2006.03.03: March 3, 2006: Headlines: COS - Turkmenistan: Speaking Out: Diplomacy: 45th Anniversary: The WSU Sign Pos: Turkmenistan RPCV Sari Long says Peace Corps has much to teach us about foreign policy

Peace Corps Online: Directory: Turkmenistan: Peace Corps Turkmenistan : The Peace Corps in Turkmenistan: 2006.03.03: March 3, 2006: Headlines: COS - Turkmenistan: Speaking Out: Diplomacy: 45th Anniversary: The WSU Sign Pos: Turkmenistan RPCV Sari Long says Peace Corps has much to teach us about foreign policy

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Turkmenistan RPCV Sari Long says Peace Corps has much to teach us about foreign policy

Turkmenistan RPCV Sari Long says Peace Corps has much to teach us about foreign policy

Global opinion of the United States is at an all-time low, thanks to the Bush administrationís unilateralist approach to U.S. foreign policy. Europe is unsupportive, the Middle East is destabilized and quagmires engulf Iraq and Afghanistan. Most nations of the world do not see us as a force for peace, and it is because we do not give them the chance to. Peace Corps volunteers are far less threatening than uniformed Americans with guns. The United States should increase the size and funding of the Peace Corps. Instead of shipping out more troops around the world, we should send more Peace Corps volunteers. They may be the best antidote to terrorism and hatred.

Turkmenistan RPCV Sari Long says Peace Corps has much to teach us about foreign policy

Peace Corps has much to teach us about foreign policy

By Sari Long, Knight Ridder Tribune
March 03, 2006

Wednesday marked the 45th anniversary of the Peace Corps. And as a recently returning Peace Corps volunteer, I believe we need more organizations like this one.

Six months ago, I was boarding a plane in Turkmenistan, heading home to the United States. I had finished two years of work as a Peace Corps volunteer in a tiny village in an unknown corner of the world. I remembered the tear-streaked faces of my local friends, the little library we had built and filled with Shel Silverstein and Judy Blume and the essays my students had written about Rosa Parks and global warming.

In the years since its creation in 1961, Peace Corps volunteers have lived all over the world, upholding the three goals of the organization: To teach other countries about America and its customs, to teach Americans about other countries and their customs, and to assist in developing infrastructure in countries that request it.

Often with few resources and just a few weeks of training in local languages and culture, Peace Corps volunteers have taught English, established nurseries and fisheries, supported local groups and, most importantly, built lasting relationships with host country nationals. Volunteers continue this important work today and are establishing peace and friendship in more than 70 countries.

President Kennedy created the United States Peace Corps ó the first organization of its kind ó after he addressed a group of students at the University of Michigan. The students pleaded for an opportunity to serve their country peacefully and to give back to the global community. Kennedy was moved by their determination and hope.

Many of us head off to our countries, determined to help people and to transmit our knowledge to those less fortunate. What inevitably results is the humbling realization that we donít have all the answers, and that paying attention to what our hosts tell us about their needs, culture and ideas is the real key to building cooperative relationships. We learn as much from them as they do from us.

Global opinion of the United States is at an all-time low, thanks to the Bush administrationís unilateralist approach to U.S. foreign policy. Europe is unsupportive, the Middle East is destabilized and quagmires engulf Iraq and Afghanistan. Most nations of the world do not see us as a force for peace, and it is because we do not give them the chance to.

Fortunately, when people abroad see Peace Corps volunteers helping to rebuild their communities and their infrastructure, it creates goodwill between countries and their people.

Peace Corps volunteers are far less threatening than uniformed Americans with guns. The United States should increase the size and funding of the Peace Corps. Instead of shipping out more troops around the world, we should send more Peace Corps volunteers. They may be the best antidote to terrorism and hatred.





When this story was posted in March 2006, this was on the front page of PCOL:


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March 1, 1961: Keeping Kennedy's Promise Date: February 27 2006 No: 800 March 1, 1961: Keeping Kennedy's Promise
On March 1, 1961, President John F. Kennedy issues Executive Order #10924, establishing the Peace Corps as a new agency: "Life in the Peace Corps will not be easy. There will be no salary and allowances will be at a level sufficient only to maintain health and meet basic needs. Men and women will be expected to work and live alongside the nationals of the country in which they are stationed--doing the same work, eating the same food, talking the same language. But if the life will not be easy, it will be rich and satisfying. For every young American who participates in the Peace Corps--who works in a foreign land--will know that he or she is sharing in the great common task of bringing to man that decent way of life which is the foundation of freedom and a condition of peace. "

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The Peace Corps Library Date: February 24 2006 No: 798 The Peace Corps Library
The Peace Corps Library is now available online with over 40,000 index entries in 500 categories. Looking for a Returned Volunteer? Check our RPCV Directory. New: Sign up to receive PCOL Magazine, our free Monthly Magazine by email. Like to keep up with Peace Corps news as it happens? Sign up to recieve a daily summary of Peace Corps stories from around the world.

