ANTANANARIVO – U.S. Peace Corps numbers grow in Madagascar! Twenty-one new Peace Corps Volunteers were sworn-in today in Antananarivo today by U.S. Embassy Deputy Chief of Mission Tobias Glucksman, as the Peace Corps continues to rebuild its program after the 2020 global evacuation of Volunteers due to the Covid-19 pandemic. The Volunteers have completed twelve weeks of training in Malagasy language and culture, as well as in technical skills prior to their swearing-in. Now they will move to their project sites around Madagascar where they will serve for two years. All of the Volunteers are health advisors who will support the work of local Centres de Santé de Base (CSB) to enhance maternal and child health, promote access to clean water and sanitation, and improve youth reproductive health.
Glucksman noted that the Volunteers will be ambassadors of American culture. “Every day you will be representing the American way of life and its values,” he said. “I have no doubt that you will show the Malagasy people the best of America.”
Peace Corps’ country director for Madagascar Brett Coleman remarked, “The first group of post-Covid Volunteers, who arrived in August 2022, work in education and agriculture. Today’s swearing-in of our first group of Health Volunteers marks the first time since the March 2020 evacuation that we have Volunteers working in all three sectors that Peace Corps supports. We are thrilled to renew our partnerships with all the communities where these new Volunteers will serve.”
Peace Corps Madagascar expects 35 new Agriculture Volunteer trainees to arrive in September 2023 to support local agriculture initiatives, including climate-smart vegetable gardening to address malnutrition. Their swearing-in in November will coincide with Peace Corps’ 30th anniversary of operations in Madagascar. The Peace Corps plans to rebuild its 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 1,616 in Madagascar.
More photos of the ceremony here: