Photos by Lusi Sargsyan
Greeting the new group of volunteers and wishing them a fruitful service in Armenia, Minister of Education and Science Levon Mkrtchyan expressed his gratitude for the valuable contribution that U.S. Peace Corps volunteers make in Armenia, teaching English in villages and contributing to the strengthening of mutual understanding between Armenian and American cultures.
Deputy Minister of Sport and Youth Affairs Arsen Karamyan, who was also attending the ceremony, greeted the new volunteers and wished them a successful service in Armenia. The Deputy Minister praises the work of the Peace Corps and believes the cooperation is very important.
“The volunteers will soon be leaving for the villages of Armenia to work at schools and participate in the community development program of the particular village. When volunteers apply, they state their professional skills and abilities in their application forms. This is how we determine the regions where they will be sent and what they will be doing. The 36 new volunteers of the U.S. Peace Corps will soon start working in different villages of Armenia,” Director of the Peace Corps Charles Ensiso stated during a press conference.
After the courses the volunteers will travel to different regions of Armenia where they will live for two years, teaching English and working on the development of communities and the youth through two Peace Corps programs.
Rou Kelsey and Thompson Steven are former volunteers of the Peace Corp. During the ceremony, the youth said their only problem had been the language. It used to be hard for them to pronounce the Armenian letters Կ. Ղ. Խ (K, Gh, Kh), but today, they were able to pronounce the Armenian words “Խաղախության Կոռպուս” (Khaghakhutyan Korrpus) at ease. The volunteers have managed to become familiar with Armenian culture, language and traditions. They also stated that the Armenians are very cordial and hospitable.
The volunteers of this group represent the United States. They have various racial and national affiliations, different beliefs and have different social and economic statuses. The volunteers are between 21 and 76. This is the 24th group of volunteers of the Peace Corps that is preparing to start its service in Armenia.
P.S.: Established in 1961 by John F. Kennedy, the U.S. Peace Corps has sent more than 220,000 volunteers to 141 countries around the world. Since 1992, over 950 volunteers have served in Armenia. In 2017, Peace Corps will be celebrating its 25th anniversary in Armenia.
The Peace Corps is aimed at providing professional support to the host country, help the people of the host country get to know the American people better and help the American people get to know the people of the host country better.
Gallery: Oath ceremony of the 24th group of Peace Corps volunteers