20 Peace Corps volunteers arrive
KATHMANDU, SEP 10 -
The Peace Corps has restarted its operations in Nepal after nearly eight years, said the US Embassy on Sunday. The American volunteer programme had pulled out of Nepal in September 2004 citing security and budgetary reasons during the conflict period.
Twenty Peace Corps volunteers arrived in Kathmandu on Sunday and were greeted by new American Ambassador to Nepal Peter W Bodde and his wife Tanya Bodde. These volunteers will be working in various areas such as education, agriculture and community development, said the embassy in a statement.
The Peace Corps headquarters has appointed its Tanzania-based official, Aandra Wagner Diague, as Nepal’s country director. “This year marks the 50th anniversary since Peace Corps first came to Nepal in 1962. The new Peace Corps volunteers are the first group to work in Nepal since Peace Corps left in 2004,” said the release.
Following their arrival, Ambassador Bodde noted that Peace Corps volunteers have played a special role in Nepal’s development, adding that many Nepali friends and colleagues had shared life-changing stories with him about the volunteers and their work.
Asked what led to the idea to resume the operations, officials said that as the peace process has started taking momentum, the overall security situation of the country has improved significantly and that the country needs such overseas assistance programmes to boost the economy and the social sector.
The 20 volunteers will undergo 12 weeks of training in Sindhupalchok district, following which they will be assigned to the three Western districts of Baglung, Syangja and Parbat to work on food security, sanitation, and health projects. Established in Nepal in 1962 with a group of 100 volunteers in the agriculture and education sectors, Peace Corps volunteers contributed to a wide range of selected programmes in Nepal. According to the government data, over 4,000 volunteers have served in Nepal, making strides in areas of health, education, agriculture, environment, micro business development, youth development and HIV/AIDS.
Posted on: 2012-09-10 08:12