The Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Dr. Alie Kabba, has said, that the New Direction flagship on education coincides with one of Peace Corps Sectors of operation – Education and that the Peace Corp volunteers serve as a platform to help enhance the President’s initiative on free Basic Education in the country.
Dr. Alie Kabba made this remarks while delivering his keynote address at the swearing-in ceremony of 54 Peace Corps volunteers who have completed an intensive 10 week training course to prepare them to serve as teachers and health workers in Secondary Schools and clinics across Sierra Leone at a ceremony held at the training site in Port Loko.
The Foreign Minister stated that their roles as teachers and health volunteers within various communities where they will serve in the country will add great value and impact the lives of Sierra Leoneans. This will help build our human capacity, growth and development, he added. Dr. Alie Kabba also underscored that the presence and service of the Peace Corps volunteers in the communities and schools will play a critical role in promoting quality education which is in line with the New Direction agenda of free and quality basic education that will enhance the educational sector because education is the impetus for socio-economic development in any nation.
Giving an overview on the establishment of the Peace Corps Programme in 1962, Dr. Kabba noted that it is as a result of the long standing relations that existed between USA and Sierra Leone before and after the country attained independence. Since then, he said, more than 4,300 volunteers have shown their love and friendship to Sierra Leone. He lauded the efforts of the United States of America for their immense contributions at bilateral and multilateral levels to the socio-economic advancement of the country by their engagements in various development programmes through agencies such as: Peace Corps, USAID and other America International NGOs.
‘Being a Peace Corps volunteer is an enviable opportunity and a life time experience, if it works well, some of you will no doubt make Sierra Leone your second home, you will find yourself being named and made a honorary citizen by the communities you will be serving, Dr. Alie Kabba concluded.
In her brief remarks before swearing-in of the 54 Peace Corps volunteers, the Deputy Chief of Mission and Chargé d’Affaires of the US Embassy in Sierra Leone, Tomekah L. Burl, thanked the host families who have opened their homes and hearts to the trainees and welcomed them so warmly into Sierra Leone.
Whilst welcoming the new volunteers to the Republic of Sierra Leone, the Deputy Chief of Mission underscored that besides the increasing number of volunteers, the Peace Corps programme is hiring and training additional Sierra Leonean staff to align with President Bio’s vision to expand educational and training opportunities for Sierra Leonean citizens.
“Peace Corps 2018 is even more vibrant than it was in its early days and remains a shining example of our collective spirit of collaboration, of mutual understanding and tolerance, of service, of resilience, of seeing the best in others and looking to a brighter future. I believe that is what President Kennedy had in mind in 1961 when he launched this great program – this is what we celebrate today’’, she concluded.
Remarks by a representative of the Ministry of Health and Sanitation, Mr. Saffa Kanneh, welcome to service statement by current Peace Corps volunteer Jackie Waldman and the Peace Corps Pledge led by Penny Alexander formed part of the ceremony.
Present was the Director and Deputy Director for American and South Pacific Division of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Rakie Marcathy and Mohamed Ashmad Wurie.