Peace Corps Volunteers Open Doors for Children with Special Needs in St. Lucia
December 15, 1998Washington, D.C., December 15, 1998—In St. Lucia, a small island in the Caribbean, little is available to help educate children with special needs. But Peace Corps volunteers, armed with educational toys, books and art supplies assembled by the Peace Corps Gifts In Kind Program, are working to provide opportunities for these children.
A reception honoring donors who contributed to the special children of St. Lucia through Peace Corps Gifts In Kind will be held Wednesday, December 16, 1998 at 3:30 p.m. in the Peace Corps Headquarters Building, 1111 20th Street, NW.
"Many children with disabilities in St. Lucia are now benefiting from educational and developmental materials, thanks to the generosity of organizations like the Sabre Foundation, World Bank Volunteer Services Book Project, and the John Eaton Elementary School here in Washington," Peace Corps Director Mark Gearan said.
Along with using these donated materials to work with families, teachers, and other community members, Peace Corps volunteers are aiding the establishment of the first Children's Home in St. Lucia. This home will provide temporary shelter to abused, neglected, and other at-risk youth on the island. Volunteers will assist not only with the grass-roots foundation and organization of the home, but also with staffing and maintaining resources for the new facility. Since 1983, the Gifts in Kind Program has been providing Peace Corps volunteers with the resources they need to better serve their communities. The Peace Corps Gifts In Kind Program currently supports more than 90 volunteer projects in more than 50 countries.
Currently, more than 6,500 Peace Corps volunteers are working in 80 countries in education, business, agriculture, the environment, health, and community development. Since 1961, more than 150,000 Americans have joined the Peace Corps.