Peace Corps/Kenya Program Reopening
WASHINGTON, D.C., June 6, 2008 - Peace Corps Director Ronald A. Tschetter is pleased to announce the return of Peace Corps Volunteers to the Republic of Kenya. After a four-month hiatus due to unrest after elections in December, a group of 24 Volunteers will arrive in Nairobi on June 10. All of the returning Volunteers had been serving in Kenya when the instability began and the Peace Corps program was temporarily suspended.
In announcing the return, Director Tschetter said, "We are absolutely delighted to see Peace Corps Volunteers return to Kenya. I visited the Volunteers in Kenya last summer, and I know the outstanding work they were doing and the goodwill and friendships they had developed in their Kenyan host communities. The Peace Corps has a deep relationship with the Kenyan people and we look forward to resuming our partnerships, particularly through this period of recovery."
The group of returning Volunteers will be working in public health, small enterprise development, information and communication technology (ICT), and education in the coastal, eastern and central areas of the country. Included in this group of outstanding experienced Volunteers are four specialists who will teach at deaf primary schools.
The deaf education program in Kenya is a flagship effort within the Peace Corps. Launched in 1992, it was initially aimed at training educators on better teaching methods and broadening the production of learning materials and facilities for deaf and hard of hearing students. The program now includes computer training, and health and HIV/AIDS education programs, as part of the President's Emergency Plan for Aids Relief.
A group of over 40 new Peace Corps Volunteers will be arriving in November, 2008, and focusing on education, small enterprise development, and ICT. A subsequent group of over 30 public heath Volunteers will arrive in June 2009. As a result of preliminary discussions with the Government of Kenya, the Peace Corps is also exploring the expansion of its youth-related programming.
Since 1965, more than 5,000 Peace Corps Volunteers have served in Kenya. In addition to the deaf education program, Volunteers have worked in the areas of education, small business development, and health and HIV/AIDS prevention. To learn more about the Peace Corps/Kenya, visit the Where Do Volunteers Go? web page.
Peace Corps/Kenya had a total of 144 Volunteers serving at the time of the elections in December, 2007. During the initial post-election unrest, Volunteers were consolidated in a variety of safe locations. On February 5, 2007, the Peace Corps temporarily suspended its program in Kenya due to the growing security concerns.
The Peace Corps is celebrating a 47-year legacy of service at home and abroad, and 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 Kenya. Peace Corps Volunteers must be U.S. citizens and at least 18 years of age. Peace Corps service is a 27-month commitment. For more information visit www.peacecorps.gov.
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