Peace Corps Response Volunteers Work to Protect and Restore Mozambique Rainforest

July 7, 2010

WASHINGTON, D.C., July 7, 2010 Mona Nyandoro of Fresno, Calif., and Herbert Marty Sampson of Omaha, Neb., have returned to Peace Corps service as Peace Corps Response volunteers in Mozambique. Nyandoro, who will serve for six months, and Sampson, who will serve for 12 months, arrived on July 6 to begin working with the Gorongosa Restoration Project to protect and restore rainforests in Mozambiques Sofala Province.

Mozambiques Gorongosa National Park was once a national gem and a top tourist attraction with a large concentration of wildlife. Recently, non-sustainable agricultural practices on Mount Gorongosa have threatened the health of the parks ecosystem. Volunteers Nyandoro and Sampson will work with the Gorongosa Restoration Project to establish and manage eight new tree nurseries on Mount Gorongosa. They will also train existing and new nursery staff how to monitor and record their progress and plan a campaign to encourage community participation in reforestation efforts and teach local community members about how to manage and benefit from eco-tourism efforts.

Nyandoro previously served as a Peace Corps volunteer in the West African island nation of So Tom and Prncipe from 1994-1996 where she supported local efforts to establish a national park and helped the local community benefit from eco-tourism. When Nyandoro returned to the United States, she put her Peace Corps experience to work as an AmeriCorps National Civilian Community Corps team leader, Peace Corps recruiter, and most recently as the Director of Development at California State University, Fresnos School of Education.

Sampson previously served as a Peace Corps volunteer in the Puerto Plata Province of the Dominican Republic from 2003-2005. He served as a water resources engineer and managed the local efforts to use only man and animal power to help construct six kilometers of pipeline to provide potable water to extremely remote villages. After this hands-on experience, Sampson received a masters degree in Sustainability and Environmental Management at Harvard University.

Over 558 Peace Corps Volunteers have served in Mozambique since the program was established in 1998. Volunteers in this Southern African nation work in the areas of education, health, and HIV/AIDS awareness. Many Volunteers working on HIV/AIDS prevention and care receive support from the U.S. Presidents Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) program. Currently, 180 Volunteers are serving in Mozambique.

Peace Corps Response provides opportunities for returned Peace Corps volunteers to undertake short-term, high impact assignments in various programs around the world. Volunteers have the opportunity to serve again by utilizing their skills and experience in places where they are needed the most. Since its inception in 1996, Peace Corps Response has sent over 1,300 returned Volunteers to more than 50 countries. Peace Corps Response service provides returned Peace Corps Volunteers opportunities to obtain career-focused experience while accomplishing tangible results in a condensed period of time. To learn more, go to: www.peacecorps.gov/response.

As Peace Corps approaches its 50th anniversary, its service legacy continues to promote peace and friendship around the world with 7,671 volunteers serving in 77 host countries. Historically, nearly 200,000 Americans have served with the Peace Corps to promote a better understanding between Americans and the people of 139 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.

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