About Peace Corps

November 17th, 2021

This week Jason invited his friend who had worked as a volunteer of the Peace Corps in Bulgaria and Ukraine, to introduce this program. Unlike the USAID, the Peace Corps does not provide a large amount of money for the place where they want to help, but just send the volunteers over there and let them get the domination to start these projects that they want to do. It might sound very odd for these one who does not know about them at all, so I will introduce this program in this article.
The Peace Corps was established by President John Kennedy, in the term of the Cold War. Three aims were supposed to be achieved, including 1. Sharing and representing the benefit of the US; 2.Facilitating the transfer of technology and skills; 3. Learning everything about the local area and then bringing back to the US. It is obvious that this program has an ideology mission, to cope with the expansion of the Soviet Union. However, after the dissolution of the Soviet Union, the mission to prohibit the influence of the Soviet Union has not existed anymore, but continuing to show the benefits of the US still persists.
The projects that the volunteers did are quite different. Due to the system of the Peace Corps, volunteers could hardly get the money from their leaders or programs. Instead, everyone who works in their area is required to get donations by themselves. Somebody might not be asked to submit his working presentation to the Peace Corps, but in order to get money to start their projects, they must provide their plans to the donors. The pre-language study also helps the volunteers to get better communication with local people and get direct information about the problems they need to solve, instead of wasting money on unnecessary parts.
There were also some misunderstandings coming from the local people with the Peace Corps. The most significant one is, they regard the staff and volunteers of the Peace Corps as the spy or agent who comes to steal intelligence from their country. However, the volunteers of the Peace Corps have already been trained not to have any political opinions in their works and lives, in order to avoid making projects become complex and dangerous. With these misunderstandings, the projects of the Peace Corps might be more difficult and lose the support of local people.
The Peace Corps has been facing severe situations with the pandemic, such as the evacuation of staff or keeping service on the Internet, which has reduced the effectiveness of their project, but it is still an efficient project which could help the local residents directly by hearing their ideas. I hope these projects will restart after the pandemic has been controlled, and these people who really need help could solve their problems by cooperating with the Peace Corps.