March 21, 2023

To commemorate the 61st anniversary of the US Peace Corps in the Philippines, US Peace Corps CEO Carol Spahn traveled to Manila and Cebu from October 24 to 28 to highlight the agency’s work with local partners in support of Filipino communities. This is in preparation for the return of American volunteers in January 2023.

Carol Spahn (@PeaceCorpsDir) / Twitter

“In January, 60 volunteers will arrive and work for two years at the invitation of host communities across Luzon and the Visayas in the project sectors of education, youth development, and coastal resource management,” US Peace Corps CEO Spahn said during a joint press conference with Executive Director of the Philippine National Volunteer Service Coordinating Agency (PNVSCA) Donald James Gawe.

“This will be one of the largest groups organized by the US Peace Corps since it resumed overseas operations in March 2022.” “I anticipate that more than 120 volunteers will be working alongside community members in the Philippines by September 2023,” she continued.

The incoming American volunteers will also be among the first to implement the US Peace Corps’ new climate change initiative, which will support over two million hours of volunteer and staff service and help identify and initiate strategies that can contribute to local governments’ climate adaptation plans, according to US Peace Corps CEO Spahn.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the US Peace Corps suspended overseas volunteer services in 2020.

Prior to the pandemic, the US Peace Corps had the most deployments and volunteers in the Philippines. “We are excited to welcome back the American Peace Corps volunteers,” Gawe, Executive Director of the PNVSCA, stated.

“As one of the primary partners in the international volunteer service program, the US Peace Corps continued to strengthen its program in order to respond to the Philippine government’s development priorities and achieve national and local socioeconomic development,” he added.

US Peace Corps CEO Spahn and PNVSCA Executive Director Gawe met in Manila to discuss their organizations’ shared priority of strengthening and mainstreaming national volunteerism as an essential component of development strategy.

During her visit to Cebu City and Naga City, US Peace Corps CEO Spahn met with longtime Peace Corps partners Rare Philippines, My Refuge House, and Glory Reborn to exchange perspectives on their pandemic response and climate change adaptation efforts. She also met with local health officials and went to two COVID-19 vaccination sites funded by the US Peace Corps and the US Agency for International Development (USAID).

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