Twenty-three peace corps volunteers from the United States of America (USA) posted to Ghana’s educational sector were yesterday sworn in, in Accra.
They took the oath of service and pledge of the peace corps.
The volunteers have already gone through ten weeks of training to help them understand the culture, language and understand the lifestyle of their host communities, took the oath of service and pledge of the Peace Corps.
They would be teaching Maths, Science, English and Visual Arts in junior and senior highs schools in rural areas of the country.
The latest group would add up to 5,000 peace corps volunteers who have served in the education, health, environment, small enterprise development and agriculture sectors in Ghana since the programme started in 1961.
Speaking at the swearing-in ceremony, the Charge D’ Affaires of the US Embassy in Accra, Christopher J. Lamora, said the inauguration of the new volunteers was a “ tribute to the long, unbroken record of volunteers working alongside Ghanaians engaged in development challenges and increasing mutual understanding, goodwill and friendship between Ghana and America”.
The programme traced its roots and mission to 1961, when President John F. Kennedy sent the first badge of 52 peace corps volunteers to serve in Ghana.
Mr Lamora said even though it had been 58 years, the relationship established between Ghana and America remained highly valued by both countries.
The Charge D’ Affaires encouraged the volunteers to work hard to change the communities they have been posted to.
“I challenge you today: Make a difference, one person at a time. You may never be in a better position to do so. And your positive contributions will live on long after your service in Ghana ends,” Mr Lamora said.
The Minister of Education, Dr Matthew Opoku-Prempeh, commended peace corps Ghana for properly training and integrating the volunteers in communities they were posted to.
He said the peace corps programme had impacted positively on the country, saying, “There are thousands of Ghanaians (and even some of us sitting here) whose lives have been affected as a result of the activities of a certain peace corps volunteer.”
Dr Opoku-Prempeh commended them for their sprit of voluntarism and particularly their willingness to serve in rural communities.
He urged them to live beyond reproach because the people they were going to teach would look up to them as their mentors and most likely adopt their lifestyle.
By Kingsley Asare