KIGALI - A group of 17 American Peace Corps Volunteers were, yesterday, sworn-in, prior to serving in rural health facilities and health organisations across the country.
This is the fifth group of Peace Corps to serve since the corps returned to the country in 2009, having suspended their activities in 1994.
The swearing in ceremony was held at the residence of the US Ambassador and administered by Anne Casper, the Deputy Chief of Mission at the United States Embassy.
According to the Country Director of Peace Corps, Mary Abrams, the team undertook a 10-week training program in Kamonyi District that mainly focused on learning Kinyarwanda as well as technical and cross-cultural studies.
“The group will stay in Rwanda for two years and during that time, they will be assigned to work in community health centres and community based organisations especially in youth development,” she said.
Speaking at the event, Casper stated that the sworn-in volunteers follow in the footsteps of over 200,000 Americans worldwide who have answered Former US President John F. Kennedy’s call for service when he created the Peace Corps in 1960.
“For the next two years, you will be an integral part of the communities in Rwanda and work side by side with Rwandans to develop the country,” she told the Peace Corps.
“It will be the most exciting moment in your life, you will encounter many challenges in the next two years but you will create many opportunities for yourselves and the people you serve.”
The Minister of Health, Dr. Agnes Binagwaho, said that the Peace Corps volunteers would provide human resources that will contribute to the development of the health sector.
“As you take up this journey try to understand and learn the history of our country most especially where we came from,” she told them.
Binagwaho stated that Rwanda is lucky to be among 77 countries in the world chosen to be part of the Peace Corps movement.
One of the Peace Corps, Sayre James, said that they are privileged to work within a dynamic and progressive health system in Rwanda.
“Rwanda is an incredible country to serve in as a Peace Corp volunteer, “he stated.
The new group brings the number Peace Corps Volunteers working within the Education and Health sectors across the country to 128.