For the twenty new Peace Corps Volunteers sworn in today at the Peace Corps Training Center in Mantasoa by U.S. Ambassador Claire A. Pierangelo,it marksthe culmination of an intensive ten-week trainingprogram. The Volunteers completed Malagasy language, cultural, andtechnical training prior to their swearing-in ceremony. Next, they will move to their project sites around Madagascar where they willserve for two years.
All of the Volunteers are Agriculture Extension Agentswho will collaborateclosely with local farmers, farmers’ groups and associations, rural developmentorganizations, schools, and community members to improveagriculturalpractices and enhance thenutritionalhealthof the Malagasy peoplethey serve.They will work hand-in-hand with rural farming communities to implement innovative crop production and soil conservation techniquesand expand the availability and accessibility of diverse and nutritious foods.
“Once sworn in, you affirm a commitment to represent the United States to Madagascar.You also affirm a commitment to face adversities magnified by cultural differences. Allow this experience tochange your life and inform your future,”said Ambassador Pierangelo during the ceremony.
Mariah Cisse, the Peace Corps Country Directorin Madagascar, emphasized the substantial role played by all Peace Corps Volunteers in mobilizing communities for local impact. “Volunteers work directly with communities, farmers, mothers, children, and the health system and thus understand the needs and aspirations of people with whom they live and work,” she said, noting “This daily collaboration enables volunteers and communities to make positive change in the most direct and relevant way possible while also engaging in cultural exchange to promote world peace and friendship.”
Currently, there are 52 Peace Corps Volunteers in Madagascar, actively serving in the fields of education, agriculture, and health. Since the program’s inception in 1993, more than 1,574 Peace Corps Volunteers have dedicatedtheir skills and commitment tothe Malagasy people.
The Peace Corps, founded in 1961 by U.S. President John F. Kennedy, stands as a symbol of unwavering dedication to promoting peace and friendship worldwide overthe pastfive decades.Historically, more than 200,000 Americans have served with the Peace Corps to promote a better understanding between Americans and the people of 139 host countries. Today, more than 7,000 volunteers are working with local communities in over 60 host countries.