Sargent Shriver calls for a new Peace Corps (11/15/01)

Peace Corps Online: Peace Corps News: Peace Corps Library: Special Reports: Sargent Shriver calls for a new Peace Corps (11/15/01)

Read Sargent Shriver's recent speech in which he calls for a new Peace Corps — a vastly improved, expanded, and profoundly deeper enterprise and leave your comments on the speech and what needs to be done.

By Admin1 (admin) on Thursday, November 15, 2001 - 11:28 pm: Edit Post

On November 10, Sargent Shriver, the founding Director of the Peace Corps made a speech at Yale University in which he called for a new Peace Corps —a vastly improved, expanded, and profoundly deeper enterprise. Read our exclusive coverage of his speech:

The Honorable Robert Sargent Shriver’s Remarks

Yale University’s Daily News Annual Banquet

November 10, 2001

In preparing my speech for today, I looked over the last speech I gave at Yale. It was the Class Day Address to the Class of 1994.

In that speech, I challenged those Yale graduates to create a “World Without War”. I said to them that such an achievement for the following years would be the greatest accomplishment in the history of the world! They were impressed. They even cheered. But now much of the world is at war again. That fact alone proves that I was not the world’s most successful speaker or visionary.

Also in the speech I gave in 1994, I said that the Arabs and the Jews seemed to be getting together in the Middle East. Once again I was wrong. I also said that the Asian and Pacific nations were not threatening each other militarily. Again I was wrong.

So much for the accuracy of my crystal ball!!

But my speech in 1994 did contain a few nuggets of truth. I suggested that we lived in an era that was yet to be defined; and I believe that is still true. But I also believe we are now closer to a new definition, a definition opening to us because of recent events.

In 1994, I challenged the graduates of Yale to stand for something, which Martin Luther King had encouraged all of us to do when he said, “Believe in something so fervently that you will stand up for it till the end of your days.”

Today, it has become easier to stand up for military defense and also for aggressive action against enemies of our nation, especially if you are a New York policeman or fireman, a postal worker or a mayor of any city under attack. But it may not be so easy to stand for peace in a nation darkened by conflict, and looking to war for quick solutions.

Therefore, I believe we have to ask ourselves: NOT what has served us well in the past – but, what has fundamentally changed, and how should our political, diplomatic, and service institutions behave in this radically, new world?

Because I began my public service in Washington, DC with the Peace Corps, and because the world so desperately needs Peace today, I want to make that agency part of my remarks today.

I’ve been asked a lot of critical questions about the Peace Corps in response to the horrific events of September 11. How is it possible that so many citizens of Afghanistan clearly hate Americans in spite of years of service from American Peace Corps Volunteers working side by side with them? Why would we want to send new volunteers to Pakistan or Afghanistan today, when terrorists and killers there would love to have more innocent Americans to kill? These are tough questions that raise good points. I certainly don’t have all the answers, but I can tell you this:

The Peace Corps WAS there in Afghanistan, and virtually everywhere else in the world, and some lives were changed – both the lives of American volunteers, and lives of the people they served. Is it America’s primary purpose in the world to change and improve lives, or to snuff them out? This is a question that IS relevant to the Peace Corps – but it suggests a larger, more expansive mission than the small Peace Corps our nation is financing now.

Why look to the Peace Corps in a time of such extreme danger? I believe it’s necessary to do so, because we’re now living in a new world; and without peace, the new world will have no future, except death! Isn’t this the challenge which bin Laden and other terrorist groups have put before us? “What have you got,” they say to us, “that is truly worth defending? Your sky-scrapers; your blue chip stocks; your luxury cars; your trade agreements; your computer networks; your flashy movies; your fast food? Stack all that up against men like ours who readily give up their lives for God, and you’ve got nothing, America! Nothing!”

Maybe they’re right. Let’s suppose for a moment that they are. What have we got that’s worth defending, worth dying for? I say that peace is the answer. No matter how many bombs we drop, no matter how skillfully our soldiers fight, we are not responding to the ultimate challenge until we show the world how and why we must all learn to live in peace – until peace becomes the only permanent alternative to war.

Our present world cries out for a new Peace Corps—a vastly improved, expanded, and profoundly deeper enterprise. Why? Simply because our capacity to kill each other has far outstripped our capacity to live together. Now we live in a world of low-tech killing, where plastic knives and innocent-looking envelopes can do the job just as efficiently as nuclear bombs. There must be an alternative to this endless cycle of killing– not just for America’s sake, but for all of humanity.

