Dear Editor, 

In our world facing challenges due to health, conflict, illiteracy, and climate change, the United States Peace Corps bring development aid to communities in need. Since September 22, 1961, when President John Kennedy signed the original Peace Corps Act into law, over 240,000 Americans have served in 142 countries, fulfilling assistance requests from country partners. I served in a rural village of Togo from 1995-1998 where I collaborated with community health volunteers to improve the health of women and children by increasing access to antenatal care, labor and delivery services, infant growth monitoring, malaria and diarrhea control, vaccination, clean water, family planning, and prevention of sexually transmitted infections including HIV/AIDS. These Togolese health volunteers I trained 25 years ago still provide quality care and the wells we dug continue to sustain life.

In March 2020, Peace Corps evacuated all volunteers as the world reacted to the covid pandemic. Thankfully the threat of Covid has subsided and Togo is one of the first 23 countries where volunteers have returned to serve local communities once again. Now, 61 years after President Kennedy signed the original law, Peace Corps service is needed now more than ever.

Join me in urging Congress to update and reauthorize the Peace Corps Act!

Sara Holtz

Oakton

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