CEO U.S. Peace Corps Philippines Country Director Jenner Edelman, U.S. Peace Corps CEO Carol Spahn (center), and U.S. Ambassador to the Philippines MaryKay Carlson (right) express their gratitude to local partners at the U.S. Peace Corps 61st anniversary celebration in Manila.

U.S. Peace Corps CEO announces return of American volunteers during PH visit

November 3, 2022 People's Tonight 334 views

TO mark the U.S. Peace Corps’ 61st anniversary in the Philippines, U.S. Peace Corps CEO (Chief Executive Officer) Carol Spahn visited Manila and Cebu from October 24 to 28 to highlight the agency’s work with its local partners in support of Filipino communities ahead of the return of American volunteers to the country in January 2023.

“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,” Spahn said during a joint press conference with Philippine National Volunteer Service Coordinating Agency (PNVSCA) Executive Director Donald James Gawe.

“This group will be one of the largest that the U.S. Peace Corps has organized since resuming overseas operations in March 2022. By September 2023, I expect more than 120 volunteers will be working alongside community members in the Philippines,” Spahn said.

The U.S. Peace Corps CEO also noted that the incoming American volunteers will be among the first to implement the agency’s new climate change initiative that 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.

The U.S. Peace Corps suspended overseas volunteering services in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Pre-pandemic, the U.S. Peace Corps had the highest number of deployment and volunteer in-service in the Philippines. We are looking forward to welcoming the American Peace Corps volunteers back,” PNVSCA Executive Director Gawe said.

“As one of the main partners in the international volunteer service program, the U.S. Peace Corps continued its efforts in strengthening its program to respond to the development priorities of the Philippine government toward achieving national and local socio-economic development,” Gawe added.

During their meeting in Manila, U.S. Peace Corps CEO Spahn and PNVSCA Executive Director Gawe discussed their agencies’ shared priority of strengthening and mainstreaming national volunteerism as an essential aspect of development strategy.

In her visit to Cebu City and Naga City, Spahn met long-time Peace Corps partners Rare Philippines, My Refuge House, and Glory Reborn to exchange insights on their work during the pandemic and on climate change adaptation efforts.

She also met local health officials and visited two COVID-19 vaccination sites supported by the U.S. Peace Corps and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).