Speech to the Women's National Democratic Committee

Washington, D.C. | October 08, 1962

This kind of devotion, which nobody has asked for actually but has been voluntarily given, is indicative of the type of work that we have performed here of the staff here in Washington.

I thought today that I might talk for a few minutes on some of the facts concerning the Peace Corps operations here at home; a few of them abroad and some overall considerations about the Peace Corps.

When the Peace Corps first got underway, the President was given a report by a group of experts. This report indicated that if we were able to get 500 to 1,000 people overseas in the first year of operation that the President could consider the idea a success. In terms of numbers, the Peace Corps by the end of this calendar year, will have 5,000 people working in 43 different countries.

Now this is a task which could not have been accomplished without the tremendous devoted efforts of the staff here in Washington and this staff is a very small staff. As of today, it numbers about 240 people full-time permanent people. We have a lot of temporary people who come in and out to do special jobs for us. But these people here in Washington have worked around the clock so that I can honestly and accurately say that the Peace Corps offices in Washington have never been closed. They are opened Saturday, Sunday and legal-holidays night and day. I think that it is a rare occasion when that place is even empty of people at midnight. And this kind of devotion, which nobody has asked for actually but has been voluntarily given, is indicative of the type of work that we have performed here of the staff here in Washington. When we started the Peace Corps there were really four fundamental questions that everybody was concerned about, at least I was.

1. Were there enough qualified volunteers who would volunteer?

2. Would there be a genuine demand overseas or would a particular country merely request the Peace Corps because they felt that if they didn't "take the Peace Corps" that they might not get a $100 million for a big hydro-electric plant or a super highway or something else that
 they wanted of a .material nature?

3. Another fundamental consideration was could we select people intelligently and successfully, or would the Peace Corps become, as some people described it, as a haven for beatniks?

4. And, finally, could we train people effectively?

You know there were plenty of examples at that time of poor training programs for service overseas. I would remember vividly one of the foundations of a very fine one. We had sent about 24 teachers to a country in West Africa just within the year before we started the Peace Corps and out of the 24 teachers, 20 of them were back in the United States within 6 months of the time they arrived in Africa.

So that was the psychological atmosphere that we started the Peace Corps in.

Now here are the facts with respect to supply: In the first year 35,000 people volunteered for, the Peace Corps. Last week we gave a Peace Corps test. 4,100 people took that test. More people took that test than has taken any test in the history of the Peace Corps, including the very first one, when President Kennedy announced the Peace Corps program.

Five times as many people volunteered for the Peace Corps this September as volunteered last September. So we believe the Peace Corps has proved itself to be much more than a flash in the pan. The initial enthusiasm has not waned. Of course this will continue to be one of our most important problems, namely, the supply, because unless we get highly skilled qualified people to join the Peace Corps, we can't possibly meet the demands overseas. And that brings me to the second part - the demand.

I remember when we started the Peace Corps, I had just come from private business so I remember very vividly that the Ford Automobile Company came out with the product known as the Edsel. You all remember that Ford spent something in the neighborhood of 250 to 300 million dollars to produce the Edsel and then they found out after they produced it that very few people seemed to want it. So I was determined not to take a lot of your money as tax payers to produce Peace Corps Volunteers and then find out that nobody wanted them. So at the very beginning we went around the world to find out where there was a genuine demand. We went to eight countries and much to my surprise the demand, as well as I could ascertain it, was overwhelming.

The very first place was Ghana and I didn't know as we stepped off the airplane whether we might get an invitation to go to that country. Somebody handed me a morning newspaper and on the front page was an editorial saying: "SHRIVER GO HOME. YOU OLD NEO-COLONIALIST, WE DON'T NEED YOU OUT HERE. THE PEACE CORPS IS A THINLY VEILED CIA OPERATION."

But the Ambassador having handed me that let me read it, which I always felt was cruel and inhuman punishment, then told me that Nkhruma the President of Ghana, had called him and said that although that editorial appeared on the front page of the official Ghanaian newspaper,
that the Ambassador should not be worried about it because the editor had failed to clear it in advance with Nkhruma. In fact Nkhruma was looking forward to seeing me the next morning at 10 o'clock.

