Special of the week; Peace Corps
Report on the Peace Corps. That was Senator John Kennedy speaking at the University of Michigan during his campaign for the presidency. The challenge was taken up by students throughout the country. At Michigan the organization Americans committed for World responsibility became one of the National Student focal points for the Peace Corps at the Colorado State University. Dr. Maurice Albertson was appointed by the international cooperation administration to conduct an international study of the Peace Corps as background for legislation in this field. Today's special report is taken from comments made at Michigan by Professor Albertson first research. What should the core be.
How do you approach determining the advisability and practicability of a program. I mean decided that we would first try to. Establish a few benchmarks. We've tested with. Quite a large number of people less than a hundred. But we try to establish some of the basic criteria what use you score should be. On the basis of this we prepared a tentative study outline. Beyond our original proposal. And we discussed this. With well over 200 people. Either in it as it individuals or in groups. From this we finally formed our final plan of the study. And the final plan the study included. Filling out their getting questionnaires filled out on such. Questions as the organizational structure for. Center car bombs in the United States and in the host country. Qualification and selection of unique. Qualification and selection of leaders. Types of projects in which corps members might participate. Orientation and training of youth and leaders. Relation to military service. Research and Evaluation associated with such a programme. And programme implementation. These are the principal questions that we are seeking answers to. We sent questionnaires to various. Voluntary. Private agencies and private groups that have been conducting similar types of programs in the past. Two former there were. Former participants in 11 overseas programs here about the well over a thousand questionnaires with. Former employees of the United Nations. Former employees of ICAO the International Cooperation administration. Senior students in ten teachers colleges thousands questionnaires going after them. Foreign students now studying the net in the United States 700 to them. Young members of six labor unions. Five hundred went out to them. Member colleges and universities and the American Council on Education. Thousand rap to them. Students in 10 universities and colleges. 5000. There. Are other persons experienced an international and economic development. Altogether we. Are having on our hands now over 10000 questionnaires to analyze. And we're just in the middle of it. You can sympathize with us now in the weeks ahead. We conducted their. Personal interviews with government officials and representatives of private industry labor foundations and agencies. These were conducted individually and in small groups. All together. We conducted about three hundred fifty interviews. We conducted surveys. And our requests of the ICSA. I surveyed their office directors in Washington for ideas regarding this. And then we went to brought. To study. The reaction of the host country. In three to three host countries in three different continents.
One of my colleagues went to Latin America. To Mexico. Colombia. Chile and Haiti. Another went to. Africa. To Nigeria. Home. And to God. There's another man there now. Who is carving a few more countries for us. And I went to South Asia and Southeast Asia. To Pakistan India Thailand. And the Philippines. The questions we were asking were very similar to the ones I just read off to you a bit ago. With primary emphasis on. What is the extent of interest on the part of the potential host country. And. If they are interested. What would be the types of projects that might be carried out. And what numbers of course mean. Would they be interested in having.
From these. Trips. We found that there is definitely an interest. Not one of the countries that we went to. Were entirely disinterested. However there was varying degrees of interest. Depending somewhat upon our past experience with the country. And also. Upon their understanding of what it was all about. With some countries that were used to working with us as a nation. And protect in connection with our international cooperation administration program. But as I say. I had a rather quickly saw the picture and saw the possibilities of how this could be helpful to them. But if there are. Rather significant numbers of possibilities. In each country varies from 50 to 500. As the number that they thought they could use during this coming year. This said. I came away with a feeling. That if we were to take the. Entire World. And carefully select certain countries. Where we would stand the best chance of being successful in this preliminary period. Of getting started. There would not be any difficulty of finding physicians for. As many as 5000 by July of 1062. The problem would be selecting. Orienting and training. Getting the proper leadership. Setting up the proper administration doing the proper preliminary planning. And in general getting the program ready to go. This is where the problem with me. As you know from the public city that you heard. By President Kennedy is thinking about it from 500 to 1000 in the field. By the end of this. Calendar year. By the by Christmas. Just how many will actually get into the field is a moot question as you can well imagine. However there is there isn't much doubt in anybody's mind but there will be plenty of applications. The problem be to get the necessary machinery rolling. And underway so that this number can be processed. And it can be done properly. I might say at this point that. There was a great deal of enthusiasm among any host country officials that I talked to and also my other colleagues. But. There was a writer wanting to put a number of them mentioned and that is that this could be. The greatest new dimension. In international relations. Of this century. R and if it doesn't properly handle it could be the greatest fiasco. I think this is pretty important to remember. And therefore it's important to be patient with the Kennedy administration. And they feel they need to take on relatively small numbers this first year. To be sure that no mistakes are made. Or at least to be sure that the mistakes are made in small numbers so that corrections can be accomplished without great embarrassment.
