The six trainees, who will serve in the education sector, are Trinity Chang, Sadie Ratcliff, Haldan Jacobson, Alice Hilton, Kristiana Neal and Luke Smith. They have been placed to serve in the Lower River Region (LRR), North Bank (NBR), Central River (CRR) North and South, and Upper River (URR) Regions,
Under the theme of improving literacy and numeracy sector-education project (2020-2027), Peace Corps The Gambia education sector intends to work closely with local institutions and government outfits, particularly the Ministry of Basic and Secondary Education and the affiliated local and international organizations supporting educational service delivery in the country.
Claudiana A. Cole, Minister of Basic and Secondary Education, stated that the education sector strategic plan focused on one of the ministry’s priority intervention areas, including the acquisition of early literacy, numeracy and other general technical skills of teachers for children in the lower level to acquire such needed skills by the time they reach senior level.
Minister Cole noted that the Peace Corps Education project seeks to improve early literacy and foundational learning through capacity building of teachers to improve teaching and increase the learning outcomes of learners.
To the trainees, she said: “You will serve as educators, catalysts and change agents in all regions of the country. Living with host families will enable you, particularly those who will be serving in the education sector, to observe practices that either promote or hinder quality education; thus, you will be able to support and reinforce the positive ones and give advice or appropriate intervention to address those that are not so good.”
H.E. Sharon L. Cromer, US Ambassador to The Gambia, said the Peace Corps signifies true understanding and friendship between the people of The Gambia and the United States of America.
“Our Peace Corps volunteers are shining examples of the spirit of volunteerism and community service which has long been a defining characteristic of American Society,” she stated. “Since our country’s founding, volunteer work has been our lifeblood, helping to improve people’s lives, unite our communities and strengthen our democracy.”
Ambassador Cromer emphasised that since 1961, Peace Corps has been a leader in international development and citizen diplomacy in 140 countries around the world.
She added that globally, more than 229,000 Americans have served in the Peace Corps while reiterating that more than 1,800 have served in The Gambia since the program was established in 1967.
Siiri Morley, Peace Corps The Gambia Country Director, said that when the volunteers were hastily evacuated in 2020, they had no idea what the future held, adding that they are repopulating the country with PCVs and re-igniting their partnerships with community and government partners.
“We are working towards our dream of having over 115 PCVs once again to support the many communities throughout this beautiful country as they focus on education, health, agriculture, and the environment,” she said. “We have faced hard times both in the United States and in The Gambia over the last few years. Yet we are still here, building back.”
She further stated that they are standing together, working with love and determination to invest in a better world for all.