We went to see Nkhruma and he endorsed the Peace Corps completely He said it was a bold and splendid idea and just what Ghana. needed, The wheels of government moved very rapidly when Nkhruma is with you and before we left three days later, we had logs of requests for Peace Corps Volunteers in that country.

Well the same thing happened from Nigeria to Pakistan to India to Thailand to the Philippine Republic and so on. By the time I got back we were sure there was a great demand.

As of this moment we are even more convinced of the great demand, because every country where the Peace Corps has gone -- without exception -- has begged us to double, triple or even quadruple the number of Peace Corps Volunteers we sent there to begin with.

Take Ghana again for example. The first group we sent there had 51 people in it. They had been working there for a year when Nkhurma went up to Moscow to receive the Lenin Peace Prize. He got it, traveled around through the various Soviet countries, came back to Ghana and asked us to send over three times as many Volunteers - 150. I don't know what they thought about that in Moscow but I was very pleased.

Now in Malaya, we had 67 people when we started. They have asked us to send 180.

In Tanganyika we sent 36 people to start off with. They were all men; the men started writing back saying, "where are all the Peace Corps girls we have been hearing about?" And the government thought it would be a good idea for us to balance the situation a little better, so we posted 36 trained nurses out there about a month ago. I don't know whether that's just the right number for a critical mass like the atomic bomb, but I am looking for a few explosions of a different nature out there pretty soon.

I might just bring up that topic because it's always in the forefront of many audiences --and that's marriage in the Peace Corps.

We had two policies which we had a lot of trouble creating.

They were called Mom and Pop. That was the policy on Pregnancy and the memorandum on Marriage—Mom and Pop. The memo on marriage has worked very well. It starts off with the sentence, “We discourage marriage," and then it goes on for three pages to tell the Peace Corps how to handle marriage situations as they arise.

As of today I think there are 19 marriages in the Peace Corps. We have our first baby and we have, I might also say, grandfathers and grandmothers in the Peace Corps. A lady here at home has become the first Peace Corps grandmother.

We have adoptions: a couple in Thailand have adopted a little Thai baby. We have every kind of marriage that you can think of: Volunteers marrying Volunteers; male Volunteers marrying women in the foreign countries; women Volunteers marrying men from the foreign country. That covers all of the possibilities, I think. And believe it or not, everything is going along fine.

I decided this was the kind of problem that could not be handled from Washington, so it’s one of the things we have delegated to the field, and each one of our Peace Corps Representatives in the field has the discretion to determine whether or not a particular couple should get married; after they are married if they should stay in the Peace Corps, etc. etc. And I look upon this very favorably.

At Stanford University last spring, I was giving a talk and somebody told me that Stanford had determined as a result of a lot of scientific studies, sociological and anthropological, etc., that the
 perfect ratio at Stanford was 2/3 men and 1/3 women. So they had very carefully and scientifically adhered to this ratio.

I don’t know if Stanford was selected as the most popular university for women to attend or not, but the truth is that in the Peace Corps the ratio is 66 and 2/3, and 33 and 1/3. There wasn’t 1% left out for neutral. Everybody in the Peace Corps is pro or con -- no neutrals.

The marriage situation has progressed very well and I might say that any of you talking to younger girls interested in joining the Peace Corps, you can tell them the prospects are excellent. After all, where in this world could you possibly be associated with a group of men where you know they have all been cleared physically, and they have all had fine physical education training, have been cleared intellectually; they have all been cleared morally; are dedicated, highly motivated individuals and in addition to that they are all cleared by the FBI.

Now with respect to training of Peace Corps Volunteers--lots of people said we couldn’t train them properly. Well, we have used about 45 American universities at this point, all the way from Puerto Rico to Hawaii and, of course, we have had some excellent programs and some that were not so good.

The Peace Corps definitely could not have been established without the tremendous assistance given to us by American higher education. I honestly believe that there is no nation in the world which could have put on a variety of programs which we have requested for the Peace Corps. Let me give you an idea of what I mean.

