27 facts: Peace Corps

In Honor of the 27 months, I will spend serving in the Peace Corps here are 27 facts about the Peace Corps.

  1. Peace Corps was 0fficially established on March 1, 1961, by President Kennedy.
  2. More than 225,000 Americans have served in the Peace Corps, with around 7,000 currently serving or in training.
  3. Peace Corps Volunteers have served in 141 host countries since 1961. Currently, Peace Corps Volunteers are in 65 different host countries.
  4. There is no age limit on Peace Corps Volunteers, although the median age is 28 some volunteers are in their 60’s or 70’s.
  5. The Peace Corps have three goals that each volunteer is expected to help fulfill:
    1. To help the people of interested countries in meeting their need for trained men and women.
    2. To help promote a better understanding of Americans on the part of the peoples served.
    3. To help promote a better understanding of other peoples on the part of Americans.
  6. Peace Corps Volunteers spend 2 years serving in their country.
  7. The Peace Corps application process is long and most people apply 9 to 12 months before their departure date. Many volunteers apply 2 or 3 times before being accepted into the Peace Corps.
  8. The Peace Corps accepts volunteers who are couples, although the process is typically longer and harder.
  9. In 2014 Peace Corps received more than 17,000 applications for fewer than 4,000 positions. (That’s a 23.5% acceptance rate)
  10. It typically takes 6 months to a year to apply, be accepted, and get clearance to serve.
  11. Typically, the first three months in their country is reserved for training and you are considered a Peace Corps Trainee, not an actual Peace Corp Volunteer until this training is done.
  12. At the end of your Pre-Service Training, you have a swearing-in ceremony to become a volunteer.
  13. You do not find out the local of your permanent site until towards the end of your Pre-Service Training.
  14. The Peace Corps love acronyms, Here are just a few:
    1. PCV – Peace Corps Volunteer
    2. FPCV- Future Peace Corps Volunteer
    3. PCT – Peace Corps Trainee
    4. PST – Pre-Service Training
    5. COS – Close Of Service
    6. CD – Country Director
  15. There have been 35 cohorts of Peace Corps Volunteers in South Africa, I will be a part of SA 36.
  16. Peace Corps provides Volunteers with a living allowance which enables them to live similarly to the people in their community. Peace Corps also provides complete medical and dental care and covers the cost of transportation to and from a Volunteer’s country of service.
  17. Peace Corp Volunteers serve in one of six sectors: Education, Health, Environment, Youth in Development, Community Economic Development, Agriculture, or Peace Corps Response. Education is the largest sector, but most volunteers also do secondary projects dealing with other sectors.
  18. The first two countries served by the Peace Corps were Ghana and Tanganyika (now known as Tanzania) followed by  Chile, Colombia, India, Nigeria, the Philippines, St. Lucia, and Pakistan.
  19. Former CIA employees are barred from joining the Peace Corps.
  20. Peace Corps volunteers assisted in Hurricane Katrina relief efforts, which was the first time Peace Corps volunteers served in Country.
  21. AmeriCorps is similar to Peace Corps but based in the US.
  22. Over 91% of volunteers have cell phones.
  23. Volunteers are provided $8,000 (pre-tax) to help with the adjustment to life back home. The Peace Corps also provides assistance to jobs and education opportunities that use their field experience for professional opportunities.
  24. The smallest Peace Corps country by landmass and population is Tuvalu, with 12,000 residents living on nine square miles.  The largest Peace Corps country by landmass and population is China, with 1,306,313,800 residents living on 3,704,426 miles.
  25. According to the Congressional Budget Justification for 2008, there are 224 languages spoken by Volunteers.
  26. Peace Corps Volunteers receive a discounted tuition rate at select universities for those interested in pursuing a graduate degree.
  27. There is a yearly Peace Corps Blogging competition and the winners get flown to Washington from their country of service.
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