Commemorating 50 Years of Peace Corps in Fiji
June 28, 2018
WASHINGTON – This week, Peace Corps celebrates 50 years of service in Fiji. Since the program was established in 1968, over 2,495 volunteers have served alongside their neighbors in all fifteen of the country’s provinces, learning to speak Fijian and Hindi.
The anniversary is being celebrated throughout the week and will culminate in the launch of a Peace Corps exhibit at the Fiji National Museum in Suva on June 28. The exhibit will feature photos, books and articles that highlight 50 years of friendship and collaboration between Fijians and Peace Corps volunteers. The former President of Fiji, Ratu Epeli Nailatikau, will speak at the launch reception.
Other events during the week include a traditional sevusevu welcome ceremony conducted in Fijian, reunion gatherings, visits to volunteer sites and a celebration at the U.S. Embassy. Earlier this year, Post Fiji honored the Peace Corps with commemorative stamps for the 50th anniversary, depicting volunteers past and present. A number of volunteers who have served in Fiji during the past 50 years are returning to Fiji for the historic milestone.
“The work of cultural exchange, the work of being ambassador, the work of maintaining that connection and sharing that connection [with] the people back home goes on for the rest of their lives,” says Country Director Dennis McMahon of volunteers.
Currently, there are more than 60 volunteers in Fiji working with their communities on youth development projects. Peace Corps volunteers in Fiji work with various local ministries to implement healthy living programs for youth and develop the Community Youth Empowerment Project (CYEP) framework. CYEP focuses on capacity-building activities to encourage youth to make healthy decisions and teaches parents how to best encourage youth development. To support CYEP and other projects in Fiji, visit the Fiji Country Fund page here.
About the Peace Corps: The Peace Corps sends Americans with a passion for service abroad on behalf of the United States to work with communities and create lasting change. Volunteers develop sustainable solutions to address challenges in education, health, community economic development, agriculture, environment and youth development. Through their Peace Corps experience, volunteers gain a unique cultural understanding and a life-long commitment to service that positions them to succeed in today's global economy. Since President John F. Kennedy established the Peace Corps in 1961, more than 230,000 Americans of all ages have served in 141 countries worldwide.