By Olimatou Coker
Six Peace Corps volunteers have on Wednesday been sworn-in to serve in the education project at a ceremony held at the training center in Massembeh.
The scheme is part of a project meant to complement the government’s efforts to enhance the education sector.
The six trainees, who will serve in the education sector, are Trinity, Sadie, Haldan, Alice, Kristiana and Luke. They have been placed to serve in the Lower River, North Bank, Central River North and South, and Upper River regions.
Under the theme of improving literacy and numeracy sector-education project (2020-2027), Peace Corps The Gambia education sector intends to work closely with local institutions and government outfits, particularly the Ministry of Basic and Secondary Education and the affiliated local and international organizations supporting educational service delivery in the country.
Siiri Morley, Peace Corps country director, said they are ready to continue to build on their success and meet the needs of more communities throughout The Gambia.
“Our dream is to have over 115 Peace Corps volunteers here again to support the many communities throughout this beautiful country as they focus on education, health, agriculture, and the environment,”she said. “We have faced hard times both in the United States and in The Gambia over the last few years. Yet we are still here, building back.”
She added that they are standing together, working with love and determination to invest in a better world for all.
Sharon Cromer, US ambassador to The Gambia, called on volunteers to be more proactive in their respective posts to make a difference. “You are change agents. You can decide to develop relationships and explore ways in which to make your community a healthier and more productive place. I can count on you to help us. Reach the US and Gambian goals of improving education and expanding literacy across this beautiful country.”
Ambassador Cromer said as Peace Corps volunteers there are two things of which you can be sure. First, you will be loved and remembered for how you make people feel.
She added that more than 1,800 Peace Corps volunteers have served in The Gambia since the program was established in 1967.
“Since 1961, peace corps has been a leader in international development and citizens diplomacy in 140 countries around the world. Globally, more than 220,000 Americans have served in the peace corps”.
Claudiana Cole, Minister of Basic and Secondary Education, said the Peace Corps volunteers in the education sector improve teaching and learning in schools.
“Peace corps education project seeks to improve early literacy, numeracy foundational learning, capacity building of teachers to improve teaching and therefore increasing the learning outcomes of learners. We all appreciate their importance and the sustainable goals that we have set ourselves to achieve as a country.”
She added that this project is relevant and addresses priorities of her ministry and of the government of the Gambia as well as the Sustainable Development Goal 4.
Madam Cole also urged the volunteers to explore as much of it as they can.