20 April 2006

Gambia: 17 Peace Corps Volunteers Sworn in

Seventeen health volunteers of the US Peace Corps were last Thursday sworn in at a ceremony held at the American Ambassador's residence in Fajara.

Speaking at the occasion, Dianna Sloane, the Peace Corps country director, underscored the important role volunteers play in national development. According to her, the current batch of volunteers are well- skilled, most of whom, he said possess Bachelors Degrees in a wide range of disciplines, including sociology, anthropology and Psychology.

She added that prior to their acceptance into the Peace Corps, they were also made to undertake a host of exercises and activities to complement their education and enrich their understanding of the world.

In his keynote address, Dr Tamsir Mbowe, Secretary of State for Health, highly commended Peace Corps initiative in providing trained human resources to boost up Gambia's development efforts. He charged the health volunteers to concentrate their efforts in the areas of child mortality and environmental health. He finally reaffirmed his state department's continued collaboration with them, wishing them well in their endeavours.

For his part, Joseph D Stafford, the United States Ambassador to The Gambia, disclosed that US Peace Corps volunteers presentlyserve in 75 nations of the world, adding that their major areas of intervention include business development and Information Technology. "The cordial relationship which the US government enjoys with The Gambia is influenced by the good work of our 100 volunteers in areas critical to the development of The Gambia, mainly in education, health and the environment. Peace Corps is an important symbol and tangible evidence of our values as Americans. It also embodies and projects abroad our idealism, enthusiasm, generosity and compassion towards others," he asserted.

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