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Peace Corps volunteer explaining inoculation of cows, East Pakistan, by Charles Harbutt/Magnum Photos, 1962

Peace Corps volunteers serve the needs of host countries and communities. This volunteer (right) worked with farmers in East Pakistan to protect the health of their livestock.

Prints and Photographs Division, Library of Congress

Peace Corps volunteer explaining inoculation of cows, East Pakistan, by Charles Harbutt/Magnum Photos, 1962

Working for Peace

The concept of volunteers serving abroad on grass-roots foreign aid projects originated in Congress in the late 1950s. In 1961 President John F. Kennedy established the Peace Corps by executive order and Congress recognized it legislatively later that year. The organization promotes peace by providing countries with trained workers to help address problems such as poverty and disease, and by creating closer ties between American volunteers and the people of the communities they serve.