WASHINGTON -- The Peace Corps is calling on volunteers over age 50 to forego peaceful retirement in favor of service overseas.
The agency is recruiting through the AARP and other retiree organizations with the goal of having 15 percent of its volunteers over age 50 by 2009, The New York Times reported Sunday.
Currently, about 5 percent of volunteers are 50 or older.
Older volunteers offer some important advantages, Peace Corps Director Ronald A. Tschetter told the Times. They have decades of accumulated skills and experience that idealistic 20-somethings may lack, and they are three times more likely to sign up for a second tour.
There are also special challenges for older volunteers, the Times said. Remote locations can allow for limited contact with children and grandchildren, and it may be harder to get the clean bill of health required to join the Peace Corps.
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