President Bush Meets with Peace Corps Volunteers in Ghana

Volunteers discuss their work with the President, Mrs. Bush and Secretary Rice

ACCRA, GHANA Feb. 20, 2008 President George W. Bush, First Lady Laura Bush, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, and U.S. Ambassador to Ghana Pamela Bridgewater met with current Peace Corps/Ghana Volunteers and Peace Corps/Ghana Country Director Bob Golledge today to thank them for their service and discuss their projects around the country.

Ghana was the first country to welcome Peace Corps Volunteers in 1961. Since then, nearly 4,500 American Volunteers have served the Ghanaian people.

In his lunch meeting with Volunteers, President Bush remarked, "Laura and I and Condi are thrilled to be with some of our most notable citizens. These are folks who have left the comfort of America to join the Peace Corps to serve humanity, and we\'re really looking forward to hearing your stories and hearing what life is like." He continued, "One of the things I tell our country all the time is our great strength lies in the hearts and souls of our citizens. And I don\'t think there\'s any more giving people than in the Peace Corps."

Ten Peace Corps Volunteers traveled from nine of the ten regions in Ghana to meet with President Bush, including Volunteers who are working in small business development, tourism, computer literacy, environment and sanitation. Among the group were Michael Simpson of Newport, Ore. and Dixie Brackman of Indianapolis, who are both 50-plus aged Volunteers, Melinda Palma of Norfolk, Mass., and married couple Rachael Sanders and Kerry Browne of Portsmouth, Rhode Island.

Currently, 133 Peace Corps Volunteers in Ghana are working in the areas of small business development, education, environment, health, water sanitation, HIV/AIDS awareness and prevention. Peace Corps Volunteers in Ghana work to make a significant and positive contribution to community and national development.

Peace Corps Director Ron Tschetter said, "We are very proud that Ghana was the first country to receive Peace Corps Volunteers. Since 1961, Volunteers have provided their skills and talents and have formed meaningful and lasting friendships with the Ghanaian people. Under the leadership of our current country director Bob Golledge, the Peace Corps/Ghana program continues to thrive."

To learn more about Peace Corps/Ghana, visit the Where Do Volunteers Go? web page.

The Peace Corps is celebrating a 46-year legacy of service at home and abroad. Currently there are more than 8,000 Volunteers abroad, 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, including Ghana. 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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