Peace Corps Volunteer Uses Sports to Promote Health, Fitness among Local Youth

WASHINGTON, D.C., December 19, 2011 Peace Corps volunteer Brandon Sheaffer of Mechanicsburg, Pa., is working with his community in Kyrgyzstan to improve students access to sports. Sheaffer is raising money for sporting equipment and uniforms through the Peace Corps Partnership Program (PCPP), a program to help fund Peace Corps volunteer community projects.

"This will be a useful project because it is centered on the health of students, and can shape them into responsible members of the community by teaching them sportsmanship, teamwork, and the benefits of exercise, Sheaffer, who has been an English teaching volunteer in Kyrgyzstan since March 2010.

Magnifying glass icon Students in Peace Corps volunteer Brandon Sheaffers village play basketball.The money raised through the Peace Corps Partnership program will help purchase wrestling shoes, basketballs, volleyballs, soccer balls, and uniforms for the school\'s sports clubs. The funds will also pay for coaches trainings on the rules and fundamentals of basketball, volleyball, soccer and wrestling.

Exercising and playing sports has been proven to build confidence, increase self-esteem, and promote physical and mental health, Sheaffer continued. By nurturing their students\' development in this way, the teachers and coaches will be setting them up for success in the future.

Magnifying glass icon Students in Peace Corps volunteer Brandon Sheaffers village play basketball.In order to receive funding through the PCPP, a community must make a 25 percent contribution to the total project cost and outline success indicators for the individual projects. This helps ensure community ownership and a greater chance of long-term sustainability.

One hundred percent of each tax-deductible PCPP donation goes toward a development project. Those interested in supporting Sheaffers project in Kyrgyzstan can visit Sheaffers project number is 307-195.

About Peace Corps/Kyrgyzstan: More than 940 Peace Corps volunteers have served in Kyrgyzstan since the program was established in 1993. Currently, 89 volunteers serve in Kyrgyzstan. Volunteers work in the areas of education, community development, business development and health. Volunteers are trained and work in Kyrgyz and Russian.

About the Peace Corps: President John F. Kennedy established the Peace Corps on March 1, 1961, by executive order. Throughout 2011, Peace Corps is commemorating 50 years of promoting peace and friendship around the world. Historically, more than 200,000 Americans have served with the Peace Corps to promote a better understanding between Americans and the people of 139 host countries. Today, 9,095 volunteers are working with local communities in 75 host countries. Peace Corps volunteers must be U.S. citizens and at least 18 years of age. Peace Corps service is a 27-month commitment. Visit for more information.

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