Peace is much more than the mere absence of war. Peace requires the simple but powerful recognition that what we have in common as human beings is more important and crucial than what divides us.

You may think these are just the rantings of an old man defending his outdated ideas. But I’m not defending the old Peace Corps – I’m attacking it! We didn’t go far enough! Our dreams were large, but our actions were small. We never really gave the goal of “World Wide Peace” an overwhelming commitment or established a clear, inspiring vision for attaining it. If we had, the world wouldn’t be in the mess we are in. We may have only one more opportunity to get it right.

When we proposed legislation for the original Peace Corps, we came up with only three goals: (1) to provide technical assistance to poor people; (2) to promote better understanding of Americans on the part of the peoples served; and (3) to bring the world home to America. Forty years later, we could probably question some of these goals, or scrap them altogether. But I propose that we renew our vision by concentrating on a new Fourth Goal. We’ve struggled with words for the Fourth Goal, but let me give you the sense of it: to bind all human beings together in a common cause to assure peace and survival for all.

Words can be tricky, and I don’t want to debate the meaning of the phrase I just uttered. I just want you to catch its spirit: to bind all people together in common cause to assure peace and survival for all.

Now more than ever, we depend on one another for our very existence! We are not just Americans, or Jews, or Muslims, or Catholics, or rich, or poor, or famous, or obscure. Yes, we still wear these labels today, during our short existence on earth. But we must bequeath to our children and grand-children a world of stark choices: Peace or Death. As for me, for my children, my wife, and my friends, I choose Peace.

The Call to War can only take us so far; I say what our nation needs now is a Call to Peace and to Service – Peace and Service on a scale we have scarcely begun to imagine.

Let us unleash the power of young people in all nations to see the world for what it is now, and then go out to change it for the better. Let’s join in common cause with all countries to eradicate poverty and militarism. Let’s create a new Peace Corps we can believe in, led by exceptional people, not afraid to tackle difficult assignments, unswerving in their dedication to living and working alongside citizens of other nations who want to create a safe and stable world. Give us a new Peace Corps worthy of a Mahatma Gandhi, a Martin Luther King, a Nelson Mandela, or a Nobel Peace Prize. Give us a new Peace Corps whose accomplishments match its ideals. Give us a new Peace Corps that doesn’t merely hope for peace, but goes out and builds it, brick-by-brick, human being by human being.

To America’s young people, who listen with despair to the nightly drum beat of bad news, I’m saying: Peace is the Answer. Help us transform a new Peace Corps into a living embodiment of YOUR ideals, your sincere connection with people whose differences matter far less to you than your kinship with them. After all, we are brothers and sisters living on a tiny, fragile planet, under the same sun. To our knowledge, nothing like us exists anywhere else in the immense universe. I think today’s young people get this, and they have better ideas than I do about creating a safe and healthy planet.

“To bind all human beings together in a common cause to assure peace and survival for all.” That is a mission worthy of a new Peace Corps, worthy of America, worthy of all humankind. This Fourth Goal must be our vision, our over-riding goal in a new Peace Corps. But how do we get there? Fortunately, a great many people, including dedicated groups of former Volunteers, have been giving this a lot of thought. I’ll give you the broad outlines of their plan, just to demonstrate that this isn’t pie-in-the-sky idealism

The first step is to drastically alter the programming of the Peace Corps to make the agency much more ambitious both in scope and size. Currently there are barely 7,000 Peace Corps volunteers in the field, in 71 countries. President Clinton promised, but failed to persuade the Congress to appropriate the necessary funds to bring the number up to 10,000. The current Administration could easily fill 50,000 positions within a year, if the missions of the Peace Corps were expanded with a sense of urgency. Where there is a will, there is a way. We established the Peace Corps as an agency with an Executive Order and within seven months, we had thousands of volunteers in the field, overseas.

What would new volunteers be assigned to do today, beyond the scope of current Peace Corps assignments? They could join with existing organizations in poor nations to build up societies – to ensure the fairness of local elections, organize forums, train small-scale entrepreneurs, and strengthen the ethic of service, both in public and private sectors. Volunteers could work directly for youth and health organizations in host countries. They would foster positive activities which would displace violence, fanaticism, and ignorance about the goodness of all human beings. The Volunteers’ very presence and peaceful activities in the face of volatile situations would exemplify democratic values and peaceful commitment without having to preach them.

