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  • Sargent Shriver Peace Institute - Address to the San Francisco Press Club
    70 yards the Peace Corps Representative plays quarterback Right Right Only an injunction from the National Football League can stop us now Give my regards to Pete Rozelle Donovan McClure Let me point out that the Frank he refers to is none other than Franklin Williams now Regional Director for Africa who took the initial trip with me to Africa to find out whether people in those countries really wanted a Peace Corps to come out and help them A few years ago Frank was director of the NAACP s Region I here in San Francisco In 1960 he became Assistant Attorney General of California and set up the State s First Constitutional Rights Section There is as you have noticed a good deal of pleasantry and good humor with our staff people along with all of the really hard work they have to do We are in a way a kind of army a peaceful army fighting against the causes of war And like any good army there must be good leadership That s exactly what we have in our staff of truly outstanding men of the nation As you know no government agency indeed few private industries are able to assemble such a roster of able people of this stature You ask then how can we We certainly can t do it with salaries We don t promise easy living We don t even promise the security of tenure We have been able to do it only because we offer these people a challenge and an opportunity to put their idealism to work I personally interview every person who is hired to a senior staff position to serve either in Washington or overseas They are interviewed also by other members of the staff who assume part of the responsibility of that person s becoming a member of a dedicated team Each interviewer wants to know from the prospective employee Why do you want to work with the Peace Corps The answer we most often hear from those who are finally hired and go on to serve well is I was tired of talking about peace I wanted to do something about it Interestingly enough that is the same answer or at least the same attitude expressed by most of the Peace Corps applicants who complete our training programs and arrive overseas to serve as Volunteers I might point out that California leads all other states in the number of Volunteers it has produced I think that Californians are certainly justified in being proud of this fact For example 14 of all Volunteers now serving overseas come from California and more than 11 of all our Volunteers have come from eight California colleges The people in this audience are of course generally aware of the essential statistics on the Peace Corps such as there being 6 633 of these Volunteers serving overseas But perhaps even you would like a closer look at the Volunteers from people who have observed

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  • Sargent Shriver Peace Institute - Sargent Shriver speaks to the Women's National Democratic Committee
    we have a different program for each country so that if you are a trainee going to Ghana you get specialized training program which is specifically tailor made for that country Similarity for any other country And this is the kind of qualifications we put down on paper and hope that we can find the right university It occurred with respect to the very first group Tanganyika We looked for a school that had very good civil engineering courses which had good geology which had good surveying We wanted a place where the temperature of the university campus would be similar to that of Tanganyika where in fact even the rock formations would be something similar to Tanganyika and where in addition the faculty could give instructions in language of Tnaganyika Swahili Now you put these requirements down and frankly a lot of places in the U S don t qualify Among those for example that don t qualify is my own alma mater at Yale and the president s alma mater Harvard One place came up just perfectly on every point I couldn t believe it A small college called Texas Western College at El Paso Texas Western College had every one of these qualifications and in addition had the qualification that it was in the home state of the Chairman of the National Advisory Council of the Peace Corps Vice President Lyndon Johnson So with all of these qualifications we couldn t fail We sent 36 people down to Texas Western where the rock formations there near El Paso are exactly like the rock formations in Tanganyika so that our geologists could go out with a little hammer knock on the same rock that they would be knocking on when they got to Tanganyika Well 36 fellows entered training there 32 of them went to Tanganyika and everyone is still there A year later there has not been one fellow quit there has not been one difficulty so far As I said we sent those registered trained nurses out there recently so maybe 3 our troubles have just begun We used universities like Texas Western Northern Illinois we have also used Harvard University of California Michigan Michigan State Ohio State Iowa State Oklahoma North Carolina Now on the selection side of it our selection was set up at the beginning by highly skilled people who had worked in this business for a long time and we established a theory on selection We decided that there was no single way of selection anybody for anything especially for overseas work Well some people said interviewing people is a way to select them another person said give them a sociological examination another said train them in the university another person said find out if they can speak a language Another said screen them psychiatrically etc Well instead of doing any one of these things we decided to just do them all and then at the end we would find out just which one or which group of tests actually produced the right volunteers Early in the game we decided that the training program the entire training program of two or three months in an American university would be part of the selection process So when we invite somebody