|By Admin1 (admin) on Saturday, February 22, 2003 - 11:49 pm: Edit Post|
September 1959 was the year I joined the Office of the Thai Technical and Economic Cooperation (TTEC) a part of the National Economic Development Board (NEDB) presently called NESDB and the TTEC became the Department of Technical and Economic Cooperation (DTEC), under the Ministry of National Development before it was transferred to the Office of Prime Minister. As a junior program officer in 1962, I remember the visit of Mr. Sergeant Shriver to inform the Royal Thai Government that the President of the United States had established the Peace Corps Volunteer to help people in the developing world in its development offers particularly in rural areas.
During the 1960 's to the 70's Thailand was in its early -state of a five - year national economic development plans. In those early years most of the rural people especially in the northeastern provinces had never been to an urban city like Bangkok. Young Peace Corps volunteers were welcome sights to the local people as well as government officials whose agencies were requesting the PCV services. Whether they are teaching English to rural school children, working side by side with farmers, health workers, community development officers, ARD engineers or youth officers PCV did provide considerable influence on Thailand 's rural development programs and its people. They certainly made a lasting impact on the rural people in Thailand.
I sincerely believe that Peace Corps Volunteers in Thailand were successful in its main objectives as established in 1961 by President John F. Kennedy which are
1. To assist people of interested countries in meeting their needs for trained personnel.
2. To help promote a better understanding of the American people on the part of the people served.
3. To promote a better understanding of other peoples on the part of the American people.
As it has been more than 16 years since I was involved in the volunteers programs, I still have vivid memories of a close working relationship with several Peace Corps Volunteers country's directors. One of which was Mr. Julio Andrews and the other was Dr. Tony Evans. Both of these gentlemen became one of my closest foreign counterparts. Whenever problems arised whether on the field or in the office in Bangkok we were able to resolved such problems most of the time
Dr. Evans however was not the Director of PCV in Thailand. He was a senior program officer in the USAID / Thailand who upon return to the U.S. , became one of the senior officer in the Peace Corps Office in Washington . We still do keep in touch with each other.
I would like to congratulate the Peace Corps / Thailand on all the work and contribution in providing Thailand with its young and old volunteers in our path for a better world to live in. In the past 40 years you have created a two way traffic for peace and understanding and hopefully you will continue to provide such service to Thailand and its people for the foreseeable future