Peace Corps Rwanda Reopens

July 18, 2008

U.S. and Rwandan Governments Re-Establish Peace Corps After 15 Years

Kigali, RWANDA, July 18, 2008 - U.S. Ambassador Michael Arietti and Secretary General of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Rwanda Amandin Rugira signed an agreement officially re-establishing the U.S. Peace Corps program in Rwanda today at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Peace Corps Director Ronald A. Tschetter said of the reopening, "Throughout its history, the Peace Corps has met the challenges of an ever-changing world. After a 15-year absence, I'm confident our Peace Corps Volunteers will have a tremendous positive impact in Rwanda. I'm grateful to the Rwandan people for welcoming the Peace Corps back and look forward to continued friendship."

"This is an important day for both the U.S. and the Rwandan Governments," Ambassador Arietti said. "Peace Corps Volunteers bring needed skills to rural communities, and embody the best that America has to offer. The Peace Corps emphasizes building peace and friendship between the United States and the countries where Volunteers work. That this program is returning to Rwanda will not just aid Rwanda's development; it will also serve to strengthen the relationship between our two countries."

President George W. Bush announced the reopening of the Peace Corps program in Rwanda during his February 2008 visit. The Peace Corps originally began its program in Rwanda in 1974, working for 20 years in sectors such as education, health, and the environment before closing its offices in 1994. A total of 114 people served as Peace Corps Volunteers in Rwanda. With its reopening, Peace Corps Volunteers will work across the country in the sectors of health, education, information technology, and community development.

To learn more about Peace Corps programs, visit the Where Do Volunteers Go? web page.

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, including former Volunteers U.S. Ambassador Arietti and Peace Corps/Rwanda Director John Reddy, 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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