Peace Corps celebrates 50 years


THE first batch of US Peace Corps volunteers arrived in Kuala Lumpur on Jan 13, 1962.

The Peace Corps programme was the idea of John F. Kennedy when he visited University of Michigan while he was campaigning for the presidency in 1960. He had challenged the students to serve their country through volunteer work.
It was finally launched in March, 1961. The objective was to promote world peace and friendship. The volunteers, who were college graduates, would serve abroad  for two years after three months’ training.

They worked with governments, schools, non-profit organisations, non-government organisations and entrepreneurs, mainly in developing countries.
In Malaysia, the programme ran from 1962 to 1983 with over 4,000 volunteers in various fields including banking, agriculture, health, education, environment and business.
This year marks the 50th anniversary of Peace Corp’s programme in Malaysia.

• Were you a Peace Corps volunteer?  Friends with one?  Were you taught by or had received assistance from a Peace Corp volunteer?
If you had any experience with the Peace Corps volunteers, we want your stories. Please visit and click on the Peace Corps Contest tab to read more about submitting your Peace Corps stories and photos to the U.S. Embassy. If you do not have facebook, please email your submissions to


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