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History & Biography 

March Is National Peace Corps Month

On March 1, 1961, President John F. Kennedy issued an executive order to establish the United States Peace Corps. March is National Peace Corps month and the 50th anniversary of the Peace Corps. The program has 3 main goals:

  • Helping the people of interested countries in meeting their need for trained men and women.
  • Helping promote a better understanding of Americans on the part of the peoples served.
  • Helping promote a better understanding of other people on the part of Americans.

Watch a newsreel about the start of the program from the John F. Kennedy Library.

Since the creation of the program, American volunteers have served in 139 different countries. Volunteers live and work in the communities that they serve. They speak the native language and become an integral part of their schools and workplaces. They provide support in many areas of health, education, agriculture and business.

There are 8,655 volunteers serving in 77 countries right now. Do you want to learn more about a day in the life of a volunteer? Take a peek at Peace Corps' YouTube channel.

Serving as a Peace Corps volunteer is both challenging and rewarding. Every volunteer has a unique experience that truly provides him or her with a global perspective. Often volunteers find that in learning about their new communities, they learn more about themselves than they ever thought possible. Peace Corps is life changing for volunteers, their families, and for the communities that they serve. Volunteers build friendships and bridges that last a lifetime.

Are you interested in serving? Would you like to know more about connecting and communicating with a current volunteer through your organization or school? Take the first step today. It truly is "the toughest job you'll ever love."

Erin Gray
RPCV, TEFL Estonia

Peace Corps Library resources:


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