Peace Corps Volunteers in Kenya Are Safe

January 18, 2008

Some are Transitioning out of the Country

WASHINGTON, D.C., January 18, 2008 - Peace Corps Volunteers serving in Kenya remain accounted for and safe.

Peace Corps/Kenya Volunteers were consolidated in a variety of locations in response to the unrest associated with the recent presidential and parliamentary elections. Of the 144 Volunteers who were serving in Kenya, 65 Volunteers have resumed their volunteer service in safe locations in the central, eastern, and coastal areas of Kenya, and will remain at their sites with close monitoring.

To ensure their safety and security, the remaining Peace Corps/Kenya Volunteers, including those who were relocated to Tanzania, and others who were consolidated in Nairobi, will begin to temporarily suspend their service in Kenya. These Volunteers sites were in western Kenya and other areas of the country considered unsafe or unsuitable for Volunteers at the present time. Therefore, they will be presented with a variety of options such as: returning to the U.S., continuing Peace Corps service in another country, or ending their service in good standing.

Peace Corps/Washington is in constant communication with staff in Kenya and the U.S. Embassy in Nairobi. The Peace Corps will continue to evaluate and monitor the situation and take any action necessary to ensure the safety of the Volunteers.

Since 1965, more than 5,000 Peace Corps Volunteers have served in Kenya. Current Volunteers are working in the areas of education, small business development, and health and HIV/AIDS prevention. Volunteers in Kenya are also serving in a unique deaf education program, which began in 1992 as a way to train educators on better teaching methods, and to broaden the production of learning materials and facilities for deaf and hard of hearing students. The program now includes computer training and health and HIV/AIDS education programs, as part of the President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief.

Each Peace Corps program has an Emergency Action Plan (EAP) specific to that country and developed in cooperation with the U.S. Embassy and Peace Corps/ Washington. The plans are tested frequently and information is updated constantly. Volunteers are thoroughly trained in their role and responsibilities in the EAP. Posts are prepared for all emergencies.

The Peace Corps is celebrating a 46-year legacy of service at home and abroad, and 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. 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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