President Sirleaf in group photo with Peace Corps volunteers. Photo Credit: EXECUTIVE MANSION

A new group of Peace Corps volunteers beginning a two-year program to assist in the rebuilding of the educational sector of Liberia have been sworn in by President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf.

The 54 new volunteers will be assigned to various public schools in 13 of the 15 counties, according to an Executive Mansion release .

During  the swearing-in ceremony at the Monrovia City Hall last Friday, President Sirleaf said the presence of the Peace Corp Volunteers was a demonstration of the friendship and level of trust that exists between Liberia and the United States. She recounted U. S. support to Liberia in the fight against the deadly Ebola virus disease that took away many lives. She said with student enrollment  at 1.5 million the contribution of the Peace Corps will make a big difference. She thanked the  volunteers for their willingness to leave their various comfort zones to come to Liberia to serve.

Michael Ketover, Peace Corps Interim Country Director, said another group of volunteers which will arrive tomorrow, will comprise 13 educators who will help train future Liberian teachers and six nurses.  Ketover lauded the strong support which he said the Peace Corps receives from the Government of Liberia.

On September 15, four more volunteers will arrive in Liberia including nurses and physicians who will serve as volunteer educators for one year in nursing and medical schools working with Liberian partners to strengthen the quality of nursing and medical education, Mr. Ketover indicated.

The Charge d’Affaires of the Embassy of the United States, Samuel R. Watson, said the Government of Liberia is a valued member of the Peace Corps family, adding: “I continue to be impressed by the amazing level of cooperation, support and appreciation Peace Corps volunteers enjoy in Liberia.”

He congratulated President Sirleaf for her personal commitment and the productive partnership with the ministries, which according to him makes the program successful. Mr. Watson noted that the U.S. government is committed to standing beside Liberia and supporting the country’s goals in development, prosperity, peace and democracy. He maintained that the two countries have shared a special bond of friendship since Liberia’s birth, and as such the U.S. looks forward to continuing its work to make the two nations stronger, more prosperous and more secure.

The ceremony was attended by acting Education Minister, Mrs. Felecia Doe Somah, and the Mayor of Monrovia, Clara Doe-Mvogo.

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  1. Many thanks to the Peace Corpse Volunteers. I was among one of the first groups of students to receive Educational Instructions from the Peace Corpes in Liberia. It was during the Presidency of John F. Kennedy. The Peace Corpes really made an enormous contribution to Liberia’s Educational Sector. Education in the rural parts of Liberia began more fun; with the coming of the “Peace Corpes”. Rural Children didn’t run from school; as was the case before the Peace Corpes got involved. I believe, the reason most rural students ran away from school was the then school policy: Students were flogged and humiliated in the presence of other kids; for not understanding their TEACHER. Most rural students saw SCHOOLS as torture chambers. They simply stayed away. When the Peace Corpes came to Liberia, they put a stop to corporal punishment in Liberia’s Public Schools. That, I believe was a very important milestone. I hope, the “Peace Corpes” will continue to make education fun in Liberia; especially so, at the Early Childhood Level. Children learn better, when Education is FUN. The Peace Corpes also introduced rural students to simple experiments and field trips. Before the coming of the Peace Corpes, Liberia’s Rural Education in the Public Schools was basically cramping. Those little experiments by the Peace Corpes, really made big differences. For the first time, Rural Students Could see how/why things really happened. Most IMPORTANTLY, the Peace Corpes abolished CORPORAL PUNISHMENT in Liberia’s Rural Public Schools. Welcome, Welcome, Welcome to the Peace Corpse. You really make a DIFFERENCE. Good Job!

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