Peace Corps Expansion

November 28, 1962

Report Outline
Origin and Growing Pains of Peace Corps
Corps in Operation: Workers and Tasks
Peace Corps as an Example and Model

Origin and Growing Pains of Peace Corps

The striking success of the Peace Corps, which is now carrying on projects in nearly 40 foreign countries, makes it likely that Congress will look with favor on a proposal to set up a companion corps of volunteers for service in areas of great social need within the United States, Peace Corps leaders recall that plans to establish the original agency were greeted with skepticism; many of the legislators who voted to create it on more or less of a trial basis did so with misgivings. Today the Peace Corps has silenced most of its critics. Congress has doubled its appropriation to provide for enlargement of the corps to a total of 10,000 volunteers. The Peace Corps is still receiving more than twice as many applications for enrollment as it can accept, and the countries participating in the program are all enthusiastic about the services of the volunteers.

President Kennedy during the past year has frequently alluded to the possibility of recruiting volunteers to engage in similar social services at home. On Nov. 17 he appointed a cabinet-level committee of seven to consider a “favorable preliminary study” of such a program which had been made by Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy. The committee is to report by Jan. 1 with recommendations for legislation.

Concept of Corps As A Helping-Hand Project

The Peace Corps was conceived as a “helping-hand” program which could be carried out at the humblest level of social contact. Sen. Hubert H, Humphrey (D Minn.), one of the early sponsors of the project, described it on June 15, 1960, as a “genuine people-to-people program in which talented and dedicated young American men will teach basic agricultural and industrial techniques, literacy & … other school subjects and health procedures in Asia, Africa and Latin America.” The fundamental purpose would be to foster peace by helping poor workers and farmers to overcome illiteracy, hunger and disease, and thus to create a bond of friendship across the great cultural barrier separating them from the people of advanced countries.

ISSUE TRACKER for Related Reports
Peace Corps, National Service, and Volunteerism
Jan. 11, 2013  Peace Corps Challenges
Jun. 30, 2006  National Service
Dec. 13, 1996  The New Volunteerism
Jun. 25, 1993  National Service
Jan. 25, 1991  Peace Corps' Challenges in the 1990s
Oct. 31, 1986  Blueprints for National Service
Jan. 25, 1985  International Relief Agencies
Dec. 12, 1980  Volunteerism in the Eighties
Jun. 15, 1979  Future of the Peace Corps
Apr. 03, 1963  Domestic Peace Corps
Nov. 28, 1962  Peace Corps Expansion
Jan. 04, 1961  Government Youth Corps
BROWSE RELATED TOPICS:
Charities and Philanthropy