An Interview: with a Peace Corps Volunteer

Somehow it didn't seem right to Gene Bradley that the elementary school his children attended in New York State should be hunting around for extras to equip an already up-to-date building, when a sizable sum of the world's children were utterly school-less. Just a thousand dollars could provide the materials for a small South American village school if the parents in that village were to supply the labor and a teacher. As president of his Parent-Teachers Association, Mr. Bradley introduced the idea at the next board meeting, and out of this was born the Peace Corps School-to-School partnership between school children in the United States and their counterparts in the emerging nations. Mr. Bradley took a leave of absence from General Electric, where his responsibilities have centered on international relations, in order to go with the Peace Corps to get this novel program firmly established.

A Talmudic philosopher once made a striking statement about charity, which to Mary Baker Eddy rang true. She quotes, "The noblest charity is to prevent a man from accepting charity; and the best alms are to show and to enable a man to dispense with alms." Miscellaneous Writings, Pref., p. ix; Your work with the Peace Corps School-to-School program seems to fit the spirit of that statement, don't you think?

Definitely. The key to this kind of charity is self-help. One group of youngsters in this country raises on its own about a thousand dollars so that families of another community in the developing world can build their own school. The Peace Corps volunteer can encourage and teach, but he can't do the work for them.

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Belief Has No Agent
April 29, 1967

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