Peace Corps Awards Second Round of AOL Time Warner Foundation Peace Packs
January 18, 2002International Partnership Aims to Expand Digital Opportunity in Underserved Communities around the World
WASHINGTON, January 18, 2002—The Peace Corps, in partnership with the AOL Time Warner Foundation, recently presented its second round of Peace Packs to Peace Corps Volunteers in 21 countries to help bridge the international digital divide and extend the benefits of the information revolution. Initiated in January 2001, the Peace Packs program provides basic information technology resources to support a variety of community-based projects developed by Peace Corps Volunteers worldwide. The Peace Packs are grant awards that include computers, software, printers, Internet connectivity and various peripherals such as digital cameras, scanners and PDAs.
Lloyd O. Pierson, Acting Deputy Director of the Peace Corps, said, "Because many of the communities in which Peace Corps Volunteers serve lack access to computers, these innovative technology packages will strengthen the Volunteers' local efforts as well as work to combat the digital divide. The generous support of the AOL Time Warner Foundation is truly making a difference at the grassroots level in countries throughout the world."
Peace Packs were awarded to 39 Volunteers across the globe based on their unique and innovative proposals to integrate information technology into local health, education, micro-enterprise and other community development projects. Peace Corps Volunteers will also use the Peace Packs to teach computer skills, connect remote communities to the Internet and keep in touch with their fellow Volunteers for advice, support and ideas.
Kathy Bushkin, senior vice president of AOL Time Warner and president of the AOL Time Warner Foundation, said, "The Peace Pack program is extending the positive impact of the information revolution to local development projects across the globe, and we are delighted with the initial success of the program. We look forward to continuing to expand these digital opportunities to Peace Corps Volunteers and underserved communities over the coming year."
By the close of this year, the Peace Corps partnership with the AOL Time Warner Foundation will have awarded more than 120 Peace Packs valued at approximately $1,000,000 in the aggregate. More than 7,000 Peace Corps Volunteers serve in 70 countries working to teach children, helping to improve health and nutrition of families, bringing clean water to communities and preventing the spread of AIDS and assisting small businesses and non-governmental organizations improve management techniques.