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23 September 2016

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Around 30 returned US Peace Corps Volunteers gathered at the Philippine Embassy yesterday, 22 September, to shore up support for their scholarship program that funds the education of underprivileged Filipino students.

The Peace Corps Alumni Foundation for Philippine Development (PCAFPD) provides scholarships for Filipino students who need financial assistance to realize their dreams of attending college in the Philippines. Over the years, more than 175 scholarship recipients have completed their studies in fields ranging from engineering and architecture to midwifery and community development.

“Education has always figured prominently in the Peace Corps’ involvement in the Philippines and so it does not come as a surprise that the Peace Corps Alumni Foundation for Philippine Development also chose to concentrate on this area. Education is the great equalizer and indispensable to human development. We are grateful to the Foundation for its sustained and active support that enables young, bright, and motivated Filipinos to acquire the necessary knowledge and skills to realize their dreams and become productive members of society. The provision of scholarships is an investment in the future not only of these deserving students but also of our country,” said the Embassy’s Public Diplomacy Officer, Darell Artates.

The returned volunteers took the opportunity to swap stories about their experiences in the Philippines and enjoy Filipino food, which on many occasions, has been an instrument of friendship between them and the communities they served.

“The presence of the Peace Corps in the Philippines has been a wellspring of strength and inspiration for this friendship. In many communities across the Philippine archipelago, the arrival of Peace Corps Volunteers constitutes the people’s first meeting with America. For the past 55 years, volunteers and communities have been working hand-in-hand to address socio-economic issues, fostering mutual understanding and expanding the field of cooperation,” Ms. Artates stated.

"This evening demonstrates the strong and dynamic relationship between Filipinos and Americans. All of us here, from those who served in the first group of Peace Corps Volunteers in the Philippines in 1961 to those who just returned last year, share a deep bond with the Filipino people we lived and worked with. The Foundation wants to continue this legacy, and for the last 33 years, have been supporting underprivileged Filipino youth obtain a college education, an opportunity that greatly impacts their lives and their families. This evening celebrates these scholars and the people who support them, mostly Returned Peace Corps Volunteers, and we hope that it will encourage more to take part in our mission," said PCAFPD President Steve Dienstfrey.

The PCAFPD is an affiliate of the National Peace Corps Association, and is recognized as the official returned Volunteer group of the Philippines. More than 8,975 Peace Corps Volunteers have served in the Philippines since the program was established in 1961. ###

23 September 2016

Embassy’s Public Diplomacy Officer, Darell Artates welcomed the returned US Peace Corps Volunteers at a reception held at the Romulo Hall of the Philippine Embassy on 22 September 2016.

23 September 2016

Peace Corps Alumni Foundation for Philippine Development (PCAFPD) 2016 Board of Directors (seated, 1st row) led by their President, Mr. Steve Dienstfry (1st row, 4th from left) posed for a group photo with the returned US Peace Corps Volunteers at the Philippine Embassy on 22 September 2016.