President Obama Announces the Peace Corps Going to Vietnam for First Time

PHOTO: President Barack Obama and Vietnams President Tran Dai Quang take part in a joint press conference at the International Convention Center in Hanoi, May 23, 2016.PlayLuong Thai Linh/AFP/Getty Images
WATCH Obama Visits Vietnam, Seeks to Strengthen Ties

The Peace Corps is officially going to Vietnam for the first time.

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In a press conference in Hanoi, President Barack Obama announced that Vietnam’s government approved the volunteer organization to set up operations in the country.

The group’s main focus will be teaching English to Vietnamese students.

“I’m very pleased that for the first time, the Peace Corps will come to Vietnam,” the president said in a press conference alongside Vietnamese President Tran Dai Quang. "Our Peace Corps volunteers will focus on teaching English, and the friendship that our people forged will bring us closer together for decades to come."

The Peace Corps was established by President John F. Kennedy in an executive order in 1961. During his presidential campaign a year before, he urged college students to dedicate two years of their lives to helping people in developing countries.

More than 220,000 Americans have served in the volunteer program in 140 host countries.

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