Dar es Salaam – Sixteen Americans were sworn in as Peace Corps volunteers during a ceremony at the Peace Corps Tanzania Headquarters in Dar es Salaam on Thursday. The swearing in ceremony was presided over by guest of Honor Dr. Edith Rwiza, Director of Human Resources, President’s Office – Regional Administration and Local Government, as well as U.S. Ambassador to Tanzania Michael Battle and Peace Corps Tanzania Country Director Stephanie Joseph de Goes.
The 16 volunteers who were sworn-in are the first Peace Corps Volunteers to serve in Tanzania since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic in March 2020, which forced the repatriation of more than 7000 volunteers worldwide, including 158 from Tanzania.
For the last 12 weeks, the new volunteers have undergone comprehensive cross-cultural, language, and technical training through the Peace Corps. Following the swearing-in ceremony, the new volunteers will travel to their permanent site in local communities in Kilimanjaro, Tanga, and Zanzibar regions where they will complete 24 months of service, assisting local communities to address critical development priorities, including education, community health, and sustainable agriculture.
In her remarks, Dr. Rwiza described the Peace Corps Program as a symbol of the close relationship between the U.S. and Tanzania and as a legacy of the friendship between Tanzania’s fist President Mwalimu Julius Nyerere and U.S. President John Kennedy, who founded the Peace Corps. She also called on stakeholders in the areas where volunteers will be serving to support them and help them to flourish.
In his address before administering the oath to the new Volunteers, Ambassador Battle told them that they would be the face of the United States for many people that they encounter. “People will remember you, because you walk alongside them, teaching and learning together . . . You represent the best of America, and you have the opportunity to experience the best of Tanzania.”
For her part, Peace Corps Tanzania Country Director Stephanie Joseph de Goes expressed gratitude to the Government of Tanzania, Korogwe Teachers’ College, and host families who partnered with and supported Peace Corps to successfully welcome the new volunteers and train them in Swahili language and culture. She reinforced the commitment of the Peace Corps to working with Tanzania in the spirit of collaboration, humility, and respect.
About the Peace Corps: The Peace Corps is an international service network of volunteers, community members, host country partners and staff who are driven by the agency’s mission of world peace and friendship. At the invitation of governments around the world, Peace Corps volunteers work alongside community members on locally prioritized projects in the areas of education, health, environment, agriculture, community economic development and youth development. Through service, members of the Peace Corps network develop transferable skills and hone intercultural competencies that position them to be the next generation of global leaders. Since President John F. Kennedy established the Peace Corps in 1961, more than 240,000 Americans have served in 142 countries worldwide. Over 3200 Peace Corps Volunteers have served in Tanzania since the program was launched in 1961, working in education, agriculture, and health sectors to address critical development priorities while promoting world peace and friendship.