Peace Corps officially announced that it is returning to Liberia nearly 20 years after suspending the program there. There will be an opening ceremony in which Peace Corps Director Ronald A. Tschetter will swear in 12 new Peace Corps Response Volunteers to work on education and health projects on Monday, Oct. 27. Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf will attend the ceremony, in addition to several other prominent Peace Corps and Liberia connected people.
Peace Corps Response program offers short-term humanitarian assistance from Volunteers who have previously served. In Liberia, Volunteers will be assigned to rural teacher training institutes where they will mentor administrators charged with revitalizing Liberia’s teacher training infrastructure, while others will work with local libraries, parent teacher associations, local high schools, and health training programs.
Over 4,400 Peace Corps Volunteers served in Liberia from 1962 to 1990, until the program was suspended due to the Liberian civil war. This batch of Volunteers will serve for eight months while expanding to include up to 34 Volunteers by the end of 2009 and Peace Corps will carefully follow progress to see if it can be transformed from a Peace Corps Response program into a regular two-year program for Peace Corps Volunteers.