Peace Corps Director Visits Senegal

Director Ron Tschetter meets with Volunteers, President of Senegal

DAKAR, SENEGAL, April 18, 2008 Peace Corps Director Ron Tschetter visited Senegal April 16-18, 2008, and met with dozens of Peace Corps Volunteers and staff members. The Director also met with the President of Senegal, Abdoulaye Wade, in Dakar. Currently, over 150 Peace Corps Volunteers are serving in Senegal. The Peace Corps has been in continuous operation in Senegal for over 45 years, with more than 3,000 Americans serving since 1963.

Director Tschetter spent several days traveling the interior of Senegal, visiting Volunteers working in the areas of environment and agriculture, small enterprise development, education, and health. The Director visited Volunteer Curt McCormack, a former Vermont State Representative from Montpelier, Vt., who has been serving with his wife for over two years in Senegal.

McCormack, who has a professional background in solid waste management, has used his expertise to assist a local government with developing a waste management system that has taken trash off the streets, and turned it into cash. The system uses trash-sorting and organic composting to turn nearly 90 percent of the collected waste into ultra-rich compost. The compost is then sold, creating a sustainable and environment-friendly source of revenue. Mamadou Sarr, one of the projects main managers, said of McCormack, Curt not only used his professional expertise to improve the health and cleanliness of our community, but he also inspired us to find our own solutions for our future well-being, and our childrens future well-being.

Also during his trip, Director Tschetter had the honor of visiting with President Abdoulaye Wade, accompanied by U.S. Charge d Affaires to Senegal, Jay Smith. The Director expressed thanks to the President for being a strong supporter of the relationship between Peace Corps and Senegal. Said Director Tschetter, As I travel around Senegal, I continue to be impressed by the work of our Volunteers and the strong friendships they are building with your citizens. I thank the people of Senegal and look forward to continuing our relationship in the future.

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. 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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