Dec 19, 2008, 5:43 AM
The United States Ambassador to The Gambia, Barry Wells last Friday presided over the swearing-in ceremony of at least 35 environment, health and community development Peace Corp volunteers, at a well attended ceremony held at the Ambassador's residence in Fajara.
Addressing the volunteers, the Peace Corp Country Director, Jeffery Cornish said Peace Corps are here at the government's request to serve the citizens of The Gambia.
"Peace Corps' mission in The Gambia is to have a trained corps of American volunteers working in partnership with the people of The Gambia to fulfill mutually shared development goals," he stated.
According to him, these brave and talented American men and women are here to serve their local villages to the best of their ability.
"They come with a wealth of knowledge and experience gained from their work, life and university education," he added.
According to him, the volunteers are here to share their skills and ideas, and provide a well-balanced understanding of the American culture to their Gambian friends and colleagues.
Peace Corps Country Director further stated that Peace Corp are here to immerse themselves in the Gambian culture and lifestyle, and thus build a greater understanding and respect for the Gambian society.
"Most importantly, throughout their stay the volunteers will be ever mindful of the need to respect the dignity of those served and recognise the ability of Gambians to improve their own lives," he stated.
For his part, Dr Abubacarr Gaye, the Minister of Health and Social Welfare said that the Peace Corps has since started working in The Gambia in the 60s, and has thus contributed immensely towards the improvement of many rural Gambians.
He hailed former US President Kennedy for his good initiative, which he added, inculcates the sprit of volunteerism in young Americans.
He reiterated government's continued support towards the protection of the Peace Corp volunteer in The Gambia.