April 4, 2002 - Press Release: Rep. Sam Farr proposes PC independence from Freedom Corps, Shriver Peace Fund, increased PC Support Staff, robust PC advisory board

Peace Corps Online: Peace Corps News: Headlines: Peace Corps Headlines - 2002: 04 April 2002 Peace Corps Headlines: April 4, 2002 - Press Release: Rep. Sam Farr proposes PC independence from Freedom Corps, Shriver Peace Fund, increased PC Support Staff, robust PC advisory board

By Admin1 (admin) on Thursday, April 04, 2002 - 12:08 pm: Edit Post

Rep. Sam Farr proposes PC independence from Freedom Corps, Shriver Peace Fund, increased PC Support Staff, robust PC advisory board

Read and comment on this Press Release from the office of Congressman Sam Farr on legislation that he will introduce to strengthen the Peace Corps. Highlights include the Peace Corps' independence from the USA Freedom Corps, establishment of a "Shriver Peace Fund", increasing PC support staff and creating a robust Peace Corps advisory board. Read the details at:


* This link was active on the date it was posted. PCOL is not responsible for broken links which may have changed.


'The Peace Corps must strive to support world peace and mankind's survival,' Rep. Farr says

(Washington, DC) - A longtime Peace Corps advocate and former volunteer, Rep. Sam Farr (D-Carmel) will introduce legislation in the coming weeks to expand the role of the Peace Corps.

"The Peace Corps has always helped people in developing nations to meet basic needs, promoted understanding of America's values and ideals aborad, and encouraged Americans to better understand their neighbors around the world," Rep. Farr said.

"But in this difficult and dangerous time, it is vitally important that the Peace Corps take on a fourth goal - that of supporting peace and the survival of mankind," Rep. Farr added.

On Dec. 19, Rep. Farr sent a letter to President Bush asking him to increase funding levels for the Peace Corps. In the wake of Sept. 11, the Peace Corps must continue to play its crucial role of educating people overseas about the good works and intentions of the United States, the letter stated.

"To my great delight, at his State of the Union address at the end of January, President Bush called for doubling the number of Peace Corps volunteers over the next five years," Rep. Farr said.. "I applaud this proposal, but I also believe my legislation is essential to ensuring that the Peace Corps remains viable."

Other aspects of the legislation include:

* Ensuring that the Peace Corps remain an independent agency, not connected in any way to the Bush Administration's USA Freedom Corps.

* Increasing outreach to the Muslim world.

* Using returned language and cultural expertise of returned Peace Corps volunteers to open or reopen Peace Corps programs.

* Educating all Peace Corps volunteers in the prevention and treatment of infectious diseases, including AIDS and HIV.

* Establishing the "Shriver Peace Fund," which will allow returned Peace Corps volunteers to develop activities in underserved areas.

* Increasing safety precautions for Peace Corps volunteers abroad.

* Increasing the support staff of the Peace Corps, both at home and abroad, to complement the increase in volunteers and to promote orderly growth of the organization.

* Strengthen and expand the "Crisis Corps." This group of returned Peace Corps volunteers works in post-conflict areas such as Afghanistan.

* Create a robust Peace Corps advisory board, and include returned Peace Corps volunteers.

A Peace Corps volunteer in Colombia during the mid-1960s, Rep. Farr found the experience so valuable that he wants to make sure others have the same opportunity. "Now more than ever, we need to promote volunteerism as a means of increasing international tolerance and understanding," Rep. Farr said.

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This story has been posted in the following forums: : Headlines; US Peace Corps - Congress; Special Report - New Peace Corps Legislation



By Ann Thompson Hannibal on Wednesday, April 17, 2002 - 9:21 am: Edit Post

We must be careful about increasing the size of the PC, often times quality is more important than quanity. Presently, temerity would prevail in terms of considering sending PCV to the muslim countries.

By Adryan Russ on Wednesday, April 17, 2002 - 12:29 pm: Edit Post

The Peace Corps has been, more often than not, a conflict-prevention organization since its inception in the 60s. Volunteers who have served can vouch for the way their presence helped to create a more positive perception of "the American." Today, Peace Corps has a more difficult job to do. Volunteers must come in, after an ever-increasing view of the "Ugly American," and try to change that perception. That's much more difficult.

PBS has shown a film called "Sleeping With The Enemy," in which a small group of Arabs and Israelis go to Japan together. They must eat together, sleep together, spend time together. The result is a miracle of human relations -- a greater understanding of and respect for one another.

That's what Peace Corps does best. Rather than condemn anger, hatred or revenge, and seek retaliation, the Peace Corps looks at what prevents peace, and goes to work from there. If there are countries willing to participate at this level, and volunteers willing to pursue this goal -- then I'm for increasing the size of Peace Corps.

By Russell Vickstrom on Wednesday, April 17, 2002 - 2:22 pm: Edit Post

Along with the Farr legislation to bolster the mission of and support for an independent Peace Corps, would anyone consider supposrting an amendment that would ease some of the income tax burden on currently serving PCV's and move from deferral of subsidized student loans to forgiveness of those loans? As the parent of a currently serving volunteer in Guinea, West Africa, I am appalled that the must file an income tax return to account for his $4 per day stipend and the imputed value of his readjustment allowance. It seems to me that with all of the scarifices these volunteers make, the least we can do is forgive some taxes and loans. I would be very interested to see what others think of this and whether or not it is an issue that should be pushed.

By Joanne Marie Roll (joey) on Wednesday, April 17, 2002 - 5:54 pm: Edit Post

We need to know more, now, about Farr's legislation. Why hasn't he chosen to post it here for comment? I am concerned that this may be special interest legislation designed to give monies to groups who are trying to cuddle under the Peace Corps umbrella. Post it Sam!

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