Top Stories: February 2, 2006 Date: February 4 2006 No: 783 Top Stories: February 2, 2006
Al Kamen writes: Rice to redeploy diplomats 20 Jan
Peace Corps mourns the Loss of Volunteer Tessa Horan 1 Feb
RPCV pursues dreams in America's Heartland 1 Feb
Sargent Shriver documentary to be shown in LA 30 Jan
W. Frank Fountain is new board chairman of Africare 27 Jan
Abbey Brown writes about acid attacks in Bangladesh 26 Jan
Christopher Hill Sees Ray of Hope in N.Korea Standoff 26 Jan
Jeffrey Smit writes on one man diplomatic outposts 25 Jan
Joe Blatchford's ACCION and microfinance 24 Jan
James Rupert writes: A calculated risk in Pakistan 23 Jan
Sam Farr rips conservative immigration bill 21 Jan
Americans campaign for PC to return to Sierra Leone 20 Jan
Kinky Friedman supports Gay Marriage 20 Jan
Margaret Krome writes on Women leaders 18 Jan
James Walsh leads bipartisan US delegation to Ireland 17 Jan
Mark Schneider writes on Elections and Beyond in Haiti 16 Jan
Robert Blackwill on a "serious setback" in US-India relations 13 Jan
Kevin Quigley writes on PC and U.S. Image Abroad 13 Jan
Emily Metzloff rides bicycle 3,100 miles from Honduras 9 Jan
Charles Brennick starts operation InterConnection 9 Jan
Lee Fisher tells story of Pablo Morillo 7 Jan
Nancy Wallace writes: Was PC a CIA front after all? 4 Jan

Paid Vacations in the Third World? Date: February 20 2006 No: 787 Paid Vacations in the Third World?
Retired diplomat Peter Rice has written a letter to the Wall Street Journal stating that Peace Corps "is really just a U.S. government program for paid vacations in the Third World." Director Vasquez has responded that "the small stipend volunteers receive during their two years of service is more than returned in the understanding fostered in communities throughout the world and here at home." What do RPCVs think?

RPCV admits to abuse while in Peace Corps Date: February 3 2006 No: 780 RPCV admits to abuse while in Peace Corps
Timothy Ronald Obert has pleaded guilty to sexually abusing a minor in Costa Rica while serving there as a Peace Corps volunteer. "The Peace Corps has a zero tolerance policy for misconduct that violates the law or standards of conduct established by the Peace Corps," said Peace Corps Director Gaddi H. Vasquez. Could inadequate screening have been partly to blame? Mr. Obert's resume, which he had submitted to the Peace Corps in support of his application to become a Peace Corps Volunteer, showed that he had repeatedly sought and obtained positions working with underprivileged children. Read what RPCVs have to say about this case.

Military Option sparks concerns Date: January 3 2006 No: 773 Military Option sparks concerns
The U.S. military, struggling to fill its voluntary ranks, 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 our poll results. Latest: Congress passed a bill on December 22 including language to remove Peace Corps from the National Call to Service (NCS) military recruitment program

Why blurring the lines puts PCVs in danger Date: October 22 2005 No: 738 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. Latest: Read the ongoing dialog on the subject.

PC establishes awards for top Volunteers Date: November 9 2005 No: 749 PC establishes awards for top Volunteers
Gaddi H. Vasquez has established the Kennedy Service Awards to honor the hard work and service of two current Peace Corps Volunteers, two returned Peace Corps Volunteers, and two Peace Corps staff members. The award to currently serving volunteers will be based on a demonstration of impact, sustainability, creativity, and catalytic effect. Submit your nominations by December 9.

Friends of the Peace Corps 170,000  strong Date: April 2 2005 No: 543 Friends of the Peace Corps 170,000 strong
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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Story Source: The WSU Sign Pos

This story has been posted in the following forums: : Headlines; COS - Turkmenistan; Speaking Out; Diplomacy; 45th Anniversary

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