The Peace Corps Needs a Fresh Vision

The Peace Corps: Promoting World Peace and Friendship

The Peace Corps is a global organization that sends volunteers to countries around the world. Its mission is to promote world peace and friendship through meaningful service that tackles the most urgent needs of people around the globe.

Volunteers Making a Difference

Volunteers make a difference in the areas of education, health and nutrition, HIV/AIDS training, business development, information and communication, technology, community development, and agriculture. Since its founding in 1961, the Peace Corps has sent more than 235,000 American citizens to 141 countries, where they have been helping people build a better life for themselves and their communities.

Global Contribution and Cross-Cultural Learning

Through their service, these individuals are making a global contribution to society, learning a new language, developing cross-cultural, leadership, and teaching skills. In addition, they are learning about different cultures and gaining an understanding of how the United States has helped to shape the world. These skills are especially important in a time of rising anti-American sentiment around the globe.

Goals of the Peace Corps

There are three main goals of the Peace Corps: to help develop nations, to teach Americans and others about the world, and to promote an understanding of the United States among people in developing countries. In most cases, these goals are being achieved. However, some experts argue that the Peace Corps may be losing its independence, which can interfere with achieving its other objectives. A fresh vision could both invigorate the agency and enhance our national security.

Enhancing the Peace Corps Program

One way to achieve this would be to increase the number of volunteers and improve the way that they are supported. An enhanced program could entail a separate recruiting operation and a staff support structure that could be dedicated to backstopping older volunteers in each country office, or to implementing a one-year service commitment for those who were at the peak of their technical and civic abilities.

Restructuring for Better Effectiveness

Another possible solution to the problem of an over-eager focus on independence is to restructure the Peace Corps into a more conventional non-profit corporation under a board of directors that selects the head of the agency. Such an approach might make it more attractive to older Americans, who would benefit from a more structured program and might even be able to complete their service without termination. This restructuring might also allow the Peace Corps to pursue its goal of promoting an understanding of Americans among people in developing countries. Such a goal, which is particularly important in the current climate, is an area where the Peace Corps has made some progress over the past forty years, but it has not been enough to make a significant impact on the world.

The Peace Corps: Promoting International Peace and Coexistence

The goal of the Peace Corps is to promote international peace and non-violent coexistence among peoples of diverse cultures and systems of government. It is this message that could be most effectively delivered through the Peace Corps, especially in a time when people in many countries feel that the United States is seeking to extend its dominant position at the expense of other countries and cultures.

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