In the early 1960s, there were separate Peace Corps training programs for the country of Malaya and the British colonies of Sabah (North Borneo) and Sarawak. Malaya 1 through Malaya 6 were trained at Northern Illinois University in Dekalb, IL and the Sabah/Sarawak 1 through 4 training programs were administered by the University of Hawaii Hilo. By 1964, starting with Malaysia 7, there were unified training programs for the Federation of Malaysia at various sites in and around Hilo. Then, in the 1970s, Peace Corps shifted to hosting all training programs in Malaysia.
Hawaii-trained PCVs were typically enchanted with the beauty of the Big Island and the warmth of welcome from local residents. Following their service, many RPCVs settled in Hawaii, especially on the Big Island, and there is a very active association of Returned Peace Corps Volunteers of Hawaii. In December 1963, Peace Corps trainees and staff erected a monument to the memory of John F. Kennedy at the entrance of the old hospital in Hilo which was then the Peace Corps Training Center. In 2011, on the 50th anniversary of the founding of the Peace Corps, the Returned PCVs of Hawaii rededicated the JFK Monument and moved it to its current location on the University of Hawaii Hilo campus--see here, here and here (photo credit Nick Cerra, PCV Malaysia IX). For more of the story of the Peace Corps training programs in Hawaii, see the following videos:
Sending Aloha Abroad (RPCVs Hawaii). This documentary film is the untold story of thousands of American volunteers who lived and trained in Hawaii prior to overseas Peace Corps service, and often settling there after their experience (30 minutes)
Peace Corps Training on the Big Island. Returned Peace Corps Volunteers and Hawai‘i Training Staff created a documentary history of the more than 7,000 young Americans who trained for the Peace Corps on the Big Island from 1962 through 1971. Co-produced by Big Island residents Bill Sakovich and Jim Carr, the 57-minute film is a visual montage of more than a thousand photos with music and voice-over narration by RPCVs. It is an evocative account of how Peace Corps trainees prepared to help others and how the experience affected not only their own lives but those of the local communities and individuals who shared that experience.
The following list of Malaysia Training Groups is a set of electronic bins for sharing documents, photos, RPCV news (e.g., reunions), and other training group materials of general interest. Send links or digital copies to FoM (email@example.com)
Peace Training Groups
Peace Training Groups