Eight Peace Corps Volunteers have been commissioned by the United States Ambassador to Liberia, ready to take up duties in southeast Liberia. The ceremony was held in the multipurpose room at the United States Embassy near Monrovia by Ambassador Deborah Malac, who disclosed that the Peace Corps Volunteers will take up duties in River Cess, Sinoe, Grand Kru, Maryland and River Gee counties, respectively.
The Peace Corps Volunteers include, Kendra Gray, Sara "Rivka" Rocchio, Daniel and Tina Barbasch. Others are Jose Lujan Joshua, West Zachary Parker and Colin Gettle. The ambassador said, the Peace Corps is one of the best and most effective ways to demonstrate the United States' values, and shared commitment to peace, friendship and progress in Liberia.
"I am especially proud of Peace Corps Liberia's role in the education sector, providing critical Math and Science education to the next generation of Liberians. I also want to thank Her Excellency, President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, and her government for their very strong support of Peace Corps since it returned to Liberia," Ambassador Malac pointed out.
She said the Peace Corps will work alongside Liberians, who have shown amazing resilience and remarkable commitment to their country's reconstruction. "You will take pride as you join them in that effort. For many Liberians in small towns and villages, the return of Peace Corps Volunteers is a real symbol of the return of peace," Ambassador Malac smilingly noted.
Also speaking during the ceremony, Mr. Vincent Groh said the Peace Corps' primary focus in Liberia is secondary education with most volunteers serving as Math, Science and Language Arts instructors in public junior and senior high schools.
He added that the Peace Corps is proud to play a central role in the reconstruction of Liberia's public high schools, and is motivated to assisting the country in creating its next generation of leaders. For the 2011-2012 school years, Peace Corps has more than 35 teachers in 24 high schools in nine of Liberia's 15 counties.
"Both parents and students are enthusiastic about American Volunteers living and teaching in their rural communities, and Peace Corps is working to expand the program to reach more high schools and more students," he stated.
Liberia's Vice President Joseph Boakai, who graced the occasion, said the coming of the Peace Corps is timely and will buttress government's effort in the educational sector.
Vice President Boakai, who noted that he himself benefited from the Peace Corps during his childhood days, maintained that Liberians will give the volunteers warm reception and they (Peace Corps) will also learn from the community dwellers.