October 4, 2003 - Peace Corps 2004 Budget Request: Peace Corps 2004 Budget Request

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Peace Corps 2004 Budget Request

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Dear Member of Congress:

On behalf of Peace Corps Volunteers currently serving in 71 countries around the globe, I am honored to submit the Peace Corps’ fiscal year 2004 budget request of $359 million. While times have changed since the inception of the Peace Corps 42 years ago, the mission of the agency-to promote world peace and friendship-has not. Now more than ever, Americans are interested in humanitarian service and host countries are eager for our Volunteers. Peace Corps applications are up by 15 percent over last year’s levels and more than 20 countries have pending requests for Peace Corps Volunteers. With your continued support for our funding request, the Peace Corps can continue our on-going commitment to double the number of Volunteers in the field to 14,000 by 2007. The work of the Peace Corps has never been more relevant. Peace Corps service has emerged as a successful model for encouraging sustainable development at the grassroots level. Whether teaching children in Bulgaria, educating people about HIV/AIDS in Botswana, creating economic opportunities in Bolivia, or connecting communities to the Internet in Honduras, Peace Corps Volunteers are doing work that is valued by the people of other nations.

An example of Peace Corps’ powerful impact is Peruvian President Alejandro Toledo who, during his historic visit to Peace Corps Headquarters, shared the role that Peace Corps Volunteers played in his life. Toledo explained, "The Peace Corps opens a window to the world for many people, I went through that window and became President of my country."

I am particularly thankful for the consistent bipartisan support for the Peace Corps and look forward to working with you during the upcoming appropriations process. Sincerely,

Gaddi H. Vasquez


The Peace Corps: Promoting a Spirit of Service Throughout the World

"America needs citizens to extend the compassion of our country to every part of the world. So we will renew the promise of the Peace Corps, double its Volunteers over the next five years, and ask it to join a new effort to encourage development and education and opportunity."

President George W. Bush

State of the Union Address, January 29, 2002

The Peace Corps: Promoting a Spirit of Service Throughout the World

In his 2002 State of the Union address, President George W. Bush called on Americans to extend the compassion of our country to every part of the world. He renewed the promise of the Peace Corps to turn caring into action around the globe. Whether teaching children, educating people about HIV/AIDS, creating economic opportunities, or connecting communities to the Internet, Peace Corps Volunteers are doing work that is valued by the people of other nations.

The Peace Corps provides practical assistance to developing countries by sharing America’s most precious resource-its people. The close interaction between Volunteers and local communities has allowed the Peace Corps to establish an admirable record of service that is recognized around the world. For 42 years, more than 168,000 Volunteers, serving in 136 countries, have helped build the path to progress for people who want to build a better life for themselves, their children, and their communities. Around the world, Peace Corps Volunteers continue to bring a spirit of hope and optimism to the struggle for progress and human dignity. While times have changed since the Peace Corps’ founding in 1961, the agency’s mission has not. The three core goals of the Peace Corps are as relevant today as they were 42 years ago:

• To help the people of interested countries in meeting their need for trained men and women.

• To help promote a better understanding of Americans on the part of the peoples served.

• To help promote a better understanding of other peoples on the part of Americans.

The work of Peace Corps Volunteers has emerged as a successful model for encouraging sustainable development at the grass-roots level. Volunteers work with teachers and parents to improve the quality of, and access to, education for children. They work with communities to protect the local environment and to create economic opportunities. Volunteers work to prevent the spread of HIV/AIDS and to increase food security and access to potable water. Increasingly, they are training students to use computers and helping communities obtain Internet access.

The Peace Corps, however, is much more than a development agency. Its larger purpose is to empower people in developing countries to take charge of their future and to strengthen the bonds of friendship and understanding between Americans and the people of other countries. The on-theground, people-to-people relationships that Volunteers forge with host country colleagues and communities serve as a crucial foundation for international peace and understanding.

Representing American Values and Diversity

The men and women who serve as Peace Corps Volunteers reflect the rich diversity of America and represent some of the finest characteristics of the American people: a strong work ethic, a generosity of spirit, a commitment to service, and an approach to problems that is both optimistic and pragmatic. They often live in remote, isolated communities. They speak the languages and adapt to the cultures and customs of the people they serve, and in the process, Volunteers share and represent the culture and values of the American people, earning respect and admiration for our country among people who often have never met Americans.

