Peace Corps Hosts Swearing In Ceremony for 24th Group of Peace Corps Volunteers
GEORGETOWN— The United States Peace Corps Guyana office hosted a Swearing-In ceremony for its 24th group of Volunteers at the Theatre Guild Playhouse, Kingston, Georgetown, on Thursday, March 29, 2012. The new group of 32 volunteers – from18 different U.S. states –arrived in Guyana on February 1, 2012, and has completed an intensive nine-week Pre-Service Training. These volunteers will be assigned within the health, education, and information technologies sectors, and will join their colleagues providing service in nine of the ten administrative regions of Guyana. U.S. Ambassador D. Brent Hardt, Honorable Minister of Health Dr. Bheri Ramsaran, Ministry of Education Technical Advisor Melcita Bovell, and Peace Corps Country Director Brannon Brewer welcomed the volunteers to Guyana and thanked them for their service and willingness to build bridges between Guyana and the United States.
Country Director Brewer emphasized to the volunteers that a successful Peace Corps experience “requires fortitude, a careful balance of idealism and pragmatism, and a genuine desire to help improve the opportunities in life for others.”
Minister Ramsaran said that he was impressed by the spirit of participation of Peace Corps volunteers, commenting that “they mesh and meet at the grass roots.” He urged the new class of volunteers to “remember to be our ambassadors too,” when they leave Guyana and return to the United States. Ministry of Education Technical Advisor Bovell expressed to the group that Peace Corps Volunteers “help our youth evolve into the Guyanese we want to see.”
Before delivering the oath to the 32 Volunteers, Ambassador Hardt addressed the group, saying they “represent the next link in an unbroken chain of American citizens who proudly serve their country by building and strengthening communities among our Guyanese friends.” He thanked the Ministries of Health and Education, the host families, and the Peace Corps staff for their dedication and service. Ambassador Hardt wished the new Volunteers the best as ambassadors for our nation in their respective communities.
Several members of GUY 24, as the new class is titled, also participated in the swearing-in ceremony. A small group read an excerpt written by an American poet; another volunteer impressively recited a speech in Arawak; and yet another featured a video which presented the members of the group of Peace Corps Volunteers and their initial experiences in Guyana.
Since President John F. Kennedy established the Peace Corps by executive order on March 1, 1961, more than 200,000 Americans have served in 139 host countries. The Peace Corps first served the people and Government of Guyana from 1966 to 1971, and returned again in 1995. In those twenty-four years, 575 volunteers have supported government and community-based development initiatives in Guyana.
Upon accepting an invitation from the Peace Corps, volunteers commit to serve for a two-year tour. Peace Corps volunteers reflect the diversity of America and return to the United States as more informed global citizens, with increased understanding of the people and countries in which they worked. The Peace Corps extends its gratitude to the people and Government of Guyana for the hospitality and opportunity it offers these Volunteers to assist in the pursuit of the nation’s development aspirations.