Peace Corps Volunteers Teach English to Judges in Rwanda

July 21, 2011

WASHINGTON, D.C., July 21, 2011 Eleven Peace Corps volunteers in Rwanda organized an intensive four-month pilot program designed to teach English to Supreme Court judges and other court staff. The training, which ended on July 9, 2011, was attended by more than 60 judges and court staff.

This program supports individual Rwandan judges and court staff in the transition to a civil-common law system, said Peace Corps volunteer Ellie Frazier of Staunton, Va., who worked as one of the English language trainers.

The training was conducted in partnership with the Rwandan government to help Rwandas judicial system transition from a Francophone civil law to an Anglophone hybrid common-civil law system. The Rwandan government adopted English as an official language in 2008. For the training, Peace Corps volunteers taught legal English by using real-world scenarios seen in the Rwandan judicial system.

In January 2012, the training program will expand, and Peace Corps volunteers will teach eight-week English classes for district courts in four regional locations nationwide.

About Peace Corps/Rwanda: More than 200 Peace Corps volunteers have served in Rwanda since the program was established in 1975. Many volunteers work on HIV/AIDS prevention and care receive support from the U.S. Presidents Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) program. Currently, 90 volunteers are serving in Rwanda. Volunteers are trained and work in Kinyarwanda.

About the Peace Corps: President John F. Kennedy established the Peace Corps on March 1, 1961, by executive order. Throughout 2011, Peace Corps is commemorating 50 years of promoting peace and friendship around the world. Historically, more than 200,000 Americans have served with the Peace Corps to promote a better understanding between Americans and the people of 139 host countries. Today, 8,655 volunteers are working with local communities in 76 host countries. Peace Corps volunteers must be U.S. citizens and at least 18 years of age. Peace Corps service is a 27-month commitment. Visit www.peacecorps.gov for more information.

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