Salient. Victoria University Students' Paper. Vol. 26, No. 8. Monday, July 1, 1963
Peace Corps Work In Two Years
Peace Corps Work In Two Years
The USA Peace Corps founded by President Kennedy shortly after taking up office in the year 1961 has now been in existence for two years. In dispatching volunteers to the young states of Africa and Asia, it actively assists them in overcoming their development problems. There are about 4600 members of the corps either actively engaged in a total of 44 countries or at present preparing themselves at one of the training camps for their future tasks abroad. These tasks will include above all activities in the fields of education, practical professional training, health service and agriculture.
This year the first 700 American peace corps volunteers will return to the USA after their two years in the developing countries and will be relieved by new volunteers.
At the moment the recruiting offices of the peace corps receive daily about 800 applications; but this number is by no means sufficient to be able to meet the constantly increasing demand from the developing countries concerned. So far, every country which has received assistance from the peace corps has applied for an increase in its contingent of volunteers.
According to estimates on the part of the competent authorities, there are likely to be almost 9000 peace corps members actively engaged abroad by the end of this year. Half of them will probably be in the countries or South America. At the present moment there are about 1500 volunteers in Latin America, 1528 in Africa. 1046 in the Far East and 515 in the countries of the Near and Middle East and in Southern Asia. Out of all the peace corps members to be sent abroad so far, only a very few have returned to the USA before the expiration of their period of service; not one of them has ever been expelled by the government of the host country, however.
The minimum age for entry into the peace corps is 18 years; but there is no maximum age. The eldest peace corps member is a 76-year-old engineer working at present in East Pakistan. 63 per cent of all the peace corps members are males.
Divided up according to continents, the USA peace corps members are at the moment scattered over 16 African, 12 Asiatic and 16 Latin American countries. The largest number of peace corps workers are active in the Philippines (630); then, in this order, come Nigeria (300), Colombia (284), Ethiopia (278) and Peru (227). More than 100 volunteers are working in each of the following countries: Ghana. Liberia, Sierra Leone, Tunisia, Malaya, North Borneo, Thailand. Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Ecuador, the Dominican Republic, in India and in Pakistan.
The idea of the peace corps has aroused great interest all over the world—just how great is shown by the fact that up to the present time a further 15 nations are considering the setting up of similar organisations.