69 Americans sworn-in as Peace Corps volunteers as friendship between US, Ghana hits 50 years

Sixty-nine US citizens have been sworn in as Peace Corps volunteers to Ghana during a ceremony in Accra August 31, 2011.

The ceremony which was held at the residence of the U.S. Ambassador to Ghana Donald Teitelbaum, commemorates 50 years of friendship between US Peace Corps and the communities of Ghana.

The first batch of 51 Americans to serve as Peace Corps volunteers arrived in Accra, Ghana on August 30, 1961 when former US President John F. Kennedy hosted a White House Rose Garden send-off ceremony on August 28, 1961 for the Peace Corps volunteers.

It was established to promote world peace and friendship through three goals – helping the people of interested countries in meeting their need for trained men and women; helping promote a better understanding of Americans on the part of the peoples served; and helping promote a better understanding of other peoples on the part of Americans.

The swearing-in was conducted by Ambassador Teitelbaum  at the ceremony graced by Ghana’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Alhaji Muhammad Mumuni, Peace Corps Regional Director for Africa, Dick Day and Peace Corps Ghana Country Director Michael Koffman as well as 400 community members and returned Peace Corps Volunteers (RPCVs) who served in Ghana.

“Since arriving in Ghana in June, 2011, this group of volunteers completed three months of comprehensive cross-cultural, language, and technical training with the Peace Corps. Each volunteer will move to their permanent site in a local community where they will complete 27 months of service,” said US Peace Corps in a statement issued in Washington DC published on its website.

The volunteers will work on education, public health and environment initiatives in cooperation with local communities, the statement added.

More than 200,000 Americans have served in the Peace Corps in 139 countries with 5,000 volunteers up date successfully served in Ghana making the programme one of the largest in Africa.

By Ekow Quandzie

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