FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Wednesday, August 20, 2008
Peace Corps Reopens Program in Liberia
Peace Corps Response Volunteers Will Serve in Education Sector
Washington, D.C., August 20, 2008 Peace Corps is pleased to officially announce its return to Liberia and is preparing for the arrival of the first group of Volunteers in October 2008.
After an absence of nearly two decades, experienced Volunteers will be serving in the country through a program called Peace Corps Response. President Bush discussed the possibility of Peace Corps return to Liberia in October 18, 2007 during an Oval Office meeting with Liberian President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf. President Bush said, The Peace Corps has been in touch with our State Department and the Liberia folks and it looks like we\'re going to start moving some teams pretty quickly back into Liberia.
Over 4,400 Peace Corps Volunteers served in Liberia from 1962 to 1990, until the program was suspended due to the Liberian civil war. With the country enjoying a new period of peace, and at the request of President Johnson-Sirleaf, the Peace Corps will re-establish a program in Liberia that will focus on education.
In a 2006 letter to U.S. Ambassador to Liberia Donald E. Booth, President Johnson-Sirleaf wrote: The Government of Liberia requests the re-establishment of the Peace Corps program in Liberia. We understand that the Peace Corps has a program [Peace Corps Response] which allows experienced Volunteers to serve for short periods to perform high-impact work. Such short-term projects aimed at raising the capacities and capabilities of Liberian teachers would have a profound impact upon civil society as a whole.
Peace Corps Director Ron Tschetter said, Were pleased to see so many positive developments in Liberia, as well as the countrys renewed focus on education. The Peace Corps is proud to continue the agencys legacy of providing education Volunteers to Liberia, and to be able to contribute to the countrys development efforts.
Peace Corps Response is a unique Peace Corps program that mobilizes Returned Peace Corps Volunteers for short-term humanitarian service assignments worldwide. Volunteers in Liberia are expected to work in several fields within the education sector, including teacher training, curriculum development, classroom teaching, education administration, and education policy assistance.
Peace Corps Response is actively recruiting for the first group of Volunteers to arrive in September 2008. More information about Peace Corps Response as well as an application can be found on our website: www.peacecorps.gov/response.
From 1962-1990, Peace Corps Volunteers in Liberia were involved in every facet of the countrys development efforts, from education and health to agriculture and rural development. Peace Corps involvement in the education sector was substantial, with most Volunteers working as primary and secondary education teachers, teacher trainers, vocational/technical instructors, and in curriculum development.
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, including Liberia. Peace Corps Volunteers must be U.S. citizens and at least 18 years of age. Peace Corps service is a 27-month commitment.
# # #
# # #