Peace Corps Director Tschetter Becomes the First Director to Visit the Republic of Malawi

Tschetter visited Peace Corps Volunteers, staff and government officials during his historic visit in the Republic of Malawi this week.

WASHINGTON, D.C., February 16, 2007 This week, Peace Corps Director Ronald A. Tschetter becomes the first Peace Corps Director to visit the Republic of Malawi and celebrate the accomplishments of the 2,193 Peace Corps Volunteers who have served there since 1963. Currently, over 100 Volunteers are serving in Malawi, including ten Crisis Corps Volunteers who are working exclusively in the area of HIV/AIDS prevention and education.

I am so impressed with the Volunteers I have visited in Malawi, said Director Tschetter. Volunteers are teaching English to students, providing prevention messages on HIV/AIDS, and helping to preserve the beautiful landscapes of Malawi through forestation and other environmental projects.

The Director visited several orphanages in Malawi where Peace Corps Volunteers serve. The Volunteers there teach orphans not only English, but also skills and trades that will allow them to earn a living when they reach adulthood. Some of the trades include auto repair, carpentry, welding, and sewing. Many of those trained by Peace Corps Volunteers eventually enter vocational education academies.

Director Tschetter traveled to Malawi with his wife, Nancy, with whom he served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in India from 1966 to 1968. As part of their visit, Director and Mrs. Tschetter spent one night with a Malawian family in a remote village, where Peace Corps Volunteer-trainees typically stay upon their arrival.

The warmth of the Malawian people was evident everywhere I went, remarked Director Tschetter. The community leaders and Governmental officials alike praised the work of Peace Corps Volunteers and asked that we send more Volunteers to Malawi.

The Peace Corps is celebrating a 45-year legacy of service at home and abroad. Since 1961, more than 187,000 Volunteers have helped promote a better understanding between Americans and the people of the 139 countries where Volunteers have served. 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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