to come to training they know that there is a 20 percent chance that they will be washed out flunked out of the program Also during this time while in training 2 or 3 months we observe them academically physically morally sociologically and any other way that s proper The result is out of the first 3 500 people sent overseas 25 had been separated from the Peace Corps for all purposes and in the 25 you would have to include even those who have died overseas We lost two fellows for example in airplane crash in Colombia Another fellow died of internal sickness in the Philippines We have separated some people for compassionate reasons For example a boy 25 years old working in Nigeria his father died his mother was left as the sole support of the family of 6 He asked for permission to resign and come home to help support the family Naturally we let him resign and he came home So he and these people who died and all others for compassionate reasons are included in these 25 And I think that figure alone indicates that the selection program has been well managed by the experts who came in to do it So much for the situation here at home namely the demand is great overseas the supply is good at home although we are going to need more people all the time the training programs can be improved but seem to be working reasonably well Selection so far has been more than adequate Now overseas the greatest impressions I brought back from my trip to the Far East were 1 The Peace Corps Volunteers are doing everything we ever said they would do they live in these funny little houses with thatched roofs they sleep on wooden beds with their cane center no mattress they eat the local food rice you know three times a day beans they speak the local language Now a lot of people especially Asiatic leaders said this couldn t be done that Americans can t get along without television automobiles and radios hamburgers corner drug stores etc but the truth is the tougher the living conditions the more difficult they are the happier the Peace Corps Volunteers are Actually they are doing therefore what we said they would do living the way we said they would live they are luring at the low cost we said they would live at The second big point is their acceptance They are totally accepted I think it would be a real thrill for you to see how well they are doing For example in Malaya one of our Peace Corps Volunteers was picked by the Malayan Government to be a Malayan expert on television in an international conference There were 5 people on this group There was the President of the University of Malaya 2 member of the Cabinet the 4th member whom I can t remember off hand and the Peace Corps Volunteer and when the tables were all set around there was one for Malaya another for Indonesia another for Thailand Here was an American Peace Corps Volunteer sitting at the one for Malaya In Thailand when I had a press conference at the time I left there it was scheduled to take place in the American Embassy and the Thai said Oh no you can t have your press conference over there You have to have it in our building So it was picked up moved out of there and put into the Thailand temporary Economic Committee Headquarters the Thais thereby endorsing exactly what the Peace Corps was doing The third thing is of actual competence on the job Peace Corps Volunteers competence on the job It really is an extraordinary thing to see There was a young girl 21 years old lived on Madison Avenue in New York a real New Yorker Suddenly this girl and another girl about 22 found themselves living in a thatched house in a village in the Philippines 75 miles from the nearest American all by themselves and they were dumped into this village Now let me tell you the first night was a real thrill There is no electricity just kerosene lamps Nobody in the house but these two girls Lights went out about 8 o clock they got into bed 2 beds lying there and one of the girls said to the other I thought I heard somebody come in downstairs The other one said Oh no that s just your imagination nothing to it They were lying there for a little while longer and heard funny sounds and something dropping down between the beds About two minutes later it happened again One of the girls said I am sure there is somebody in this house I can hear them walking around The other one said Oh no nothing to that Well do you hear them coming up the steps And suddenly they heard footsteps One of these girls really started to get nervous and said I can t stand this I am going to start screaming and boy did she start screaming and the next thing you know this girl said This guy s got me by the foot and the place really broke up Such screaming and hollering you have never heard in your life The neighbors came running in from next door and sure enough there was nobody in the house but they had heard all of these things and for the first two nights they didn t sleep a wink They couldn t go to sleep at all even with pills We give them pills Yet 8 months later when I was there those same two girls were right in that house doing an absolutely remarkable job of teaching They get up every morning at 6 o clock they walk 4 kilometers across the land they get to a dugout canoe paddle 3 miles to a little island go up the side of the hill about a thousand feet and start teaching school They are probably the most popular people in that village They speak Tagalog as well as all of us speak English But I mentioned this story just to give you an idea that it really is tough at the beginning but the Peace Corps Volunteers have real courage and that they have managed to overcome these difficult sociological situations Also overseas we ve got a staff of people working as supervisory Personnel watching out over the Peace Corps Volunteers to make sure that they are performing well I am looking forward to getting a magazine to write a story on the men who run these programs because I have a caption which I think will be appropriate for it It is You Can Trust Your Daughter With These Men Actually as Director