Brookings calls for More Peace Corps

Coalition on international volunteering calls for support of the More Peace Corps petition.

bbc

The Building Bridges Coalition — a project of the Brookings Initiative on International Volunteering and Service —asks today that all U.S. citizens “who believe that Peace Corps is an important part of our outreach to the world” sign the petition urging President-Elect Barack Obama to double the number of Volunteers serving through Peace Corps, as well as to support Peace Corps in specific ways.

The petition will be presented to Obama in a little over a week. Sign it here.

According to National Peace Corps Association (NPCA) President Kevin Quigley:

More Peace Corps means having the resources to respond to the more than 20 countries  that have requested programs for which Peace Corps has insufficient funds. It also means having the resources to give the many highly qualified Americans who would like to serve overseas the chance to do so.

More Peace Corps does not mean a simple expansion of the numbers of Peace Corps volunteers, although that is part of it.

More Peace Corps may mean revising the Peace Corps model in ways to take better advantage of the significant technological and demographic changes that have occurred in the 46 years since Peace Corps was launched.

More Peace Corps will consider how to make Peace Corps so much more
effective at addressing the problems of poverty. This will probably require
significant innovation and some risk.

The Building Bridges Coalition works to double the number of volunteers serving internationally by 2010 and includes groups such as Idealist.org and the NPCA (the independent group of Returned Peace Corps Volunteers).

One of the Coalition’s policy recommendations is to double the number of Peace Corps Volunteers, something President-Elect Obama also included in his pre-election stance on service. (Their other policy recommendations include the Global Service Fellowship and permanent authorization of Volunteers for Prosperity.)

To learn more, check out the More Peace Corps website, and read Ten Times the Peace Corps, a paper by Quigley and Brooking’s Lex Rieffel.

To sign the petition, go here!

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Ten Times the Peace Corps — and More Peace Corps 100 House Parties

Just in time for the Service Nation Summit, the Brookings Institution released a paper Ten Times the Peace Corps: A Smart Investment in Soft Power by National Peace Corps Association President Kevin F. F. Quigley and Brookings Non-Resident Senior Fellow Lex Rieffel. The premise of the paper is that a giant challenge for our next president is to re-establish good foreign relations, and that for the United States to succeed diplomatically we will need to show the friendlier or “softer” side to our power, and that Peace Corps Volunteers have been one of the best people to showcase that side. Hence, sending more Volunteers out into the field will help us meet our diplomatic goals.

Today, Sept 6, Peace Corps house parties are meeting around the world to re-invigorate Peace Corps. (See below.) The text below I copied from More Peace Corps:

100 House Parties on Saturday, September 6th! As of September 5, 2008, we have 118 parties confirmed in 42 states and 17 countries around the world!  What was originally imagined as a domestic affair has exploded into a global movement.  on September 6th, thousands of volunteers all over the world will convene for the Peace Corps.  If you would like to host a small gathering, it’s not too late!  Please help us reach our *new* goal of 125 parties and gatherings.

Through these parties, we hope to raise money, generate letters to lawmakers and get 5,000 sign-ups on http://www.MorePeaceCorps.org by the ServiceNation Conference on September 11th and 12th to show the presidential candidates that we are serious about doubling the Peace Corps.  What happens after we reach 5,000?  We go for 10,000 by October 14th, the historic anniversary of JFK’s speech at the student union of University of Michigan.

Click here to download a copy of our Organizer’s Toolkit with all the information you need to host your own House Party for MorePeaceCorps.

A huge thank you to all of our hosts!

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Have you hosted a More Peace Corps House Party, or attended? We’d love a report!