Most people who join the Peace Corps are right out of college. They have no commitments, no job and a want to make a difference in the world. Well now, according to ABC News, a growing number of retirees are joining the Peace Corps, and heading to places like Macedonia or Botswana.
Just under 600 Peace Corps volunteers are over fifty, but that number is getting larger. In many cases, retirees dreamed of going into the Peace Corps when they were young, but family and work obligations got in the way. So when retirement rolls around and their kids are out of the house, they decide it’s time to finally follow that dream. Ken Budd is the executive editor of “AARP The Magazine.” He says older volunteers are thinking about the legacy they’ll leave behind, and they have a lot to offer people in developing countries.
Kip and Maureen Doran are healthcare professionals in their sixties from Colorado, who joined the Peace Corps last year. They say their friends thought they were crazy when they joined up and went to Botswana to teach in a medical school there, but they say it’s been an incredibly rewarding experience. Another retiree named Harpreet Datt of Lake Forest, Illinois, also joined the Peace Corps last year. She’s been stationed in Macedonia working on economic development projects and says it’s a great experience for an older person. Here are a few things you should know if the Peace Corps sounds like something you’d like to do:
- First, each term of service with the Peace Corps is 27 months. That’s over two years in a foreign country.
- Each volunteer receives complete medical and dental care. The Corps will also pay for your transportation to and from the country you’ll be stationed in, and any training costs.
- After you finish your term in any of the 70 or so countries you might be sent to, the government pays you a stipend of nearly $7,500 for your service.
If you want to go farther with this, check out PeaceCorp.gov.