Photo: Peace Corps-Sargent Shriver at refugee camp near Jericho
It’s the ultimate volunteer vacation—that is, if you can get two years off work for vacation.
With the recent passing of Sargent Shriver, the Peace Corps has been more top-of-mind for many. Today, March 1, is the 50th anniversary of that organization that does more for our international reputation and standing than rowboats full of politicians. Proclamations, and even sanctions or other government actions, mean very little to remote villagers struggling with daily survival…but the presence of Peace Corps volunteers who are digging wells and irrigating crops and building medical clinics and turning, if not water into wine, fallow fields into fertile…make a difference to the entire community. A half-century ago today, President Kennedy dared to dream of an America that could be selfless and of service to those who needed us most, and today, that dream continues to bring out the best, and shine a light on the best, of all of us.
This weekend marks the 65th anniversary of the United Nations. The work of the UN is unique in creating alliances between nations, and the work that isn’t just on a political level, but on the ground changing lives. UN Peacekeeping Forces are, right now, making it safe for 200 million people in areas of conflict. 190 countries are banded together to address climate change via the UN. Hundreds of millions of girls are having doors to education opened due to UN work, and millions of children have been inoculated against polio through the United Nations.
And it was fifty years ago that presidential candidate John F. Kennedy called on young Americans to offer their talents and energy to the world in service. That collaborative worldwide effort would eventually be called the Peace Corps, celebrating its 50-year anniversary next year.
What will you collaborate on this weekend? It’s all about doing it together.