Peace Corps Director Ron Tschetter Visits Albania

February 28, 2008

Director meets with Albanian Officials and visits with Volunteers

Tirana, Albania Feb. 29, 2008 Director Ron Tschetter visited Albania February 26-28, 2008, and met with the with U.S. Ambassador to Albania John L. Withers, Albanian government officials, and Peace Corps Volunteers at their sites.

Director Tschetters visit to Albania gave him the opportunity to reinforce the friendship that the Peace Corps and Republic of Albania share. "The people of Albania have welcomed Peace Corps Volunteers with open arms," said Director Tschetter. "Our Volunteers are helping improve the quality of life of Albanians through economic development and education. We hope to continue and expand our partnership with Albania.

While in Albania, Director Tschetter met with Minister of Education, Mr. Genc Pollo, and Vice Minister of Interior, Mr. Ferdinand Poni. In addition, he visited Lac to observe the positive impact of several of the Peace Corps Volunteers who work in Albania.

In its second program since 1992, over 320 Peace Corps Volunteers served in Albania. Currently there are 66 Volunteers working in the areas of teaching, community development, and health. Having approved a new constitution in 1998, Albania has been transitioning into an open market economy, with Albanian officials and leaders taking measures to re-energize economic activity. The Peace Corps' re-entry into the country in 2003 included an emphasis on helping to improve municipal and community development projects, as well as programs in education, health and HIV/AIDS prevention.

The Peace Corps is celebrating a 47-year legacy of service at home and abroad. Currently there are more than 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, including Albania. 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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