Preparing America’s Workforce With Overseas Experience

Peace Corps training and service provide skills that are increasingly important to America’s participation in the international economy. Volunteers worldwide learn more than 180 languages and dialects, and receive extensive training that enables them to function effectively at a professional level in different cultural settings. Returned Volunteers often use this experience to enhance their careers and make further contributions in virtually every sector of our society-Congress, the executive branch, the Foreign Service, education, business, finance, industry, trade, health care, and social services.

Educating Young Americans

Through the Paul D. Coverdell World Wise Schools program, thousands of current and returned Volunteers share their Peace Corps experiences with American students, helping them learn about the people of other countries and providing them with positive role models for public service. These exchanges encourage students-especially those who have not had the opportunity to travel or experience another culture-to gain a global perspective and to realize that they can make a difference in their communities and in the world.

Contributing to America’s Legacy of Service

Encouraging service and volunteerism among the American people is part of a long tradition in the United States. Over 100,000 people contact the Peace Corps each year seeking information about serving as a Volunteer. After completing their overseas service, many Volunteers continue their commitment to volunteerism by offering their time and skills to community programs across the United States.

Priorities for the Peace Corps in FY 2004

Safety and Security: The Overarching Priority

Safety and security issues are fully integrated in all aspects of Volunteer recruitment, training, and service, with emphasis on taking personal responsibility at all times and assimilating into communities. Information provided throughout the process- to recruiters, on the recruitment website, in printed application materials and informational booklets, and during a new two-day pre-departure orientation and the three-month in-country training-includes the key message that being a Volunteer involves risk. Volunteers can and are expected to adopt safe lifestyles, and the Peace Corps has an effective safety support system in place. The Peace Corps uses four key elements in establishing and maintaining its safety and security framework for Volunteers and staff: research, planning, training, and compliance. Safety and security information is tracked and analyzed on an ongoing basis. The data analysis is used to enhance existing policies or develop new policies and procedures, as needed. After careful planning, changes are integrated throughout the agency. The training of Volunteers includes the most up-to-date safety and security information available. Last, compliance is essential to ensure that safety and security measures are adhered to and remain a top priority over the course of time. Each of these components helps create a framework to safeguard the well-being of Volunteers and staff, enabling them to carry out the Peace Corps’ mission.

Section 270 of the Peace Corps Manual is the core of the Peace Corps’ safety and security system and defines specific activities and measurable outcomes pertaining to:

• Country director responsibilities

• Volunteer/trainee responsibilities

• Monitoring, assessing, and disseminating information

• Training

• Selection and monitoring of sites

• Incident reporting and response

• Emergency action plans, which are regularly updated and tested

The chief compliance officer ensures compliance with mandatory and regulatory safety and security requirements. A new associate director for safety and security, who reports to the director, is now in place. In addition to the associate director and the chief compliance officer, a safety and security data analyst, four additional subregional safety and security officers, and three safety and security desk officers have been added in fiscal year 2003. In addition, safety and security coordinators at each Peace Corps post will be fully in place by September 2003. Unlike employees of other federal agencies, Peace Corps employees are permitted to work only for a maximum of five years, with few exceptions. Recently, Congress recognized that it takes time to establish appropriate safety and security networks in each host country and gave the director of the Peace Corps the authority to waive the five-year rule for jobs that involve safety and security. This new authority for positions that involve safety and security, both overseas and at headquarters, is being applied as a helpful tool to enhance continuity and stability in this crucial area.

Volunteer Growth

By the end of FY 2004, approximately 10,000 Americans will be serving in the Peace Corps. Given the changing political, economic, and social realities in the countries where Volunteers serve, the Peace Corps will continue to monitor its global presence to ensure that Volunteers are able to respond effectively to countries’ development needs. The Peace Corps will broaden and strengthen the activities and strategies initiated in 2003 to recruit the trainees needed over the next several years to reach the president’s goal of 14,000 Volunteers in the field by FY 2007.

"Our mission to promote world peace and friendship is as vital today as it was in 1961 when the Peace Corps was created. By living and working among different cultures around the world, Peace Corps Volunteers, Peace Corps staff, and returned Volunteers possess a unique perspective on crosscultural understanding."