for the Peace Corps I felt a real sense of moral responsibility about people who lead the Peace Corps programs overseas Sad to say I am old enough to have a daughter or son 21 or 22 who could very easily be in the Peace Corps As a matter of fact some of the daughters of friends of mine are in the Peace Corps and I thought to myself Shriver how would you like it if your friend Bill Brown was running this program and your daughter arrived in some program and the guy in charge of some program there was not the kind of man that you think should be in charge and so every person that has gone overseas for the Peace Corps the secretary to the doctors everyone of them has been interviewed by at least 5 or 6 people of the Peace Corps and everyone of them by me personally I won t let anybody go overseas for the Peace Corps that I have not personally interviewed And so there is a picture I never will get which I would love to have and that is a group picture of all the Peace Corps staff Let me give you an idea We were looking for a man to run the program in Nepal And what did we want We wanted a man that knew Nepal had been there who spoke that language who is a teacher himself because this is an academic environment and where do you find a fellow like that in the United States I didn t even know where to begin to look but suddenly a fellow showed up Bob Bates M A B A from Harvard PhD from the University of Pennsylvania English teacher coach of the Ski team 5 trips to Nepal spoke Nepali president of the American Alpine Club This fellow said I have been waiting to do something like this all my life He picked up dropped his teaching job at Exeter he is in Nepal right now for us 50 years old terrific fellow He brought with him a deputy A fellow 34 years of age named Willie Unsoeld a professor of theology and philosophy Oregon State College made 4 trips to Nepal married 4 children and speaks Hindi He s out in Nepal So I had these two fellows and I said Gosh you couldn t do better than this and I got a note from Bates and he said he would like to have Polly Prescott out there with him as Associate Rep So I said fine I would like to meet Polly Prescott and one day I was sitting at the desk and in came this lady gray hair very bright blue eyes hair standing out almost straight like this very erect brisk and bright and she sat down and I so to speak fell in love with her right away I said Are you Miss Polly Prescott And she said Yes I said I understand you want to go to Nepal It s tough out there She said Yes I know I said Tell me a little bit about yourself So I found out she had been a secretary of a school that she was executive secretary of the Cleveland Museum of Natural History and at the age of 54 she had climbed the Matterhorn in Switzerland So Polly Prescott is out there in Nepal and if anyone of you had met her you would know that she is a great person perfect for this job Well we shift to another continent In Nigeria we were looking for a man who could fit these qualifications I wanted him to be an outstanding academic person from this country because in Nigeria we were working with three universities 3 Nigerian universities and at least three back here I wanted if possible a Negro Why Because believe it or not until the Peace Corps put Negroes in charge missions abroad with the single exception of I believe Ambassador Warden there had never been a Negro in charge of an American operation overseas It may surprise you as it did me but there never has been one And I wanted to prove just for my own satisfaction that they could do this job So I wanted it to be a Negro if I could I wanted him to know something about Nigeria and so who showed up The president for the largest university for Negroes in this country North Carolina Agriculture and Technical College with 3 000 students of whom 500 are overseas He spent one and a half years I think it was in Todo in Africa a large portion of it in Nigeria He took a leave of absence from North Carolina He is now running our program in Nigeria for us and doing a magnificent job In Malaya we were looking for somebody to run that program and again what did we want We wanted somebody who knew Malaya knew the language So we were studying for training people in Malaya and one fellow showed up 15 years old Ph D from Cornell Head of the History Department at Northern Illinois He s out in Malaya He had written three books on Malaya before he was ever sent there His wife taught high school in Singapore for three years Both of them are bi Lingual in the Malayan language Well I could go on It is truly a remarkable group of Americans and they deserve a lot of credit for our success overseas And finally I will just mention five points which are a gist of the Peace Corps First it s voluntary When you get into the Peace Corps you volunteer to get in and you can get out anytime you want You can quit whenever you want Even though you are overseas you can quit and we tell them that It s the best way to reduce complaining you ever heard in your life The second is it requires some individual initiative Nobody forces you in the Peace Corps And the kind of person who just wants to set on a chair and criticize you can t find in the Peace Corps You have to be the kind of person to have enough gumption to get up and go and do something I think that s very important in the Peace Corps Third thing is that it s inexpensive I think that we are running the cheapest program of overseas workers that the U S Government became involved in It costs 9 000 a year to send a volunteer overseas and keep him there As a matter of fact 9 000 a year covers all the costs of the Volunteer including all the administrative costs here in Washington I don t think that s been beaten so far The 4th point is patriotic We give our people quite a bit of instructions on American history and politics and government before they go and we expect them to be able to stand up like men and women when there s some discussion about American problems or American culture I don t expect them to go around saying Gosh yes the United States has been wrong here we have been wrong there we have been wrong some place else I don t believe in that Sure we have made mistakes in our country but compared to any other country I think ours has done pretty well and I want the people who work with the Peace Corps to be stand up kind of people who have courage humility dignity I think therefore that we appeal to a certain extent to a patriotic motivated person Finally there is need The demand for the Peace Corps is so great that there is no

