October 17, 2004: Headlines: Volunteers for Prosperity: The Free Lance-Star: Volunteers for Prosperity is building a network of organizations--both nonprofits and businesses--that support international voluntary service

Peace Corps Online: Peace Corps News: Peace Corps Library: Volunteers for Prosperity: October 17, 2004: Headlines: Volunteers for Prosperity: The Free Lance-Star: Volunteers for Prosperity is building a network of organizations--both nonprofits and businesses--that support international voluntary service

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Volunteers for Prosperity is building a network of organizations--both nonprofits and businesses--that support international voluntary service

Volunteers for Prosperity is building a network of organizations--both nonprofits and businesses--that support international voluntary service

Volunteers for Prosperity is building a network of organizations--both nonprofits and businesses--that support international voluntary service

Faith leads volunteers to valuable work

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Faith-based volunteering can help make the world a better place.

Date published: 10/17/2004

ST. LOUIS--The French prime minis- ter during World War I, Georges Clemenceau, famously said, "War is too important to be left to the generals."

As the political leader of a free and democratic nation, he zeroed in on the importance for civilian leaders, and citizens, to take responsibility for their own national-security policies and operations.

By analogy I'd like to propose: Peace is too important to be left to professional diplomats. Of course we need the skills and commitment of professional diplomats and development specialists, just as we need expert professional military leadership.

But it's absolutely vital that we also have volunteers to carry out America's involvement in promoting global prosperity, health, good governance, and the other fundamentals of peace.

For this reason, President Kennedy and Sargent Shriver had the vision to create the Peace Corps: an opportunity to let talented and spirited volunteers work with career specialists to promote health, education, and economic growth in developing countries.

President Bush has said: "Government can't love."

The president says, "Government can't put hope in a person's heart, or a sense of purpose in a person's life. That is done by loving individuals who spread their love."

Works of compassion come freely from the individual human heart, through voluntary associations, many of these communities inspired by religious faith.

This is why President Bush established the offices of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives, which help to allow faith-based organizations to participate freely and effectively in cooperation with government programs in works of compassion.

Related to this is another initiative of President Bush's: Volunteers for Prosperity.

Announced last year, this is a companion program to the Peace Corps. The Peace Corps requires its volunteers to serve continuously for at least two years overseas.

About 7,500 Peace Corps volunteers currently are in the field. President Bush is committed to increasing the Peace Corps budget and the number of Peace Corps volunteers.

Meanwhile, the president also perceived a need to promote and coordinate efforts by American professionals to donate their time for shorter, more flexible terms of service consistent with the United States' overall strategy for global peace and prosperity.

Scores of thousands of skilled Americans already are serving, or are available to serve, in such short-term volunteer assignments.

Here is how Volunteers for Prosperity works:

The office of Volunteers for Prosperity is based in the U.S. Agency for International Development. We coordinate Volunteers for Prosperity operations at three cabinet departments: State, Commerce, and Health and Human Services. We report to the White House office of USA Freedom Corps; this office coordinates all federally supported volunteer programs, domestic and international, including the Peace Corps, AmeriCorps, and Senior Corps.

Ours is not a program or grant-making office. It is a very small coordinating office. To say we are "lean and mean" would be only half-true. We are "lean and compassionate."

Volunteers for Prosperity is building a network of organizations--both nonprofits and businesses--that support international voluntary service. Nonprofits participate either by directly placing and managing skilled volunteers in overseas assignments, or by mobilizing volunteers to serve under the direction of other organizations. Businesses participate by encouraging employees to serve as international volunteers.

For grant-making and program purposes, Volunteers for Prosperity initially is focused on six foreign assistance initiatives: the President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief, the Middle East Partnership Initiative, the Digital Freedom Initiative, the Water for the Poor Initiative, the Trade for African Development and Enterprise Initiative, and the Millennium Challenge Corp.

The Volunteers for Prosperity office does not directly award grants; instead, it monitors and facilitates compliance by the grant-making offices with the president's executive order concerning grants for organizations using skilled volunteers.

