The Peace Corps Announces Entry into the Republic of Georgia; First Group's Departure Comes as the Agency Celebrates its 40th Anniversary

WASHINGTON, D.C., April 25, 2001—Peace Corps Acting Director Charles R. Baquet III announced today that the Peace Corps will send volunteers to the Republic of Georgia for the first time. The group is scheduled to arrive at the end of this month in the former Soviet republic, which marks the 135th country Peace Corps volunteers have served in during the four decades since the agency\'s inception.
"Sending volunteers to Georgia is a momentous step for the Peace Corps and the people of Georgia," Baquet said. "We are proud that 40 years after the first Peace Corps volunteers rose to the challenge of serving others overseas, volunteers continue to answer the call to serve, living and working at the grass-roots level and strengthening the personal ties between our two countries."
The 24 volunteers will spend two years working with Georgian teachers enhancing the English-teaching capacity of the Georgian education system, mainly at the elementary and secondary school levels. By augmenting English instruction, volunteers will be helping Georgians strengthen links with the democratic nations of the West and improve access to information and technical resources.
Once in Georgia, the volunteers will begin their service with three months of intensive technical, language, cross-cultural training and safety and security training.
Currently, about 7,300 Peace Corps volunteers are working in 76 countries working to teach children, help improve health and nutrition of families, bring clean water to communities, help start new small businesses, and prevent the spread of AIDS. This year the Peace Corps will celebrate its 40th anniversary with events around the world that commemorate the people who have been part of the agency\'s 40-year history. Since 1961, more than 162,000 Americans have joined the Peace Corps.

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