I might start off by saying that we have a different program for each country so that if you are a trainee going to Ghana you get specialized training program which is specifically tailor made for that country. Similarity for any other country. And this is the kind of qualifications we put down on paper and hope that we can find the right university. It occurred with respect to the very first group--Tanganyika. We looked for a school that had very good civil engineering courses, which had good geology, which had good surveying. We wanted a place where the temperature of the university campus would be similar to that of Tanganyika, where, in fact, even the rock formations would be something similar to Tanganyika and where, in addition, the faculty could give instructions in language of Tanganyika Swahili.

Now you put these requirements down and frankly, a lot of places in the U.S. don't qualify. Among those for example that don't qualify is my own alma mater at Yale and the president's alma mater Harvard. One place came up just perfectly on every point. I couldn't believe it. A small college called Texas Western College at El Paso. Texas Western College had every one of these qualifications and in addition, had the qualification that it was in the home state of the Chairman of the National Advisory Council of the Peace Corps, Vice President Lyndon Johnson. So with all of these qualifications, we couldn't fail.

We sent 36 people down to Texas Western where the rock formations there near El Paso are exactly like the rock formations in Tanganyika so that our geologists could go out with a little hammer, knock on the same rock that they would be knocking on when they got to Tanganyika. Well 36 fellows entered training there; 32 of them went to Tanganyika and everyone is still there. A year later, there has not been one fellow quit; there has not been one difficulty, so far. As I said, we sent those registered trained nurses out there recently so maybe our troubles have just begun.

We used universities, like Texas Western, Northern Illinois-we have also used Harvard, University of California, Michigan, Michigan State, Ohio State, Iowa State, Oklahoma, North Carolina.

Now on the selection side of it, our selection was set up at the beginning by highly skilled people who had worked in this business for a long time, and we established a theory on selection. We decided that there was no single way of selecting anybody for anything, especially for overseas work. Well some people said interviewing people is a way to select them; another person said give them a sociological examination; another said train them in the university; another person said find out if they can speak a language; another said screen them psychiatrically etc.

Well, instead of doing any one of these things, we decided to just do them all, and then at the end we would find out just which one or which group of tests actually produced the right volunteers. Early in the game, we decided that the training program, the entire training program of two or three months in an American university, would be part of the selection process. So when we invite somebody to come to training they know that there is a 20 percent chance that they will be washed out - flunked out of the program.

Also during this time, while in training 2 or 3 months, we observe them academically, physically, morally, sociologically and any other way that's proper. The result is out of the first 3,500 people sent overseas, 25 had been separated from the Peace Corps for all purposes and in the 25 you would have to include even those who have died overseas. We lost two fellows, for example, in airplane crash in Colombia. Another fellow died of internal sickness in the Philippines. We have separated some people for compassionate reasons. For example, a boy 25 years old, working in Nigeria: his father died, his mother was left as the sole support of the family of 6. He asked for permission to resign and come home to help support the family. Naturally we let him resign and he came home. So he and these people who died and all others for compassionate reasons are included in these 25. And I think that figure alone indicates that the selection program has been well managed by the experts who came in to do it.

So much for the situation here at home—namely the demand is great overseas, the supply is good at home (although we are going to need more people all the time) the training programs can be improved but seem to be working reasonably well. Selection so far has been more than adequate.

Now overseas the greatest impressions I brought back from my trip to the Far East were: (1) The Peace Corps Volunteers are doing everything we ever said they would do; they live in these funny, little houses, with thatched roofs; they sleep on wooden beds with their cane center, no mattress; they eat the local food -- rice, you know, three times a day, beans; they speak the local language. Now a lot of people, especially Asiatic leaders, said this couldn't be done, that Americans can't get along without television, automobiles and radios, hamburgers, corner drug stores, etc; but the truth is the tougher the living conditions, the more difficult they are, the happier the Peace Corps Volunteers are. Actually they are doing, therefore, what we said they would do, living the way we said they would live, they are luring at the low cost we said they would live at.

