Culture - World Peace - Selection Train [EXCLUSIVE]
I have been saying for a long time that I believe the more young Americans who are trained to join with other young people in the world to be sent abroad with slide rule, textbook, and medical kit to help people help themselves with the tools of peace, the fewer young people will need to be sent with guns and weapons of war.
culture - world peace - Selection Train
The theme of enabling Americans to volunteer in poor countries appealed to Kennedy because it fit in with his campaign themes of self-sacrifice and volunteerism, while also providing a way to redefine American relations with the Third World. Upon taking office, Kennedy issued an executive order establishing the Peace Corps. Shriver, not Kennedy, energetically lobbied Congress for approval. Kennedy proudly took the credit, and ensured that it remained free of CIA influence. He largely left its administration to Shriver. To avoid the appearance of favoritism to the Catholic Church, the Corps did not place its volunteers with any religious agencies. In the first twenty-five years, more than 100,000 Americans served in 44 countries as part of the program. Most volunteers taught English in local schools, but many became involved in activities like construction and food delivery. Shriver practiced affirmative action, and women comprised about 40 percent of the first 7000 volunteers. However given the paucity of black college graduates, racial minorities never reached five percent. The Corps developed its own training program, based on nine weeks at an American university, with a focus on conversational language, world affairs, and desired job skills. That was followed by three weeks at a Peace Corps camp in Puerto Rico, and week or two of orientation the home and the host country. 
Applicants can apply to only one placement every year. Placements can be sorted through the Peace Corps six project sectors: Agriculture, Environment, Community Economic Development, Health, Education, and Youth in Development. Applicants may also narrow down their application of choice by country they want to serve in various regions of the world.
In the Reagan Administration, in 1986, an article in the Multinational Monitor looked critically at the Peace Corps. On a positive note, the writer praises the Corps for aspects saying that it is "not in the business of transferring massive economic resources. Rather it concentrates on increasing productivity and encouraging self-reliance in villages that are often ignored by large-scale development agencies," and notes the "heavy emphasis on basic education" by the Corps. "Many returned volunteers complain that the Peace Corps does little to promote or make use of their rich experiences once they return ... [A] Peace Corps volunteer is sent in ... [to] relieve ... the local government from having to develop policies that assure equitable distribution of health care ... During the early years there were many failures in structure and programming ... Some critics charge that the Peace Corps is only a somewhat ineffective attempt to counter damage done to the U.S. image abroad by its aggressive military and its unscrupulous businesses ... Many observers and some returned volunteers charge that, in addition to public relations for the United States, Peace Corps programs serve to legitimize dictators ... When he began evaluating the Corps in the 1960s, Charlie Peters found "they were training volunteers to be junior diplomats. Giving them a course in American studies, world affairs and communism ... Although it seems unlikely that the Peace Corps is used in covert operations, wittingly or not it is often used in conjunction with U.S. military interests ... In a review of the Peace Corps in March the House Select Committee on Hunger praised the agency for effective work in the areas of agriculture and conservation, while recommending that the Corps expand its African Food Systems Initiative, increase the number of volunteers in the field, recruit more women, and move to depoliticize country dictatorships."
The Peace Corps has also been documented on film and examined more seriously and in more depth. The 2006 documentary film Death of Two Sons, directed by Micah Schaffer, juxtaposes the deaths of Amadou Diallo, a Guinean-American who was gunned down by four New York City policemen with 41 bullets, and Peace Corps volunteer Jesse Thyne who lived with Amadou's family in Guinea and died in a car crash there. Jimi Sir, released in 2007, is a documentary portrait of volunteer James Parks' experiences as a high school science, math and English teacher during the last 10 weeks of his service in Nepal. James speaks Nepali fluently and shows a culture where there are no roads, vehicles, electricity, plumbing, telephone or radio. The movie El Rey, directed and written by Antonio Dorado in 2004, attacks corrupt police, unscrupulous politicians and half-hearted revolutionaries but also depicts the urban legend of Peace Corps Volunteers "training" native Colombians how to process coca leaves into cocaine.
This production will be offered to the world as a whole without distinction or exception, with the aim of contributing to raising living standards and to promoting peaceful achievements. With increased resources Europe will be able to pursue the achievement of one of its essential tasks, namely, the development of the African continent. In this way, there will be realised simply and speedily that fusion of interest which is indispensable to the establishment of a common economic system; it may be the leaven from which may grow a wider and deeper community between countries long opposed to one another by sanguinary divisions.
Who do we count on to promote world peace, to clean up the toxic by-products of a vigilant defense effort? Who do we expect to care for sick people who are least able to pay? Who do we tap to support the open-ended pursuit of knowledge, confident of a payoff someday, even if we can't predict its precise nature?
For a Russian, the word "Mir" holds meaning, feeling, and history. It is sometimes translated into English as "world," or as "peace," or as "village," but a single-word translation misses its full significance.
At the tip of the spear, however, the conduct of the crew-members collectively, in training and on orbit, is the most critical element of the program with the least specific control available. Many elements, of course, affect that conduct, but all else being as it should, it all comes down to personal responsibility, leadership of the commander, and strong focus on the basic goals by the entire group. My point is that I think that this group, ASE, can take a stronger, more public position on this issue. We should educate current crews in training, our management, and the public, that the crew on orbit, given the time and tools to trust each other, will solve the problems of language, culture and diet in their own ways, unique to each crew.
As current and former crew-members, as current and future managers, we have a two-fold responsibility in enabling the stitching of the programmatic fabric. As crew members, we need to set the example for the rest of the team in the trenches. We need to look for the compromise that solves the problem, not dwell on the competitive spirit that got us all selected. We need to learn the basics of language and culture of those we will be working with, and encourage our controllers and engineers to do the same. The excuse that "I'm not adept at languages and don't have time," is pure baloney. Every one of us had to learn a new language just to graduate from the specialized training we received in our careers, whether it was medical school vocabulary, space jargon, or test pilot lingo, it was a new language, and we were motivated. We should feel the same now, about English or Russian or Japanese or French or whatever. Choose one or more! 041b061a72