In honor of President’s Day and our founder, here’s a vintage public service announcement featuring President John F. Kennedy.
I took this photo in August, 2011, in Moldova, at my Romanian tutor’s home. My tutor, her husband (pictured), and I spent the day in the garden collecting fresh fruits and veggies to prepare for an afternoon feast that we would all help prepare. Gheorghe made me try every vegetable and fruit their garden had to offer. Here, he just tasted a cucumber and was giving it to me for an official taste test. It was delicious!
Peace Corps Education Volunteer Alexandra Chebuhar
Armenia - 2000
The Peace Corps Act - September 22, 1961
On March 1, 1961, President Kennedy signed the executive order establishing the Peace Corps. On September 22, 1961, Congress approved the legislation that formally authorized the Peace Corps. Goals of the Peace Corps included: 1) helping the people of interested countries and areas meet their needs for trained workers; 2) helping promote a better understanding of Americans in countries where volunteers served; and 3) helping promote a better understanding of peoples of other nations on the part of Americans.
Nicaragua - 2000
A Peace Corps Volunteer works as dance instructor at the National Dance School in San Salvador - 1974
Make your own peace.
You can say anything you want about the world. You can say it’s beyond help. That man is more evil than good. That you never asked for the world you got. And you could be right.
You can say anything you want about the Peace Corps. That it’s just do-gooders. That it doesn’t help peace. That it hasn’t made any difference.
The Peace Corps isn’t disagreeing. That’s not what it’s about.
The Peace Corps doesn’t shout, “Come make peace.” Peace doesn’t come that easy. It’s more of a separate peace. Maybe yours. No banners. No bands. No medals.
The Peace Corps might be for you if you could enjoy feeding children. Or repairing a tractor. Or teaching birth control. Or building a schoolhouse. Even if no one ends up using it. (Don’t think it hasn’t happened.)
The Peace Corps has no delusions of grandeur. Ask anyone who’s been in it. But there are enough people who come out of the Peace Corps with things they’ve learned they can’t forget. Good things.
There are more ways than you can find to help the world. The Peace Corps is just one way. It’s for someone who would rather do something. Anything. Instead of nothing.
It could be your way.
Write The Peace Corps, Washington, D.C. 20525
Peace Corps Public Service Announcement - 1968