The second big point is their acceptance. They are totally accepted. I think it would be a real thrill for you to see how well they are doing. For example, in Malaya one of our Peace Corps Volunteers was picked by the Malayan Government to be a Malayan expert on television in an international conference. There were 5 people on this group. There was the President of the University of Malaya; 2 member of the Cabinet, the 4th member whom I can't remember off hand and the Peace Corps Volunteer and when the tables were all set around there was one for Malaya, another for Indonesia, another for Thailand. Here was an American Peace Corps Volunteer sitting at the one for Malaya.

In Thailand, when I had a press conference at, the time I left there, it was scheduled to take place in the American Embassy and the Thai said, "Oh no, you can't have your press conference over there. You have to have it in our building." So it was picked up moved out of there and put into the Thailand temporary Economic Committee Headquarters; the Thais thereby endorsing exactly what the Peace Corps was doing.

The third thing is of actual competence on the job -- Peace Corps Volunteers competence on the job. It really is an extraordinary thing to see. There was a young girl, 21 years old, lived on Madison Avenue in New York--a real New Yorker. Suddenly this girl and another girl about 22 found themselves living in a thatched house in a village in the Philippines, 75 miles from the nearest American, all by themselves and they were dumped into this village. Now let me tell you the first night was a real thrill. There is no electricity, just kerosene lamps. Nobody in the house but these two girls. Lights went out about 8 o'clock, they got into bed -- 2 beds, lying there, and one of the girls said to the other, "I thought I heard somebody come in downstairs." The other one said, "Oh no, that's just your imagination--nothing to it." They were lying there for a little while longer and heard funny sounds and something dropping down between the beds. About two minutes later it happened again. One of the girls said, "I am sure there is somebody in this house. I can hear them walking around." The other one said, "Oh no, nothing to that." "Well do, you hear them coming up the steps?" And suddenly they heard footsteps. One of these girls really started to get nervous and said, "I can't stand this, I am going to start screaming," and boy did she start screaming and the next thing you know, this girl said, "This guy's got me by the foot," and the place really broke up. Such screaming and hollering you have never heard in your life. The neighbors came running in from next door and sure enough there was nobody in the house but they had heard all of these things and for the first two nights they didn't sleep a wink. They couldn't go to sleep at all -- even with pills. We give them pills. Yet 8 months later when I was there, those same two girls were right in that house doing an absolutely remarkable job of teaching. They get up every morning at 6 o'clock, they walk 4 kilometers across the land; they get to a dugout canoe, paddle 3 miles to a little island, go up the side of the hill about a thousand feet and start teaching school. They are probably the most popular people in that village. They speak Tagalog as well as all of us speak English. But I mentioned this story just to give you an idea that it really is tough at the beginning but the Peace Corps Volunteers have real courage and that they have managed to overcome these difficult sociological situations.

Also overseas we've got a staff of people working as supervisory Personnel watching out over the Peace Corps Volunteers to make sure that they are performing well. I am looking forward to getting a magazine to write a story on the men who run these programs because I have a caption which I think will be appropriate for it. It is: "You Can Trust Your Daughter With These Men."

Actually as Director for the Peace Corps I felt a real sense of moral responsibility about people who lead the Peace Corps programs overseas. Sad to say, I am old enough to have a daughter or son 21 or 22 who could very easily be in the Peace Corps. As a matter of fact, some of the daughters of friends of mine are in the Peace Corps, and I thought to myself, "Shriver, how would you like it if your friend Bill Brown was running this program and your daughter arrived in some program and the guy in charge of some program there was not the kind of man that you think should be in charge," and so every person that has gone overseas for the Peace Corps, the secretary to the doctors, everyone of them has been interviewed by at least 5 or 6 people of the Peace Corps and everyone of them by me personally. I won't let anybody go overseas for the Peace Corps that I have not personally interviewed.

