ANTANANARIVO – Twenty-three Peace Corps Volunteer trainees arrived in Madagascar today as the Peace Corps continues to rebuild its program after the 2020 global evacuation of Volunteers due to Covid-19. They were greeted at the airport by Peace Corps Country Director Brett Coleman and several other Peace Corps staff, including Amanda Martin, Director of Programming and Training, and Tovo Ghislain Ravelonjatovo, Program Manager for the health program in which these Volunteers will serve. Trainees will undergo twelve weeks of language, cultural, and technical training before moving to their sites; they will serve for two years, promoting maternal and child health and water, hygiene, and sanitation.
Mr. Coleman, country director since 2019, noted that their arrival means that Volunteers will soon serve in all three programs that Peace Corps supports in Madagascar: education, agriculture, and health care. “This will be the first time since the March 2020 evacuation that we will have Volunteers working in all three sectors again. We couldn’t be more excited to renew our partnerships with each of the communities where Volunteers serve,” Coleman said.
Thirty-five new Volunteer trainees are expected to arrive in Madagascar in September 2023 to support local agriculture initiatives, including climate-smart vegetable gardening to address malnutrition. The Peace Corps plans to rebuild the Madagascar program to the pre-pandemic level of 150 active Volunteers in the coming years.
The Peace Corps was founded in 1961 by U.S. President John F. Kennedy. Since its founding, the Peace Corps mission to promote world peace and friendship has remained unchanged. More than 241,000 Volunteers have served in 141 countries since 1961, including 1,595 in Madagascar. Peace Corps Madagascar will celebrate its 30th anniversary in November 2023.