Peace Corps Week Highlights Work of Volunteers Worldwide

February 22, 2008

Former Volunteers actively promote cross-cultural understanding, world peace, and friendship

WASHINGTON, D.C., February 22, 2008 - From February 25 to March 3, 2008, thousands of former Peace Corps Volunteers from among the 190,000 Volunteers who have served over the years in more than 139 countries around the world will share their overseas experiences with schools and community groups around the United States during Peace Corps Week.

The week-long celebration marks the 47th anniversary of the Peace Corps, founded on March 1, 1961, when President John F. Kennedy signed an executive order establishing the Peace Corps as a new government agency. By giving presentations during Peace Corps Week, former Peace Corps Volunteers help Americans better understand the people and cultures they've experienced, and the many benefits of Peace Corps service. Additionally, by making presentations in classrooms, former Volunteers help create greater global awareness among students.

As part of the Peace Corps week celebrations and activities, over 30 U.S. classrooms will talk directly with Peace Corps Volunteers in the field via international phone calls. Students in U.S. classrooms will speak to a Volunteer overseas, and, in some cases, they will also be able to speak with host country nationals invited by the Volunteer to discuss cultural differences and similarities. These phone calls help fulfill Peace Corps' goal of advancing peace and friendship worldwide by promoting cross-cultural understanding between Americans and people overseas in the communities where Peace Corps Volunteers live and work.

Other events to be held throughout the country in honor of Peace Corps Week include Peace Corps fairs at universities, Peace Corps anniversary celebrations, community service projects, and presentations that promote volunteerism and global service. In addition, members of the U.S. Congress, State Governors and many municipal leaders will be recognizing the service of Volunteers from their communities in proclamations and official statements.

"I'm proud to be honoring the service of the 190,000 Americans who have served as Peace Corps Volunteers," said Peace Corps Director and Returned Volunteer, Ron Tschetter. "When Volunteers speak about their Peace Corps experiences, they share their deep understanding of the people and cultures around the world. The uniqueness of their experiences, and their dedication to the communities they have served demonstrates what's at the heart of the Peace Corpsthe promotion of peace and friendship worldwide."

Today, more than 8,000 Volunteers live and work in more than 74 countries around the globe. Peace Corps Volunteers work in such diverse fields as education, health, HIV/AIDS education and awareness, information technology, business development, sanitation, the environment, and agriculture.

For information about joining the Peace Corps, call 1-800-424-8580 (press 1) to speak to a local recruiter. To learn more about Peace Corps Week, call 1-800-424-8580 (press 2, then ext. 1961) or e-mail [email protected] Or, visit the Peace Corps Web site at www.peacecorps.gov.

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