Peace Corps Director Visits Haiti - Director Swears in 10 New Volunteers

WASHINGTON, D.C., July 17 — Peace Peace Corps Mark Gearan will visit Haiti this week to swear in the first group of Peace Corps volunteers to serve in Haiti since 1991.

During his three-day visit to Port-au-Prince, Gearan will also meet with Haitian government officials, including President Rene Preval, the Ministers of Planning and Agriculture, and members of the Haitian parliament.

Gearan will preside over the swearing-in ceremony on July 18. That group of 10 Peace Corps trainees arrived in Haiti in April, and they have been learning Kreyól and improving their technical skills since that time. The ceremony will mark the completion of their training and the beginning of their two year service to the people of Haiti. They will be working directly with grassroots groups in rural areas to help contribute to the improvement of the economic and social condition of the Haitian people.

Haiti is a priority country for the Peace Corps and steady growth in the program is anticipated. The program is expected to grow to about 50 Peace Corps Volunteers in 1997 and to approximately 65 Peace Corps Volunteers in 1998.

The Peace Corps is returning to Haiti at the request of the Haitian government and is working closely with the Ministries of Planning and Agriculture in the placement of Volunteers. This first group of Volunteers will be working in Departments of the South and Grand Anse and will concentrate in three program areas: agro-business and agro-forestry; animal husbandry; and organizational development.

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