The Independent (Banjul)

20 September 2004

Gambia: Peace Corps Volunteers Sworn in

Banjul — The newly appointed Secretary of State for Education, Mrs. Fatou Faye, recently presided over the swearing-in ceremony of twenty education Peace Corps Volunteers at the residence of the US Ambassador in Fajara.

In her keynote address, SOS for Education, Mrs. Fatou Faye, said the mission dates back in the late 1967, when the first badge of volunteers arrived in the country, but with the consolidation of the ties, the collaboration has expanded and diversified at the request of The Gambia Government.

Noting that Gambia's socio-economic progress can be traced to the resultant effect of the Economic Recovery Programme (ERP) and other development strategies, she said Peace Corps activities in the country centres on health, environment and education.

Accordingly, SOS Faye, said she has no doubt that the support will in no small measure accelerate local implementation of sectoral policies on health, education and the environment as the volunteers are found working in the remotest part of the country, adding that their dedication, punctuality, sense of purpose, transparency and accountability is unquestionable.

Mrs. Yamai Secka-Jack, highlighted on the fundamentals of Peace Corps mission, which she said strives for the promotion of world peace and friendship by allowing Americans to work with people of the host countries in helping to meet the need of trained manpower; and to offer opportunities for Americans to experience different customs and cultural beliefs.

In her remarks, Peace Corps's Country Director, Diana Sloane, said the volunteers would stay for the next two years to complete the term of their services, noting that they have been exposed to one or two local dialects during the course of their pre-training course.

"The trend was different this time around as all twenty trainees went through the training process and have successfully completed the course and are today legal Peace Corps Volunteers.

This is a remarkable achievement", she noted.

The new American Ambassador to The Gambia, Joseph D. Stafford III, commended the volunteers for their courage, dedication and determination, noting that the occasion is symbolic, as it represents true American values, which is another form of reaching to the outside world.

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