President Clinton Meets with Peace Corps Volunteers in Bangladesh on Monday, March 20
March 20, 2000WASHINGTON, D.C., March 20, 2000—President Clinton met briefly with Peace Corps volunteers in Bangladesh as part of an airport departure ceremony on Monday, March 20, at 9 p.m, local time.
The President greeted about 51 Peace Corps volunteers at the airport, all of whom are training English teachers in Bangladesh. He made brief remarks before continuing to India and Pakistan. The volunteers also met with the Prime Minister of Bangladesh and greeted her in Bangla, the national language of Bangladesh.
The Peace Corps program in Bangladesh was established in 1998, as part of President Clinton's initiative to expand the agency's worldwide presence and volunteer corps. The first Peace Corps volunteers to serve in Bangladesh arrived in October 1998. The volunteers are working to strengthen the country's capacity to train its English teachers.
Currently, 18 Peace Corps volunteers are teaching English to approximately 1,560 Bangladeshi primary school teachers, including 675 women. They also teach English to 930 primary school students, ages 8 Ð 12. In February, 33 new volunteers arrived in the country, and are in training, which includes language, cross-cultural, and technical training.
Several volunteers have worked to establish or strengthen English Resource Centers at their training institutes. They have obtained additional English materials, and in some cases, the resource centers are "English only" zones for informal learning. Other volunteers are planning a summer leadership camp for young Bangladeshi girls that will promote self-esteem, decision-making, goal setting, and community service.
Today, more than 7,000 Peace Corps volunteers are working in 77 countries to bring clean water to communities, teach children, protect the environment, help start new businesses, and prevent the spread of AIDS. Since 1961, more than 155,000 Americans have joined the Peace Corps, serving in 134 countries.