21 December 2004

Namibia: U.S. Volunteers Sworn in

Windhoek — THE US government continues to assist Namibia's efforts in meeting its needs for a trained and qualified workforce.

On Friday, 53 new US Peace Corps volunteers were sworn in by US Ambassador Joyce Barr and Oshana Governor Clemence Kashuupulwa at Ongwediva.

The volunteers will serve for two years as primary and secondary school teachers, or supporting community educational and HIV-AIDS prevention projects.

They will be stationed in the Hardap, Kunene, Karas, Otjozondjupa, Erongo, Oshana, Oshikoto and Omusati regions.

It is the 24th group of Peace Corps volunteers to Namibia, joining some 94 other US volunteers currently serving in Namibia.

The first volunteers arrived in Namibia in 1990.

Barr said Namibia has done a commendable job in education and health within the short period of 14 years of independence, which is a very good example to other countries.

However, she said, the country still needs help in these sectors.

Kashuupulwa said the Peace Corps's work complements Government's efforts in accelerating the process of nation building and the transformation of society to ensure equity and prosperity for all, while at the same time confronting the causes and effects of underdevelopment.

He said in order to combat underdevelopment, the country needs to mobilise its intellectual and human resources.

"It is therefore my hope that the 53 volunteers being sworn in today will go a long way towards helping our country to achieve its national objectives as envisaged in Vision 2030 and our medium and long-term development policies and strategies," said Kashuupulwa.

He said the work of the volunteers at Teachers Resource Centres will introduce new methods for the in-service training of primary school teachers.

Kashuupulwa added that the Community Mobilisation Activities Programme would provide the communities based around hospitals, clinics and testing centres with a forum to analyse the critical social and health problems related to HIV-AIDS and help them come together to identify and formulate solutions.

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