Peace Corps Announces Substantial Growth in Volunteers Abroad

April 28, 2003

Over 1,100 Americans Begin Service

WASHINGTON, D.C., April 28, 2003—Peace Corps Director Gaddi H. Vasquez announced that Peace Corps is experiencing substantial growth in the number of Americans serving abroad. By the end of April, more than 1,100 trainees will have been sent to posts worldwide since the beginning of the year. These assignments range in location from Africa to Asia, and to Central and South America.

Receiving these new trainees are: Panama, Nicaragua, Thailand, Guatemala, Uzbekistan, South Africa, Mali, Bolivia, El Salvador, Zambia, Paraguay, Philippines, Guyana, Madagascar, Bangladesh, Costa Rica, Honduras, Romania, Dominican Republic, Haiti, Ecuador, Nepal, Malawi, Uganda, Ukraine, Senegal, Botswana, Georgia, Namibia, Eastern Caribbean, East Timor, and Bulgaria.

At the end of 2002, requests for applications had risen by 30 percent, and new applications had risen by 18 percent over the previous year. With increased requests for applications, a record number of Americans are heeding President Bush’s call to service. In his State of the Union Address on January 29, 2002, the President called for every American to commit at least two years—4,000 hours over a lifetime—to the service of neighbors, the nation, and communities abroad.

Director Vasquez said, “Peace Corps’ volunteer numbers are a reflection of Americans’ willingness to step forward and take up the President’s call. If the upward trend continues, Peace Corps will be well on its way to fulfilling its goal of doubling the number of volunteers by the year 2007—a historic goal which has not been reached since the early ‘60s.”

To learn more about volunteer opportunities with the Peace Corps and how to apply, please call 1.800.424.8580 to speak to a recruiter or visit the Peace Corps Web site at www.peacecorps.gov.

Since 1961, more than 168,000 volunteers have served in the Peace Corps, working in such diverse fields as education, health and HIV/AIDS awareness and education, 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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