And so there is a picture I never will get which I would love to have and that is a group picture of all the Peace Corps staff. Let me give you an idea: We were looking for a man to run the program in Nepal. And what did we want? We wanted a man that knew Nepal, had been there, who spoke that language, who is a teacher himself, because this is an academic environment--and where do you find a fellow like that in the United States? I didn't even know where to begin to look, but suddenly a fellow showed up. Bob Bates, M.A., B.A. from Harvard; PhD from the University of Pennsylvania, English teacher, coach of the Ski team, 5 trips to Nepal, spoke Nepali, president of the American Alpine Club. This fellow said, "I have been waiting to do something like this all my life." He picked up, dropped his teaching job at Exeter--he is in Nepal right now for us -- 50 years old -- terrific fellow. He brought with him a deputy. A fellow 34 years of age named Willie Unsoeld, a professor of theology and philosophy, Oregon State College, made 4 trips to Nepal; married, 4 children and speaks Hindi. He's out in Nepal.

So I had these two fellows and I said, "Gosh, you couldn't do better than this; and I got a note from Bates and he said he would like to have Polly Prescott out there with him as Associate Rep. So I said fine, I would like to meet Polly Prescott and one day I was sitting at the desk and in came this lady, gray hair, very bright, blue eyes, hair standing out almost straight like this, very erect, brisk and bright and she sat down and I, so to speak, fell in love with her, right away." I said, "Are you Miss Polly Prescott?" And she said, "Yes." I said, "I understand you want to go to Nepal. It's tough out there." She said, "Yes, I know." I said, "Tell me a little bit about yourself." So I found out she had been a secretary of a school, that she was executive secretary of the Cleveland Museum of Natural History and at the age of 54 she had climbed the Matterhorn in Switzerland. So Polly Prescott is out there in Nepal, and if anyone of you had met her you would know that she is a great person -- perfect for this job.

Well, we shift to another continent. In Nigeria, we were looking for a man who could fit these qualifications. I wanted him to be an outstanding, academic person from this country because in Nigeria, we were working with three universities --3 Nigerian universities and at least three back here. I wanted, if possible, a Negro. Why? Because, believe it or not, until the Peace Corps put Negroes in charge, missions abroad, with the single exception of I believe Ambassador Warden, there had never been a Negro in charge of an American operation overseas. It may surprise you, as it did me, but there never has been one. And I wanted to prove just for my own satisfaction that they could do this job. So I wanted it to be a Negro if I could. I wanted him to know something about Nigeria and so who showed up? The president for the largest university for Negroes in this country -- North Carolina Agriculture and Technical College with 3,000 students of whom 500 are overseas. He spent one-and-a-half years, I think it was, in Togo, in Africa; a large portion of it in Nigeria. He took a leave of absence from North Carolina. He is now running our program in Nigeria for us and doing a magnificent job.

In Malaya, we were looking for somebody to run that program and again, what did we want? We wanted somebody who knew Malaya, knew the language. So we were studying for training people in Malaya and one fellow showed up 45 years old, Ph. D. from Cornell, Head of the History Department at Northern Illinois. He's out in Malaya. He had written three books on Malaya before he was ever sent there. His wife taught high school in Singapore for three years. Both of them are bi-Lingual in the Malayan language. Well I could go on. It is truly a remarkable group of Americans and they deserve a lot of credit for our success overseas.

And finally, I will just mention five points which are a gist of the Peace Corps. First, it's voluntary. When you get into the Peace Corps you volunteer to get in and you can get out anytime you want. You can quit whenever you want. Even though you are overseas you can quit and we tell them that. It's the best way to reduce complaining you ever heard in your life. The second is it requires some individual initiative. Nobody forces you in the Peace Corps. And the kind of person who just wants to set on a chair and criticize, you can't find in the Peace Corps. You have to be the kind of person to have enough gumption to get up and go and do something. I think that's very important in the Peace Corps.

Third thing is that it's inexpensive. I think that we are running the cheapest program of overseas workers that the U. S, Government became involved in. It costs $9,000 a year to send a volunteer overseas and keep him there. As a matter of fact $9,000 a year covers all the costs of the Volunteer including all the administrative costs here in Washington. I don't think that's been beaten so far.