Professor Albertson continues with a description of what the criteria for selection will be.
It's felt that very high standards are absolutely essential. That we don't dare slip any more than we absolutely have to. The result of chance. And therefore we should keep chanst down as small as possible. And. So these high standards should be applied to not only to the U.S..
But to the leaders and to the administrative officials as well. I have been suggesting this to the administrative officials in Washington and. I think a little soul searching is going on. There. I think that it's just as important for. The administrative officials to have. The same criteria for selection as the cars. You know the story about a chain is no stronger than its weakest link. Even if that link is right up at the top. Rank that may be where it is the most important. Well. The minor criteria I mentioned. No I didn't. 20 to 30 years of age approximately. Although there. Have been some programs have been very successful in the 18 and 19 year bracket for certain types of things. And obviously there be a number of people beyond the age of 30 that will have considerable to offer to such a program. Usually these people however would serve in the capacity of leaders. It is the years that we have in mind here we say under 30 years of age for the most part this is not a fixed figure and we are urging that. Education with me. High school education plus. Some formal education or special education or experience or some special kind of training which would provide the youth with some special skill and ability which is in short supply in another country. There are even some whom. Have not finished high school. That would certainly qualify. However it was our feeling that this would be a small enough number. That the high school limitation would not work a hardship. Criteria with respect to intelligence. As you know for most types of selection. Are pretty severe. And that's usually what we're testing for. And for a fellowship or a graduate assistant ship something like that take graduate work. It's one of the things that. Employees or prospect of lawyers or a prospect of employers look at when they are considering someone from placement. This is our first for the. Peace Corps however. It is Ben felt that the matter of grades. And general level of intelligence. Is far less important than some of the other criteria. And I'll mention these others. Mention also that man there are places for man. Many more places for men and for women but a lot of places for women. And also a few places for married couples provided both the man and wife. Have skills that are needed. That particular place. And there are quite a few places I found where this is true that. There would be a possibility for a husband and wife to work together on programs. Addition to a technical skill or ability. Of course men should have a belief in mission. And should feel that his mission is worthwhile and it's something that's really very important. That it's a dynamic thing and. He has a real belief in it. He should be adaptable. Able to adapt himself to new circumstances. Changing circumstances. He should have cultural empathy. Sort of an innate appreciation for an ability to understand and work with.
Other cultures. He should be mature. He should have imagination. Creativity and initiative. He should have the ability to communicate.
He should have a considerable amount of humility.
Should be a person that. Is able to take responsibility. And go ahead with it. And he should have considerable tact. Well this is a pretty good order isn't it. One of your could easily ask the question. How are you going to test for these things. Well if you have an answer I'd sure like to know never. I haven't found anybody yet that knows how to test for them. It's going to be a trial error process and we're expecting to do quite a lot of research. To try to develop. Methods and techniques for doing is going to job of evaluating these various U.S.. Congressman. According to these criteria as possible. There should be should have physical and mental health. And finally he should be properly motivated. Now what are the elements of motivation. We've tried to analyze this. And the following are our. Present. Conclusions.
Two of the motivations the feeling has been are absolutely necessary. One humanitarian desire to serve others less fortunate.
So I have a humanitarian desire to serve others as one. And a pioneering spirit of adventure is another. And. I was quite interested in how unanimous the feeling has been the both of these are essential. You don't want a person that is purely an adventurer. And has no humanitarian desire to serve others. At the same time you don't want somebody that is. Purely a do gooder. That has only a humanitarian desire to serve others. I won't go into the reasons for this I think you're probably aware that.
