Peace Corps Director Attends Annual Country Director Conference in Ghana, Meets with Numerous Volunteers

WASHINGTON, D.C., September 17, 2003 –This week, Peace Corps Director Gaddi H. Vasquez met with Vice President Alui Mahama of Ghana and attended the Peace Corps’ annual Africa Region Country Director Conference held in Accra, Ghana.

In meeting with Director Vasquez, Vice President Alui Mahama stated, “I have been a benefactor of Peace Corps and known Peace Corps volunteers since I was a young boy. More than 42 years ago, Peace Corps established teaching programs in Ghana and since that time, have ventured into many more additional sectors. I want to thank you for Peace Corps support and the support of America.”

Director Vasquez attended the Africa Region Country Directors’ annual conference to meet with Peace Corps staff to discuss volunteer programs in each African country where volunteers are serving, and focus on future goals and priorities of the programs. In addition, Director Vasquez had the opportunity to visit with volunteers who are currently serving in Ghana, U.S. Ambassador Mary Carlin Yates, and the Minister of State, Ministry of Education, Youth, and Sports, Mr. Alhaji Rashid Bawa. As a young man in Ghana, Mr. Rashid Bawa commented that he had learned how to play basketball from Peace Corps volunteers.

Since the arrival of the first group of Peace Corps volunteers in Ghana in 1961, more than 63,000 Americans have served in 46 African countries. Currently, more than 2,600 volunteers and trainees are serving in 26 African nations in all of the agency’s assignment sectors, with an ever-increasing focus of HIV/AIDS prevention and education.

Since 1961, more than 170,000 volunteers have served in the Peace Corps, working in such diverse fields as education, health, HIV/AIDS education and awareness, 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 two-year commitment.

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