First Peace Corps Volunteers to Serve in Cambodia

The Peace Corps Begins Historic Partnership with Cambodia as First Group of Volunteers Leaves for Phnom Penh January 31

WASHINGTON, D.C., January 26, 2007 - Thirty English teachers will comprise the first group of Peace Corps Volunteers ever to serve in the Kingdom of Cambodia. They will depart from San Francisco for Phnom Penh on Jan 31.

"We are excited to begin this historic new program for the Peace Corps in Cambodia," said Peace Corps Director Ron Tschetter. The Cambodian people have extended their warm invitation, and we look forward to working with them. We are enthusiastic about this opportunity to build lasting friendships and a mutual understanding with the people of Cambodia.

Peace Corps is launching its program in Cambodia with an English as a foreign language project. Volunteers will teach English at the upper secondary level and support teachers in Cambodian provinces and districts to improve their English language and English teaching skills. The scope of the Volunteers work, however, will not be limited to classroom teaching. Volunteers will also collaborate with community groups and individuals to develop sustainable community activities to enhance the quality of life for Cambodians in the communities where they serve.

Cambodia has a growing economy and democracy, and a rich cultural heritage. However, the country is still recovering from the tragedies of its recent history. Cambodians are eager to improve their lives, and many view acquiring English language skills as a means to help accomplish this goal.

Cambodia is counting on Peace Corps for valuable assistance to reach its priority goal of poverty alleviation and rural development, and improving the living standard of Cambodian people, said Mr. Meng Eang Nay, of the Embassy of the Kingdom of Cambodia in Washington, D.C.

The first group of Volunteer-trainees will arrive in Phnom Penh on February 2 and will be available for interviews prior to their departure. For information call Nathan Hale Sargent, Peace Corps San Francisco Regional Office, (612) 978-5923.

The Peace Corps is celebrating a 45-year legacy of service at home and abroad. Since 1961, more than 187,000 Volunteers have helped promote a better understanding between Americans and the people of the 139 countries where Volunteers have served. Peace Corps Volunteers must be U.S. citizens and at least 18 years of age. Peace Corps service is a 27-month commitment.

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