Individuals and grass-roots charities can make a tremendous impact for a better world. An outstanding example of the model of short-term, flexible volunteer service promoted by Volunteers for Prosperity comes from here in St. Louis.

During the 1980s, a surgeon from St. Louis University Hospital, Dr. Theodore Dubuque, went on a volunteer medical mission to the Sacred Heart Hospital in the village of Milot in Haiti.

His enthusiasm for this endeavor led him to organize a foundation to take ownership and management responsibility for the hospital. This allowed the hospital's founders, the Brothers of the Sacred Heart, to return to their primary mission as educators.

The foundation is known by the acronym CRUDEM (for Center for the Rural Development of Milot).

Today the hospital has a capable permanent staff of Haitian physicians and nurses, as well as a constant stream of short-term volunteer health-care professionals.

Integral to the hospital is a guest residence housing as many as 12 volunteer health-care professionals. A visiting surgical team of 12 doctors and nurses, for example, can spend as little as one week at the hospital and perform a vast amount of vital medical work efficiently and effectively.

Nurses and doctors from all parts of the United States now travel to Haiti to volunteer at CRUDEM's hospital.

While other individuals and groups participating in Volunteers for Prosperity will find it appropriate to have longer tours of service, it is worth noting that in many situations, well-organized volunteers can accomplish a great deal in a very short time.

Business and financial executives and information-technology specialists, for example, also provide very effective support to developing countries' business sectors through short-term volunteer missions promoted by Volunteers for Prosperity.

Volunteers for Prosperity can succeed only through grass-roots enthusiasm. We need your organizations' help in promoting public awareness and individual commitment to voluntary service.

We invite your organizations' active participation in our initiative. In the words of St. Francis of Assisi, all of us are called to be instruments of the Lord's peace.

Date published: 10/17/2004

When this story was posted in October 2004, this was on the front page of PCOL:

Kerry reaches out to Returned Volunteers Kerry reaches out to Returned Volunteers
The Kerry campaign wants the RPCV vote. Read our interview with Dave Magnani, Massachusetts State Senator and Founder of "RPCVs for Kerry," and his answers to our questions about Kerry's plan to triple the size of the Peace Corps, should the next PC Director be an RPCV, and Safety and Security issues. Then read the "RPCVs for Kerry" statement of support and statements by Dr. Robert Pastor, Ambassador Parker Borg, and Paul Oostburg Sanz made at the "RPCVs for Kerry" Press Conference.

RPCV Carl Pope says the key to winning this election is not swaying undecided voters, but persuading those already willing to vote for your candidate to actually go to the polls.

Take our poll and tell us what you are doing to support your candidate.

Finally read our wrap-up of the eight RPCVs in Senate and House races around the country and where the candidates are in their races.

Director Gaddi Vasquez:  The PCOL Interview Director Gaddi Vasquez: The PCOL Interview
PCOL sits down for an extended interview with Peace Corps Director Gaddi Vasquez. Read the entire interview from start to finish and we promise you will learn something about the Peace Corps you didn't know before.

Plus the debate continues over Safety and Security.
Schwarzenegger praises PC at Convention Schwarzenegger praises PC at Convention
Governor Schwarzenegger praised the Peace Corps at the Republican National Convention: "We're the America that sends out Peace Corps volunteers to teach village children." Schwarzenegger has previously acknowledged his debt to his father-in-law, Peace Corps Founding Director Sargent Shriver, for teaching him "the joy of public service" and Arnold is encouraging volunteerism by creating California Service Corps and tapping his wife, Maria Shriver, to lead it. Leave your comments and who can come up with the best Current Events Funny?
 Peace Corps: One of the Best Faces of America Peace Corps: One of the Best Faces of America
Teresa Heinz Kerry celebrates the Peace Corps Volunteer as one of the best faces America has ever projected in a speech to the Democratic Convention. The National Review disagreed and said that Heinz's celebration of the PCV was "truly offensive." What's your opinion and can you come up with a Political Funny?

Read the stories and leave your comments.

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Story Source: The Free Lance-Star

This story has been posted in the following forums: : Headlines; Volunteers for Prosperity



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