Peace Corps Receives Presidential Medal of Honor from Bulgarian President Parvanov

March 11, 2011

President Parvanov Thanks Peace Corps for 20 years of Service with Bulgarian Communities

WASHINGTON, D.C., March 11, 2011 On Wednesday, March 9, Bulgarian President Dr. Georgi Parvanov presented Peace Corps with the highest presidential honor given in Bulgaria, the Presidential Medal of Honor, in recognition of the Peace Corps 20th year of service in Bulgaria.

U.S. Ambassador to Bulgaria James Warlick, Peace Corps Regional Director for Europe, Mediterranean and Asia Helen Lowman, acting Peace Corps Country Director Michael Radmann, and other Peace Corps/Bulgaria staff were present to receive the award.Magnifying glass icon Bulgarian President Dr. Georgi Parvanov (left), Michael Radmann (center), acting Peace Corps country director, and Helen Lowman (right), Peace Corps regional director for the Europe, Mediterranean and Asia region.

I would like to thank the Government of Bulgaria for presenting Peace Corps with this prestigious award, on the occasion of Peace Corps 50th anniversary and Peace Corps Bulgarias 20th anniversary, said Lowman. Since 1991, Peace Corps volunteers have enjoyed working in cooperation with the communities of Bulgaria. This award not only honors the work of our volunteers but also honors the many Bulgarian colleagues and friends who have shared their culture, language and experiences with our service program.

On Thursday, March 10, Peace Corps/Bulgaria kicked-off its 20th anniversary celebration, with an anniversary photography exhibition. Peace Corps volunteer Nathaniel Brokeman of Wayland, Mass., spoke at the opening of the exhibition in Bulgarian. Volunteers study the Bulgarian language intensively during their pre service training, and continue to build their language skills throughout their service. Since 2009, Brokeman has worked as an English teacher in a secondary school.

About Peace Corps/Bulgaria: Nearly 1,250 Peace Corps volunteers have served in Bulgaria since the program was established in 1991. Currently, 166 volunteers are serving in Bulgaria and working as English teachers, and in youth development and community development.

About the Peace Corps: President John F. Kennedy established the Peace Corps on March 1, 1961, by executive order. Throughout 2011, Peace Corps is commemorating 50 years of promoting peace and friendship around the world. Historically, more than 200,000 Americans have served with the Peace Corps to promote a better understanding between Americans and the people of 139 host countries. Today, 8,655 volunteers are working with local communities in 77 host countries. Peace Corps volunteers must be U.S. citizens and at least 18 years of age. Peace Corps service is a 27-month commitment. Visit www.peacecorps.gov for more information.

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