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Mutual friendship nears 50 years

Vishaal Kumar
Saturday, November 04, 2017

MORE than 2450 volunteers have served in Fiji since the inception of the Peace Corps program in 1968.

This was revealed by US Ambassador to Fiji, Judith Cefkin, at the swearing-in ceremony of 36 new Peace Corps Volunteers at the Japan ICT Centre, University of the South Pacific in Suva yesterday.

Ms Cefkin said the program was one of the earliest to be established in the country with the first group of volunteers arriving in 1968.

"There have been many areas of focus under the program over the years which included education, fisheries, forestry, agriculture, small businesses development and health.

But our prime focus for Peace Corps is the community youth empowerment project," she said.

She added the Peace Corps title implied about promoting understanding between the people of the US and the countries around the world.

"Peace Corps also strive to help our friends attain their development goals. Just as our volunteers share their knowledge, they also learn from the communities in which they were and they take this back to the United States when they complete their course to help the people of US.

"The mutual sharing of information and learning is very robust with the Peace Corps Fiji program. Our volunteers have learnt so much from their Fijian communities and in turn the whole of US will be enriched."

Ms Cefkin said the group of volunteers would take the US/Fiji Peace Corps partnership forward to celebrate its golden jubilee as Peace Corps marked 50 years of co-operation in Fiji next year.

President Jioji Konrote thanked the US for their involvement in the program and wished all the volunteers best in their endeavours.

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