BECOME A MEMBER! Sign up for TIE services now and start your international school career


Waging Peace: a film about the Peace Corps Experience

By Allen Mondell
Waging Peace: a film about the Peace Corps Experience

In 1961, President John Kennedy came up with a very simple but profound idea: he asked young Americans to volunteer to travel overseas to help the people in underdeveloped countries build better lives for themselves and their children.
I was part of the first wave of Peace Corps volunteers, working as a teacher in a village in Sierra Leone in West Africa from 1963-65. For the past 45 years I’ve been a documentary filmmaker.
In WAGING PEACE: the Peace Corps Experience, I’ve gone back to my early years to try to understand why I and the other volunteers were so deeply affected by our brief Peace Corps experience overseas, and why that experience continues to affect our lives to this day.
The film, which took two and a half years to complete, is told almost entirely through former volunteers’ letters, journals, emails and blogs. The stories are hardly sentimental or drowned in self-admiration. Instead, they capture the seemingly insurmountable challenges of ordinary Americans who were willing to enduring vast cultural isolation, poverty, suspicion and, at times, antagonism—all in the hopes of making a small difference.
At times hilariously funny, and at other times grimly sad, WAGING PEACE is full of perceptive insights into sacrifice and hardship, courage and defeat, and, ultimately, hope.
At a time when society desperately relies on volunteerism, WAGING PEACE is also an inspiring call to other Americans, young and old, to cross cultural lines in order to discover a new awareness of the world and, in the end, to wage peace. ?
You can watch the trailer at

Please fill out the form below if you would like to post a comment on this article:


There are currently no comments posted. Please post one via the form above.



Elevate Student Voice & Choice in Diverse Learning Settings
By Lindsay Kuhl, Jane Russell Valezy, & Esther Bettney
May 2021

Increasing Student Autonomy Through Time and Place
By Tim Johnson & Tony Winch
May 2021