Of course we would still send volunteers, as requested by host nations, to teach in schools, to work in hospitals, to help small businesses and entrepreneurs, and fill other technical roles. But a deliberate focus on education and health would provide ample challenges for an expanded new Peace Corps.

A second way to transform the Peace Corps into a new agency would be to harness the potentials of technology. Beginning in October 2000, the Peace Corps teamed up with AOL Time Warner and the Hewlett-Packard Company to bring the benefits of information technology to more communities in the developing world. These companies have committed to providing 120 volunteers in 15 countries around the world with “Peace Packs”, powerful containers of computers, modems, printers, digital cameras, and access to the Internet. We need to double and triple such efforts to spread information technology globally. We should put at least as much emphasis on delivering intelligence – and useful human knowledge – as we do on gathering intelligence to fight the enemy.

A third way is to deploy the talents and dedication of the existing 162,000 Returned Peace Corps Volunteers. Now, in the nation’s hour of need, Returned Peace Corps Volunteers are uniquely equipped to serve overseas again, and to inspire global leadership within our own country. Many can speak the languages that are needed. They are comfortable in settings that even our military does not accept or occupy. The Crisis Corps was founded in 1996 for just such a purpose: it mobilizes Returned Peace Corps Volunteers to provide short-term assistance after natural disasters and in humanitarian crises. While this program has been successful over the last five years of its existence, only 300 Crisis Corps Volunteers have served in 21 countries to date. We must strengthen and expand this remarkable program so that we can send Returned Peace Corps Volunteers into every country in the world.

Would any of this renewed emphasis on Service make the world any safer? It already has! Years ago, one Volunteer joined a smallpox eradication team in Central Africa. Together they vaccinated 60,000 people, and within a few years after these workings, the disease was eliminated from the face of the earth. The Peace Corps Volunteer was one of only a hundred people doing such work – and look what they accomplished! Another volunteer set up a library, left books behind, and years later she met a young man who might have grown up to be terrorist, but instead was absorbed by one of the math text-books, stayed with it, and is now a math professor in Toronto. Thousands, perhaps millions of such cases can be cited from the history of the Peace Corp’s 40 years of effort. Imagine what a new, large scale effort could accomplish for a new World dedicated to Peace,—unanimously.

The Peace Corps now is the only agency in the United States government which makes peace not only attractive, but possible. I admonish you to empower, renew, and greatly increase the Peace Corps so that it becomes a pragmatic and dramatic symbol of America’s commitment to peace, even if our nation, temporarily must defend our land and our people against contemporary, vicious, and lethal attacks.

Yes, it is obvious that the war against terrorism requires a military response. Yet it is equally obvious that a military response cannot achieve peace. If we deploy the idealism of America’s citizens against the fanatical haters of America, we will see the Peace Corps become our nation’s most effective anti-terrorism program, and the creator of a world finally capable of achieving the universal, cherished dream of peace.

But our goal, please remember, is not just the survival of America – it is the survival of our whole planet. When our deeds match our ideals, we will be living life as it ought to be lived. This is not just an American dream – it is a universal need. A new Peace Corps would be the living embodiment of this precept, stripped of all harmful religious and political overtones. A new Peace Corps would be the best America has to offer the world, in this hour of great need. Hopefully and optimistically, I believe that many nations and nationalities will enthusiastically join us in the creation of a “New World of Peace.”

By anne sherwood RPCV Nigeria XI 64-66 on Friday, November 30, 2001 - 5:22 pm: Edit Post

Dear Mr. Shriver:

Although I agree with many of your ideas for an expanded Peace Corps, I think we must address the question of family planning for many women in Third World countries. Many want it, but it is unavailable or too expensive.

Years ago in Nigeria, several times women offered me their babies, saying that I could provide a better life for them. They would actually put the baby in my arms. Can you imagine it? They were tired, they were poor, they had too many children living due to was so sad.

Now I read Nigeria has nearly 50% of her population under the age of 15. Who will be the teachers, the doctors, the workers? Who will build the infrastructure for the country? Why don't our predominantly male leaders get this concept?

The population issue presents a new threat to our country and our way of life, and I'm afraid none of the world's people will ever share the world's riches until they can feed, teach and provide jobs for their people.

It's only part of the solution, but am important one. I am so disappointed in our government's lack of leadership in this important issue.

