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Secretary Clinton Inducts 19 New Peace Corps Volunteers in Senegal

WASHINGTON D.C., Aug. 1, 2012- U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton administered the swearing-in oath today in Dakar, Senegal to 19 Peace Corps volunteers who will be working in community economic development. The ceremony took place on the first day of Secretary Clinton’s six-country visit to Africa. U.S. Ambassador to Senegal Lewis Lukens, Assistant Secretary of African Affairs Johnnie Carson, Peace Corps Country Director Michael Simsik, and other Peace Corps staff attended the ceremony. 

Secretary Clinton congratulated the new volunteers for completing their pre-service training and thanked them for the work they will be doing in service to the Senegalese people. After the ceremony, the volunteers presented Secretary Clinton with a bag of handicrafts made by Senegalese artisans who have been trained by Peace Corps volunteers. 

Since arriving to Senegal in May, the new volunteers have undergone several months of comprehensive cross-cultural, language and technical training. After today’s swearing-in ceremony, the volunteers will travel to their permanent site in a local community, where they will live and work for the remaining two years of their service. There is no deadline to apply with the Peace Corps. The agency is recruiting, placing, and training Americans for service in 75 host countries throughout the year.

Peace Corps community economic development volunteers assist communities with business and nongovernmental organizational development, urban and regional planning and information technology. Volunteers strengthen and encourage economic opportunities in local communities by providing basic business and financial management training for small businesses, and helping artisans market goods and products. Volunteers also teach computer and multimedia skills, develop database systems, and implement business networks to help communities plan for the future. Today, 12 percent of Peace Corps volunteers work in the business sector.

About Peace Corps/Senegal: More than 3,190 Peace Corps volunteers have served in Senegal since the program was established in 1963. Currently, 254 volunteers serve in Senegal. Volunteers work in the areas of agriculture, environment, health and business. Volunteers are trained and work in the following languages: French, Wolof, Pulaar du Nord, Fulakunda, Pulafuta, Seereer, Malinke, Mandinka and Jaxanke.

About the Peace Corps: Since President John F. Kennedy established the Peace Corps by executive order on March 1, 1961, more than 200,000 Americans have served in 139 host countries. Today, 9,095 volunteers are working with local communities in 75 host countries. Peace Corps volunteers must be U.S. citizens and at least 18 years of age. Peace Corps service is a 27-month commitment and the agency’s mission is to promote world peace and friendship and a better understanding between Americans and people of other countries. Visit www.peacecorps.gov for more information.

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