Peace Corps Volunteers Celebrate Global Youth Service Day
April 28, 2010WASHINGTON, D.C., April 28, 2010 Peace Corps volunteers celebrated Global Youth Service Day by encouraging children and youth to improve their communities through service projects and Earth Day-related activities.
Observed April 23-25, Global Youth Service Day provided volunteers with an opportunity to engage youth and local community members in long-term service projects. For more than 10 years, Peace Corps volunteers and their partners have celebrated Global Youth Service Day and Earth Day through various activities. Volunteers have organized youth volunteer fairs, mentoring projects for children with disabilities, food and clothing drives, community cleanups, tree plantings, and deforestation awareness events.
Global Youth Service Day is a valuable opportunity for Peace Corps volunteers to help promote a culture of service in their host communities, said Peace Corps Director Aaron S. Williams. Volunteers engage community members especially youth in public service projects, and reinforce the concept of creating a sustainable impact for the greater good.
Peace Corps volunteers celebrated Global Youth Service Day 2010 in a variety of creative ways.
- In Ecuador, Brad Mattan, an urban youth development volunteer from Geneseo, Ill., coordinated a community cleanup with 3,000 youth and 100 teachers from the 10 primary schools and two high schools in his community. Separately, Ecuador Youth and Family Development Volunteer Jessica Baldridge of Covington, Ky., and a local association constructed and painted an 8by-15-foot mobile world map to be used in 34 local schools as a resource for world geography and cultural education. Baldridge and her community kicked off Global Youth Service Day with a youth-led cleanup of the central park and an open house highlighting local educational opportunities and programs.
- Peace Corps/Ukraine volunteer Barbara Trecker of Kihei, Hawaii, organized a cleanup for Earth Day with youth in her host community. They collected more than 20 bags of trash and planted flowers.
- Peace Corps/Ecuador Community Health Volunteer Lila Sheira of Seneca, South Carolina, celebrated Global Youth Service Day by organizing a game of Earth Day Jeopardy. She and 16 children from her community listed ways to take care of the Earth.
- Peace Corps/Cape Verde volunteers Edmund Burnett and Mark Berg of Roanoke Rapids, N.C., and Bozeman, Mont., respectively, worked at a local park. They helped organize a group of over 50 youth remove invasive plants, clean trails, and pick up trash. The event ended with donkey races to celebrate Earth Day and the groups efforts.
As Peace Corps approaches its 50th anniversary, its service legacy continues to promote peace and friendship around the world with 7,671 volunteers serving in 76 host countries. Historically, nearly 200,000 Americans have served with the Peace Corps to promote a better understanding between Americans and the people of 139 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.
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