Iowan Ron Tschetter was recently confirmed as Peace Corps
Director. In undertaking what is one of this
era’s most important jobs, he echoed what the approximately 15,000 of us PCVs
who served in
“I am a passionate supporter of the Peace Corps. It was life changing. It is sometimes difficult to express the life experiences you have in a two-year total immersion like that, but it’s real.”
Why is directing the Peace Corps one of
The Peace Corps first director, Sarge Shriver, gave the reason.
“If the Pentagon’s map is more urgent, the Peace Corp’s is, perhaps, in
the long run the most important..... What happens in
Since 2000, applications to the Peace Corps and Americorps are reportedly up 20%, but still far below the need. We live in an era where building stability at home and abroad is critical, and we have not tapped Americans desire to serve.
“And so, my fellow Americans: ask not what your country can do for you--ask what you can do for your country.
fellow citizens of the world: ask not what
expressed to 10,000 long-waiting
Since then our government has failed to grasp the power of using
"He told me he wanted the Peace Corps to reach 100,000 a year," Wofford recalled. "He said it would then be considered serious. In one decade, it would reach 1 million volunteers."
· Our ugliness is more dangerous -- as weapons of mass destruction and crazed terrorists proliferate.
· We have Global Climate Change -- and the necessity to quickly expand appropriate technologies.
· AIDS, poverty, genocides, etc., multiply -- and we need an army of volunteers to erase those sicknesses.
Pushing Congress to enact Peoples Lobby’s citizen-initiated American World Service Corps (AWSC) Congressional Proposals builds that peaceful one million strong army.
What is the American World Service Corps?
If the citizen-initiated American World Service Corps (AWSC) congressional proposals were implemented in this Congress, seven years from now one million additional Americans would voluntarily serve their nation at home or abroad in their choice of the: Peace Corps, AmeriCorps, Habitat for Humanity, Head Start, Doctors Without Borders, Red Cross, International Rescue Committee, OxFam, Mercy Corps, State Conservation Corps, etc.
Upon completion of service, volunteers would receive:
· Two years of community college plus two years of state college tuition, (apx. $17,000 in 2004 dollars), or
· An equivalent amount paid into a Medical Savings or IRA account, or
· That amount donated to relatives or community scholarship foundations to cover educational costs or loans.
When passed, the AWSC legislation will be among the most significant legislation – and most inspiring programs -- implemented in decades.
Implementing the AWSC strengthens
· Winning international hearts and minds.
· Reducing hatred fired at our soldiers.
· Improving living conditions at home and abroad.
· Giving those who serve a solid, real life education in the classroom of how the world works.
· Involving Americans in the front lines of dealing appropriately with global climate change.
· Meshing opportunity and responsibility between the AWSC volunteers and those with whom they work and serve.
· Building an army of can-do Americans to handle hurricanes, earthquakes, refugee sufferings, and other disasters – natural or manmade.
· Serving as a model for other nations to emulate and thereby have nations across the world develop and send their own World Service Corps into wisely addressing the world’s needs.
· Strengthening national pride, cohesion and character, and it does this without
· Creating a vast new bureaucracy but instead by strengthening existing governmental and non-governmental agencies with serving Americans.
Details and the full bills are at the web site www.WorldServiceCorps.us where you can also sign an on-line petition.
In 2006, less than 7,800 have served in the Peace
Corps. Fifty-eight serve in 21 mostly
Muslim nations of 910 million that ring the Middle East, East, and South and
Tschetter, like the about 150,000 of us who have served, knows well how putting a million can-do Americans into organizations that do Peace Corpsish work will give Americans and the world “life changing experiences” that will make all of us safer and better. Today, the world reminds us that the Peace Corps map is ”in the long run the most important.” That’s why passing the citizen-initiated American World Service Corps (AWSC) Congressional Proposals is so important
served in the Peace Corps Urban Community Development group in the slums of