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  • Minister of State in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, Senator the Hon. Pearnel Charles Jr., has lauded the newest batch of United States (US) Peace Corps volunteers who will be serving in communities across the country.
  • The State Minister said the expertise and training of the volunteers would have a positive impact on the areas of education and environment, to which they have been assigned. He added that these areas are critical to the development of the country.
  • Since its inception, more than 182,000 persons have served as volunteers in 138 countries around the world. In 1962, Jamaica was among eight countries to receive volunteers, and the first group of 36 men and women arrived in June. Since then, more than 3,350 Peace Corps and Crisis Corps volunteers have served in Jamaica.

Minister of State in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, Senator the Hon. Pearnel Charles Jr., has lauded the newest batch of United States (US) Peace Corps volunteers who will be serving in communities across the country.

The Minister of State was speaking at the swearing-in ceremony for the Group 89 volunteers, at the Colin E. Powell Residential Plaza in Kingston on May 22.

The 29 volunteers, who will spend two years in Jamaica, have successfully completed 10 and a half weeks of training, and are versed in the Jamaican culture, including language, food and mode of transportation.

“We as a country have benefited immensely from the work of the corps through the service of the volunteers who have served, particularly in areas of need and that I think is such an important part of what this organisation does,” he said.

The State Minister said the expertise and training of the volunteers would have a positive impact on the areas of education and environment, to which they have been assigned. He added that these areas are critical to the development of the country.

For his part, Chargé d’Affaires at the Embassy of the United States, Eric Khant, said the volunteers will serve in partnership with local schools and farmer groups for the next two years.

He said many of the Peace Corps achievements would not have been possible without local partners, such as the Ministry of Education, Youth and Information; the Rural Agricultural Development Authority (RADA); and the Ministry of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries.

Mr. Khant also thanked the volunteers for the contribution they would make while working in Jamaica.

“While I represent the US Government, you are the true ambassadors representing the American people. By living and working among the Jamaican people… you can truly promote mutual understanding and shared values, such as the value of education and prosperity achieved through hard work,” he said.

The US Peace Corps was established in 1961 by John F. Kennedy and involves American men and women of all ages and ethnic groups.

Since its inception, more than 182,000 persons have served as volunteers in 138 countries around the world. In 1962, Jamaica was among eight countries to receive volunteers, and the first group of 36 men and women arrived in June. Since then, more than 3,350 Peace Corps and Crisis Corps volunteers have served in Jamaica.