Preface: The Umbrella of "USA Freedom
USA Freedom Corps serves as
an umbrella for volunteer networks: National Service Programs, Volunteer
Service Initiatives, Volunteer Service Action Priorities... Under USA
Freedom Corps, "presidential initiatives" promotea number of
volunteer efforts within administration-controlled formats. Peace Corps
is listed under this "umbrella," though as yet Peace
Corps is still administratively separate.
Promoting Volunteerism is a
great idea. Part of its strength is that it is a two-way learning situaton,
as RPCVs know well.
- Are these programs focused
on mutual understanding & exchange? or
- Are they focused in patronizing
or condescending ways?
- Can RPCVs help make volunteerism
a mutually beneficial experience, at home and abroad? How?
Examine the rhetoric of these
programs for yourself–especially since Peace Corps seems to be organized with them.
2002, President George W. Bush created the USA Freedom Corps to capture
the spirit of sacrifice that emerged throughout our communities and
provide Americans with meaningful opportunities to serve their communities
and our country."
the request of President Bush, AmeriCorps has expanded its work to include
projects directly related to homeland security."
provides opportunities for people to participate in a range of measures
to make their families, their homes, and their communities safer from
the threats of crime, terrorism, and disasters of all kinds."
& Serve America http://www.learnandserve.org
Serve America makes grants to schools, colleges, and nonprofit groups
to support efforts to engage students in community service linked to
academic achievement and the development of civic skills."
than four decades, the volunteers of the Peace Corps
have carried the good will of America into many parts of the world.
Interest in this program is greater than ever before.” –
President George W. Bush on May 21, 2003
taps the skills, talents, and experience of more than 500,000 Americans
age 55 and older to meet a wide range of community needs through three
programs: RSVP, Foster Grandparents, and Senior Companions."
--American History, Civics & Service:
need to understand our history in order to be engaged and effective
citizens in a democratic society. Yet according to the U.S. Department
of Education's National Assessment of Education Progress (NAEP), which
tracks both Civics and American History understanding among K-12 students,
less than one quarter of America's students are proficient in either
in Service to America http://www.studentsinservicetoamerica.org/
George W. Bush has called on all Americans to commit at least 4,000
hours—the equivalent of two years over the course of their lives—to
the service of others. By serving something greater than themselves,
young people will learn about their rich democratic traditions as Americans,
help meet vital community needs, and become responsible and engaged
in America http://www.takepride.gov
we must maintain our natural, cultural and historic resources and improve
them so that we can all enjoy them now and our children and grandchildren
can enjoy them in the future."
-- VfP: Volunteers
Volunteers for Prosperity initiative...is based upon longstanding principles
of the United States to assist in the development of other nations
and pursue a global health and prosperity agenda essential to national
security." [Administered under USAID]