Macedonia's President Participates in Swearing-in Ceremony

WASHINGTON, D.C., December 18, 2006 On Friday, December 15, 49 Peace Corps Volunteers were sworn into service in Macedonia. The President of the Republic of Macedonia, Branko Crvenkovski, attended and shared remarks about the positive and lasting impact the Peace Corps has on his country.

The swearing-in took place at a traditional Macedonian restaurant on Lake Mladost. President Crvenkovski was joined by U.S. Ambassador to Macedonia, Gillian Milovanovic, as well as several representatives from the Ministries of Health, Education and Science, Environment and Urban Planning, Labor and Social Welfare, Local Self Government, and local government officials.

"This ceremony marks the culmination of months of preparation and the start of two years of dedication to the service—to Macedonia and to the United States—by each of the Peace Corps Volunteers," Ambassador Milovanovic said.

President Crvenkovski also offered his congratulations to the new Volunteers, and highlighted two anniversaries that the Peace Corps is celebrating this year—10 years in Macedonia and 45 years as a global organization.

"Peace Corps Volunteers have directly contributed to upgrading the local communities\' organizational and institutional capacities, developing projects and programs of importance for the citizens in the respective communities," said President Crvenkovski.

The 49 Volunteers spent three months living with host families, attending intensive Macedonian, and in some cases, Albanian, language training, and learning about the culture and country they now consider home. They also worked together to implement small community development projects in their training area.

Now sworn-in, the Volunteers will begin their two-year service assignments in 32 communities throughout Macedonia. Twenty-five Volunteers will work in English language education and the other 24 will work with both government and non-governmental organizations.

Since 1996, 268 Peace Corps Volunteers have served in the Republic of Macedonia primarily as community development specialists, business advisors, educators, and environmental management and education specialists. Currently, 86 Volunteers serve in Macedonia.

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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