Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Event in Afghanistan Commemorates Peace Corps 50th Anniversary

Washington, DC — March 1st, 2011Volunteers worldwide honored at Global House Party at U.S. Embassy in Kabul

As part of the National Peace Corps Association’s Global House Party initiative, in partnership with Oxfam America, the U.S. Embassy in Kabul today honored not just Peace Corps Volunteers who previously served in Afghanistan, but also those who have served around the world. The Global House Parties are part of a year-long celebration to honor Peace Corps Volunteers and their commitment to helping individuals build a better life for themselves, their children, and their communities. Over 700 parties in 49 U.S. states and in over 75 countries around the world are taking place today to honor the 50th anniversary of the Peace Corps and its creation by President John F. Kennedy on March 1, 1961.

Although there is not a current Peace Corps program in Afghanistan, from 1962 through 1979, 1,652 Peace Corps volunteers served in Afghanistan in various sectors including agriculture, business, education, health, and youth/community development.

Afghanistan Peace Corps Volunteers “have remained committed to that work by returning or working in U.S. Government agencies and non-governmental organizations in Afghanistan,” Deputy Ambassador E. Anthony Wayne noted in his remarks at the event. He added that the Peace Corps program in Afghanistan “gave some Americans a life-changing experience from which they and Afghanistan benefited.”

Today’s event in Kabul featured a former Afghan student who worked with and learned English from Peace Corps volunteers who served in Afghanistan in the late 1960s. There was also a presentation on the “Afghan Children’s Song Book Project,” an initiative by Louise Pascale, an Afghanistan Peace Corps Volunteer from the late 1960s who is currently distributing, with USAID’s assistance, the book to elementary schools, orphanages, and women’s centers throughout Afghanistan.

Since 1961, nearly 200,000 Americans in 139 host countries have stepped up to Kennedy’s challenge to provide technical assistance to the world’s populations most in need in villages, towns, and cities across the globe.

Media contact:
Alison Beckwith
Phone: 301-699-0148
media@peacecorpsconnect.org

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About the National Peace Corps Association (NPCA)

Founded in 1979 and headquartered in Washington, DC, the National Peace Corps Association (NPCA) is the nation’s leading 501 (c) (3) nonprofit organization supporting Returned Peace Corps Volunteers and the Peace Corps community through networking and mentoring to help guide former Volunteers through their continued service back home. It is also the longest-standing advocate for an independent and robust Peace Corps and its values. To learn more, visit:www.peacecorpsconnect.org