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  • Sargent Shriver Peace Institute - Sargent Shriver's Excerpts From Remarks Delivered Before the Ohio State Bar Association
    able to teach For example in Colombia more than 600 Volunteers are helping communities organize themselves for action for the first time For the first time they know that such action can be effective They are building their own schools roads and aqueducts What roll does the Peace Corps Volunteer play in this process He is not the provider of money or equipment or supplies He does not live in the capital city making periodic visits to the country to see how or if his gifts are being used He lives with the villagers He shares their lot He demonstrates by example how they can use the resources available to them to improve their situation He s a catalyst in group action For the first time local citizens are learning the power of working together In many ways this knowledge is more important than the schoolhouse with its new teacher the road which now leads to market or even the drinkable water available in town for the first time I believe that human development is the essential ingredient for economic development It makes possible the belief that change can be achieved without bloody revolution This is already changing attitudes about America More important it is changing ideas about the meaning of a democratic order in society In Arequipa Peru a group of Communists met last October and demanded the immediate expulsion of the Peace Corps from the country They were answered but not by the Peace Corps or by the Peruvian Government or by the landowners They were answered by the slum dwellers in Arequipa We raise the most energetic protest the slum dwellers leader said against the attitude of a few persons who did not see the reality of the benefits being received by thousands of workers The Peace Corps Volunteers are one with the slum dwellers of Arequipa The Peace Corps now has 19 Volunteer lawyers in Africa When the first Peace Corps lawyers project was announced an official said Every lawyer wants to be a founding father these guys are going to get their chance In a particularly important way these men and women are helping to create a more orderly process in the countries where they serve These founding fathers have been working in Africa since September Seven are in Liberia five in Nigeria three in Ethiopia three in Nyasaland and one in Sierra Leone David B Strain of Wyoming Ohio is one of the Volunteers assigned to the Ministry of Justice in Enugu the capital of the Eastern Region of Nigeria Some are working with the local court system Tom McCarthy a 1963 graduate of St Johns Law School is in Kaduna Nigeria He is an instructor of local courts He inspects court records and investigates complaints But his real job is training the staffs of the courts in the Northern Region of Nigeria I go to a provincial center each month and give a 10 day course on just about anything The native courts

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  • Sargent Shriver Peace Institute - Sargent Shriver addresses the Annual High School National Conference of Christians and Jews
    elected President of Philippines at 45 died at 49 Alexander Hamilton Secretary of Treasury was 33 when appointed First Secretary of Treasury by George Washington For the girls Jeanne Hurley 29 Paul Simon Paul Elward all under 30 Joan of Arc died at age 19 It has been said that The man who is too good for politics is too good for his fellow man That statement is true Politics is an important profession an important way of helping your fellow man Honest politicians can accomplish many things for brotherhood Don t pass up any chance or ambition you may have to make a career in politics The second idea I nominate for oblivion is the idea that the best government is the least government I was in Austria in 1936 when that tragic country was being treated to very little government In fact the Chancellor of Austria Engelbert Dolfuss was assassinated and for twenty four hours there was no government at all Gangs of marauders roared up and down the streets during the night giving us a sample of the results to be expected when a country enjoys so to speak the least government No it is a serious distortion of the truth to believe that the best government is the least government Guatemala for example has very little government And they have a revolution instead of an election almost every four years Government has grown big today But so has business and labor the Army Navy and even the churches Sears Roebuck and General Motors are examples of great growth great size and great improvement over their predecessors two huge and successful corporations which are today three four and maybe five times as big as they were twenty five years ago When business grows at such speed and reaches such complexity should we be surprised at the growth of government The same observation I think could be made of labor the CIO and A F of L and when labor and business have both grown so large can we still maintain that the best government is the least government This phrase The best government is the least government arose in the 17th Century when all government was the tool of absolute royalty Government was not a service institution then as it is today it was a money making enterprise designed to fill the pocketbooks of royalty and nobility Habeas corpus was unknown or unrecognized spies stool pigeons and snoopers invaded the private lives of the Bourgeoisie