RPCVs ask Obama for More Peace Corps

Today the National Peace Corps Association (NPCA) launches a petition to seek Peace Corps expansion under the new Obama administration.

The independent nonprofit group of Returned Peace Corps Volunteers is asking supporters to sign a petition to advocate for the growth and strengthening of Peace Corps.

With the election of Barack Obama as the 44th President of the United States, the National Peace Corps Association and its MorePeaceCorps campaign has launched an on-line petition urging support for a bigger, better and bolder Peace Corps.  The petition is addressed to President-elect Obama, and will be presented to the Obama transition team.  We also plan to use the petition as a way of showing critical state and congressional district support during meetings in the coming months with Capitol Hill lawmakers. Take action right now, right here.

Read more about Obama’s pre-election stance on service corps programs.

Read more about the MorePeaceCorps campaign. Read Barack Obama’s letter to RPCVs in the fall 2008 issue of World View Magazine.

Barack Obama is arguably one of the most internationalist presidents in U.S. history, his father having come from Kenya; some of his elementary school years spent in Jakarta.

Agency Director Proposes Peace Corps Foundation

Peace Corps Director and Returned Peace Corps Volunteer (RPCV) Ron Tschetter today proposed the creation of an independent Peace Corps Foundation.

Since the inception of Peace Corps during the Kennedy administration, the agency has had three goals. The third goal has been to bring the world back home. The vision of the Peace Corps Foundation to support educating people in the United States about Peace Corps host countries and cultures.

This is from the press release issued by Peace Corps on Oct. 24:

Describing the idea during a town hall staff meeting, Director Tschetter said, “The Peace Corps Foundation would foster greater participation and support to Returned Peace Corps Volunteers and their organizations, encourage cross-cultural exchange, volunteerism through community events, classroom visits, and other educational activities. We now seek support and authority from Congress on this key priority for our agency, and I look forward to moving ahead on this initiative as soon as possible.”

“Groups such as the National Peace Corps Association and the numerous ‘friends of’ groups comprised of Returned Volunteers could greatly benefit from Foundation resources…

Ultimately, a Peace Corps Foundation building in Washington D.C. would serve as an educational facility where Americans, particularly children, would come and learn more about other cultures and countries, as well as how the Peace Corps fulfills its mission of promoting peace and friendship worldwide. The Foundation would also complement the Peace Corps’ Third Goal activities such as Peace Corps Week, the Coverdell World Wise Schools Program, and the publication of educational materials for teachers and students.”

Peace Corps Week takes place in the late winter and encourages RPCVs to speak about their cross cultural experiences in their communities and local class rooms.

World Wise Schools allows classrooms to adopt currently serving Peace Corps Volunteers as correspondents.

RPCVs and National Peace Corps Assocation-affiliated RPCV groups will likely greet the news of support for Third Goal activities with hope and curiosity.

Many groups work hard to make connections between their host countries and the United States, for example, members of the Columbia River Peace Corps Association in the Portland, OR, area have been working hard for years to launch the Museum of the Peace Corps Experience.

These are the three goals:

  1. Helping the people of interested countries in meeting their need for trained men and women.
  2. Helping promote a better understanding of Americans on the part of the peoples served.
  3. Helping promote a better understanding of other peoples on the part of Americans.