Peace Corps Volunteer Knighted by Madagascar Government
March 26, 1999Washington, D.C., March 26, 1999—Shannon McClellan, a Peace Corps volunteer from Alexandria, Va. now serving in Madagascar, received a rare honor last month when she was knighted by the Madagascar government.
At a ceremony February 24 in the village of Manandona where Shannon lives and works, the Secretary General of the Madagascar Ministry of Health presented her with a medal naming her a "Chevalier de l'Ordre de Madagascar." She also received a diploma signed by President Ratsiraka.
McClellan, a volunteer in Madagascar since January 1997, was recognized for her creative work in health education. She has written songs in Malagache, the local language, and organized village theater presentations. She videotaped health-themed skits and has convinced local video theaters to show these videos before the main features. She has also re-created a number of local dishes using protein-rich soy flour to replace traditional rice flour as a way of increasing protein consumption in children.
McClellan is a 1994 graduate the College of William and Mary, and is currently a Masters International student in Public Health at Tulane University. The Masters International program combines graduate course work with Peace Corps service for a masters degree. Today, nearly 6,700 Peace Corps volunteers are serving in 80 countries, working to help fight hunger, bring clean water to communities, teach children, start new small businesses, and prevent the spread of AIDS. Since 1961, more than 152,000 Americans have joined the Peace Corps.