Peace Corps Volunteers Return to Madagascar

WASHINGTON, D.C., October 11, 2002 - Peace Corps Director Gaddi H. Vasquez announced the return of seven Volunteers to the African island nation of Madagascar. These volunteers, reinstated to continue their service after the suspension of the program last April, will be joined by 50 new volunteer trainees in February.

The program in Madagascar was temporarily suspended and volunteers were relocated after determining the political climate in Madagascar was too volatile to maintain the safety and security of staff and volunteers.
Since last spring, the political turbulence surrounding Madagascar’s presidential elections has ended. With an ever-improving safety and security environment, the Peace Corps, in conjunction with the State Department and embassy personnel in Madagascar, have reassessed the situation and cleared the reopening of the program. The return of Peace Corps volunteers will greatly aid in the recovery of the nation’s economy.

Over 320 volunteers have worked in Madagascar since the first group arrived in 1993. Projects focused on the teaching of English, teacher training, health education and child survival activities, natural resource management, and community development.

Since 1961, more than 165,000 volunteers have served in the Peace Corps, working in such diverse fields as education, health and HIV/AIDS, information technology, business development, the environment, and agriculture. Peace Corps volunteers must be U.S. citizens and at least 18 years of age. Peace Corps service is a two-year commitment.

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