Peace Corps Director

Gaddi H. Vasquez

Blueprint to Meet the President’s Challenge

Safety and Security: The Overarching Priority

The Peace Corps Blueprint to Meet the President’s Challenge

1. Reacquaint the American people with the mission of the Peace Corps

2. Expand recruitment efforts and increase the diversity of Volunteer applicants

3. Expand into new countries, optimize the number of Volunteers and staff currently working in each country, ensure a viable and productive job for every Volunteer, and expand the Crisis Corps

4. Explore new ideas and innovative partnerships

5. Strengthen and expand the scope of the Peace Corps’ domestic programs

6. Strengthen agency management and financial performance

7. Use world-class technology to provide high-quality training and programming

The Peace Corps continues to employ a thoughtful and methodical framework to meet the president’s challenge to double the size of the Volunteer corps while maintaining the highest standards of safety and security for Peace Corps Volunteers. The agency’s core mission and values endure unchanged. The Peace Corps will continue its efforts to increase the visibility of Peace Corps service among Americans and to select qualified, committed individuals who best represent America. As the agency sends an increasing number of Volunteers around the world, ensuring the safety and security of Volunteers remains the highest priority, running through everything the agency does, from recruitment to placement to service in the field. The following outlines the seven components that guide the agency’s response to the president’s call to action.

1. Reacquaint the American people with the mission of the Peace Corps

In a bold effort to reacquaint Americans with the Peace Corps, the agency established a threefold campaign to highlight awareness of the Peace Corps and its mission. Using technology, proven marketing techniques, and the efforts of staff, the Peace Corps began the process of telling its story through multiple venues. From a redesigned website to exploring new recruitment opportunities and working more closely with the returned Peace Corps volunteer community, awareness of the contributions of the Peace Corps continues to spread throughout America’s diverse population. The agency’s endeavors have been enhanced by President Bush’s formation of the USA Freedom Corps, an interagency initiative to advance volunteerism across the country. In numerous speeches, television interviews, and proclamations, the president, First Lady Laura Bush, and cabinet officials reminded Americans about the president’s "Call to Service," often citing the Peace Corps as one of the best opportunities to serve America internationally. On February 28, 2003, more than 7,000 returned Peace Corps Volunteers shared their overseas experiences with 525,000 students in the United States. Peace Corps Day 2003 served as an excellent opportunity for students, neighbors, and colleagues throughout the United States to benefit from the experiences of former Volunteers. Forty-five governors, 22 mayors, and nine county boards of supervisors issued proclamations recognizing Peace Corps Day, many holding proclamation ceremonies. Additionally, 12 members of Congress made remarks recognizing the important work of Volunteers; these remarks were published in the Congressional Record. Many members honored Volunteers currently serving from their home states or districts. This outpouring of support by national and local leaders, coupled with the former Volunteers’ commitment to share their experiences with Americans around the country, is unprecedented in the history of Peace Corps Day and made this year’s anniversary celebration the largest ever. Such dedication and enthusiasm will continue to aid the Peace Corps in its efforts to reacquaint Americans with its mission.

2. Expand recruitment efforts and increase the diversity of Volunteer applicants

Numerous steps are underway to reach out to a cross section of America. In addition to recruiting traditional Volunteers in their 20s, the Peace Corps is expanding its outreach to married couples, seniors, and the scores of men and women in their 30s, 40s, and 50s who are currently in the workforce or between jobs and looking to make a meaningful contribution.

In 2002, 13 new recruiters were hired, bringing the total number of full-time recruiters, dispersed among 11 regional recruiting offices, to 80. Nine new part-time campus recruiters were also added, increasing the total number of on-campus recruiters to 48. All new recruiters attend an intensive, weeklong training conference in Washington, D.C., to understand the Peace Corps’ unique mission and build the skills needed to reach potential Volunteers from diverse audiences. A new goal-setting and planning system has standardized and improved the effectiveness of recruitment activities and placement of Volunteers overseas.

In the fall of 2003, a new marketing campaign for recruitment will debut. Its goal is to increase the national awareness of the Peace Corps, and it will include a call to action to join the Peace Corps as a Volunteer. The new campaign will reach out to a cross section of American society and show the work of the Volunteer as a life-enhancing experience that meets the needs of communities around the world. Stepping beyond the traditional public service announcements for television, radio, and print, the Peace Corps plans to forge alliances with media partners to gain a larger share of donated media and cross-promotional opportunities. The new recruitment tools, including a video, collateral materials, posters, and print, radio, and television ads, will inspire viewers to take the next step in the recruitment process and talk with recruitment staff. Recruiters have expressed the need for a fresh approach as they reach into nontraditional, diverse markets that are less knowledgeable about the work of the Peace Corps. A thorough review was carried out to identify the obstacles that people face when applying to become a Volunteer. This six-month, agencywide evaluation produced a number of tangible ideas, such as better integration of applicant data via information technology, expansion of programming options, increasing current loan deferment options, and creation of new recruiting venues. These ideas, along with others, have been streamlined and prioritized for implementation-some immediately, others over the next two to three years. In addition to its traditional campus recruitment, the Peace Corps is collaborating with the American Association of Community Colleges to recruit significantly more community college students into service as Volunteers. By implementing strategically targeted and stronger recruitment efforts on campuses that have programs relevant to the Peace Corps’ project areas, the Peace Corps is reaching beyond its traditional recruiting grounds to forge essential new partnerships. The Peace Corps is also providing materials about community colleges to posts as they plan future Volunteer requests. Additionally, the Peace Corps places a high priority on increasing the number of Volunteer and staff applicants who reflect America’s diversity. As a result, not only do Volunteers themselves gain the opportunity to work with Americans from diverse backgrounds, but diversity among Volunteers working overseas demonstrates America’s pluralism and helps dispel stereotypes.

