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I3 Peace Corps Volunteers Sworn In

Sep 7, 2009, 7:30 AM | Article By: Sainey M.K. Marenah

The United State of American, through its Ambassador in the Gambia last Friday presided over the swearing-in ceremony for at least 13 new Peace Corps volunteers, who will be working in the education sector as technology specialists, at a ceremony held at the Ambassador's residence in Fajara.

The Peace Corps, according to officials, was created to promote world peace and friendship by helping the people of interested countries in meeting their needs for trained men and women, and to help promote better understanding of America to the people they serve.

In his welcoming remarks, Mr. Wells told the gathering that Americans are known globally for their sprit of volunteerism, adding that their presence in The Gambia is a clear testimony of the commitment of the US government.

The US Ambassador noted that Peace Corps has done a lot of good work in their various communities they are serve, while urging them to work hard so as to achieve their desired goals. He said the former US President John Kennedy was the brainchild of the Peace Corps initiative.

Addressing the new Peace Corps volunteers, Mr. Michael McConnell, the Peace Corps Country Director told the volunteers that The Gambia was the first country to receive the Peace Corps, adding that they are proud to say that this is the 42nd year the Peace Corps has been in the country.

According to the Peace Corps country boss, they are not an NGO, neither a political agency, noting that they are an independent agency with no agenda of any kind, but the three goals set by President Kennedy.

He said they have one of several primary assignments but their specific assignments will vary widely from training teachers in groups and working on administrative information systems for some of the country's tertiary institutions.

 "In every case, however, their goal is to leave the place they work with a greater capacity to development itself than it did when they arrived," he stated.

In her keynote address, the Hon Minister for Basic and Secondary Education, Madam Fatou Lamin Faye, said it has increasingly become a reality that no nation can exist outside the global community. She noted that as humans, "we are compelled to reach out to one another, build bridges, reinforce relationships and seek to exist individually and collectively while supporting and assisting in the process".

He said the currently global economic crisis, the scale of terrorism and subversive act that continue to threaten world peace and the outbreak of epidemics requiring concerted efforts, serve as examples to amplify the inoperative interdependency that must be recognised and sustained, if we are to survive and achieve national and societal goals and aspirations.

Madam Faye noted The Gambia's foreign policy is anchored to international justice and respect for each nation's sovereignty, while promoting and supporting global peace, friendship and mutual co-existence worldwide.

Minister Faye revealed that the government of The Gambia is undoubtedly building a solid and viable human capital base, capable of delivering the programme and scaling up productivity to the desired levels.

She cited one eminent partnership is between the United State of America and The Gambia through the Peace Corps programme.