FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Monday, April 3, 2023
PEACE CORPS DIRECTOR CAROL SPAHN VISITS THAILAND FOR 60TH ANNIVERSARY AND SWEARS IN 49 NEW VOLUNTEERS
Volunteers will support bilateral priorities in education and youth in development, moving the United States and Thailand toward a more interconnected future
(BANGKOK, THAILAND | Monday, April 3, 2023) – As part of her first official tour to the Kingdom of Thailand, Peace Corps Director Carol Spahn today swore in 49 Peace Corps Volunteers during a ceremony in Bangkok. This is Peace Corps Thailand’s first group of Volunteers to serve in the country after nearly a three-year pause due to the global COVID-19 pandemic.
Peace Corps’ long-standing partnership with Thailand began in 1962, and more than 5,500 Volunteers have served to date. Since arriving in Thailand in January 2023, the 49 Americans have successfully completed a comprehensive cross-cultural, language, and technical training program which has prepared them to integrate into their local communities and to work side-by-side with their counterparts.
“Six decades of friendship and partnership between the American and Thai people have created bonds that last a lifetime,” said Peace Corps Director Carol Spahn. “I’m so inspired by the counterparts and Volunteers who have accepted the bold invitation to join in this strong tradition, working together to equip youth with skills and opportunities.”
Notable attendees who participated in the historic celebration include:
Mr. Robert F. Godec, United States Ambassador to the Kingdom of Thailand, U.S. Embassy Bangkok
Dr. Steven G. Olive, Asia Mission Director, United States Agency for International Development (USAID)
Mrs. Ureerat Charoentoh Director-General, Thailand International Cooperation Agency (TICA), Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Dr. Watcharadet Kiatchanon, Deputy Governor of Suphanburi Province, Ministry of Interior
Mr. Anan Phannuek, Assistant Secretary-General, Office of the Basic Education Commission (OBEC), Ministry of Education
Mrs. Kanita Radnui, Director, Local Administrative Development Division, Department of Local Administration (DLA), Ministry of Interior
General Nipat Thonglek, Advisor to Governor of Bangkok
Mr. Mechai Viravaidya, Founder and Chairman, Population and Community Development Association Foundation
Following today’s swearing-in ceremony, Peace Corps Volunteers will begin working with Thai counterparts and students, directly supporting the Teacher Empowerment for Student Success (TESS) program and the Youth in Development project. The TESS program aims to build the capacity of Thai English teachers through co-teaching, collaborative planning, and periodic teacher training. Volunteers will work closely with up to three Thai English teachers, spending approximately 16-20 hours a week co-teaching at local schools.
Youth in Development project Peace Corps Volunteers work with Thai Youth, helping them to develop strong leadership and language skills. The effort aims to encourage these emerging leaders to aspire to contribute to the development of sustainable and strong communities in Thailand in the future. Volunteers will teach conversational English and support extra-curricular activities for youth such as after-school clubs, camps, youth councils, community service projects, and sports and fitness events.
The newly sworn-in volunteers join a network of over 1,300 volunteers serving in 53 countries across Africa; Europe, the Mediterranean and Asia; the Inter-Americas and the Pacific at the invitation of host country governments collaborating with community members to work toward their priorities. With the recent launch of the bold invitation campaign, Peace Corps has a goal of recruiting and deploying more than 5,000 Volunteers over the next year, re-affirming its commitment to attracting and retaining the most talented and diverse group of Peace Corps volunteers in the agency’s history.
For more information about how to join the Peace Corps, visit www.peacecorps.gov/bold.
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ABOUT THE PEACE CORPS:
The Peace Corps is an international service network of volunteers, community members, host country partners and staff who are driven by the agency’s mission of world peace and friendship. At the invitation of governments around the world, Peace Corps volunteers work alongside community members on locally-prioritized projects in the areas of education, health, environment, agriculture, community economic development and youth development. Through service, members of the Peace Corps network develop transferable skills and hone intercultural competencies that position them to be the next generation of global leaders. Since President John F. Kennedy established the Peace Corps in 1961, more than 240,000 Americans have served in 143 countries worldwide. For more information, visit peacecorps.gov and follow us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.
Peace Corps Director of Press Relations and Spokesperson