2005.10.19: October 19, 2005: Headlines: Recruitment: Census: Peace Corps: Highest Number of Volunteers in 30 Years

Peace Corps Online: Peace Corps News: Directors of the Peace Corps: Peace Corps Director Gaddi Vasquez: Gaddi Vasquez: Newest Stories: 2006.08.07: August 7, 2006: Headlines: Directors - Vasquez: Washington Times: Gaddi Vasquez moves on: 2006.08.09: August 9, 2006: Headlines: Directors - Vasquez: Minorities: Washington Times: Gaddi Vasquez responds to the Washington Times : 2005.10.19: October 19, 2005: Headlines: Recruitment: Census: Peace Corps: Highest Number of Volunteers in 30 Years

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Highest Number of Volunteers in 30 Years

Highest Number of Volunteers in 30 Years

Congratulations to the Peace Corps for the highest number of volunteers in 30 years. The official count for fiscal year 2005 includes 7,810 volunteers serving in 71 posts across the globe. Of course, the promise of doubling the Peace Corps to 15,000 made in President Bush's State of the Union Address in 2002 is now a long forgotten dream. With deficits in federal spending stretching far off into the future, any substantive increase in the number of volunteers will have to wait for new approaches in funding and a new administration.

Highest Number of Volunteers in 30 Years

Highest Number of Volunteers in 30 Years

WASHINGTON, D.C., October 19, 2005 – As the Peace Corps nears its 45th anniversary, Director Gaddi H. Vasquez announced today that the agency has reached a 30-year high in the number of volunteers in the field.

The official count for fiscal year 2005 includes 7,810 volunteers serving in 71 posts across the globe. This is an increase from the total in fiscal year 2004 of 7,733 volunteers and is the highest number of Americans serving in the Peace Corps in three decades.

"It is with great pleasure that I announce our record numbers today. As Americans, we can be very proud of our commitment to helping others when and where they have the greatest need. The number of volunteers in the field today is a reflection of that great American spirit of giving and volunteerism," said Director Vasquez.

In addition, 131 Crisis Corps volunteers are working domestically on Hurricane Katrina relief efforts in the Gulf States through an agreement with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). The deployment of volunteers within the United States is a historic first for the Peace Corps.

And, extraordinary projects are being conducted in 18 countries through the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief. The President’s Emergency Plan provides funds to the Peace Corps that expand and enhance its programs which help address the HIV/AIDS pandemic and has enabled the Peace Corps to place 13 Crisis Corps and 43 Peace Corps volunteers overseas. The total volunteers in the field number 7,997 when Hurricane Katrina volunteers — who have put their lives on hold to help their fellow Americans — and the President’s Emergency Plan volunteers are included.

The Peace Corps has also seen an increase in minority recruitment, where numbers have reached their highest level since the Peace Corps began tracking ethnicity in 1987. In fiscal year 2005, 1,235 volunteers from minority groups joined the Peace Corps, and they now comprise almost 16 percent of all volunteers. This is up from 1,160 volunteers last year. In an effort to encourage minorities to apply to the Peace Corps, new public service announcements were recently created featuring the voice of Forest Whitaker, and an outdoor media campaign was launched in major cities across the country.

Other firsts this fiscal year included the sending of Crisis Corps volunteers to Sri Lanka and Thailand to assist with rebuilding tsunami devastated areas, and the deployment of Peace Corps volunteers to Mexico.

This year, 96 percent of volunteers have at least a bachelor's degree, with 13 percent having a master's degree or higher. Women comprised 58 percent of all volunteers. Seniors aged 50 and over represent 6 percent of volunteers, with the average age of a volunteer being 28 years.

When this story was posted in October 2005, this was on the front page of PCOL:

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Peace Corps Online The Independent News Forum serving Returned Peace Corps Volunteers
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The Peace Corps Fund's 'Celebration of Service' on September 29 in New York City was a major success raising approximately $100,000 for third goal activities. In the photo are Maureen Orth (Colombia); John Coyne (Ethiopia) Co-founder of the Peace Corps Fund; Caroline Kennedy; Barbara Anne Ferris (Morocco) Co-founder; Former Senator Harris Wofford, member of the Advisory Board. Read the story here.

