President George Manneh Weah says he will do everything in his power to ensure that Peace Corps Volunteers are successful in their mission here to impact lives by monitoring them and ensuring that they are safe.
“We will work with you; we will make sure that you are monitored through our partners to make sure that you are safe,” President Weah said Friday, 17 August at the swearing in of 44 Peace Corps Volunteers at the Monrovia City Hall.
Under the Peace Corps program, the US volunteers are sent here to teach math and science in 42 junior and senior high schools across the 15 counties here for the next two years.
“…To leave your family and friends to come to another country that has history of Ebola to come and sacrifice to teach people, to discipline, we cannot underestimate this,” President Weah says.
He notes that “this is a great sacrifice” being made by the volunteers on grounds that when people are running away from Liberia, Peace Corps are coming here to mentor people.
President Weah praises the bravery of the volunteers, saying their coming here justifies a stanza in the United States’ National Anthem as a land of the free and the home of the brave.
In appreciating the Peace Corps Volunteers for making the journey to Liberia to render assistance, Mr. Weah also recalls the contributions the American people made here through this program in those days, instilling discipline and teaching math and science here.
Mr. Weah notes that Peace Corps did their due diligence in those days, teaching and impacting Liberians’ lives and supporting education.
He encourages the newly sworn in Peace Corps Volunteers here to have Liberian friends just as volunteers that were here in the past.
According to the president, Peace Corps’ Liberian friends helped to show the way for them to be integrated into the Liberian society.
“I had a Peace Corps father, he named me George. He was a good Christian, he taught us in the Church. At that time I was Manneh Weah and he looked at my father and he say his Christian name is George. So today I’m called George,” Mr. Weah recalls.
US Ambassador to Liberia Christine Elder remarked that in her career, she has never met a country and people who welcome Peace Corps Volunteers and appreciate them like Liberia.
She says the United States is proud to have sent forward to improve education and to share America’s best and brightest minds who will uphold the highest standards of professionalism, integrity and expertise in their engagement with Liberians across the country.
Ambassador Elder notes that President Weah and his Education Minister have made efforts to quality education as priority on the national development agenda.
She says it makes perfect sense because evidence has shown that prioritizing quality and access to education is the most sustainable path to getting people out of poverty.
The US Ambassador thanked the Peace Corps staff for making the journey here, and also notes that the United States sent the volunteers to teach math and science in 42 junior and senior high schools in every single county across Liberia.
She admonishes the volunteers that in each of the counties they live, they should remember that they are as much as Ambassador of the United States just as she is.
Over the next two years of their stay here, she further admonishes the volunteers to know that the United States takes great pride in what they do.
Ambassador expresses confidence that the volunteers will be equally transformed at the end of their experience by the exchanges and engagements here.
Presenting the 44 Volunteers, Peace Corps Liberia Country Director Kristi Raube says they are representing the entire American people.
She cautions that everything the volunteers say and do is watched, noted and scrutinized and contributes to what others around them perceive to be true of every other volunteer and of all Americans.
By Winston W. Parley