Ambassador Patricia Haslach administered the oath of service to 59 new Peace Corps Volunteers at the U.S. Embassy in Addis Ababa on May 2nd. With this new group, there are now 235 Peace Corps Volunteers in Ethiopia providing English language education, combating HIV/AIDS, preventing environmental degradation, and promoting food security. The Volunteers are located in Amhara, Oromia, Tigray, and SNNP Administrative Regions.
The new group is comprised of 30 Health Volunteers and 29 Ag-Environment Volunteers. Health Volunteers primarily partner with hospitals, regional health centers, Federal HIV/AIDS Prevention and Control Offices, non-governmental organizations and communities to support activities relating to HIV/AIDS prevention, care and support. Ag-Environment Volunteers work with community members and partners to promote conservation and natural resource management through various activities, including: establishment of tree nurseries, forestation, promotion of fuel efficient stoves, improvement of sustainable agricultural practices, small scale gardening, and environmental education for community and youth groups.
Ethiopia was one of the first countries to invite the Peace Corps to establish its program in 1962, just one year after President John F. Kennedy created the Peace Corps. The primary focus of that first program was education, with the goal of training skilled workers and promoting economic development. In addition, Volunteers have worked in agriculture, basic education, tourism, health, economic development and teaching English as a foreign language. Since the first group arrived in 1962, more than 3,500 Volunteers have served in Ethiopia.
Since 1961, more than 220,000 Peace Corps Volunteers have helped promote a better understanding between Americans and the people of the 139 countries where Volunteers have served. Peace Corps Volunteers must be U.S. citizens and at least 18 years of age. Peace Corps service is a 27-month commitment.