Mongolia's President Participates in Swearing-in Ceremony

WASHINGTON, D.C., August 24, 2005 This past weekend, Peace Corps volunteers in Mongolia had a special guest at their swearing-in ceremony, the president of Mongolia, Nambaryn Enkhbayar, as the Peace Corps added 50 new volunteers to its ranks.

In Darkhan, President Enkhbayar, accompanied by Mongolias minister of education, state secretary from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the governor of Darkhan, vice governor of Darkhan and the speaker of the Darkhan parliament, was welcomed to the ceremony by the military band and color guard. The president offered his words of encouragement to the new volunteers in a 20 minute address delivered in both English and Mongolian. Well versed in the mission of the Peace Corps, he ended his remarks by quoting former President Theodore Roosevelt, "Do what you can, with what you have, where you are."

 Mark Rosenwald, who just completed his service, greets President Enkhbayar and U.S. Ambassador Pamela Slutz.
Mark Rosenwald, who just completed his service, greets President Enkhbayar and U.S. Ambassador Pamela Slutz.
Upon taking the oath, each new volunteer assumed the stage to shake hands with President Enkhbayar and other senior officials and receive a Mongolian pin. The volunteers then performed an hour-long cultural show including throat singing, poetry reading in the Mongolian language and performances of traditional dance and music.

The ceremony culminated with a group song and a photo opportunity with the president for the new volunteers. Immediately afterward, a reception was held for 400 guests where President Enkhbayar spoke individually with volunteers and the Peace Corps staff.

"During my visit to Mongolia in July, I had an opportunity to meet President Enkhbayar who was very complimentary of the Peace Corps and supportive of the ongoing collaboration between the volunteers and their communities," commented Director Vasquez. "It was at this meeting that I took the opportunity to invite him to the upcoming swearing-in ceremony. Its very exciting to have the president of the country so enthusiastically engaged in supporting the efforts of Peace Corps volunteers."

As Mongolia committed itself to democratization and a free market economy in the late 1980s, Peace Corps volunteers have strived to aid host country organizations in meeting their needs by providing assistance in the areas of education, environmental preservation, business development, and health. The Peace Corps entered Mongolia in 1991 and since then 501 volunteers have served in Mongolia. To learn more about Mongolia, please visit the Where Do Volunteers Go? section.

Since 1961, more than 178,000 volunteers have served in the Peace Corps, working in such diverse fields as education, health, HIV/AIDS education and prevention, 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 27-month commitment.

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