San Francisco Chronicle
THE VOICE OF THE WEST
SATURDAY, JUNE 2,1990
What We Can Do For the World
FOR MOST OF the 125,000 of us who worked with the Peace Corps, President John Kennedy’s 1961 inaugural words served as our invisible armband: “Ask not what America can do for you, but together what we can do for the freedom of man.”
Hopefully, President Bush was the world leader who said to Gorbachev during his visit to Washington: “Ask not what you can do for just your country, but together what we can do for the world.”
Bush should support legislation that provides for joint implementation with the Soviets of projects that are designed to address problems In areas including care of the elderly and the disabled, health, and protection of the environment.
The sooner American and Soviet “peace corps volunteers” can serve under that invisible armband, the more quickly we will have fewer hungry and angry people.
At about $20,000 per volunteer per year, there are few better long-term investments. Shifting the $400 million (and climbing) that goes into building a single B-1 bomber to funding for 20,000 U.S. volunteers for a year In an American-Soviet Peace Corps would be a giant step toward a kinder and gentler mankind.
This Peace Corps would start with Soviets and Americans training, living and working together in their respective nations. Then volunteers would live and work together on problems facing lesser-developed nations.
The world needs concerted and coordinated efforts from the superpowers so that they may better understand each other and global needs.
An American-Soviet Peace Corps would be a small step that moves all of mankind forward.
Dwayne Hunn is a former Peace Corps volunteer in India. He now lives in Mill Valley.