February 15, 2002: Headlines: Expansion: White House: President's Commitment to Strengthening the Peace Corps

Peace Corps Online: Peace Corps News: Library: Peace Corps: Expansion: Expansion: February 15, 2002: Headlines: Expansion: White House: President's Commitment to Strengthening the Peace Corps

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President's Commitment to Strengthening the Peace Corps

President's Commitment to Strengthening the Peace Corps

Fact Sheet: the President's Commitment to Strengthening the Peace Corps

The President's Commitment to Strengthening the Peace Corps

Today's Presidential Action:

- Today, President Bush outlined his initiative to double the size of the Peace Corps over the next five years and expand the number of countries in which Peace Corps volunteers are active.

- The President also announced that a special Peace Corps assessment team will travel to Afghanistan to evaluate needs and opportunities for Peace Corps volunteers to assist the Afghan people in rebuilding their nation.

Background on the President's Commitment to Strengthen the Peace Corps:

Launched on January 29, 2002 as part of President Bush's State of the Union Address, the USA Freedom Corps is an effort to foster a culture of responsibility, citizenship and service, building on the generous spirit of the American people. That effort begins with President Bush's two-year call to service -- his challenge that every American devote at least 4,000 hours to service to their community, our nation or the world.

The USA Freedom Corps will work to offer expanded service opportunities for Americans at home and abroad through the newly created Citizen Corps, AmeriCorps and SeniorCorps, and the Peace Corps -- and in cooperation with volunteer organizations large and small.

The USA Freedom Corps represents a broad call to action. One way the federal government can help to support action by willing volunteers is strengthening existing federal service opportunities -- including Peace Corps. The Peace Corps is unique among federal service programs because it allows Americans to serve in countries around the world.

Through the USA Freedom Corps effort, President Bush seeks to strengthen the Peace Corps as an organization and offer the talent of Peace Corps volunteers to new countries around the world.

- Doubling the Size of the Peace Corps: There are currently 7,000 Peace Corps volunteers serving in 70 countries around the world. President Bush pledged to double the size of the Peace Corps over the next five years -- bringing the Peace Corps close to its peak enrollment levels of the mid-1960s.

- Increasing the Number of Countries Where Peace Corps Members Serve: President Bush will work to expand opportunities for American volunteers to serve in countries where the Peace Corps does not currently have a presence and where the needs for Peace Corps assistance may be great. This includes expanding Peace Corps service in Islamic countries.

- Within the next 6 months, a number of countries - including East Timor and Peru - will welcome Peace Corps volunteers. And, over the next two months, Peace Corps volunteers will be returning to the Kyrgyz Republic, Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan in Central Asia.

- Peace Corps assessment teams will be sent to countries like Azerbaijan, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Botswana, Swaziland and Chad to evaluate opportunities for service.

- Sending Crisis Corps Members to Assist the Rebuilding of Afghanistan: An assessment team of Peace Corps staff members and experienced Peace Corps volunteers - part of the Crisis Corps program - will travel to Afghanistan within weeks to evaluate opportunities for the Peace Corps to assist the Afghan people in rebuilding.

- Expediting Applications for Peace Corps Volunteers: President Bush also called for streamlining the application process for Peace Corps volunteers, as well as improving the management, information technology and other skills and training to expand opportunities for today's Peace Corps members.

Since President Bush announced his USA Freedom Corps initiative on January 29, more than 2,775 potential Peace Corps volunteers have started applications and almost 7,000 men and women have contacted the Peace Corps to ask about volunteering. The Peace Corps estimates that there has been a 300% increase in volunteer interest.

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.

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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?
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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: White House

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