Peace Corps, Viet Nam celebrate historic agreement

July 10, 2020

A group of Americans and Vietnamese folks stand inside in a socially distant line with masks on.
Peace Corps Director Jody Olsen attends the event celebrating the signing of the implementing agreement between the Peace Corps and Viet Nam's Ministry of Education and Training.

WASHINGTON – Peace Corps Director Jody K. Olsen attended a reception at the State Department today to celebrate the signing by Viet Nam of the implementing agreement between the Peace Corps and the Ministry of Education and Training to officially establish the Peace Corps program in English education.

The event, which also commemorated the 25th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between the United States of America and the Socialist Republic of Viet Nam, included Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs David Hale, Assistant Secretary of State for the Bureau of East Asian and Pacific Affairs David Stilwell, Viet Nam Ambassador to the United States Ha Kim Ngoc and Deputy Chief of Mission Hoang Thi Thanh Nga.

Viet Nam will be the 143rd country to host Peace Corps volunteers since the agency was founded in 1961 by President John F. Kennedy.

“We are thrilled to be entering into this historic partnership,” said Director Olsen. “I am honored and deeply grateful to the people and Government of Viet Nam for their willingness to open their hearts, schools and homes to Peace Corps volunteers. This program, with its emphasis on cross-cultural exchange and capacity building, will benefit the people of both countries for generations.”

Peace Corps Viet Nam will focus on English education. After arrival in Viet Nam, volunteers will undergo three months of comprehensive cultural, language and technical training before they are given their assignments to serve for two years. The first class of Peace Corps volunteers is scheduled to arrive in Viet Nam in mid-2022 to complete their training and be ready to begin their service when the school year begins in early September.

Director Olsen will sign the implementing agreement next week when the original documents arrive from Ha Noi. The Viet Nam Vice Minister of Education and Training signed those documents in Ha Noi today at a reception with U.S. Ambassador Daniel Kritenbrink. The country agreement, which established the framework for the program, was signed in 2016.

“Peace Corps volunteers live and work alongside their neighbors, bringing people together in pursuit of peace and friendship,” said Director Olsen. “This is an extraordinary opportunity for our partners in Viet Nam and the Peace Corps family.”

About the Peace Corps: The Peace Corps sends Americans with a passion for service abroad on behalf of the United States to work with communities and create lasting change. Volunteers develop sustainable solutions to address challenges in education, health, community economic development, agriculture, the environment and youth development. Through their Peace Corps experience, volunteers gain a unique cultural understanding and a life-long commitment to service that positions them to succeed in today's global economy. Since President John F. Kennedy established the Peace Corps in 1961, more than 235,000 Americans of all ages have served in 141 countries worldwide. For more information, visit peacecorps.gov and follow us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

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