Peace Corps Announces Volunteerism Initiative

December 5, 2008

Director Tschetter unveils new online volunteerism guidebook on International Volunteer Day

WASHINGTON, D.C., December 5, 2008 - Peace Corps Director Ronald A. Tschetter today unveiled the V2 volunteerism initiative, with a Volunteerism Action Guide designed to support host country volunteerism overseas. The V2 Action Guide will help Peace Corps Volunteers motivate and inspire host country communities to engage in more service activities.

"In America, we have a wonderful culture of volunteerism and service to others, which is unique and should be shared," said Director Tschetter. "Many heads of state have expressed to me a need for domestic volunteerism in their own countries, and I'm thrilled to announce the V2 volunteerism initiative. The Peace Corps is the gold standard for volunteerism, and we look forward to spreading this spirit of volunteerism to the communities where we currently serve."

The V2 Action Guide is designed to help Volunteers and their partners develop service learning projects in their local communities. The guide will also assist Volunteers in creating a customized volunteer action guide for a local group that can then be translated into a local language for community use. This guide is designed to be used in tandem with many other existing resources Peace Corps makes available to Volunteers in-country.

Many Peace Corps Volunteers are already promoting volunteerism and service in their communities, particularly with young people. Peace Corps Volunteers reach over 1.6 million young people every year, and in most of the countries where Volunteers serve, over 50 percent of the population is under 25. The V2 Action Guide will provide Volunteers with more tools to assist local partners in building relevant skills as they serve others in their own communities.

As the Peace Corps approaches its 50th anniversary, its service legacy continues to promote peace and friendship around the world. Historically, over 195,000 Volunteers have helped promote a better understanding between Americans and the people of the 139 countries in which they have served. Applications to serve in the Peace Corps have increased 16 percent this past year, the largest boost in the last 5 years. Currently, 7,876 Peace Corps Volunteers are serving in 76 countries. Peace Corps Volunteers must be U.S. citizens and at least 18 years of age. Peace Corps service is a 27-month commitment.

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