This post is part of Transform Consulting Group’s blog series highlighting federal programs that provide education opportunities and/or youth development services in communities.
The Peace Corps, an independent agency within the executive branch of the U.S. Government, is a volunteer program that sends U.S. Americans to help people in countries of the developing world. In 1960, Senator John F. Kennedy gave an impromptu presidential campaign speech at the University of Michigan challenging students to devote two years of their lives to help people in countries of the developing world. After becoming President, Kennedy established the Peace Corps in 1961. Between 1961 and 2013, over 215,000 Americans have joined the Peace Corps and served in 139 countries.
The Peace Corps budget was $379,000,000 for the fiscal year of 2014. Currently, there are just over 7,200 volunteers and trainees serving in 65 countries. Of those 7,200 volunteers, 63% are female and 37% are male. Volunteers must be at least 18 years of age. The average age is 28.7 while just 8% of volunteers are over the age of 50. Only 7% of volunteers are married. Minorities make up just 24% of the 7,200 volunteers currently serving in the Peace Corps.
The Peace Corps’ mission is to promote world peace and friendship by fulfilling three goals: (1) To help the people of interested countries in meeting their need for educated men and women; (2) To help promote a better understanding of U.S. Americans among the peoples served; and (3) To help promote a better understanding of other peoples among U.S. Americans. Volunteers can serve in one of the following areas:
- Community Economic Development
- Youth in Development
Peace Corps assignments are 27 months in length. A volunteer will spend 3 months in training and 24 months on assignment. A volunteer may serve in Africa, North America, South America, Europe, or Asia. The volunteer is not paid a salary but instead receives a stipend to cover necessities such as food, housing, and local transportation. Ninety percent of volunteers have a bachelor’s degree, however, a volunteer may qualify if he or she has significant experience in agriculture, carpentry, construction, or woodworking. Click here to learn more about volunteer opportunities in the Peace Corps.
The Peace Corps is committed to improving quality of life for people across the globe. Transform Consulting Group is also committed to improving people’s lives by helping organizations better serve their communities. Contact us today to learn more!