White House

Obama to announce Peace Corps will be invited to operate in Vietnam

May 22, 2016: President Barack Obama is given flowers by Linh Tran, the ceremonial flower girl, as he arrives on Air Force One at Noi Bai International Airport in Hanoi, Vietnam.

May 22, 2016: President Barack Obama is given flowers by Linh Tran, the ceremonial flower girl, as he arrives on Air Force One at Noi Bai International Airport in Hanoi, Vietnam.  (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

The Peace Corps is coming to Vietnam.

President Barack Obama is expected to announce Monday during his visit to Vietnam that the Peace Corps will be invited to establish operations in that country, the volunteer organization said.

The volunteers will focus on teaching English to students, and training Vietnamese colleagues to teach English.

It's a striking turnaround from the years when some young men joined the Peace Corps in an effort to avoid serving in the military during the Vietnam conflict.

The Peace Corps has been working on gaining entry to Vietnam for years. In 2012, then-Peace Corps Director Aaron Williams made a three-day visit to the country to explore the possibility of an invitation to establish a program there.

The Peace Corps was established in 1961 by President John F. Kennedy to promote world peace and friendship. Since then, more than 220,000 Americans have served in 141 host countries. Currently, volunteers work in 63 countries.

Peace Corps volunteers live in host communities overseas for 27 months and work in areas such education, environment, health, agriculture, youth and community development.