Peace Corps Reaches Highest Number of Volunteers Since 1974; Director Mark Schneider Joins Kick-Off of the International Year of Volunteers

Washington, D.C., November 28, 2000—Peace Corps Director Mark L. Schneider announced there are more than 7,300 volunteers and trainees serving around the world, the highest level in 26 years. This historic level comes at a time when the Peace Corps also has the most diverse body of volunteers in more than a decade. Schneider made this announcement today at the opening ceremony of the International Year of the Volunteers held at the United Nations in New York City.
"Today\'s Peace Corps is attracting a new generation of even more talented but equally committed Americans who want to help people confront new challenges in an increasingly connected world," said Schneider. "Today, as we kick-off the International Year of Volunteers, which coincides with the 40th anniversary of the Peace Corps, we applaud and celebrate their spirit of service, their willingness to sacrifice the ease and comfort for a greater cause—the cause of peace and progress."
In 1997, the United Nations General Assembly declared 2001 as the International Year of Volunteers, which aims to recognize the vital contributions of volunteers worldwide. The Peace Corps serves on the U.S. Committee of the International Year of Volunteers which is co-chaired by the Points of Light Foundation and the Association of Junior Leagues International.
Secretary-General of the United Nations Kofi Annan will deliver a keynote address at the opening ceremony, and will be joined by Sharon Capeling-Alakija, Executive Coordinator, United Nations Volunteers (UNV). The official launch of the International Year of Volunteers will take place on December 5, 2000 which is International Volunteer Day. On that day, Peace Corps offices around the U.S. and the world will recognize the 161,000 Americans who have served in over 134 countries since 1961.

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