The project will be facilitated by the Peace Corps and the International Alliance for youth (IAYS), which is a division for the National Alliance for Youth Sports (NAYS).
Access to IAYS equipment, educational materials, and training that will help improve the quality of life of young people through sports, will be open to Peace Corps volunteers.
To make these programs official, a letter of collaboration was signed by Peace Corps Chief of Staff, Stacy Rhodes and President and CEO of IAYS Fred Engh, during a ceremony at Peace Corps headquarters in Washington, D.C.
“Through this collaboration with IAYS, Peace Corps volunteers will have more tools to empower youth in communities, Volunteers will work with IAYS to provide quality sports programs that promote physical fitness and teach youth important life skills,” said Rhodes, who is a returned Peace Corps volunteer (Bolivia, 1968-1970).
“The idea to collaborate with the Peace Corps in this initiative is one that we have been working on for quite some time, President Kennedy, who founded the Peace Corps in 1961, believed very much in the power of sports and I believe he would be proud today to see this collaboration become a reality,” said IAYS President and CEO Engh.
Peace Corps volunteer Alex Cash said, “Sports can play a large role in youth development for many reasons by learning about respect, teamwork, and determination through sports, young people can become more rounded and capable adults.”
Peace Corp volunteers work with youth in several communities worldwide in order to help them develop skills for transitioning from school to work, preparing for family life, and becoming engaged and active citizens in their communities. It is the goal of this exciting collaboration to continue to fulfill this great mission by now also introducing and engaging youth in positive sports experiences as well.