President and Mrs. Bush Meet Peace Corps Volunteers in Ukraine
On Tuesday, April 1, First Lady Laura Bush inaugurated the new Peace Corps office in Kyiv. Mrs. Bush thanked the Peace Corps Volunteers for their service, telling them that they serve as ambassadors for the United States, "sharing the best of our country with those who may never come into contact with another American.
Mrs. Bush was accompanied by Ukrainian First Lady Mrs. Yushchenko as they spoke to six Peace Corps Volunteers about their work in Ukraine. Volunteers included: Scarlett Swall, a 50+ Volunteer working as a business educator; Vita and Anthony Trujillo, a married couple serving their third year in English education; Grant Earich, serving in English education; Anna Frumes working in business development; and Andrea Mason who helped start a Ukrainian volunteer program.
Later that afternoon, President Bush attended a presentation at school #57 in Kyiv where Peace Corps Volunteer Margaret McKenna and 15 of her students presented an HIV/AIDS education play to the President, Mrs. Bush, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, and 150 school children. Margaret and her students travel to villages around Ukraine and perform their play to other school children as a way to educate them about HIV/AIDS prevention.
Following the play, President Bush remarked, Thank you all very much for letting Laura and me come by your school. And thank you all for coming. You did an excellent job. And we love the Peace Corps.
Since 1992, over 1,746 Volunteers have served in Ukraine. The Ukraine program is the Peace Corps largest program of its 74 around the world. There are currently 339 Volunteers and Volunteer-trainees serving in Ukraine working in community development, English language education, youth development, and HIV/AIDS prevention and education.
To learn more about Peace Corps/Ukraine, visit the Where Do Volunteers Go? web page.
The Peace Corps is celebrating a 47-year legacy of service at home and abroad. Currently there are 8,000 Volunteers abroad, a 37-year high for Volunteers in the field. Since 1961, more than 190,000 Volunteers have helped promote a better understanding between Americans and the people of the 139 countries where Volunteers have served, including Ukraine. Peace Corps Volunteers must be U.S. citizens and at least 18 years of age. Peace Corps service is a 27-month commitment. To learn more about the Peace Corps, please visit our website: www.peacecorps.gov.