The Inquirer (Monrovia)

6 June 2013

Liberia: Peace Corps Volunteers Speak About Their Experience

Peace Corps volunteers in Liberia have disclosed that their experience in Liberia is very unique with students.

Mr. Groh who is the Peace Corps Country Director told reporters over the weekend that the Peace Corps volunteers that are in the 14 counties are helping to brighten the minds of Liberia's future leaders. He said many schools across the country are benefiting from this experience as Liberia's educational system is being restored.

Speaking on their experience and challenges, the Peace Corps volunteers said the students are articulate. At first they had problems understanding each other but now they understand each other very well. The volunteers said it is very difficult to teach English without materials, because there are no text books for the students to read.

According to the volunteers, the living condition here is different from the one in the United States. The volunteers said they are grateful to be in Liberia to help build up the educational sector. They mentioned that Liberians are generous and that in the various counties that they are assigned, they were welcomed there wholeheartedly.

The Peace Corps volunteer said the situation as a challenge is to overcome and that they know that their sacrifice will not go unnoticed or unappreciated by their neighbors and community members. According to them, they are very dedicated to living modestly at the level of the people they work with as a shining legacy of the program.

These volunteers are working with at least 7,000 young Liberians everyday teaching English, math, science and assisting with WAEC preparation. The reason why the Peace Corps program is successful and has rapidly grown in size and scope is due to the support they get from the government of Liberia. The Peace Corps volunteers have been working along with the Ministry of Education, USAID and some graduates from the University of Liberia Teachers College.

Peace Corps was established in 1961 and it is an independent U.S. Government agency that provides trained volunteers for countries requesting assistance around the world. The agency traces its roots and mission to 1960 when then Senator John F. Kennedy challenged students at the University of Michigan to serve their country in the cause of peace by living and working in developing countries.

The Peace Corps volunteers work with local governments, communities, schools and small businesses to address changing and complex needs in education, health, community economic development, environment, youths in development and agriculture.

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