After selection this is what the orientation and training programs will be.
I would include a study of cross cultural relations and the. Problems of social psychological and physical adjustment.
Economic and social development and change. Country and area studies. That is. A study of the government the institutional framework. The culture. And the customs of the host country and its surrounding area of other countries. American history and civilization. In. From the viewpoint of.
The United States as a developing country. The idea that United States has been developing for the past couple hundred years. And is still developing. Its in a process of evolution. And by some analyses the United States is developing more rapidly. Than. Any of the so-called less developed or underdeveloped countries. We're not making much progress toward closing this gap. If we're making the gap bigger every year. So something of much greater dimensions than anything we've done in the past has to be. Taken into the picture. Or the future has an inevitable and obvious outcome. One of the things I'm hoping for is that the. Peace Corps will help to spark. The kind of assistance. On the kind of scale. That we must be giving in the future. The strategy tactics and operations.
Of non-democratic ideologies and governance. One of the things that we run into when we go overseas is that we are not acquainted with. Such things as the strategy tactics and operations of. Governments which are not democratic. It's amazing how many have the. Less developed countries themselves are not completely democratic governments. The analysis of many people these governments are not trying to follow along in their development. To be fully democratic for that reason there has to be a dictatorship. There are others who disagree with this analysis but nevertheless that's. That is one analysis.
The relation of the Peace Corps and its objectives to U.S. foreign policy. Well these are the various elements of orientation. Now what about training. The analysis the way we have. Viewed the matter of training. Is to assist the Carson. And. Either improving. Or completely developing. His skill or ability which will be used in that country. But. This would include. Training in the local language. Every country that we visited. With the exception of the Philippines. All the people in every country as one I should say. With the exception of the Philippines said that they may use corpsmen must learn the local language. To be effective. This is a must. This was unanimous all along the way and the only reason it isn't for the Philippines is that the Philippines is the third largest English speaking country in the world. There should be training and group interaction and group dynamics. The problems of working with other people. Problems of relating and communicating technical knowledge skills and additives in local situations. And then other individual technical skills. Such as skills associated with problems of health. Public health. Problems of. Community development agriculture and so on. So there needs to be training in these areas too depending upon the kind of work that the corpsmen is going into.
Professor Albertsons needs to his audience quite plainly that the Peace Corps will not be a bed of roses.
Now I think there's been a tendency for people to think of this kind of a program as a better reason as. Well to be sure you would be. Sleeping and other difficult conditions and. Yes you wouldn't have all the modern conveniences of. A modern home. That would still be a certain amount of glamour to it. This is what I've run into I think. To a greater degree. I think I should tell you approximately what kind of thing you run into. Within the first two or three weeks you will be among the exceptional. If you don't have dysentery. You're going to be sent to a large extent in areas. Subjected to malaria. Water would have to be boiled every bit of it that you drink. And you would have to see to it personally. You couldn't depend on somebody else doing. The thing I mean one reason that I was sick and I didn't know it was that I was drinking boiled water. But regular ice cubes were being put in it. So it didn't help much. You have to be sure that the food that you eat has been cooked. And. You need to have considerable confidence in the cup or eat it. While it's still hot enough that you know it was cooked. You have the problem of culture shock. You get into a new culture for every single thing you see is new. To be sure the people around you have two legs and. Their heads are on top. And in many respects are they appear like you but. In certain other respects they don't and if you get to feeling. Depressed. By them or depressed you feel the more you feel you're different from them. And the more you feel they stare at you. Some of our foreign friends are here now know how Americans when they come around and Americans stand and stare at them. They had to get used to this. You have to get used to it also. And it's an odd feeling. And it is just one of the contributing factors to culture shock. Some people simply can't overcome it. I mean this total contribution of culture shock. You have smells around here that you're unaccustomed to.