By John G. Coe on Saturday, December 01, 2001 - 7:15 pm: Edit Post

Mr. Shriver -

I read your remarks and I applaud them. I served in Ethiopia from 1962-1966 as a teacher, assistant director of an arts center, a composer for a couple of musicals involving our students and director of Orchestra Ethiopia as it was developing. It's the best thing I have done in nearly 40 years. I want to go back somehow. What I do think we need to do in addition to your recommendations, however, is encourage others from other countries to also do Peace Corps type work. Perhaps the greatest gift to me was learning about another culture, discovering our differences and commonalities. I suspect people from other coutries who did volunteer work in America or other countries different from their own would also gain from their experiences. Making peace, I think, is a two-way street. I know that here in Wyoming (and probably most places in the US), people are woefully ignorant about people from other countries. Ignorance, in my opinion, does not foster peace. Working together on something can help the process of understanding others and that can help foster bettÀions and peace.

Thank you for your inspiring remarks.

By Ellen D. Lanahan on Monday, December 03, 2001 - 10:51 am: Edit Post

Dear Mr. Shriver:

I was delighted to read your address to the Yale students. Nothing is more important in these times than taking positive measures to build worldwide peace. However, I think it unlikely that the current U.S. government would unilaterally sponsor an expanded Peace Corps as you have suggested. In fact, as a volunteer in Panama in the late 60's, I learned the hard way that the Peace Corps was merely another arm of US foreign policy. I agree with Mr. Coe that what is needed is a broader vision. I suggest a World Peace Corps which combines both public and private financial resources from many nations and multinational corporations. The U.S. Peace Corps could be the organizing body because of the existing experience. The volunteers should be able to come from any country to assist in any country where there is need for improved services and human understanding. I agree with the focus on health, education and youth. I think Ms. Sherwood's concerns for family planning come under the broader heading of health.

As a returned volunteer close to retirement, I would be excited to be part of such an organization. The current Crisis Corps offers limited opportunities for participation. As a professional trainer and coach I feel I could make major contributions to the type of organization you envision. The longer I am a part of this world the more important I think peace initiatives have become. If you are aware of leaders and philanthropists who are willing to help make this larger vision a reality, please keep in touch with all 162,000 of us through this Peace Corps Online vehicle. Thank you for your continued dedication to the principles you and JFK stood for in creating the Peace Corps.

By Patricia Hutchinson (petulisa) on Monday, December 03, 2001 - 11:27 pm: Edit Post

Dear Mr.Shriver. Your speech was the most positive statement I have heard from someone at the national level in too long a time. The ideals of Peace Corps have continued to support my actions both as a teacher, and as a citizen. I was a volunteer in Tonga 72-75. My husband and I recently visited West Africa where our daughter is a current volunteer. It felt like going home, even though I had never been there before.One of the greatest strengths of Peace Corps has always been its ability to provide a reflective mirror. We need a strong, viable, apolitical institution.American policy is at is greatest strength when seen through the action of the Peace Corps and its volunteers. Twenty odd years ago, my students had trouble understanding why I would give up my riches in America to live with them. My daughter's students are asking this same question. Peace is built one person at a time.

By Phillip B. Olsen (pbolsen) on Tuesday, December 04, 2001 - 6:58 pm: Edit Post

Dear Sarge,

When I listened to you speak at the foot of the Lincoln Memorial on Sept. 22, only eleven days after the attacks on New York City and Washington, I despaired over your message, "Service, service, service..." because I was convinced it would be lost in the din of new wartime efforts at home and abroad.

Your Yale address gives new fire to the flame of volunteerism. I think you got it right, this time. What is needed is a bigger, more technically equipped, and focussed Peace Corps.

I will be ready to go with Peace Corps again. The USAF no longer wants me as a pilot but I'm sure my skills could be helpful in many developing nations where struggles still go on.

Phil Olsen, Philippines & Philippine Desk 1962-67

By Kevin Gaudette on Wednesday, December 05, 2001 - 12:29 pm: Edit Post


How do you respond to the concept...

"The present international political-economic system is unjust and irrational, and counter to the interests of the Third World..."

This is the Official Policy of China, and is in harmony with the policy of the Group of 77, the 120+ nations accounting for over 80% of the population of the planet.

Kevin Gaudette
Sa. Leone 1968-1970
NativeAmeriCorps 1994-1996

Foreign Expert in China (1999-present)
University of International Relations/Shanghai Maritime U./etc.

By sheila fabrizio (sheilafab) on Thursday, December 06, 2001 - 5:57 pm: Edit Post

Dear Dr. Shriver,

I commend your efforts in spreading the message of peace and understanding in this time of global need. Imagine a world where each person reaches out to their neighbor, individual beliefs are valued, unique cultures are respected, we seek rather than hide from diversity of mind and body, and humanitarian efforts become for important than economic prosperity.