The 4th point is patriotic. We give our people quite a bit of instructions on American history and politics and government before they go and we expect them to be able to stand up like men and women when there's some discussion about American problems or American culture. I don't expect them to go around saying "Gosh, yes, the United States has been wrong here, we have been wrong there, we have been wrong some place else." I don't believe in that. Sure, we have made mistakes in our country but compared to any other country I think ours has done pretty well and I want the people who work with the Peace Corps to be stand up kind of people; who have courage, humility, dignity. I think, therefore, that we appeal to a certain extent to a patriotic, motivated person.

Finally, there is need. The demand for the Peace Corps is so great that there is no question about the need overseas of people of the type we send. In fact, beginning tomorrow and the next day in Puerto Rico, 45 nations are coming there to discuss the subject of manpower abroad middle level manpower. These countries are coming because they knew they need this type of skill and others know they can send people like the Peace Corps send and finally, the Peace Corps, it seems, works, In other words, it's voluntary, it's patriotic, it's inexpensive, there is need and it works. It works because of the dedication of individual volunteers, the leadership that they receive overseas, and they also received from home.

I am very grateful to all of you for coming here today because I think that a large number of people here provide an answer to a question which was asked me twice when I first went around the world. The Premier of Burma said to me "Mr. Shriver, do you really believe that the young people who come out here with the Peace Corps will have the same disposition to and dedication to their theories of democracy that the communists have who come down to help us from Red China? He said, you really believe that an American from Kokomo, Indiana will have that kind of spirit and dedication? I said I did. And in India a woman said to me "The American revolution was the first revolution. Can you bring to India the spirit and ideals of that revolution? If you can bring those ideals we want you. If you can't we don't want you."

I believe our Volunteers have brought the spirit and ideals of our revolution not only to India but every country where they have gone and we have gotten that kind of Volunteer because of the interest and support and enthusiasm of groups like all of you assembled here today. Thank you.


Q. I was quoted as saying we wanted our people qualified to answer questions and speak up and stand up, as you might say, for the United States abroad, and that is true. And the question is what guidance we give them about local political issues--what do we tell them they should or should not do about local issues in foreign countries?

A. As a cardinal rule in the Peace Corps we do not permit political propagandizing nor do we permit religious proselytizing. Now to me that means every Peace Corps Volunteer should remember that he or she is a guest in the country where they are located and that they are not, therefore, to preach, you might say, Americanism from a soap box on a corner nor are they to get into violent political arguments with their hosts about political activities--and in fact that is the way our Peace Corps Volunteers have been behaving. It is a matter of discretion and good judgment and common sense rather than of some arbitrary fiat from Washington. We hope we have chosen people with the common sense, as I said, who will behave themselves in a dignified way and that means not getting into a criminal discussions about local political issues.

Q. The question is--would I like to give any incidents or situations in foreign countries where people have been taught to help themselves or urged to help themselves?

A. Yes, in South America we have quite a bit of that because in South America we are doing what is called rural community development and the whole thrust of that type of work is to get people to do something for themselves. Now let's take Colombia for example. In practically every town in Colombia where we are working--and we are now working in about 65 towns in Colombia--we have been instrumental in either energizing for creating from the beginning a local junta which usually consists of maybe 5 or 6 people, the leading people in town. Our fellows arrive on the scene and if the junta exists but isn't doing anything, or doesn't exist at all, they help to get it started. They get the junta to actual undertake projects of self help and the first step is to get the junta to decide what they need in the village. It might be a school, it might be a sewer system, it might be a fresh water well, a road or bridge. 
What ever it might be it reminds me a little bit of "A Bell for Adano," John Hersey's work. Well, you can say the bell wasn't of any importance, any economical importance. But the thing that got the community together was to get that bell back. Our job is to find out what specific thing in any community will get that community working together with community spirit. Now we have built schools, we have built bridges, we opened up recreation centers, we started community co-ops, credit unions, marketing co-ops and so on in all these villages that I mentioned and all these things have been energized by the presence of the Peace Corps Volunteers. I can cite you a particular town for example and just show you what happened. There was a bridge that collapsed two years before we ever got there. The result of which this town was cut off from marketing and they couldn't get the government to come out to build a bridge. Well, our fellow arrived and he had the initiative and time perhaps to get to the government. He got there on a horse or bicycle. I don't remember how he got there. He went to the Governor himself because he was a foreigner. Because he was a Peace Corps Volunteer, he got an audience with the Governor. He got the Governor to agree that this bridge had to be built and that the Department of Public Works would send a bulldozer out to reconstruct the thing. About a week later the bulldozer arrived and then I think it was about two or three months the bridge was built. The Governor came to dedicate it. Now, his only occurred because there was a man there with the initiative, with the gumption, with the time to energize this. He didn't build the bridge. He couldn't build the bridge, and even if he could it wouldn't be effective, but he did get the machine going. The bridge got built not by the Public Works Department, but by the people in the village.

