U.S. Peace Corps volunteers meet Peace Corps staff and Filipino partners as they begin their virtual assignments.

The U.S. Peace Corps recently concluded a weeklong kickoff program for American volunteers who will provide virtual technical assistance to three requesting Filipino partners in the next six months.

These American volunteers formerly lived and worked in the Philippines as Peace Corps volunteers and are now “returning” to the country virtually to support Filipino host organizations with priority projects as part of the U.S. Peace Corps’ innovative Virtual Service Program, which was introduced due to the pandemic.

The three Filipino partners are the local government of Ivisan in Capiz, Bataan Peninsula State University, and the Philippine Science High School. The American volunteers engaging with them will collaborate on environmental program sustainability, agro- and ecotourism program development, and information & communications technology.

“The U.S. Peace Corps is pleased to support partners in meeting their priority technical assistance needs here in the Philippines, and we plan to continue this unique, highly demanded program even after the pandemic is fully behind us and we have volunteers here in person early next year,” said U.S. Peace Corps Philippines Country Director Jenner Edelman.

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This is the second time in the past year that former American Peace Corps volunteers have engaged with requesting partner organizations through virtual service, including with a number of new Peace Corps partners. The participating Americans are private citizens who share their professional expertise and dedicate five to 15 hours per week to serve alongside Filipino counterparts.

The U.S. Peace Corps is the U.S. government’s premier volunteer service organization and was founded by former U.S. President John F. Kennedy in 1961. Since then, more than 240,000 Americans have served in over 140 countries worldwide, including more than 9,300 volunteers in the Philippines.

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