more than 120 offenses in England considered an advanced country at that time were punishable by death Government then was the exclusive domain of Kings and Princes who ran affairs to suit themselves Small wonder that the middle class claimed that the best government of that type was the least government Once again the important point is this Don t be misled by slogans and cliches like the best government is the least government Try to remember that brotherhood can be promoted in and by big government big labor or big business The third idea I nominate for oblivion is the idea that there s no chance to get ahead in America anymore the idea that America is no longer the great land of opportunity As a business man I d like to say that opportunities are greater today in American business than ever before Jobs are plentiful for educated young people like you especially college graduates Business men in fact are competing to get the best young men They are recruiting engineers and scientists almost as strenuously as colleges compete for football players Starting salaries are high more than twice as high as when I started work in 1940 Successful new businesses are being started A friend of mine 35 years old started a new electronic business just four years ago Today his Company is worth 50 million True opportunities in business today are not the ones our fathers anticipated Television air conditioning electronics frozen foods are just a few of the big businesses today which did not even exist 20 years ago These are the businesses for young men with imagination initiative and drive Get into electronics or rocketry or metallurgy or chemistry You will find that American business offers more opportunity than most of us can imagine In education too there s a saying I d like to nominate for oblivion It runs like this Those who can do those who can t teach This wise crack reflects the idea that teachers are incompetent people who can t make a success in the big tough world and therefore retreat to the world of scholarship and learning I d like to tell you just how wrong that idea is and at the same time encourage many of you to think seriously of teaching as a career How wrong is this idea Let me explain Thomas Jefferson was a teacher He taught others all his life and he climaxed his career by starting the University of Virginia Jefferson maintained that education was essential to make democracy work His famous words were If we think they the people are not enlightened enough to exercise their control of government with a wholesome discretion the remedy is not to take it from them but to inform their discretion by education Woodrow Wilson was a professor and then subsequently the President of Princeton University General Robert E Lee ended his life as a university president The famous John Adams our 2nd President was a Harvard English professor and William Howard Taft was a Yale Law School teacher In our world today look at these facts The Chancellor of Germany Konrad Adenauer is a former teacher The Prime Minster of India Pandit Nehru and his great predecessor Mahatma Ghandi both are egg heads intellectuals authors of important books university trained men The Prime Minster of Red China Mao Tse Tung is a well known Chinese poet The former Prime Minister of Burma Unu was a teacher

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  • Sargent Shriver Peace Institute - Sargent Shriver's Address to the Illinois State Bar Association
    Department was quoted as saying We re on top They re on the bottom Those nine words typified a mentality that divided a city a mentality that pits we against they a mentality that denies the common humanity of all men a mentality that makes law synonymous with repression and frustration and despair without any end in sight The second story reported an outbreak of violence here in Chicago It warned in effect that the rule of law cannot be secure in the courts or anywhere else unless it is extended beyond the courts beyond the precinct station and into the community That s what we re trying to do through establishing neighborhood law offices We re trying to take respect for and understanding of and confidence in the law into the neighborhood We re trying to extend justice into all dimensions of the poor person s life so that he can begin to see and understand and believe that the forces of law and order are his friends and allies This is not a radical principle If anything it is conservative as old as the law itself We have just funded in Texas four Legal Service Programs In Dallas Corpus Christi Houston and Austin These are not radical communities dominated by some irresponsible fringe element Yet every one of those communities made legal service programs a major priority component in its local anti poverty program The American Bar Association is certainly not a subversive organization or an instrument of some international Communist conspiracy Yet the ABA has twice endorsed the Legal Service Program of the War on Poverty In fact the very day the House of Delegates endorsed the Legal Services Program it also passed a resolution condemning the Supreme Court s reapportionment decisions I might add the endorsement of our program was unanimous In fact the chief criticism we have received from the Bar is that we have only put twenty five million dollars into the program this past fiscal year It may come as a surprise to you but lawyers are not the only people who want this program The poor want it just as much maybe more In community after community we have seen legal services become one of the first demands of the poor They take it as a touchstone the test of whether the poverty program is really sincere in proclaiming that the poor are to be treated as human beings as full citizens In San Francisco for instance where the poor people constitute over 50 of the board of the anti poverty agency the application for legal services was approved and submitted long before the big package of other programs On the Navajo Reservation we found in chapterhouse after chapterhouse that the Legal Service Program ran neck and neck with Head Start our pre school program Why is this Perhaps it s because the poor are insecure And rights are a source of security Like the mother of five children whose welfare was