And some of them are terrific. As the local people do. Usually on mats on the floor mats or maybe a straw mat 18 inch quarter of an inch thick something like that woven mat. And this is your regular place for sleeping. Maybe you sleep right on the dirty. In any event. It isn't just like going out camping someplace. I purposely painted this is pretty much the extreme situation. It's a dismal one I grant you. But it is possible to get into these kind of circumstances I've been there myself and I think I can vouch for it. However. The bulk of the places. Are not do not have all of these characteristics. Nevertheless the experience that we've had in the past with young people going over there on the various programs. Which we've already seen in operation. They do run into this kind of difficulty. And. A matter of maintaining morale effectiveness.
It's not an easy one. After selection and after training these will be some of the jobs available.
I was very much surprised and very interested to find out. That well over half. Of the needs that were expressed. Were in teaching English as a second language. Furthermore. Three fourths of the openings approximately came in the general kind of category of formal teaching. In addition to teaching English as a second language. Teaching science courses of various kinds in secondary and secondary schools at high schools and. Colleges. Teaching vocational. And trade skills and the locational schools raise Kines.
Adult education. Literacy type programs and so on. These make up the book. Now the possibility is teaching some cut. And then in community in rural development. Agricultural projects. Home sciences home economics. All series of problems with respect to homes and the problems of women. And here is where girls can. Have a considerable. Have considerable possibility. Building schools and roads. Helping with cottage industry. Helping to develop. Youth Clubs and adult. Clubs activities and so on. One person just stressed. Throughout my interview the need for our use could help with hobbies.
That apparently this person had visited the United States and was tremendously impressed. Some places he went where they had quite a program on Happy Days. And then there is the problem of health and sanitation. Nursing.
Midwifery. Medical Tech technicians. Mother and child care.
Sanitation. These make up the bulk of the. Types of. Programs. That Work. Work opportunities which seem to be. We were able to find. There are many others. Which were mentioned. Less. In number. Oh there was to a considerable extent to mention of. Importance. Of urban. Heavily populated areas. The problems there. The problems of. Relocating people. And. Developing proper housing. Various kinds of social welfare and so on. It's a great migration from rural areas into the urban areas.
This gives you a rough outline. Of the type of program that. Has evolved from talking to train train 400 people.
And then. Only a small amount of analysis. The questionnaires.
That I. Mentioned at the outset.
I think this program as I said earlier. Has a tremendous potential. One of the reasons I feel this way is because of the great confidence I have in young people in this country. I think they actually are the hope for the future. And I think that they are the ones that. Have the. Imagination. And the idealism. That can make it so that we can find new and better ways to solve our problems in the world. Then the ways that some of the older ones of us have been able to find so far.
This transcript is machine-generated and has not been corrected. It is likely there will be errors.
- Special of the week
- Peace Corps
- Producing Organization
- University of Michigan
- National Association of Educational Broadcasters
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- University of Maryland (College Park, Maryland)
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- This program focuses on the creation of the Peace Corps and includes speeches by then-Senator John F. Kennedy and Maurice Albertson.
- Special of the Week #6. Formation of the Peace Corps. Includes excerpts of speeches by Senator John F. Kennedy during 1960 presidential campaign at University of Michigan, and Professor Maurice Albertson, appointed to study the viability of a Peace Corps.
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Producing Organization: University of Michigan
Producing Organization: National Association of Educational Broadcasters
Speaker: Kennedy, John F. (John Fitzgerald), 1917-1963
Speaker: Albertson, Maurice L.
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University of Maryland
Identifier: 61-Sp.Wk.-6 (National Association of Educational Broadcasters)
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- Chicago: “Special of the week; Peace Corps,” 1961-04-20, University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (WGBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed February 21, 2019, http://americanarchive.org/catalog/cpb-aacip_500-1834599b.
- MLA: “Special of the week; Peace Corps.” 1961-04-20. University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (WGBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Web. February 21, 2019. <http://americanarchive.org/catalog/cpb-aacip_500-1834599b>.
- APA: Special of the week; Peace Corps. Boston, MA: University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (WGBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from http://americanarchive.org/catalog/cpb-aacip_500-1834599b