Peace Corps Uses Video Sharing to Mark 50th

The Peace Corps, which will celebrate its 50th anniversary in October, is commemorating the scope and intensity of the Peace Corps experience with YouTube. The National Peace Corps Association is conducting a contest called “My Piece of the Peace Corps.”

Participants are upload short videos, no more than two minutes, on “how the Peace Corps, a Peace Corps Volunteer, or a Returned Peace Corps Volunteer changed their lives” to the contest channel on YouTube.

The expectation is of a wide spectrum of experiences and effects the Peace Corps has had on the nation, according to Erica Burman, National Peace Corps Association’s Director of Communications and a PC volunteer in The Gambia.

“We expect the videos to be as diverse as the people who serve in the Peace Corps. A video could be about a high-school teacher whose stories from overseas inspired you, or a Volunteer whose service taught you new skills, or maybe a Returned Volunteer who continues to be a community leader here at home.”

Molly Mattessich, Manager of of Online Initiatives for the National Peace Corps Association explained their choice of YouTube as a format.

“YouTube is everywhere, it’s how we can get the message out to the widest possible audience and capture what essay contests can’t, like music, voices and footage of real people. Part of bringing the world back home for Peace Corps Volunteers is showing what their experience was like overseas. YouTube is the perfect tool to share their experiences and the experiences of people who were touched by Volunteers. Through this contest, we are taking advantage of technology that wasn’t available in previous years. Today, you can walk into a small village and very likely find someone with a flip cam.”

The goal of the contest is to generate awareness about the Peace Corps during its anniversary. The contest ends right before celebrations begin at the University of Michigan, where the idea of the Peace Corps was introduced by President John F. Kennedy.

Winners will receive $500, $1,000, or a grand prize of $2,500.

The contest’s YouTube channel has started to see some entries, including one from Irene Iocaban, a volunteer’s colleague in Moldova.

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