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  • Sargent Shriver Peace Institute - Sargent Shriver's Address to Operation Crossroads Africa
    the taxpayer s back He s going off the list of unemployed He s going to go from a liability to an asset for his family for his state his country and his fellow man Anyone running a federal program could come here and give you an individual success story But Saul Haymond s story is not an individual isolated unique case Job Corps has done for 48 000 youngsters boys and girls what they ve done for Saul Haymond There are other social inventions also I think everyone who has been associated with Operations Crossroads Africa will be interested to know of a new dimension of volunteerism in this country For the past seven years through the Peace Corps and Crossroads Africa thousands of Americans have gone to Africa to serve as volunteers One of the most exciting things however is that Africans are now coming to this country and volunteering their time and talents through the VISTA program For example last year a young African named Joe Jolongo from the Cameroons and who is studying at Brandeis University served as a VISTA associate in the hollows of Appalachia And this year we hope to enlist as VISTA associates 100 foreign students from all over the world who are studying in this country A large number of them will be Africans They will join forces with the VISTA Volunteers to serve in some of the most impoverished communities in our country Two years ago when VISTA was launched it was a social invention that many people predicted would never work Nobody wants to volunteer it was said for service in urban ghettoes migrant camps or the isolated Indian reservations of this country If someone wanted to volunteer he would be interested in the Peace Corps foreign travel new sights another culture Well they were wrong In two years more than 180 000 people have written to VISTA Nearly 100 000 have filled out forms applying to serve And more than 6 000 have already entered VISTA service By June of this year nearly 10 000 Americans will have made their own personal commitment here at home through serving the poor as VISTA volunteers As a matter of ironic fact VISTA now has to turn away many well qualified candidates because the number of people applying far outstrips the number of positions available within the current budget But VISTA has started a new Citizens Corps of part time volunteers where people can serve in their own communities Already 15 000 people high school and college students housewives and retired men and women are volunteering their services part time and on a regular basis to the poor of their communities It seems as if the old ways of service are evolving into newer methods Nikos Kazantzakis saw the situation in Report to Greco We have been born in an important age of kaleidoscopic experiments adventures and clashes not only between the virtues and vices as formerly but rather between virtues themselves

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  • Sargent Shriver Peace Institute - Sargent Shriver Speaks about The Peace Corps Effect on American Society
    from my own home state of Illinois Northern Illinois University is in the heartland of America It never had an international program International affairs were not one of the top interests of the twenty thousand people who live in the neighboring town Working with the Peace Corps Northern Illinois has trained three groups of Volunteers for Malaya Here are some of the results Six members of the Malayan Government have come there as teachers or lecturers Northern Illinois is now one of the few places in the country teaching Malay and five faculty members have visited Malaya They have begun a Southeast Asia studies program and the local newspaper now features news from that troubled area of the world One of their faculty became the first director of the Peace Corps in Malaya And other schools are having the same sort of experience More than fifty American universities from Puerto Rico to Hawaii have conducted programs to train Peace Corps Volunteers More than two thousand faculty members have participated in these programs And two hundred additional colleges have asked whether they too can participate In each of these universities wherever a Peace Corps program is established there is a surge of interest in a foreign land an influx of eager and interested Volunteers the arrival of groups of visiting instructors and foreign students who are brought to college for the training program For a few months that college is an international center for studies of Thailand or Tanganyika Malaya or Tunisia or any one of almost fifty countries This is an experience which leaves a mark on the life of the college and often especially in rural areas on the surrounding town We have already seen this happen with foreign language training We have trained more people in more exotic languages than the entire National Defense Education Act We have trained hundreds of Americans to speak Thai and Malay Singhalese and Nepali Twi Kri and Hausa languages taught to not a single American under the NDEA And in each case we have left behind on the campus new interest new knowledge sometimes even new dictionaries and textbooks opening up a fresh field of language studies for the college and sometimes for the country These are some of the results of the coming together of the Peace Corps and the colleges the Volunteer and the professors the government administrators and the college deans It fore casts a Peace Corps influence on American education which will make it better able to meet its responsibilities to its students and the country Probably the most important development in the future of the Peace Corps will be the impact of returning Volunteers on American society Before long five thousand Peace Corps Volunteers a year will be returning from having lived and worked overseas under difficult conditions among strange cultures lands and people They will be a new breed of Americans or rather the revival of an old breed of Americans the Americans who believed everything

