Peace Corps Director Meets President of The Gambia

WASHINGTON, D.C., June 26, 2003 – Yesterday, Peace Corps Director Gaddi H. Vasquez met with President Yahya A.J.J. Jammeh of The Gambia as part of his visit to the United States. President Jammeh expressed his gratitude for the work of the Peace Corps in his country by stating that the positive spirit and ‘can do’ attitude of the volunteers lifts the hopes, spirits, and dreams of the Gambian people.

“Since 1967, Peace Corps volunteers in The Gambia have been working in the areas of education, health, and environment. As the Agency strives to double the number of volunteers serving by 2007, we are looking at small enterprise development as a potential growth sector in The Gambia," stated Director Vasquez.
Peace Corps Director presents President Jammeh with a Peace Corps flag.
Peace Corps Director presents President Jammeh with a Peace Corps flag.

President Jammeh was sworn into office as President of the Republic of The Gambia in 1996 and was re-elected for a second 5-year term in 2001. Prior to his election, he held several positions within the Gambian armed forces.

Peace Corps currently has 78 volunteers serving in The Gambia, which is located in western Africa. Within the last two decades, environmental degradation has caused production of food and cash crops to progressively decrease, and has severely hindered the agriculture-dependent livelihood of 75 percent of Gambians. Volunteers collaborate closely with Gambians to alleviate the effects of certain environmental and economic conditions on development. Volunteers also work to promote awareness of pediatric health and HIV/AIDs. Other program sectors include computer literacy and educator training.

Since 1961, more than 168,000 volunteers have served in the Peace Corps, working in such diverse fields as education, health and HIV/AIDS education, 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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