10 Crisis Corps Volunteers Head to African Countries to Work in HIV/AIDS, Education & Agriculture Projects

WASHINGTON, D.C., February 6, 2004– For 10 Peace Corps volunteers, 27 months of service was just not enough. Recently, these former volunteers again answered the call to service and traveled to help people in Malawi, Cameroon, Tanzania, and Guinea, for short-term assignments through the Peace Corps’ Crisis Corps program.

The volunteers will bring these African nations a wealth of skills and experiences to help the local people with specific critical-needs projects, such as HIV/AIDS, agriculture studies and child nutrition.
In the Western African nation of Guinea, five volunteers will help local organizations by working with the World Food Programme as food aid monitors in refugee camps; working with Africare to perform cost/benefit analysis and feasibility studies for agricultural groups; and also assisting Africare to assess and implement a plan to improve maternal and child nutrition.

Three volunteers will work in Malawi on HIV/AIDS programs. This Southern African nation has one of the highest HIV/AIDS infection rates in the world. Volunteers will coordinate with the Red Cross of Malawi to assess and consult on a home based HIV/AIDS program and provide technical assistance to a district project officer on orphan care related to chronic malnutrition.

One volunteer will help to educate child laborers in Tanzania. Here, the HIV/AIDS epidemic has taken its toll on many Tanzanians, leaving children the main pool for the work force. Because of this, many of the children are not receiving an education. The Crisis Corps volunteer will work in conjunction with the Education Development Center to air educational programs on the radio each day and develop activities for the children with a trained education mentor.

In Cameroon, West Africa, one volunteer will help build a new facility for the Isabelle de Boismenu Vocational Training Center (VTC), a school for single adolescent mothers who are in pursuit of a better life for themselves and their children. The VTC is currently operating out of a three-room facility. The volunteer’s expertise in building design and construction will be shared with local collaborators hoping to begin building in April.

To date, more than 540 returned Peace Corps volunteers have taken the opportunity to use their invaluable skills and experience to address ongoing community needs in over 30 different countries since Crisis Corps’ inception in 1996. Currently, 26 Crisis Corps volunteers are serving in nine countries worldwide. To find out more about Peace Corps’ Crisis Corps program, click here.

Since 1961, more than 170,000 volunteers have served in the Peace Corps, working in such diverse fields as education, health, HIV/AIDS education and awareness, information technology, business development, the environment, and agriculture. Peace Corps volunteers must be U.S. citizens and at least 18 years of age. Peace Corps service is a two-year commitment.

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