News / Africa

Peace Corps Mission Unchanged 50 Years Later

In Africa, agency works to stem the spread of malaria, HIV-AIDS and other illnesses

Multimedia

Audio
  • Interview with Dick Day Peace Corps Director for Africa region

This month, the Peace Corps marks 50 years of work across the developing world. It was founded in 1961 by President John F. Kennedy and has been supported by other presidents, including Barack Obama, who has emphasized the need for public service.

This month’s celebrations will recognize the achievements of volunteers past and present.

The group’s regional director for Africa, Dick Day, says even though the mission of the Peace Corps has remained the same over years “of promoting world peace and friendship… there have been changes according to the needs of the communities [where the volunteers] serve.”

Some of that change has been in the education sector.

“There has been some evolution,” says Day, whose office determines the number of volunteers in Africa and provides support for the field offices in the 27 countries where they operate.  “We have moved from having essentially nothing but teachers in the classrooms to doing much more teacher training and working with parent-teachers associations.”

A Peace Corps Volunteer works with a Tanganyikan caterpillar driver on the Great Ruaha road project. They are working to better access a sugar refinery.(1962)
A Peace Corps Volunteer works with a Tanganyikan caterpillar driver on the Great Ruaha road project. They are working to better access a sugar refinery.(1962)

In the health field, volunteers continue to provide primary care and support, “but clearly one of the emphases we have had in the last ten to fifteen years has been a heavy focus on HIV/AIDS prevention… particularly working with orphans and vulnerable children.”

The Peace Corps also works to stem the spread of malaria, which continues to claim lives in sub-Saharan Africa.  One of the highlights of the celebration will be “a Stamp Out Malaria in Africa initiative that will be rolled out in 25 out of the 27 countries [on the continent where we have a presence].”

The agency also works in partnership with local communities on issues like youth development and training small enterprises in business practices.

Carrying the torch

In remarks to mark the beginning of the celebration, Peace Corps director Aaron Williams said the organization will remain “vibrant for another 50 years.”

He said it will grow and adapt and continue to carry the torch of President Kennedy’s revolutionary idea and [respond] to President Obama’s call to service.”

To mark the milestone, Peace Corps staff and returned volunteers are taking part in local service projects both in the United States and in Peace Corps host countries.

In Africa, the Peace Corps has sent thousands of volunteers to work in communities on a range of projects, in fields that include agriculture, business and information technology, education, environment and health.

Since its founding, more than 200,000 Americans have served in the Peace Corps in 139 countries. Today, it has more than 8,650 volunteers in 77 countries.

You May Like

Will Cuba Follow the Southeast Asia Model?

Decision to restore ties between US and Cuba has some debating whether it will lead to an enhancement or regression of democracy on the Communist island nation More

Kenyan Designer Finds Her Niche in Fashion Industry

‘Made in China’ fabrics underlies her success More

Report: CIA, Israel's Mossad Killed Senior Hezbollah Commander

The Washington Post story says Imad Mughniyah was killed instantly by a bomb "triggered remotely" from Tel Aviv by Mossad agents More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Jefferson's Library Continues to Impress, 200 Years Lateri
X
Deborah Block
January 31, 2015 12:12 AM
Two hundred years after the U.S. Congress purchased a huge collection of books belonging to former President Thomas Jefferson, it remains one of America’s greatest literal treasures and has become the centerpiece of Washington’s Library of Congress. VOA’s Deborah Block reports.
Video

Video Jefferson's Library Continues to Impress, 200 Years Later

Two hundred years after the U.S. Congress purchased a huge collection of books belonging to former President Thomas Jefferson, it remains one of America’s greatest literal treasures and has become the centerpiece of Washington’s Library of Congress. VOA’s Deborah Block reports.
Video

Video Egypt's Suez Canal Dreams Tempered by Continued Unrest

Egypt plans to expand the Suez Canal, raising hopes that the end of its economic crisis may be in sight. But some analysts say they expect the project may cost too much and take too long to make life better for everyday Egyptians. VOA's Heather Murdock reports.
Video

Video Threat of Creeping Lava Has Hawaiians on Edge

Residents of the small town of Pahoa on the Big Island of Hawaii face an advancing threat from the Kilauea volcano. Local residents are keeping a watchful eye on creeping lava. Mike O’Sullivan reports.
Video

Video Pro-Kremlin Youth Group Creatively Promotes 'Patriotic' Propaganda

As Russia's President Vladimir Putin faces international pressure over Ukraine and a failing economy, unofficial domestic groups are rallying to his support. One such youth organization, CET, or Network, uses creative multimedia to appeal to Russia's urban youth with patriotic propaganda. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports.
Video

Video Filmmakers Produce Hand-Painted Documentary on Van Gogh

The troubled life of the famous 19th century Dutch painter Vincent van Gogh has been told through many books and films, but never in the way a group of filmmakers now intends to do. "Loving Vincent " will be the first ever feature-length film made of animated hand-painted images, done in the style of the late artist. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Issues or Ethnicity? Question Divides Nigeria

As Nigeria goes to the polls next month, many expect the two top presidential contenders to gain much of their support from constituencies organized along ethnic or religious lines. But are faith and regional blocs really what political power in Nigeria is about? Chris Stein reports.
Video

Video Rock-Consuming Organisms Alter Views of Life Processes

Scientists thought they knew much about how life works, until a discovery more than two decades ago challenged conventional beliefs. Scientists found that there are organisms that breathe rocks. And it is only recently that the scientific community is accepting that there are organisms that could get energy out of rocks. Correspondent Elizabeth Lee reports.
Video

Video Paris Attacks Highlight Global Weapons Black Market

As law enforcement officials piece together how the Paris and Belgian terror cells carried out their recent attacks, questions are being asked about how they obtained military grade assault weapons - which are illegal in the European Union. As VOA's Jeff Swicord reports, experts say there is a very active worldwide black market for these weapons, and criminals and terrorists are buying.
Video

Video Activists Accuse China of Targeting Religious Freedom

The U.S.-based Chinese religious rights group ChinaAid says 2014 was the worst year for religious freedom in China since the end of the Cultural Revolution. As Ye Fan reports, activists say Beijing has been tightening religious controls ever since Chinese leader Xi Jinping came to office. Hu Wei narrates.
Video

Video Theologians Cast Doubt on Morality of Drone Strikes

In 2006, stirred by photos of U.S. soldiers mistreating Iraqi prisoners, a group of American faith leaders and academics launched the National Religious Campaign Against Torture. It played an important role in getting Congress to investigate, and the president to ban, torture. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Former Sudan 'Lost Boy' Becomes Chess Master in NYC

In the mid-1980’s, thousands of Sudanese boys escaped the country's civil war by walking for weeks, then months and finally for more than a year, up to 1,500 kilometers across three countries. The so-called Lost Boys of the Sudan had little time for games. But one of them later mastered the game of chess, and now teaches it to children in the New York area. VOA’s Bernard Shusman in New York has his story.
Video

Video NASA Monitors Earth’s Vital Signs From Space

The U.S. space agency, NASA, is wrapping up its busiest 12-month period in more than a decade, with three missions launched in 2014 and two this month, one in early January and the fifth scheduled for January 29. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, the instruments being lifted into orbit are focused on Earth’s vital life support systems and how they are responding to a warmer planet.

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More

All About America

AppleAndroid