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While many Americans lack information about the mission of the Peace Corps, it must be acknowledged that the results of its purpose in most nations, is over rated and defunct. After our visit by a Peace Corps Recruiter, the presentation to our class was less than positive and actually proved that this flawed system of sharing peace throughout the world is a myth without any merit. As genuine help is needed all over the world, trying to share peace, without completed projects, has more consequences than award. Celebrating fifty-five years this year, the Peace Corps is out of touch and does not represent an American way of freedom for all, but gives false hope to those who are in need of services. It must be acknowledged that if peace is the ultimate goal, not completing projects would do the opposite and bring hate towards the U.S. government. In this paper, I would like to argue against American Taxpayers paying for The Peace Corps, inexperienced volunteers being sent abroad and The Peace Corps being a failure to America and countries that host them.
Surprised and bothered are a few choice words that overcame me at the lecture, once we learned that the U.S. Taxpayers has continued to support the Peace Corps. While they continue to receive an annual budget of $250,000,000, it is not a drop in the bucket when one consider how painfully hard it is for the average American to survive, right here in our own country. It would be even better spent if we got rid of the Peace Corp Volunteers and gave this money to professionals already in these countries. This theory was also made when it was quoted by a Peace Corps Executive that said “I should acknowledge up front the observation Mr. Rice makes that the money, spent on the Peace Corps could also do a lot of good if it was put into local organizations in the third world, and that it would perhaps go even farther if it funded in-country employees as opposed to sending U.S. citizens as volunteers.”(Rule 2006) This type of thinking is logical as many of the volunteers go to these countries with no purpose in mind. While it seems easy to just send a volunteer to a county to assist in what the Peace Corps deems important, it would be even greater if the U.S. would just send financial aid to this country with the expectations of establishing intent, plan and execution with those who already live there to see it completely through. This type of relationship would bring more peace between two countries and could make future relationships more cordial and effective in building bridges to the future. It is with these reasons that I believe that U.S. Taxpayers should no longer fund the Peace Corp and the government should look at other avenues in helping out countries in need of support and services.
While the funding of the Peace Corp should be relieved from U.S. Taxpayers responsibilities, the recruitment of young college graduates is a direct insult and embarrassment to the fabric of our society. While many graduates mature in school, it does replace life experiences and being thrown into a foreign country with little or no knowledge. I believe that many graduates step up to the challenges that may come with volunteering in a foreign country, but what type of representation does the U.S. provide to deal with real issues and real lives in these foreign countries. While many volunteers already possess characteristics which will make them successful at anything, dealing with the Peace Corps and its proven failures could take its toll on any young adult who join to serve and accomplish certain personal and professional goals to help their future. As stated by a former Peace Corps volunteer, “We all have failures, yet we bury them in the folds of our pasts as curious gaps in our resumes and cryptic replies to direct questions. If we are unable to emerge triumphant, our failures eat away at us”. This is a direct result of not having a plan and young volunteers being placed right in the middle of these plan less endeavors. A remedy to this solution is to stop putting more efforts into recruiting young college students but begin by including more mature American citizens to assist the younger volunteers in providing assistance. While the Peace Corps was built on recruiting young college students, many quit and return home for various reasons but as stated by a Peace Corps Regional Director, “Indeed, many volunteers, especially those just out of college, quit before their two-year commitment is up. A lack of maturity probably contributes to this in many cases because two years is an impossibly long time for a 22-year-old, but so does the feeling that they’re trying to grind away at a mountain with a fingernail file. One of the most brutal realizations that occurs to lots of PC volunteers, from what I’ve heard, is that their work in-country probably won’t make much of a difference in the grand scheme of things. There’s nothing that sends a person packing faster than feeling useless.”(Hotfelder 2008). As this is important information, it confirms if the Peace Corps reaches a goal of having mature volunteers serve, the overwhelming majority will remain recent college graduates. Too often, these young volunteers lack the maturity and professional experience to be effective in the 21st century. It is with these reasons that the Peace Corps should rethink their recruiting plan and include more mature persons to volunteer to be successful in their host countries.
As the American Taxpayers should not be responsible for funding the Peace Corps and a complete overhaul should accompany recruitment, what is most important is if the Peace Corps is actually a failure to America and the countries they host? As stated by a political activist, “Prior to the creation of AmeriCorps, the Peace Corps took the cake as the most arrogant and overrated government program in Washington.”(Bovard 2011) While the Peace Corps’ founders emphasized college volunteers as a virtue, this has turned out to be a prescription for disasters. As government leaders was frustrated by the ineffectiveness of U.S. foreign aid to developing countries, they thought that personalizing the aid through sharing peace would somehow make it effective. As Robert E. White, Peace Corps Latin Regional Director in 1970 stated “It was like a parachute drop. A volunteer would be told, “Here’s the bust that you take. Go and look around and get off where you think you can do some good.”(Bovard 2011) This is important because there was not a plan from the U.S. government or specifically the Peace Corps. It is also interesting that at the same time our government doesn’t have a plan, other countries was having a problem with Peace Corps volunteers in their country as stated by a Honduras representative in 1968, “The volunteer appears to be someone with nothing to do; his skills are not utilized and the community doesn’t know what he has to offer in the way of help.”(Bovard 2011). This is confirmation that no plan is being executed and that the Peace Corp has failed our county and the country where volunteers are there to make things better. It is with these reasons that the Peace Corp is a failure to America and the host countries that it tries to serve.
In conclusion, the Peace Corps is a failure to America and the host countries in its inability to provide services and peace around the world. While the Peace Corps has diligently fought to be the fabric of the United States abroad, it must begin to rethink its recruitment policies and allow more mature persons in to serve. Recruiting a mature base does not solve the problems that exist in lack of completion of services abroad, nor does continuing to provide funding to this defunct institution. A complete reorganization or a sincere discussion must take place to determine if the Peace Corps is worth funding, wasting young college students time or if this must be dismantled to allow these same students to work in other government agencies in which they are able to see a difference in their time volunteering and feeling secure about completing a task abroad. This must change to develop peace throughout the world because for the past fifty-five years, it has probably worked for only a small fraction of the world, but hate is more evident today. The U.S. practices abroad needs a fresh start and it begins by getting rid of the Peace Corp and starting a new plan which will benefit the American citizens and those countries in which we go to serve.
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