The Peace Corps is a proven change agent, bringing about greater understanding between cultures while nurturing the personal growth of participants. Research (Cross 1998, Starr 1994) has proven the Peace Corps experience can bring about greater self-efficacy, independence, and self-confidence, as well as, increased cultural awareness of host country, and greater appreciation for home country in volunteers.

Yes, Peace Corps, is a successful program in promoting understanding, but I question whether a larger program will actually enhance or diminish the promotion of 'global peace.' Wouldn't it be more prudent to concentrate on quality rather than quantity? As a volunteer in a West African country with 120 volunteers in country, I saw the detrimental qualities of a 'large' Peace Corps effort. I witnessed numerous cases of ineffective and offensive volunteer actions; volunteers who flaunted American wealth in the face of destitute host country nationals, volunteers who spent more time drinking in the capital city than working in their assigned villages, volunteers who refused to learn any local languages, American women unwilling to abide by Muslim dress codes, and a volunteer who suffered through an extreme case of culture shock that ended in his inability to leave his hut, excessive drinking and drugs, hatred of the host country, and eventual Psychological Evacuation. Worst of all I witnessed reverse culture shock experienced by host country nationals. I saw people be offended by American actions and/or inactions, villages disappointed by a volunteers early termination of service, village elders dismissed by Peace Corps officials, meals turned down by visiting PC administrators (a cultural insult) and people embittered by American displays of wealth and superiority.

These are incidents I witnessed in my two years of service and I have talked with other volunteers from other countries and our stories are very similar. These 'symptoms' are a part of the larger problem of Peace Corps early termination rates said to hover around 20% (Storti, 1990). The ET rate in my training group reached 60% before we ended our two years of service. Large Peace Corps communities lack the quality needed to bring about true cultural understanding. In these areas of volunteer saturation, productive job assignments are not provided equally, evaluation and support of volunteers is inadequate due to limited administrative resources, and a sense of community is lost when a volunteer becomes a number rather than a member of a close-knit group.

Now please do not mistake my statements for a general statement for all PC volunteers or programs. For every negative story, I have three positive stories of participants making a difference on a personal and national scale. The work of dedicated, culturally sensitive, and open-minded volunteers is tremendous and makes a true impact on cultural understanding. Wouldn't it be wiser to invest government resources in making the Peace Corps better and not just bigger. Resources are needed in the application process to ensure quality entrants in the service. The greatest investment must be made to the training of new volunteers. Volunteers need a training that is not only content based but also community based. Participants need to be engaged in community building. People will only commit to an organization or vision where they feel supported and accepted. Participants also need to learn how to self-reflect on the intense cultural encounters they will experience. By investing in the program and ensuring villages and communities they are hosting dedicated, caring, and skilled volunteers the Peace Corps will be an effective promoter of Peace. If the organization decides to mass-produce volunteer diplomats the effect could be devastating to global understanding.

I could continue for pages on this issue. I am very passionate about the need for Peace Corps to concentrate on the quality of their programming because the cost is too high not to. I urge you to reconsider your quest to enlarge the volunteer base. The organization you created needs re-evaluation and quality control measures before we franchise its effort.

By David Gurr on Thursday, December 13, 2001 - 8:26 am: Edit Post

During the summer of 1995, I returned to Eritrea, after a 33 year absence, and with three other Ethiopia and Eritrea RPCVs to conduct a service project. We conducted a series of workshops with other host country nationals for mid-level bureaucrats in the Eritean Government. We volunteered for expenses, i.e., airfare, food and lodging with a small amount of funds devoted to purchasing training materials.

We left behind new friendships, as well as a better understanding of both the challanges and
commitments to change in a fledging new country.

Also, we left behind proposals for an ongoing training institute to continue the work that we had begun.

I returned to the United States to become part of enCORPS, a project of the Ethiopia and Eritrea Returned Peace Corps Volunteers Association, for which our service project became the prototype. enCORPS have been proposed by Leo Cecchini (Ethiopia 62-64) during the 30th anniversary of the Peace Corps.

We offer enCORPS as another model for the Crisis Corps. Following the outbreak of war between Ethiopia and Eritrea, some of us entered into a diolog with diplomats from both countries, as well as with diplomats from other countries that were alarmed at the resumption of conflict in an area that had just survived a civil war of 18 years following 13 year struggle by Eritreans for independence.

