Last Wednesday I was sworn in as a Peace Corps volunteer! We had a small, short and sweet ceremony at the gorgeous PC office in Rabat. The US ambassador to Morocco, the Secretariat General of the Moroccan Ministry of Youth and Sports, and the PC Morocco country director, spoke as well as two PC volunteers with the highest scores on the Language Proficiency Interview. We also recited the PC oath.
As you probably know, President John F. Kennedy established the PC in 1961:
“The Congress of the United States declares that it is the policy of the United States and the purpose of this Act to promote world peace and friendship through a Peace Corps, which shall make available to interested countries and areas men and women of the United States qualified for service abroad and willing to serve, under conditions of hardship if necessary, to help the peoples of such countries and areas in meeting their needs for trained manpower, particularly in meeting the basic needs of those living in the poorest areas of such countries, and to help promote a better understanding of the American people on the part of the peoples served and a better understanding of other peoples on the part of the American people.”
I have learned how to say the 3 PC goals in Darija:
- To help the people of interested countries in meeting their need for trained men and women
- To help promote a better understanding of Americans on the part of the peoples served
- To help promote a better understanding of other peoples on the part of Americans
Since 1961, 220,000 Americans have served in the PC in 140 countries. Now 6,818 volunteers serve in 64 countries. 45% of volunteers serve in Africa, 23% in Latin America, 10% in Eastern Europe/Central Asia, 12% in Asia, 4% in the Caribbean, 3% in North Africa/Middle East, and 3% in the Pacific Islands. 38% work in Education, 24% in Health, 12% in Environment, 9% in Community Economic Development, 9% in Youth in Development, 5% in Agriculture, and 3% in Peace Corps Response. It is an honor to be part of this preeminent international service organization! I would like to thank all my family and friends for the continued encouragement!