ANTANANARIVO – The Peace Corps officially welcomed the return of two Volunteers who resumed their service in a swearing in ceremony Tuesday with U.S. Ambassador Claire A. Pierangelo and Peace Corps Country Director Brett Coleman. The Volunteers were among those who left the country in March 2020 due to the Covid-19 pandemic.They returned to Antananarivo earlier this month and have spent the last two weeks refreshing their Malagasy language skills in preparation for service as middle and high school English teachers.
Ambassador Pierangelo congratulated the Volunteers and thanked local Peace Corps staff. She highlighted the importance of the oath taken by each volunteer and noted it is the same oath taken by the U.S. President and all senior U.S. officials. Mr. Coleman, country director since 2019, highlighted the exceptional contributions of Malagasy staff members.These professionals sustained Peace Corps’ relations with local community partners and provided training in permagardening and classroom teaching techniques during the absence of Volunteers.The Peace Corps staff worked diligently with the Centre de Santé de Base (CSB) in the commune of Mantasoa to promote Covid-19 vaccinations, resulting in the vaccination of over 60% of the population there. He also spoke to the unique contributions of Peace Corps Volunteers: “The heart and soul of our work is the Volunteers, both because of the technical skills that they bring to the communities they serve, but perhaps more importantly because of the friendships that they forge that serve both our countries so well. So we are thrilled to see their return after nearly two and a half years.”
An additional thirty new Volunteers will arrive in Madagascar later this month to teach English and work in agriculture. They will be joined by 45 health Volunteers in February 2023. The Peace Corps plans to rebuild the Madagascar program to the pre-pandemic level of 150 active Volunteers over the next two 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 1,574 in Madagascar