By Jamila Akweley Okertchiri
The U.S. Mission in Ghana has sworn-in 23 Peace Corps Volunteers (PCV) to begin work in the education sector of the country.
The volunteers who have completed a 10-week training programme prior to their swearing in, will support education of Ghanaian children by teaching in rural junior and senior high schools including schools for the deaf, across the country.
Their work is expected to augment government’s effort towards providing inclusive education and ensure holistic training for the manpower Ghana needs as it moves towards a country beyond aid.
Charge D’ Affaires at the US Embassy, Christopher J. Lamora, swearing-in the PCV in Accra, said the ceremony was a tribute to earlier volunteers and the long, unbroken record of volunteers working alongside Ghanaians in addressing developmental challenges.
He said volunteerism has changed over the years due to evolving developmental challenges.
However, he noted that the role the volunteers play in developing the grassroots continue to be relevant.
According to him, the ideas and ideals, expressed through individuals working in partnership, have an extraordinary impact which was evident in the programmes U. S Mission undertook in Ghana.
“We follow the principle of helping people gain the capacity to help themselves. Peace Corps is at the front line of that work,” Mr. Lamora said.
Deputy Minister of Education, Gifty Twum Ampofo, in her remarks commended the U.S. government for instituting such a programme to build the capacity of host nations and promote international peace and friendship through the exchange of culture.
She said the work of PCV over the years had impacted positively on the lives of many Ghanaians urging them to continue to be role models and agents of positive change in the communities they will find themselves.
“You may not see the impact of your work now but years to come … you will see that your service has not been in vain,” she said.
Peace Corps first came to Ghana in 1961 when President Kwame Nkrumah embarked on his Accelerated Development Plan in Education.
In Ghana through the decades, Peace Corps expanded its activities to include the environment, health, enterprise development, water, and sanitation.
The volunteers who would be serving for two years, joins nearly 5,000 Americans who have served as Peace Corps Volunteers in Ghana over the past 58 years.