisis Corps volunteers, the Peace Corps' World Wise Schools program has added a new section to their award winning curriculum that helps school age youth better understand the effects of a hurricane. Building off a curriculum that explores the effects of Hurricane Georges of 1998, the section includes lesson plans and valuable links for explaining hurricanes.
http://www.peacecorps.gov/wws/katrina.html

Nearly 600 returned Peace Corps volunteers have taken the opportunity to use their invaluable skills and experience to address ongoing community needs in 40 different countries since Crisis Corps inception in 1996. Crisis Corps volunteers work on short term projects, utilizing the skills they learned as Peace Corps volunteers and in post service careers. To find out more about the Crisis Corps' Katrina efforts, please visit the Crisis Corps section.

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