By Nelson Manneh
Twenty Peace Corps Volunteers were sworn in as Education Volunteers at the United States Ambassador’s residence in Fajara, on the 14th of August 2019.
Created to promote world peace and friendship, the United States Peace Corps help interested countries and Governments to meet their needs in manpower in vital sectors such as agriculture, health, education and the environment, by providing trained men and women in these sectors. This also assists in the promotion of better understanding of Americans by those people in the part of the world where they served.
The twenty Peace Corps Education Volunteers who will be spending two years in the education sector, have under gone ten weeks of intensive training to familiarize themselves with Gambian culture.
Claudiana A. Cole, the Minister of Basic and Secondary Education in addressing the Volunteers, said this year marks the 58th Anniversary of the founding of the Peace Corps and the 52nd anniversary of the partnership between the US Peace Corps and the Government of the Gambia.
“The work of Volunteers in rural Schools will promote and improve teaching methods in English language proficiency and literacy, and in observing and evaluating lesson plans, demonstration of new teaching methods and advice on how to create student-centered classrooms,” she said.
The Minister said some of the Peace Corps will be serving in areas that are deep within the regions that may not have the same level of services and infrastructure they are seeing within the Grater Banjul Area; that they may face difficulties, but it is not the end of life.
Richard Carl Paschal, the United States Ambassador to the Gambia said, “Peace Corp Volunteers serve in The Gambia in all six geographic regions of the country. After an intensive training period, volunteers serve for 24 months, working directly with communities to build capacity and promote sustainable development.”
The US Ambassador said more than 1,850 Peace Corps Volunteers have served in The Gambia since the program was established in 1967; that the current group of twenty trainees in Education, hail from all four corners of the U.S and are all prepared and committed to make a difference in their host communities.
To the trainees he said the following: “Working directly in your communities and at your sites, you will touch lives in unimaginable ways. You will make clear in a tangible way, how much we respect and cherish our relationship with the Gambia.”