U.S. Peace Corps Swears in 23 New Volunteers

Today United States Ambassador Matthew T. Harrington swore-in Lesotho’s new group of Peace Corps Volunteers.  The Peace Corps is the United States government agency which sends Americans to developing countries to help build their skills capacity, as well as form lasting cross-cultural relationships.  The United States Peace Corps was established in 1961 by President John F. Kennedy, and has been in Lesotho continuously since 1967. Today the Peace Corps serves 65 countries with more than 7,000 volunteers and trainees around the world.

Peace Corps Volunteers in Lesotho serve in two different programs:  Education and Healthy Youth. Volunteers in the Healthy Youth program work with community or nationally-based organizations to help prepare Basotho youth for their adult roles as healthy, productive and active community members. There is a strong emphasis on HIV/AIDS prevention, as well as care and treatment.  Volunteers in the Education program serve as secondary school teachers of mathematics or as primary school teachers of English.

This group of Volunteers will serve the rural and remote areas of Lesotho through the Peace Corps’ Healthy Youth Project. The ceremony is the culmination of a ten week intensive training program in Sesotho language/culture and technical training on health and youth development.  The training was conducted in the villages of Ha Koali and Ha Mothebesoane in the Berea district where the Volunteers stayed with local families.

More than 2,300 volunteers have served in Lesotho since 1967, working mostly in rural and semi–rural locations where there is the most need and the fewest resources. The Peace Corps is also an active participant in the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for HIV/AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) and all Volunteers use their community organization skills to extend the reach of national and international efforts to respond to the epidemic in Lesotho.

For further information please contact InfoMaseru@state.gov or call +266-2231-2666 ext. 4317.