A. As I said the demand for Peace Corps Volunteers overseas is so tremendous we couldn't possibly begin to fill all the requests. Let me give you an idea of what I mean. We will be working in 50 countries. 
We have been asked to supply somewhere in the neighborhood of 390 different kinds of skills. These are classifiable jobs. Now to find the right person for the right job in the right country at the right time is a tremendous undertaking and you have to have a huge number of people from whom to select from in order to meet those requirements. For example, we were asked to send a physics teacher to Chulalongkorn University in Bangkok to teach physics in the Thai language, but he's there. We found him. But that is a difficult jab to fill. Similarly, in Ecuador, we were asked to send 20 high school teachers to teach science in Spanish, but we got them, we got 18 of them. But when the requests are so specific you have to have a huge number of people to apply so that you can meet the specific requests. That's one of the reasons why we have to have a large number of Volunteers. As of today we have invited to training camps about one out of every six people who apply. Next year we will have to have 50,000 Americans to apply in order to meet our own goals. Actually our goals of today are less than 1/5 of what the foreign countries have asked us to supply. In fact there are at least a dozen countries in the waiting line to get the Peace Corps in their countries and we haven't even begun to recruit the staff or the volunteers for those dozen countries. If we were to begin to meet the demand we would have to have twice as many volunteers as we have today. I say that because I hope all of you will understand that for the United States to grasp this opportunity effectively we need your help. Let me give you one example. Here's a kind of impact that we can have in Ethiopia. They asked us to send them 300 high school teachers. We have never attempted anything half as large as that but we said we would try, and today in Ethiopia we have 270 high school teachers. We trained them here in Georgetown University and they are in Ethiopia today. Now what does this mean to our country and to them? In Ethiopia the arrival of these 270 high school teachers doubled the total number of students in that country attending high school. The Ethiopians themselves say, and our AID mission educational people over there say, that this program can possibly have more impact on this country than anything that has happened in modern history, and I use that word broadly. I mean modern history--the last 400 years. In Ethiopia 95% of the people are illiterate and yet here's a country—a huge country—with a large population in great need for high school and college and university graduates to run the government. The Peace Corps alone will double the total number of high school students in that country. It can be the catalyst of the greatest change in Ethiopia's history in modern times. And the revolution or evolution or however the developments come about in Ethiopia can be greatly influenced in the directions by the people you encourage to join the Peace Corps and to go overseas to do this kind of work. As I said in Austin, Texas last weekend, it's easy to complain and fight communism in Austin, Texas. But I said: "you know, ladies and gentlemen, there are very few communists in Austin, Texas. If someone wants to get in the what we call the battle for men's minds, the way to get into all of this is to join the Peace Corps -  or something like it -  and go out and teach school in a place like Ghana, where when you are in this class room, the fellow in the next class room is a card-carrying communist. If you really want to see what you really believe in, and whether you can teach it and be influential about it, the place to do that is in competition with somebody who really disagrees with you, but not in Austin, Texas. That's the challenge, and I believe it is also the great opportunity which the Peace Corps offers to Americans. Thank you.