History of the Peace Corps in Thailand
From Peace Corps Wiki
|History of the Peace Corps|
|Since 1960, when then Senator John F. Kennedy challenged students at the University of Michigan to serve their country in the cause of peace by living and working in developing countries, more than 182,000 Peace Corps Volunteers have served in 138 countries all over the globe.
Thailand was one of the first countries to receive Peace Corps Volunteers, the first of whom arrived in 1962. More than 7,000 Americans have served as Peace Corps Volunteers in Thailand. Projects in early decades covered many areas, such as secondary and university teaching in English and other subjects, work in agriculture and fisheries, primary healthcare, malaria control, and soil and water conservation.
As Thailand has changed over the past four decades, the Royal Thai Government’s requests for assistance have changed. In 1997, the Peace Corps was invited to assist with primary-school educational reform, an area identified by Thais as one of the most important in the country today.
 History and Future of Peace Corps Programming in Thailand
From 1997 to 2003, the single Peace Corps/Thailand program was an integrated education and community outreach (IECO) project. This project was substantially redesigned in 2002 and is now called the teacher collaboration and community outreach (TCCO) project. In accordance with the Thai government’s educational reform initiative, this project seeks to strengthen the skills of primary-school teachers in using student-centered methodologies and in teaching integrated subjects by partnering with teachers inside and outside the classroom. Volunteers assigned to this project also contribute to other areas in which they have interest and expertise, doing outreach in health, the environment, and other areas of community development.
In 2003, Peace Corps/Thailand and its Royal Thai Government partners collaborated to establish a new organizational development and capacity-building project. Volunteers in the community-based organizational development (CBOD) project are assigned to sub-district administrative office (SAOs). The CBOD project covers a wide range of development activities that respond to the needs of local communities. Volunteers in this project assist SAO staff and community groups in improving data collection, strengthening project management, and acquiring other skills that will help them initiate and carry out sustainable solutions to community priorities. Volunteers and their Thai partners also identify ways to share promising practices and resources with other SAOs and community groups.