A Diversity Task Force was formed to build a Peace Corps that increases awareness around the world of our nation’s unique cultural background. The task force serves as a focal point for diversity issues in recruitment. The task force’s first assignment was to assemble people from various ethnic groups in roundtables to discuss how the Peace Corps can better reach individuals of different backgrounds. The task force then developed a four-tiered plan to implement recruiting and training goals, including a comprehensive awareness campaign, national and regional events for different ethnic groups, and an expanded number of recruiting locations. Recruiting more diverse Volunteers will continue to require even more creativity. Recruitment visits beyond college campuses, to locations such as work sites, places of worship, shopping malls, and community centers, are now underway. The review of recruitment techniques, the national awareness campaign, and collateral materials are specifically intended to attract a greater number of minority candidates as part of an expanded overall recruitment effort.

3. Expand into new countries, optimize the number of Volunteers and staff currently working in each country, ensure a viable and productive job for every Volunteer, and expand the Crisis Corps

Headquarters receives inquiries on a regular basis from the international community about the Peace Corps and how countries can be beneficiaries of Peace Corps programs. Volunteers are currently serving in 71 countries and have worked in 136 nations since the Peace Corps began.

In FY 2002, the Peace Corps reentered Peru at the invitation of its new president, Alejandro Toledo, after a 27-year absence. The Peace Corps also reentered Botswana and Swaziland with programs focused entirely on the HIV/AIDS epidemic. On June 20, 2002, 19 Volunteers departed for the brand-new country of East Timor. They were among the first Americans to arrive in this newly independent nation of the 21st century. The Volunteers are assisting the East Timorese in local governance promotion and community health.

The Peace Corps established four new programs in 2003, reentering Albania, Chad, and Fiji and launching a new program in Azerbaijan. The agency may complete one additional new country entry or re-entry later this year. The Peace Corps maintains its desire to increase the placement of Volunteers in Muslim cultures to foster more peaceful relationships with citizens of Muslim nations. Therefore, 60 percent of its planned entries or reentries will be in predominantly Muslim countries (defined as those with a Muslim population of 40 percent or greater), provided that appropriate safety and security measures are in place.

Another important step in expanding the number of Volunteers is to optimize the placement opportunities in countries where Peace Corps programs currently exist. Over the past year, the Peace Corps has sought advice from each country director about the possibilities for growth. In the Inter-America and Pacific region, for example, new pilot programs are underway in Guatemala and Jamaica to increase the placement of married couples. The Peace Corps also seeks to expand the size of the Crisis Corps, a program that mobilizes returned Volunteers to help countries address critical needs on a short-term basis. Volunteers reenroll in the Peace Corps for Crisis Corps assignments that typically range from three to six months. Because of their prior service, they have the language, technical, and cross-cultural skills needed to make an effective contribution in very challenging environments. Crisis Corps Volunteers generally receive the same allowances and benefits as Peace Corps Volunteers, including round-trip transportation, living and readjustment allowances, and medical care. Like Peace Corps Volunteers, they must be medically and legally cleared for service. In the past year, the Crisis Corps completed disaster reconstruction efforts in Belize and El Salvador. Post-conflict efforts in Bosnia and Herzegovina were a success and are now complete as well. To date, over 500 Crisis Corps Volunteers have served in 31 countries in Latin America, Africa, the Pacific, Asia, and eastern Europe. The Crisis Corps is currently recruiting Volunteers to work in Guinea, Kenya, Malawi, Namibia, and Tanzania on HIV/AIDSrelated activities and other humanitarian projects worldwide.