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  • Sargent Shriver Peace Institute - Sargent Shriver speaks to the Texas Judicial Conference
    the end of a narrow road in heavy jungle had gone unstuffed until two Peace Corps nurses arrived In Ghana by Nkrumah s own estimate seventeen of his schools would not have opened last year if Peace Corps teachers had not come to help On one single day in Ethiopia last month we made it possible to double the number of students in the secondary schools as 275 Volunteers arrived to serve in the classrooms of that country But the benefits of the Peace Corps are reciprocal One year and six months ago I was asking myself What s in it for the USA I m a taxpayer what does my country get for my dollars spent on the Peace Corps I knew that if the Peace Corps were only a humanitarian do good operant it belonged to the province of missionary work and private agencies abroad For the government to operate a Peace Corps there had to be some hard tough practical justifications in terms the taxpayers could understand What are those justifications First there was the obvious fact that if we field to help the underdeveloped countries the Communists would step in if we stepped out Now governments need qualified people They need trained manpower if they are to become viable free societies But they don t have enough trained men and women They must turn to one of two sources the Free World or the Communist Bloc If we did not move to fill the gap we could be sure the Communists would The Peace Corps was one practical down to earth way the United States could move effectively and economically to help those countries help themselves Second the Peace Corps was justified by the need of Americans to know what s happening in the world The United States can t afford to have its citizens insulated like a poor little rich boy protected from the realities and rigors of life around them A free democracy s blood is knowledge Peace Corps Volunteers are getting that knowledge through first hand experience No longer will they be guilty of what one Volunteer described as the three cardinal sins of not knowing not caring not acting Most Americans don t seem to realize that we are in the midst of the first election the world has ever held and maybe the last Will the people of the world choose free government or tyranny that s the issue It s being debated in every precinct of the world The words and the methods and the personalities may be different but the central issue is the same the ultimate destiny of mankind If we re going to win this election we have got to know the voters in Calcutta like a candidate for governor of Texas must know the voters in Corpus Christi Volunteers are going to know them We re going to bring back to this country every year 5 000 men and women who will have been out working in the precincts They re going to know what the Cold War is all about They re going to know it s a deadly serious business They re going to understand the urgency of the militant effort for Peace When these Volunteers come home they will be informed Americans They can become our most enlightened teachers our keenest politicians our most dedicated lawyers They re going to prove that the younger generation is not complacent and we re going to be proud of them There was another justification for using tax dollars for the Peace Corps We had to give the people of the world a true picture of the real moaning of democracy We are doing it not with speeches or films but with people Here s what a missionary wrote from the Philippines The impact created by the arrival of 300 Peace Corps Volunteers was greater than the impact of the fifty megaton bomb exploded by Khrushev Out here 10 000 miles from home people get impressions of America which are terribly unjust For most of the people out here America means Al Capone Billy the Kid divorce two cars and one lonesome baby in an overstuffed cradle in a jumbo sized house The Peace Corps he went on is the greatest expert the United States has ever made better than swing machines TV sets refrigerators tractors or jeeps One American living in a Filipino town is worth more than a whole boatload of corn A boatload of corn is hard to digest but a real live American him they can love The cynics are quick to point out that love cannot stop a rocket that understanding and goodwill among people are vulnerable to the searing heat of an exploding bomb that the image of a nation is only vapor in a rain of bullets and they are right But the nature of a free society built upon Judeo Christian principles dictates that our military arsenal must serve as a deterrent only Does this leave us at the mercy of a system that aggressively spreads its ideology in sinister and subtle ways Does this mean we are to permit that system to continue its appropriation and corruption of the basic words of our vocabulary words like freedom democracy Peace the people Are the peoples of the world to know what those words really mean or only what the Communists say they mean Does this mean we can not act we can only re act The answers a resounding NO The presence of Peace Corps Volunteers throughout the world means that democracy is on the offensive using peaceful and decent means to demonstrate the basic values of our society The fact that patriotic free men and women of their own volition have volunteered to work for the people of other nations this is a fact the Communists can never refute This is a performance they can never emulate Peace Corps Volunteers are America s door to door representatives in

    Original URL path: http://www.sargentshriver.org/speech-article/speech-at-the-texas-judicial-conference (2015-03-27)
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