The Independent (Banjul)

9 December 2002

Gambia: After Weeks of Intensive Training 20 Environmentalists Peace Corps Sworn-in

Banjul — After ten weeks of intensive environmental training, 20 environmentalists Peace Corps Volunteers were last Sunday sworn in for a two year environmental program in the Upper, and Central River Division.

Speaking at the ceremony, Thomas K. Morgan, Peace Corps country Director said the newly sworn- in volunteers, would be vigorously engaged in two years program at the local community level.He told the volunteers that they could make a difference in the country in translating the vision and ideals of President JF Kennedy into reality by accepting the challenges ahead. Since the beginning of the mission, he said the peace corps has always offer lot to countries, not only in terms of equipment, and technical expertise or monies but also the way they deliver their services, and interact with local people to better understand each other culture.

Mr. Morgan reminded the new Volunteers that they would be spending the two years of their programme in the villages on their own to make independent decisions and nurture trust with the people they live, with very little support or structures. Finally, he urged them to bear in mind that they are dreamers and doers who have a responsibility of not succumbing to their dark tendencies but shape a future filled with hope and possibilities.

In her keynote, the Secretary of State for Fisheries, Natural Resources and Environment Susan Waffa Ogoo hailed Peace Corps for their invaluable assistance to The Gambia, dating back in the 60s. She added that Peace Corps is operating within governments' policy initiatives and vision 2020 programme of activities, including education, health and environment.She further added that peace corps is also assisting government on environmental educational activities since the start of the implementation of GEAP and has maintained a high level of volunteers participation in formal, non formal environmental education through out the process.

SOS Ogoo assured the Peace Corps that government really appreciates its efforts over the past years and would continue to give them the necessary support for the smooth performance of their work in the country.

The swearing in ceremony was graced by the Deputy US mission in the Gambia whilst Beth Basla and Jeremy Wilzbacher new sworn -ins delivered the vote of thanks on behalf of their colleagues.

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