President of the United States (US) Peace Corps, Kevin Quigley, has hailed Jamaica as one of the most important nations that have participated in the international service programme, now in its 48th year.
Noting that Jamaica is ranked 10th of 139 countries currently undertaking placement of US Peace Corps volunteers, Mr. Quigley pointed out that some 3,400 volunteers had served in Jamaica since the programme began.
Addressing the 48th anniversary rally of the US Peace Corps, held at Freedom Plaza, in downtown Washington, D.C., on June 13, the President said the volunteers have served in various areas, including library development, vocational development, agriculture and various youth development programmes.
“We are proud of the work that our volunteers perform in Jamaica and around the world. We are also proud of the way they are accepted and treated by Jamaicans in Jamaica. As long as the Jamaican people want Peace Corps volunteers, we are ready to serve you. The Peace Corps programme is a partnership between the US Government and the Government of Jamaica, which we will continue and honour for years to come,” Mr. Quigley said.
President of the United States (US) Peace Corps, Kevin Quigley (right), presents Jamaica’s Ambassador to the United States, Anthony Johnson, with a t-shirt commemorating the 48th anniversary of the Peace Corps, at its anniversary rally held on June 13 at Freedom Plaza, downtown Washington, D.C.
He noted that at present, there are 8,000 Peace Corps volunteers deployed around the world and that by 2011, it is expected that the number will grow to 16,000. This goal is based on a petition signed at the rally and to be presented to US President, Barack Obama, which calls for an increase in the cadre of Peace Corp volunteers by 100 per cent.
Jamaica’s Ambassador to the United States, Anthony Johnson, in his address, lauded the founders of the National Peace Corps movement and credited former US President, John F Kennedy, for signing the Bill that got the movement started.
“The US Peace Corps has been a tremendous source of good throughout the world,” Ambassador Johnson said, noting that Jamaica has benefitted tremendously from the volunteers in a number of areas.
“On behalf of the Government and people of Jamaica, I thank the volunteers who served, those who will serve, and those currently serving,” he added..