The NEWS (Monrovia)

30 June 2008

Liberia: Johnson-Sirleaf Welcomes U.S. Peace Corps Return

Monrovia — President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf has welcomed the return of the American Peace Corps Volunteers Program. The program, which operated in Liberia from 1962 to 1990, will recommence in September 2008.

According to a dispatch from the Peace Corps Press Office in the United States of America, the return was made possible during a meeting held between Presidents George W. Bush and Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf in October 2007. President Johnson Sirleaf has expressed hope that the overall focus of the volunteers must be education. The dispatch further disclosed that the return of the Peace Corps Volunteers is based on the period of peace presently enjoyed in the country.

The Liberian leader has also commended the United States Government's decision to reopen the Peace Corps Volunteers Program in Liberia. She described the decision as one of America's many assistances to Liberia's development agenda.

The President added that the program in the past was involved in every facet of Liberia's development efforts including education, health, agriculture and rural development.

The Peace Corps Volunteers are expected to operate a program known as "Peace Corps Response", which will allow experienced volunteers to serve for short periods to perform high-impact work such as raising the capacities and capabilities of Liberian teachers. This, the program believes, will invariably have a profound impact on the civil society.

The Director of Peace Corps Volunteers, Mr. Ron Tschetter, says the Peace Corps program is pleased to note that there are many positive developments in Liberia, especially the renewed focus on education. He pledged his program's commitment to Liberia's national recovery.

This year the United States Peace Corps Volunteers Program is celebrating a 47-year legacy of service at home and abroad.

Presently, there are 8,000 volunteers abroad. Since 1961, more than 190,000 volunteers have helped promote a better understanding between Americans and the people of the 139 countries, including Liberia.

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