The New Times (Kigali)

6 May 2010

Rwanda: 34 U.S Peace Corps Members Sworn-in

A group of 34 American Peace Corps volunteers were yesterday sworn-into serve in various sectors in a bid to help in the achievement of the country’s major development goals.

The swearing in ceremony was held at the residence of the US Ambassador, Stuart Symington.

According to the Country Director of Peace Corps in Rwanda, John Reddy, the group has undergone a 10-week training programme in Nyanza that mainly focused on learning Kinyarwanda as well as technical and cross-cultural studies.

"The volunteers will stay in Rwanda for two years and during that time, they will be assigned to work with various organisations in the areas of health, capacity building and economic growth issues," Reddy explained.

Ambassador Symington challenged the volunteers to strive to change the world, adding that they should use these networks to advance the vision that was initiated by President John F. Kennedy.

"In 1960, when John F. Kennedy called upon the youth to serve in other nations of the world, we were a nation of immigrants. Today, America is not only connected to the world by the things we buy, but there are direct links, even for our President."

"Let us hold onto the vision to reach out and do something that no one else has done. It has followed generations and it is now in your hands," Symington said.

The Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Health, Dr. Agnes Binagwaho, also noted that Rwanda is a country that has a miraculous recovery story.

She acknowledged the role of the partners, adding that the new group will join in the country's journey to achieve major development goals.

On behalf of the volunteers, Portia Washington, said that Rwanda is a very beautiful country adding that the group is determined to play their part in the respective sites that they have been assigned to.

This is the third group of Peace Corps volunteers to serve in the country since the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi. So far, 94 Peace Corps volunteers have worked in the Education and Health sectors.

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