Peace Corps Week, which is celebrated annually in the first week of March, will be celebrated from February 26 to March 4. The week commemorates President John F. Kennedy’s establishment of the agency as well as celebrates all the good things that they do to make a difference at home and abroad. Did you know that more than 240,000 Americans have served for the Peace Corps as volunteers? Yes, anyone can be a part of it to help the world.
History of Peace Corps Week
The Peace Corps is an independent agency and volunteer program established and run by the United States Government. The main goal of the Peace Corps is to provide international social and economic development assistance. Most of the volunteers in the Peace Corps and anyone with a college degree can become a volunteer. Once you volunteer, you will get a three-month training post, which you will be posted abroad for a period of two to three years..
While it is true that President John F. Kennedy established the Peace Corps, the idea for establishing the Peace Corps predated President Kennedy. Several politicians like Henry Reuss, who was the representative of Wisconsin, suggested the creation of a “Point Four Youth Corps” in 1950. Later in 1960, when Senator John F. Kennedy was doing his presidential campaign at the University of Michigan, he noticed the crowd of 10,000 students had gathered to greet him. It is believed that it was at this moment he had birthed the idea of establishing the Peace Corps. Later in 1961, the Kennedy administration officially established the Peace Corps executive order on March 1.
In 2021, the Peace Corps celebrated its 60th anniversary, where the theme was “The Peace Corps through the Decades: Sixty Years, Countless Stories.” The event was celebrated in a virtual model, and over 1,600 people attended the national and local virtual events.
Today, from teaching digital literacy and leading health campaigns to boosting local entrepreneurship, volunteers in the Peace Corps work hard to solve some of the pressing global issues, thus making a difference in this world.
Peace Corps Week timeline
President John F. Kennedy proposes an idea to establish the Peace Corps.
Peace Corps are officially established by the United States Government.
15,000 volunteers are serving two-year terms in 46 countries this year.
Several volunteers are called back from duties in other countries due to the pandemic.
Peace Corps Week FAQs
Do the Peace Corps get paid?
Upon completion of your service, you get paid $10,000.
What are the requirements to join the Peace Corps?
To join the Peace Force, you must be at least 18 years of age and a U.S. citizen.
Can you travel while in the Peace Corps?
Yes, you can. Volunteers have a right to two vacation days in a month within their countries of service.
How to Observe Peace Corps Week
Join the Peace Corps
If you are waiting for that one glorious push to bring out that love of yours to help the world, this is it. If you are serious about making this world a better place, join the Peace Corps.
Educate others about Peace Corps
Educate your friends and family about the history of the Peace Corps and what they do to make this world better every day. You might even inspire someone to become a volunteer!
Share your stories
If you have experience being a volunteer for the Peace Corps, share your favorite story from your trip. Through your story, let people know about the Peace Corps and the excellent work they do.
5 Cool Facts About Peace Corps That Everyone Should Know
The oldest volunteer was, you know, old
The oldest volunteer for the Peace Corps was Arthur Goodfriend of Honolulu, who was 87 years old.
There were 15,556 volunteers once
The highest number of volunteers serving at one time was 15,556 volunteers back in 1967.
The number of estimated languages spoken by Peace Corps volunteers is 224.
C.I.A. is banned from the Peace Corps
President Kennedy ordered the Central Intelligence Agency not to meddle in Peace Corps’ affairs due to false propaganda that the program’s volunteers were undercover spies.
Over 300 have given their lives
Over the years, more than 300 volunteers have died in service.
Why Peace Corps Week is Important
Peace Corps actually make a difference
The Peace Corps is one of the very few organizations in the world that sternly follows its commitment to helping underdeveloped nations get better. Peace Corps volunteers work hard to deliver their promises.
Peace Corps is for everyone
Peace Corps is for anyone who likes to bring a change in the world. There is no upper age limit for joining the Peace Corps.
Peace Corps helps America too
Although the Peace Corps is designed to work in developing and underdeveloped countries, they also help America. They assisted in Hurricane Katrina's relief efforts.
Peace Corps Week dates