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PC apologizes for the "Kasama incident" Date: October 13 2005 No: 737 PC apologizes for the "Kasama incident"
The District Commissioner for the Kasama District in Zambia issued a statement banning Peace Corps activities for ‘grave’ social misconduct and unruly behavior for an incident that occurred on September 24 involving 13 PCVs. Peace Corps said that some of the information put out about the incident was "inflammatory and false." On October 12, Country Director Davy Morris met with community leaders and apologized for the incident. All PCVs involved have been reprimanded, three are returning home, and a ban in the district has since been lifted.

Military Option sparks concerns Date: September 13 2005 No: 731 Military Option sparks concerns
The U.S. military is allowing recruits to meet part of their reserve military obligations after active duty by serving in the Peace Corps. Read why there is opposition to the program among RPCVs. Director Vasquez says the agency has a long history of accepting qualified applicants who are in inactive military status. John Coyne says "Not only no, but hell no!" and RPCV Chris Matthews leads the debate on "Hardball." Avi Spiegel says Peace Corps is not the place for soldiers while Coleman McCarthy says to Welcome Soldiers to the Peace Corps. Read the results of our poll among RPCVs. Latest: Congressman John Kline introduces legislation to alter the program to remove the Peace Corps as an option for completing an individual’s military enlistment requirement.

Why blurring the lines puts PCVs in danger Date: August 25 2005 No: 717 Why blurring the lines puts PCVs in danger
When the National Call to Service legislation was amended to include Peace Corps in December of 2002, this country had not yet invaded Iraq and was not in prolonged military engagement in the Middle East, as it is now. Read the story of how one volunteer spent three years in captivity from 1976 to 1980 as the hostage of a insurrection group in Colombia in Joanne Marie Roll's op-ed on why this legislation may put soldier/PCVs in the same kind of danger.

Top Stories: October 10, 2005 Date: October 9 2005 No: 727 Top Stories: October 10, 2005
Carl Pope says the looting of America has only begun 2 Oct
Report of PCV Misconduct in Zambia 7 Oct
Chic Dambach speaks in Oklahoma 6 Oct
Murphy to give papers to Heinz museum 6 Oct
Mike Honda speaks out on Katrina 5 Oct
Kinky Friedman could be the next governor of Texas 5 Oct
Peter McPherson urges new nuclear weapon designs 5 Oct
Doyle and Green in dead heat for Wisconsin Governor 5 Oct
NPCA Membership Directory ready in late November 5 Oct
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Russell Carollo wins journalism prize for "The Toll of War" 4 Oct
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Mike Tidwell says Bayou has been sinking for years 3 Oct
Carl Pope writes: Preparing for Global Warming 3 Oct
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John McCain's call to service 3 Oct
Joshua Berman wins Lowell Thomas Travel Writing Award 2 Oct
Operation Offset proposes freeze in Peace Corps Funding 1 Oct

Returned Volunteers respond to Hurricane Katrina Date: September 12 2005 No: 729 Returned Volunteers respond to Hurricane Katrina
First and foremost, Give. Then volunteer with the Crisis Corps. Carol Bellamy says "In situations such as this one, money is needed the most" and added that Hurricane Katrina's impact on New Orleans is comparable to last year's tsunami. Thailand RPCV Thomas Tighe's Direct Relief International has committed an initial $250,000 in cash to assist hurricane victims. Mayor Tom Murphy (RPCV Paraguay) says Pittsburgh is ready to embrace refugees from devastated areas. Brazil RPCV Robert Backus is among the first Vermont doctors to volunteer to travel to Louisiana to treat victims. Latest: FEMA requests RPCVs to assist in recovery efforts through the Crisis Corps and the Peace Corps hopes to send 400 RPCVs to the Gulf Coast for short term assignments to assist victims with their applications for federal aid.

The Peace Corps Library Date: March 27 2005 No: 536 The Peace Corps Library
Peace Corps Online is proud to announce that the Peace Corps Library is now available online. With over 30,000 index entries in 500 categories, this is the largest collection of Peace Corps related stories in the world. From Acting to Zucchini, you can find hundreds of stories about what RPCVs with your same interests or from your Country of Service are doing today. If you have a web site, support the "Peace Corps Library" and link to it today.

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170,000 is a very special number for the RPCV community - it's the number of Volunteers who have served in the Peace Corps since 1961. It's also a number that is very special to us because March is the first month since our founding in January, 2001 that our readership has exceeded 170,000. And while we know that not everyone who comes to this site is an RPCV, they are all "Friends of the Peace Corps." Thanks everybody for making PCOL your source of news for the Returned Volunteer community.

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