The Peace Corps mission is to promote world peace and friendship. Founded in 1961, that mission is still very much alive and blossoming. If you are considering joining and making a difference in not only your life, but the lives of countless others, let me share some little-known facts about The Peace Corps with you.
Valuable Career Tool: The Peace Corps can and will be a valuable career tool for you. According to peacecorps.gov, many of their volunteers credit the program with helping them gain valuable experience and the tools needed to excel in today’s global job market. An example is Mark Seaman who volunteered in Niger. He now directs communication and development for the largest HIV/AIDS service in Philadelphia. Another example is Siiri Morley who served in Lesotho, and launched a fair trade, candle making venture that’s purpose extends far beyond business. It’s creation is meant to empower women in war torn countries. Bravo, Siiri!
Time: Many people believe that joining The Peace Corps requires a two year commitment. That is one volunteer opportunity, however there are also High Impact opportunities that are only a 3-12 month commitment. Individuals who volunteer for this type of assignment are asked to have 10 years of work experience. You will provide assistance in areas that have been hard hit by environmental disaster, war, or disease etc…
Advanced Degree: Did you realize that joining The Peace Corps can help you achieve an advanced degree? The program is called Master’s International and you can pair your graduate studies with over 80 U.S. academic institutions and volunteer opportunities abroad. You complete a certain amount of course work before leaving and then travel abroad. After returning to the U.S., you can complete any additional classes needed to graduate if needed. You will return with valuable experience and a changed world view.
Danger: Another common belief that many people hold is that being a Peace Corps volunteer is extremely dangerous. This assumption holds many people from serving. Before placing any volunteers in an area, a thorough assessment is done of the area including but not limited to, suitable living arrangements, access to medical services, and a low risk to physical safety. If a volunteer at any time feels threatened or as though they may incur bodily harm, The Peace Corps will remove the person from the location and provide a reassignment.
Global Health Services Partnership: There is a great need for those with medical degrees or who are currently working towards a medical degree. The Global Health Services Partnership, or GHSP provides education, support, and services to countries who are lacking in this area. This program was only recently launched in 2012 and the first volunteers left in the summer of 2013. Volunteers are compensated with medical care, paid vacation days, and a small monthly stipend. Many people aren’t aware of this program because it is still in it’s early years.
The Peace Corps may be the most rewarding experience of your life. People are at their best when they are in a state of giving.
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