4. Explore new ideas and innovative partnerships

The Peace Corps has a constant infusion of new personnel, often arriving directly from the field, who bring with them fresh viewpoints and new ideas. Last summer a joint working group was established to increase collaboration with the returned Peace Corps Volunteer community and explore ways to make better use of their collective talents. The group is developing a cooperative agreement among local, regional, and national returned Peace Corps Volunteer groups. The agency will continue to consider expansion of its current alliances with organizations such as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Gates Foundation, and the AOL Time Warner Foundation, and will build on the new partnerships with Habitat for Humanity International and the National Geographic Society Education Foundation established in 2002.

In September 2002, the Peace Corps and Habitat for Humanity International signed a memorandum of understanding to formalize their relationship in selected regions of the world. The agreement allows Peace Corps Volunteers to join forces with Habitat for Humanity on projects in countries where they both work. Volunteers from each organization will work side by side to construct houses throughout the developing world. While Peace Corps Volunteers form unique bonds with the local communities they serve, Habitat for Humanity provides its expertise in construction and finance to housing projects. The first Volunteer under this agreement traveled to Samoa to begin a partnership with Habitat for Humanity in October 2002.

Similar partnerships will begin in several countries in the Inter-America and Pacific region, such as El Salvador, Guatemala, and Belize, in 2003. In a cutting-edge partnership for the Africa region, the Peace Corps is collaborating with the U.S. Department of Commerce, the U.S. Agency for International Development, private sector businesses, and the Senegalese government in the Digital Freedom Initiative. It is aimed at bringing innovation to Senegal’s small and medium enterprise economy to increase productivity and enhance competitiveness. Peace Corps Volunteers will be involved in teaching information technology skills to Senegalese that will enable them to apply technology to promote economic growth and opportunity. This initiative will assist Senegal with expanding the potential business and human capacity of over 12,000 telecenters and 300 cybercenters across the country. If successful in Senegal, the DFI partners will expand to other countries in Africa.

5. Strengthen and expand the scope of the Peace Corps’ domestic programs

The Peace Corps continues to strengthen programs that help educate Americans about other countries, providing domestic dividends for Peace Corps service. No other organization has accumulated such a breadth of knowledge and experience from working overseas at the local level. The Peace Corps now has more than 1.8 million Volunteer years of experience from over 42 years of service. More than ever before, this global knowledge must be harnessed and made available to the American public. The Paul D. Coverdell World Wise Schools program, which began in 1989, has helped more than 2 million U.S. students communicate directly with Peace Corps Volunteers all over the world. Currently, about 6,000 Peace Corps Volunteers are relating their experiences through correspondence with approximately 375,000 students in all 50 states. A curriculum based on Volunteer stories is being used in elementary and secondary schools, helping cultivate familiarity with the work of Volunteers and understanding of the cultures of other countries. As the students in these schools grow older, they become a "farm team" of possible recruits- and are more likely to consider Peace Corps service.

In December 2002, the Peace Corps unveiled its online library, providing interested parties with access to a multitude of documents and publications via the Internet. The library offers cultural resources and language manuals for teaching English as a second language, teaching resources on environmental studies and life skills training, community development resources, and planning materials for natural disasters. The library serves individuals and groups not only in the United States but all over the world.

Another domestic program is Master’s International, established in 1987 to meet two needs: the increasing demand from overseas posts for Peace Corps Volunteers with high levels of education and technical expertise, and the desire of universities in the United States to provide substantive, internationally focused experiences for their students. As MI program participants, graduate students combine their academic pursuits with a two-year Peace Corps tour. Typically, students complete all or nearly all academic course work on campus before beginning their Peace Corps service. After the Peace Corps, students return to campus for a final semester in which they are able to share their skills and experiences gained through Peace Corps service with the university community. There are currently 114 MI students serving as Volunteers. The Peace Corps’ Fellows/USA program, established in 1985, is another valuable domestic resource. This program develops and maintains educational partnerships that place returned Volunteers in internships in high-need U.S. communities as they pursue a graduate degree.

