Friends of Costa Rica is happy to announce that we have joined the National Peace Corps Association and many other RPCV groups in signing a letter to President Obama, requesting highest possible funding, and consideration of Peace Corps service in his selection of a new Peace Corps Director. In total 115 RPCV groups signed the letter to the President.
The formal letter is below and can also be seen here:
Dear Mr. President,
As representatives of Friends of Costa Rica member groups of the Peace Corps community, we congratulate you on your re-election and offer our best wishes to you and Vice President Biden in leading our nation forward.
As you begin your second term, we respectfully request the following:
- Provide the highest level of funding possible for the Peace Corps in your Fiscal Year 2014 budget request.
- Nominate a new Peace Corps Director who will continue to build upon recent progress within the agency.
We firmly believe our nation leads best when we pursue a foreign policy that prioritizes a peaceful resolution of potential conflicts built on a foundation of collaboration, friendship and understanding. These ideals are central to the spirit and mission of Peace Corps service.
On Peace Corps Funding: We proudly and passionately urge you to provide the highest level of funding possible for the Peace Corps in your Fiscal Year 2014 budget. While our nation faces significant fiscal challenges, we believe recent progress within the Peace Corps must be sustained and advanced.
- As you know, under your leadership, Peace Corps volunteers and trainees in the field climbed to 9,000, while minority placement reached 20% for the first time.
- As you also know, a Peace Corps Volunteer overseas is an American citizen with a cost effective job, obtaining tremendous skills that benefit our nation. We need look no further than the impact Peace Corps played in the life of Ambassador Chris Stevens to understand the long term benefits Peace Corps service provides to our nation.
- The supply of Peace Corps applicants and the many unmet requests for more volunteers remains high, further demonstrating the value of and desire for the Peace Corps. Moving our nation forward must include a robust Peace Corps program.
At a time of enormous change in the world, it is ever more crucial that peoples across the globe understand our nation. There is no better or more enduring way to communicate American values and ideals than through the engagement of our citizens in common endeavors to combat poverty, promote understanding and contribute to development than the Peace Corps. Responding to the unmet requests of many countries for new or expanded numbers of Peace Corps Volunteers may be the best foreign policy investment this country can make.
On Nominating the Next Peace Corps Director: We applaud the accomplishments of departed Director Aaron Williams and his team. As you consider your next nomination to lead the Peace Corps, we ask the following:
- Give your strongest consideration (as you did with Director Williams) to nominate a Director who served as a Peace Corps Volunteer. A Director who has served is much better positioned to fully understand the wide array of challenges and opportunities that our Peace Corps volunteers will face in the field.
- Nominate a Director who is committed to continued advancement of key objectives of Peace Corps’ June 2010 strategic plan, including an annual review and prioritization of Peace Corps countries of service, advancing minority recruitment and committing to best in class training and program development.
- Nominate a Director who is committed to fulfilling the promise to strengthen services and support to current and returned volunteers who are subjected to violence (including and especially sexual assault), injury and illness incurred during and/or resulting from Peace Corps service.
Mr. President, we thank you for considering these matters which are vitally important to the Peace Corps community.
Friends of Costa Rica