On Wednesday, December 11, 2019, United States Ambassador, Her Excellency Rebecca E. Gonzales swore in Lesotho’s new group of Peace Corps Volunteers during a ceremony held at the Thaba-Bosiu Cultural Village in Maseru. The Peace Corps is the U.S. Government’s volunteer organization, which sends Americans to developing countries to work alongside their host country counterparts on skills transfer and capacity building, and in the process, to form long lasting bonds of friendship. The United States Peace Corps was established in 1961 by President John F. Kennedy. Today the Peace Corps has served 141 countries with over 220, 000 volunteers around the world.
Peace Corps Volunteers in Lesotho serve in two different programs: Education and Health. Volunteers in the Education program serve as primary school teachers of English, and secondary school teachers of mathematics. Volunteers in the Health program work with clinics and community-based health organizations to contribute to the prevention of HIV/AIDS among youth, assist in care and treatment of HIV positive youth, and help prepare youth for their future.
This group of Volunteers will serve the rural and remote areas of Lesotho through the Peace Corps’ Education and Health Projects. The Minister of Education and Training, Hon. Francis Mokoto Hloaele also delivered remarks at this special occasion. The ceremony was the culmination of an eleven weeks intensive training program in Sesotho language/culture and technical training in Education and Health. The training was conducted in the villages of Ha-Mamathe, Mokhehle, and Ntebele in the Berea District, where the Volunteers stayed with local families.
Over 2,600 volunteers have served in Lesotho since 1967, working mostly in rural and semi–rural locations where there is the most need and the least amount of 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.