Each year approximately 300 returned Volunteers become Peace Corps Fellows to pursue graduate studies at more than 30 partner universities throughout the United States. The Fellows study at reduced tuition rates underwritten by the universities and private donors. While meeting academic requirements, Fellows work as public school teachers or as interns with nonprofits on projects of critical importance to local communities. Fellows/USA engages former Volunteers both in university communities and at the grass roots of urban and rural America, where they share the knowledge and use the skills they developed during their Peace Corps service to benefit fellow Americans. Fellows/USA programs currently serve communities in 19 states and the District of Columbia. Since its inception, more than 1,800 Peace Corps Fellows have worked to enhance the lives and the international awareness of thousands of Americans. In 2002, the Peace Corps and the National Geographic Society Education Foundation entered into a groundbreaking partnership that supported the production and wide distribution of a new publication called Building Bridges: A Peace Corps Classroom Guide to Cross-Cultural Understanding. It contains lessons designed to help students in the United States understand the perspectives of other cultures, leading to increased respect for those who are different from them-in the classroom and worldwide. The National Geographic Society Education Foundation is distributing more than 40,000 copies of Building Bridges to geography and social studies teachers through its network of alliances. Through this partnership, the Peace Corps has the potential to reach more than 2 million students in sixth through 12th grade. Building Bridges is available in print as a 48-page softcover volume and in downloadable form on the Peace Corps’ website.

6. Strengthen agency management and financial performance

To further the agency’s compliance with the President’s Management Agenda, the Peace Corps will continue to strengthen its management practices, financial performance, and budget execution. It will also extend its commitment to workforce reengineering in the context of responding to the president’s mandate to double the number of Volunteers worldwide.

The Peace Corps will continue to focus on workforce efficiency and customer service in FY 2004 with several long-term proposals, such as improving the processes the agency uses to recruit, select, and place Volunteers (the "Volunteer delivery system"); continuing to assess security functions in the agency; and evaluating appropriate overseas staffing levels to ensure the safety and security of and effective support for Volunteers in the field.

The most significant efforts in the finance and budget arena are in the phased rollout of a new financial management system. The Peace Corps has undertaken a multiyear, multiphase project to implement an integrated finance and administration management system. The phases occur in two branches: overseas and domestic. The first phase of the overseas rollout will be completed by the end of the fourth quarter of 2003, with overseas posts using a fully automated tool for financial reporting. The completion of the first phase of domestic implementation, also in the last quarter of 2003, will allow conversion of legacy data, and go live in the first quarter of 2004.

7. Use world-class technology to provide high-quality training and programming

Peace Corps training is being assessed and redesigned to support an expanded Volunteer corps and to ensure that Volunteers are prepared. A new curriculum will allow invitees to take advantage of training opportunities prior to their overseas departure and throughout their term of service.

Since most agency employees are limited to five years of service, it is important to preserve acquired institutional knowledge. The Peace Corps will expand its efforts to establish a knowledge management system to highlight best practices, identify staff expertise, connect information seekers to knowledge sources, support online discussion groups, and disseminate programming and training information to staff and Volunteers. The migration of overseas posts to the Windows platform, which will be completed in FY 2003, will provide every post with a comprehensive, up-to-date infrastructure. The agency has also started establishing an enterprise- wide information architecture to ensure that employees worldwide are working with an interactive set of tools. The enterprise-wide approach will also guide the management of the agency’s security information technology portfolio.

The Peace Corps’ website is being updated to provide a more efficient application process. Over 60 percent of current applicants use the online process. A new section of the website called Volunteer Life aims to improve applicant retention and offer a more informative interaction. Communication between the Peace Corps and potential Volunteers will be enhanced with the creation of portals for nominees and invitees, improved technology for publishing and updating country pages, and national outreach efforts. The invitee and nominee portals will integrate the online status check for applicants and offer improved content to invitees.


The Peace Corps has a clear mission that has served the agency well for the past 42 years. The president’s emphasis on Volunteer service and his proposal to double the number of Peace Corps Volunteers serving overseas in the next five years have created renewed interest in the Peace Corps worldwide. The budget request funding level will allow the Peace Corps to expand its global presence to 10,000 Volunteers and trainees, as well as maintain a high standard of Volunteer support. The safety and security of Volunteers will remain the overarching focus in establishing new programs in at least four new countries and reestablishing suspended posts. The agency will also continue to implement enterprise-wide information technology. Finally, the Peace Corps will continue to strengthen its vital relationships with one of its greatest assets -returned Peace Corps Volunteers-bringing the lessons they learned abroad back home and applying them to careers in business, communications, international development, education, and public service.

The renewal of the Peace Corps has never been more critical. As Americans answer the call to extend the compassion of our country to every part of the world, the Peace Corps remains a vital part of the equation. Whether teaching children, educating people about HIV/AIDS, or connecting communities to the Internet, Peace Corps Volunteers continue to promote a spirit of service throughout the world- one person and one community at a time.

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