November 2, 2003 - Peace Corps Online: "Keeping Kennedy's Promise" republished in expanded Second Edition

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By Admin1 (admin) ( - on Sunday, November 02, 2003 - 9:15 am: Edit Post

"Keeping Kennedy's Promise" republished in expanded Second Edition

Read and comment on this press release that after many years out of print the Peace Corps classic "Keeping Kennedy's Promise" is available in a new, expanded second edition. Copies of "Keeping Kennedy's Promise" are available from Kevin Lowther for $18.50 (including s/h). Please contact him at klowther AT africare DOT org to order a copy. Read this introduction to the expanded second edition by Jack Vaughn, Peace Corps Director from 1966 to 1969 at:


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


The reprinting of this primer of volunteer success abroad is well-timed. It comes at a time when volunteerism has risen to the top of the nation’s agenda. It comes right after President Bush has suggested doubling the size of the Peace Corps and, ominously, when field conditions in many Third World countries have suddenly deteriorated or become more complex.

Examined forty years after Kennedy’s first call and in a post Cold War context, this no-nonsense analysis might more appropriately be titled Keeping Volunteerism’s Promise. All the guidelines and warnings are there. If anything, the lessons authors Lucas and Lowther learned are more relevant in today’s more pressured world than in the sixties and seventies.

The two authors bring impressive resumes to match their candor and insights. This significant work reflects both their volunteer and staff experience in Africa and Washington, D. C. Their having had first-hand access to the long-confidential internal evaluations of the Peace Corps helps lift their insights and judgments beyond the anecdotal. Every Peace Corps staff member should have this book as a prime reference.

Jack Vaughn
Director, Peace Corps, 1966 - 69
March 2002

About the Authors

The authors, C. Payne Lucas (center) and Kevin Lowther (right)—shown above in 1979 with Zambia’s then-President Kenneth D. Kuanda— together logged nearly two decades of cumulative experience with the Peace Corps. C. Payne joined the Peace Corps headquarters staff in 1961 and served as Peace Corps Director in Togo and Niger before returning to Washington in 1966 to become Deputy Regional Director for Africa. In 1967, he became Regional Director for Africa. Kevin Lowther served as a Volunteer in Sierra Leone from 1963-65. He then participated in a training program and served recruitment, assigned to visiting historically black colleges in the South during the first half of 1966. He joined the Washington staff as a public information officer in 1966 and the Africa Region in 1967 as Operations Officer for Southern Africa.

In 1969, Lucas and Lowther were asked by Peace Corps Director Joe Blatchford to establish a new office to help returned Volunteers to apply the skills they had developed abroad into relevant community-based and professional activities at home. In 1971, as they departed the Peace Corps, Lucas and a group of ex- PC staff and Volunteers established Africare. Lowther became a newspaper editor for seven years, then joined the Africare staff to open its first program in Southern Africa. He spent five years in Zambia and came back in 1984 to run Africare's expanding portfolio of eight countries in Southern Africa.

C. Payne Lucas has been honored by several U.S. presidents as well as leaders of more than two dozen African nations, receiving decorations from the national orders of Benin, Cote d'Ivoire, Niger, Senegal and Zambia, and the 1984 U.S. Presidential End Hunger Award for Outstanding Individual Achievement "in the effort to achieve a world without hunger." C Payne Lucas was recently honored by the Peace Corps with the Franklin H. Williams Award for outstanding leadership contributions that returned Peace Corps Volunteers of Color have made in the area of community service. He was recently honored at the Peace Corps' "Fortieth plus one" celebrations along with Peace Corps Founding Director Sargent Shriver as a "Peace Corps Giant."

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This story has been posted in the following forums: : Headlines; History; Safety and Security of Volunteers; Expansion; Critique



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