Peace Corps Director Visits Volunteers in Mongolia

April 9, 2007

Director Ron Tschetter Goes to Peace Corps Volunteers Sites and Meets with Mongolias President Nambaryn Enkhbayar During Visit.

ULAANBAATAR, MONGOLIA, April 9, 2007 Peace Corps Director Ron Tschetter today is completing his four day visit to Mongolia, where he met with Volunteers and staff and discussed Peace Corps' program with government officials.

"The Peace Corps program in Mongolia is flourishing thanks to the welcoming spirit of the Mongolian people, and Im excited to witness the growing friendships between the people of our countries," said Director Tschetter. Director and Mrs.Tschetter with Mongolian host inside traditional ger, a type of yurt housing used in Mongolia.

The people of Mongolia have welcomed Peace Corps Volunteers since 1991. Currently, 101 Volunteers are serving here in the areas of business development, education, health and HIV/AIDS and youth development. Over 575 Volunteers have served in Mongolia and have provided assistance to organizations and communities in sectors relevant to national development priorities.

In a meeting today with Director Tschetter, Mongolias President Nambaryn Enkhbayar expressed his appreciation for the Volunteers' work, and said, What your Volunteers are doing is of high importance to me, my government, my country and the Mongolian people.

President Enkhbayar has visited Volunteers in several of the 17 district communities in which they work throughout the country. He commented, The unique thing about Peace Corps Volunteers is that they choose to live the way we live and are easy to recognize because they are the ones working together with the people in the local communities. Director Tschetter meets with Mongolian President Nambaryn Enkhbayar.

Director Tschetter and his wife, Nancy, who is accompanying him on his official visit, were Peace Corps Volunteers in India from 1966 -1968. During a ceremony at a school in Ulaanbaatar earlier this week, the Tschetters met two Peace Corps Volunteers involved in shaping the countrys youth development curriculum. Volunteers Sunaree Marshall, of Sacramento, Calif., and Arnis Diaga, of Carmel, Ind., who are in their second year of service in Mongolia, have trained primary school social workers in schools throughout the Ulaanbaatar area.

They have also developed a life skills curriculum that is now being used as a model by the Mongolian Ministry of Education and will be implemented throughout Mongolias school system.

Allison Norman, of Crawfordville, Fla., is a first year Peace Corps Volunteer implementing the life skills manual that Marshall and Diaga developed. Norman has started two life skills clubs using the curriculum and teaching skills such as communication, decision-making, critical thinking and self esteem to her Mongolian students. Norman said, I have enjoyed the social dynamic with my Mongolian students and see that the life skills instruction makes it easier for them to discuss important social issues. Director and Mrs. Tschetter with a Mongolian host family outside of their traditional ger.

The Director also met four of the 14 Peace Corps Volunteers working in community health. This program focuses on working with individuals and communities in Mongolia to improve their health and well-being through preventative health education programs. Volunteers working in the rural areas have developed dynamic strategies to promote health awareness and prevention behaviors, including HIV/AIDS prevention programs.

After visiting Volunteer sites in prevention behaviors, including HIV/AIDS prevention programs.

After visiting Volunteer sites in some of the rural areas of Mongolia, Tschetter visited the host village of San Francisco, Calif. native and Peace Corps Volunteer, Sean Speer. Director and Mrs. Tschetter stayed in Speers village for the evening and spent the night in a traditional Mongolian ger, a style of felt tent that many Mongolians and Peace Corps Volunteers call home. To learn more about Mongolia, please visit the Where Do Volunteers Go? section of the Peace Corps Web site.

Peace Corps Volunteers must be U.S. citizens and at least 18 years of age. Since 1961, more than 187,000 Peace Corps Volunteers have served in 139 countries. At the invitation of host governments, the Peace Corps sends American volunteers for 27-month assignments to help countless individuals worldwide who want to build a better life for themselves, their children, and their communities. Today, more than 7,749 Volunteers are serving in 73 countries, including Mongolia.

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