The Peace Corps was formed in 1961 by President Kennedy to relieve poverty in third world nations. We now have 7,300 volunteers working in 77 countries. Many have taken the opportunity to grow personally and professionally through volunteer service with the Corps. Since the beginning, 169,000 people have given their time and skills.
The effort has been sensational, but there are problems. In addition to health issues for those working in very difficult conditions, there seems to be concerns about increases in unpublicized criminal assaults and even murders. Families of those murdered or attacked say the government is not doing enough to protect our volunteers. Congress allocated an 8.3 million dollar budget in 1999 to improve safety and security but problems persist.
The Peace Corps is one of our country's most valuable programs, "it's the toughest job you'll ever love." Let's make sure we continue to make it viable by safeguarding those who volunteer to serve. Our government must continue to improve security. Victimized volunteers and their families say do not go into the Peace Corps with your eyes wide shut.
Ours is one of many viewpoints. If yours is different we'd like to hear from you. Click here to respond right now by e-mail, or write to us at:
P.O. Box 100
Cape Girardeau, MO 63702