Dar es Salaam – American Peace Corps Volunteers returned to Tanzania yesterday following an absence of nearly three years. The 18 volunteers who arrived Feb. 19 at Julius Nyerere International Airport in Dar were the first to come to 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.
Prior to the repatriation, Peace Corps Volunteers had been serving in Tanzania for over six decades. From September 1961 to March 2020, over 3200 Peace Corps Volunteers served in Tanzania, working in education, agriculture, and health sectors to address critical development priorities while promoting world peace and friendship. “Given such deep ties, the return of volunteers to Tanzania following a three-year absence is a cause for celebration,” said Peace Corps Tanzania Country Director Stephanie Joseph de Goes.
“I am grateful to the government of Tanzania, and our community partners, for welcoming Peace Corps. It is an honor to work with such committed people in this beautiful nation. Since March 2020, Peace Corps staff around the world have worked to strengthen the foundation of the agency. We are now ready to relaunch volunteer service and to meet this historic moment with our community partners and our Peace Corps Tanzania staff.”
After an 11-week training covering Swahili language, Tanzanian culture, and relevant technical skills per sector, the Peace Corps Trainees will be sworn in as Volunteers to begin their 24-months of service. At the request of the Government of Tanzania, the new volunteers will engage in Secondary Science, Technology, Education, and Math (STEM) Education, Sustainable Agriculture, and Community Health Education. Additionally, all volunteers will integrate disease prevention (i.e., HIV, malaria, and COVID) into their service as well as climate change and youth-centered initiatives.
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.