New cohort of Peace Corps Volunteers sworn in
─ volunteers will work in eight of Guyana’s ten regions
DPI, Guyana, Wednesday, August 7, 2019
Twenty-Nine (29) Peace Corps Volunteers have been sworn in to lend voluntary services in the areas of public health, education and environment. This is the 32nd batch to have worked in Guyana since the first cohort was sent to the country in 1966.
They will be deployed to eight regions, including Region 7and 9 to work in their various assigned sectors. Representing 19 out of the 50 States in America, the volunteers range in age from 21 to 50 years old.
Ministers of government who attended the official swearing ceremony welcomed the volunteers. More specifically, in the areas where the Peace Corps Volunteers have served in the past and will continue to serve (Health and Education). Efforts made over the years were celebrated.
Minister of State, Hon. Dawn Hastings-Williams recognised ten volunteers who will be focusing their efforts in the environment sector.
“The peace corps environment volunteers come at a pivotal time in Guyana’s history where the government of the day is focused on the implementation of the Green State Development agenda with the objective of building an eco-friendly economy where societal development and economic growth are in harmony with the conservation and preservation of our natural resources.”
Sharing her view about education reform, which is a major priority for her ministry, Minister of Education, Hon. Dr. Nicolette Henry said that the volunteers placed at the 26 schools would boost the literacy programme in Grades One to Four.
“In the education sector, we are in the process of education reform which involves curriculum reformation strategic planning and shifting to a more technologically abled learning environment.”
In Public Health, this ministry renewed a partnership with the Peace Corp though the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) which will see efforts of volunteers going towards addressing adolescent health in Guyana.
This is according to Deputy Chief Medical Officer (DCMO) of the Ministry of Public Health, Dr. Karen Gordon. She added that in teaching adolescent health, focus will be given to tobacco use, alcohol, the use of illegal substances and its harmful effects to their health, sexual and reproductive health, healthy food choices and physical exercise.
“Essentially this project was conceptualised to target adolescents between the ages of 10 to 14 years of age to improve their health and wellbeing outcomes through programmes aimed at increasing their knowledge base and equipping them with skills to make positive choices.”
Also attending the swearing-in ceremony was First Lady, Her Excellency, Sandra Granger, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Hon. Dr. Karen Cummings and members of the Diplomatic Corps. Country Director of Peace Corps Guyana Kury Cobham was also present.
United States Ambassador to Guyana, Her Excellency, Sarah-Ann Lynch, who is a former Peace Corps Volunteer herself, noted that the “Corps is the toughest job the volunteers will ever love” and urged the current batch to serve with excellence, commitment and professionalism.
Before administering the Peace Corps Volunteers’ oath, the US ambassador outlined that being a volunteer in the organisation provides persons with the opportunity to acquire or improve technical skills.
“The Peace Corps has devoted itself to developing state-of-the-art training and truly knows how to set the volunteers up for success and I am sure that this group here will be highly successful in achieving the three goals of the peace corps to provide necessary assistance to the interested nation, to promote better understanding of Americans to other people and to promote a better understanding of other peoples to Americans.”
While contributing to a vision of world peace and friendship, Peace Corps volunteers also play an integral role in the countries’ development in sectors to which they are assigned. For more than 50 years, 230,000 volunteers have served in 141 countries across the world.
In Guyana, the Peace Corps has been present since the 1960s with just about 1,400 volunteers working both in remote communities and along the coast.