Minister of State Dawn Hastings-Williams yesterday joined the Ambassador of the United States of America to Guyana, Sarah-Ann Lynch, in welcoming 29 new Peace Corps volunteers through its 32nd Cohort here in Guyana.
The volunteers will be based in communities across eight of the 10 administrative regions of Guyana for the next two years. Of the 29 volunteers, 10 will be placed to work in the field of education; 10 in environment; and nine in health.
The Minister of State, who delivered remarks at the event, said the contribution made by Peace Corps volunteers towards the development and progress of Guyana is highly appreciated and has resulted in hinterland and Indigenous communities benefitting in areas such as education, health and environment.
As Minister with responsibility for the Department of Environment, Minister Hastings-Williams said the Peace Corps environment volunteers come at a pivotal time in Guyana’s history when the government is focused on the implementation of the Green State Development Strategy (GSDS), with the objective of building an eco-friendly economy.
She noted that targeting and educating children and youth on the effective management of natural resources can significantly aid in the mitigation of environmental degradation and the promotion of sustainable development.
Meanwhile, First Lady, Mrs Sandra Granger; Minister of Foreign Affairs, Dr Karen Cummings; and members of the Diplomatic Corps also attended the event.
Also present was Minister of Education, Dr Nicolette Henry, who said that from the viewpoint of the Ministry of Education, the volunteers will provide an invaluable contribution in ensuring that every community has access to education.
Additionally, Minister within the Ministry of Indigenous Peoples’ Affairs Valerie Garrido-Lowe said for as long as she can remember, the Peace Corps volunteers have been working in the hinterland communities, providing selfless service. She urged them to learn the ways of life of the Indigenous Peoples so that they can build strong relationships.
The Peace Corps has devoted itself to developing state-of-the-art training during the past 10 weeks of training on the Essequibo Coast, which included intense sessions on technical theory, Creolese, Guyanese culture, and practical training on model school programmes.