Peace Corps to Receive Rotary International's Peacemaker Award
June 25, 2001Washington, D.C., June 25, 2001—The Peace Corps will be honored by Rotary International today with the Rotary Peacemaker Award—a tribute to the Corps’ commitment to world understanding and peace through its 40 years of service. The award will be given during Rotary’s annual convention currently being held in San Antonio, Texas. Peace Corps Acting Director Charles R. Baquet III will accept the Peacemaker Award on behalf of the organization.
Rotary is recognizing the Peace Corps for its efforts during four decades of volunteer work. The Corps serves worldwide to provide clean water to communities; teach children; help start small businesses; and stop the spread of AIDS. Peace Corps volunteers receive language and cross-cultural training, helping the volunteers adapt to the communities where they will spend two years of service. They work not only to improve life for those in developing countries, but also to increase America’s understanding of other countries and cultures, goals that fall in line with those of Rotary International.
“Part of Rotary’s mission is to improve understanding between peoples and nations,” said Rotary International President Frank Devlyn. “This award recognizes the Peace Corps contribution to our shared goal of peace.”
As part of this goal to improve understanding, Rotary recently created a program that will help prepare the next generation of diplomats and world leaders—the Rotary Centers for International Studies in peace and conflict resolution.
Rotary teamed up with eight outstanding universities from around the world for the program. A Rotary World Peace scholarship will support a student for a two-year masters-level degree program at one of the Rotary Centers to focus on dealing effectively with the obstacles that currently impede international cooperation and peace.
Former President John F. Kennedy established the Peace Corps in 1961 to promote world peace and friendship. More than 7,300 Peace Corps volunteers currently serve in 77 countries across the globe. Since the Corps’ founding, more than 163,000 Americans have volunteered in 135 nations.
The award given to the Peace Corps is the second Peacemaker Award presented by Rotary International. The first was awarded to Charles S. Rhyne of the World Peace through Law Center in 1988.