Washington — "The work of Peace Corps volunteers in Liberia is a potent reminder that the agency's mission is still in high demand after 51 years," President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf of Liberia said in a recent visit to Peace Corps headquarters in Washington.
Sirleaf was at Peace Corps headquarters June 11 at the invitation of Peace Corps Director Aaron S. Williams as part of the Loret Miller Ruppe Speaker Series. The series honors the agency's longest-serving director and is a forum for distinguished individuals to speak about issues related to the Peace Corps' mission such as volunteering, public service and international peace and development.
"Peace Corps volunteers have a very active role in the post-conflict reconstruction of Liberia, and they could not have returned to my country at a better time. Thank you for your contribution to Liberia's development," said Sirleaf, the 24th president of Liberia, the first elected female head of state in Africa and a Nobel Peace Prize winner.
"President Sirleaf is a great champion of democracy, and it is because of her leadership that the renewed relationship between Peace Corps and Liberia is flourishing," Williams said. "Today, Peace Corps volunteers are working throughout Liberia, building local capacity in math, science and English education."
More than 3,910 Peace Corps volunteers have served in Liberia since the program was established in 1962. There are currently 45 volunteers serving in Liberia, including 30 Peace Corps volunteers and 15 Peace Corps Response volunteers who provide targeted assistance in positions that average six months in length.
In the past four years, more than 90 Peace Corps Response volunteers have served in Liberia, and the next group of Peace Corps Response volunteers will arrive in August. All volunteers work in the education sector helping to rebuild the country's human capital through education by teaching secondary school math, science and English, as well as bringing more women into the education system.