Liberia’s Acting Minister of Foreign Affairs, B. Elias Shoniyin, has applauded the United States Government and its people for supporting Liberia’s postwar recovery, giving special recognition to United States Ambassador here, Deborah Malac for her commitment to assisting in building a vibrant educational system as well as her pivotal role in championing the return of U.S. Peace Corps Volunteers to the country.
Minister Shoniyin spoke Friday, June 12, 2015 during remarks at the swearing-in ceremony of U.S Peace Corps Response Volunteers or PCRVS held at the C. Cecil Dennis, Jr. Auditorium at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Monrovia.
He added that every time Liberian officials participate in these swearing-in ceremonies of Peace Corps Volunteers, it brings excitements because this concept has become a part of the country’s national character and history.
“These excitements”, the Acting Foreign Minister noted, “are triggered by the knowledge of the tremendous contribution this institution has made, and continues to make in improving the quality of education in our country.”
Recounting the historic role the Peace Corps played in Liberia, Minister Shoniyin noted that Peace Corps Volunteers are known in every part of Liberia, especially in places they were happily deployed to provide services.
He added that Liberians are always impressed and will remain extremely grateful to young men and women from afar in the United States, who leave behind the comfort of their great country and supportive families, in the spirit of altruism, to avail themselves to the service of humanity in Liberia.
He stresses that the Peace Corps volunteers have always dedicated themselves to their mission, sometimes walking long distances, living in local makeshift houses, and even enduring the irritating and life threatening scourge of mosquitoes in the spirit of humanity.
Expressing his gratitude, the Minister said that the program has ignited the consciousness of Liberians, giving them one of the most important tools for a successful living.
He said due to the friendly tie between Liberia and the United States and the commitment and interest the United States Government has in the development of Liberia, the program was resumed in October 2008 up to July 2014, after the spread of Ebola in the country.
According to him, the evacuation of 103 Peace Corps serving in the 15 counties of Liberia was indeed a great loss as the Ebola crisis intensified across the country, adding that the presence of the volunteers in Liberia at this time, demonstrates the strong and enduring partnership of the United States and its commitment to Liberia’s post-Ebola recovery.
Minister Shoniyin, on behalf of the Government and People of Liberia, welcomed the return of five Peace Corps Response Volunteers or PCRVs, who were among 103 Peace Corps Volunteers (PCVs) evacuated in July, 2014 at the peak of the Ebola outbreak in Liberia.
He thanked Director Fleming for his pivotal role in getting the PCV back to Liberia and applauded the PCRVs for their return, stressing that Liberia looks forward to many swear-in ceremonies on more Peace Corps in Liberia in the next few months.
Also speaking at the ceremony, United States Ambassador accredited near Monrovia, Madam Deborah Malac, announced that over the next 12 months U.S. Peace corps in Liberia plans to expand the number of volunteers to pre-Ebola level.
Ambassador Malac, who also performed the swearing-in ceremony, stated, “These five Americans will join the legacy created by more than 4, 300 Volunteers, who came to Liberia before them; Indeed, they underscored a growing people-to-people development partnership between our nations that dates back to 1962”.
The U.S. Ambassador assured that the Volunteers will continue to help students and teachers better employ limited resources such as libraries, laboratory materials, and learning aids and they will begin looking at ways to help support public health and literacy initiatives.
The U.S. Envoy added that they will continue to build Liberians’ capacity that spans far beyond the classroom, as they all have shown in their commitment to gender equity, food security, malaria prevention, and many other initiatives in the past. Press Release