FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Wednesday, February 5, 2020
Peace Corps China Volunteers Evacuated Safely
WASHINGTON – Due to the ongoing coronavirus outbreak and related school closures and travel constraints, all Peace Corps China volunteers were safely evacuated out of the country, the Peace Corps announced today, February 5.
The 139 volunteers will close their service.
The evacuation of current volunteers follows a recent decision by the Peace Corps to graduate its China program.
Since Peace Corps China began in 1993, approximately 1,300 volunteers have worked alongside educators at more than 140 Chinese colleges, universities and technical schools to strengthen English language learning.
“My heart goes out to the extraordinary volunteers and staff who are participating in the Close of Service conference and preparing for the next steps in their lives,” said Peace Corps Director Jody Olsen. “I am proud of their hard work and strong commitment to this program, which brought our two countries closer together and gave Chinese students and educators a deeper understanding of American culture. However, with the many significant changes in China over the past 26 years, we recently made the decision to phase out and graduate the program. We then had to evacuate our volunteers because of the unexpected current public health emergency. Once again, I want to thank our volunteers and staff and our many partners in China who made the Peace Corps a part of their lives this past quarter century.”
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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, the 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 235,000 Americans of all ages have served in 141 countries worldwide. For more information, visit peacecorps.gov and follow us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.