We have been complimented by President Clinton for our continuing dedication to promoting peace in our countries of service after all these years have lapsed. Also,our efforts were included in a Special Report by the United States Institute of Peace, entitled "U.S. Leadership in Resolving Aftican Conflict, The Case of Ethipia-Eritrea," published in September of this year, where our efforts were recognized as contributing to the peaceful resolution to the war.

Most importantly, the E&ERPCV membership was polled to see if they were willing to serve in the buffer zone that was to be part of the peace agreement to assist for a minumum of three months, for expenses only, to help the citizens of these two countries restore their lives and livelihood. Twenty-four volunteered to go. Even though this did not come to fruition, it clearly demonstrates the commitment of RPCVs to becoming involved in specific country-of-service projects and to continue to give of themselves. Their in-country experiences obviously impacted their lives subsequent to Peace Corps service and they still have possess the spirit "(t)o bind all human beings together in a common cause to assure peace and survival of all," as Sarge offered as a fourth vision of a new and greatly expanded Peace Corp.

In essence, we need to move beyond Crisis Corps' focus on disasters and humanitarian crises, and address long-term solutions once again, in our respective countries of service.

By Bob Utne on Wednesday, January 02, 2002 - 8:25 pm: Edit Post

At the Shrivers' house in October, Sargent Shriver stated to me with pride, "Over 130,000 Americans had served in the Peace Corps". I responded, "We should have sent over a million by now". He said, "I agree" and maybe one more seed was planted for the Yale speech.

Eliminating greed, hate, poverty, sickness and saving this fragile planet begins by the knowledge that you are part of the solution or are the problem.

By Don Osborn on Monday, January 21, 2002 - 4:11 pm: Edit Post

Here's an idea that I think is complementary to the vision outlined by Mr. Shriver: Develop ways of linking Peace Corps (& RPCVs) with programs such as Sister Cities to connect communities in America with communities in parts of the world where Peace Corps works (and has worked).

Such a new initiative involving Peace Corps has the potential to enhance existing Peace Corps programs, to contribute to effective local (decentralized) conception, design and management of development projects, and to multiply the impact of PCVs & RPCVs both at home and abroad.

Relating to the last point, it may not be necessary to once again discuss a goal of 10,000 volunteers if by assisting whole communities with long-term constructive relationships, far larger numbers of Americans could be connected with people in Peace Corps countries.

Peace Corps is in many ways unique, but its goals are not. In the current world situation, I think there's a real need to build collaborative relations that both are centered on the volunteer experience as always and address the 3 goals in new ways.

By Elena Radley Rozenman on Sunday, February 03, 2002 - 4:22 am: Edit Post

Dear Sarge,

How wonderful to hear your clarion call for a powerful and necessary Fourth Goal! As an RPCV (Colombia 63-65) and the sister of Larry Radley (Colombia 1) who was one of the first to perish in the Peace Corps, I have witnessed the depth of change that takes place in Volunteers and in their host country friends and co-workers as they work, live, and die side-by-side. As a longtime resident of Jerusalem and the mother of a son who was severely wounded by a Palestinian terrorist suicide bomber, I know well the causes and effects of terrorism. There is no answer but PEACE. And "Peace is much more than the mere absence of war. Peace requires the simple but powerful recognition that what we have in common as human beings is more important and crucial than what divides us. "

We have formed a group of U.S. Peace Corps Alumni in Israel and have located 50 RPCV's living here. We have been lobbying for two years for the formation of an Israeli Peace Corps, but in the current climate of war, it remains a vision. Our latest initiative is to bring here a team of RPCV's who were involved in peace-building in Ethiopia, Eritrea, and the Congo, to visit our region in April and to hold meetings with Israeli and Palestinian NGO'c and civil society leaders to discuss how they and other RPCV's could assist in peace-building and reconciliation here. We have the support of U.S. Ambassador Daniel Kurtzer and we are hoping that bringing Peace Corps energy to our region can strengthen the forces for peace and non-violence in the midst of the daily horror in which we live. We ask your blessing and support, and we hope that there will be many ways, through the Crisis Corps or through enCORPS or through new initiatives, to involve many RPCV's in peace-building in all the troubled and conflict-ridden areas of the world. As you stated so eloquently, the choice is Peace or Death. Let us all work together to make the choice of Peace inevitable.

God bless you Sarge! We love you.

Add a Message

This is a public posting area. Enter your username and password if you have an account. Otherwise, enter your full name as your username and leave the password blank. Your e-mail address is optional.