Peace Corps Celebrates 15th Anniversary in Armenia

Director Tschetter visits Armenia to recognize service of Volunteers

YEREVAN, ARMENIA, Oct. 31, 2007 Peace Corps/Armenia held an Open House to celebrate the 15th anniversary of the Peace Corps program in Armenia. The program was established in 1992 at the invitation of the Government of Armenia.

Director Ronald A. Tschetter participated in the celebration and recognized the contributions of the 574 Volunteers who have served here. He also met with Government of Armenia Ministry representatives to express his thanks for their support of the Peace Corps Program during the past 15 years. Currently, 85 Peace Corps Volunteers are serving in the areas of business development, education, environment and health and HIV/AIDS.

U.S. Charge d Affaires Joseph Pennington and Armenian Ministry representatives, including Minister of Education and Science Levon Mkrtchyan, Minister of Sport and Youth Affairs Armen Grigoryan, Minister of Nature Protection Aram Haroutyunyan, and Deputy Minister of Health Care Tatul Hakobyan were present at the event.

At a press conference following the reception, Tschetter acknowledged the importance of promoting volunteerism among the youth of the world. "I am so impressed with the commitment of our Peace Corps Volunteers and the work they are doing in Armenia," said Director Tschetter. "Whether it\'s teaching English or encouraging income generation projects, our Volunteers are helping to show Armenia the tremendous American spirit of giving."

Director Tschetter met with over 40 of the currently serving 85 Peace Corps Volunteers in Armenia, including Mark Dietzen of Elmhurst, Ill., and Heather Konjura of Strongsville, Ohio. Mark is teaching English in a small village and is helping bring the community together providing opportunities for his students to learn in a fun and invigorating environment. Heather is working with a town in northern Armenia to create a tourism industry. She and her partners have put together a website, brochures, and community signs to highlight the area\'s rich history, sites, and hiking trails.

To learn more about Peace Corps/Armenia, visit the Where Do Volunteers Go? web page.

The Peace Corps is celebrating a 46-year legacy of service at home and abroad. Currently there are over 8,000 Volunteers abroad, a 37-year high for Volunteers in the field. Since 1961, more than 190,000 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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