Peace Corps’ 50th Anniversary

Did you know that 2011 is Peace Corps’ 50th Anniversary? I didn’t know this until the Country Director in Ukraine told us, so I thought I’d share this interesting tidbit with you. And here are some cool facts about Peace Corps too!

  • The FIRST group of volunteers, 51 strong, arrived in Ghana on August 30, 1961.
  • Since 1961, more than 200,000 Americans have served in the Peace Corps.
  • 7,671 volunteers were serving in the summer of 2010 in the Corps.  In 1966, there were more than 15,000 in the field.
  • The Peace Corps’ operating budget this fiscal year is $400 MILLION, about 1% of the federal government’s foreign-operations budget.
  • Peace Corps volunteers here been trained in more than 250 local languages.
  • 60% of ACTIVE Corps members are women.
  • Today, the Corps works in 77 Countries Over its history, the organization has served in 139 nations.
  • Netflix CEO Reed Hastings did a Peace Corps stint teaching math in Swaziland.
  • More than 60 universities including Cornell, Johns Hopkins, and Virginia, participate in the master’s international program, which combines a tour in the Peace Corps with a master’s-degree curriculum.
  • SIX current members of congress-Senator Christopher Dodd as well as FIVE Representatives-are returned volunteers.
  • 28% of applicants to the Peace Corps are subsequently invited to serve. 7% of Peace Corps volunteers serve with their spouse.
  • The average age of a Peace Corps volunteer is 28.  14% are over the age of 30 while 7% are over 50.
  • The oldest volunteer in Peace Corps history was Arthur Goodfriend of Honolulu, who was 87 when he completed his second tour in Hungary in 1994
  • The oldest current volunteer is 86 and working in Morocco

These facts came from this article, if you’re interested in finding out more! (http://www.fastcompany.com/magazine/150/peace-be-with-you.html).

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