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The Peace Corps signed a country agreement with the Government of Rwanda in 1974 and the first group of Volunteers arrived in 1975. The agency withdrew Volunteers in 1993 due to the civil war and the program closed in 1994. In the 18 years that the Peace Corps operated in Rwanda a total of 114 Volunteers served successfully.
A new country agreement was signed with the Government of Rwanda on July 18, 2008. The first new group of thirty-five Public Health trainees arrived in January 2009. They will be assigned to the Ministry of Health and the National AIDS Committee to health centers throughout the country.
Some Volunteers will be assigned to work on HIV/AIDS prevention programs, funded by the President's Emergency Program For AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) and administered by the National Committee to Fight against AIDS. Other Volunteers will be assigned to the Ministry of Health. In addition to efforts to prevent AIDS, all of the Volunteers will work on issues such as nutrition, malaria prevention, vaccinations and income generation.
Peace Corps History
Main article: History of the Peace Corps in Rwanda
The first group of Peace Corps Volunteers arrived in Rwanda in 1975. Programming started with three Volunteers working in university education, and later expanded into fisheries and agriculture. However, due to a limited number of requests for Volunteers from the government of Rwanda, Peace Corps withdrew its permanent staff and the small program was managed with the help of the U.S. Embassy.
In 1985 and 1986, program assessments indicated that there was potential for expansion of the Peace Corps program, particularly in areas of forestry and cooperative extension. With growth in mind, Peace Corps sent a permanent representative to Rwanda in 1987. In 1988, an associate Peace Corps director was added to enhance programming. In addition to the original programs in university education, agriculture, and fisheries, Peace Corps/Rwanda began new initiatives in conservation and health. However, in February 1993, severe political instability in Rwanda led to the evacuation of all Volunteers. The office eventually closed in April 1994. All records were burned by the U.S. Embassy, leaving very little documentation of Peace Corps’ operations there.
On July 15, 2007, an assessment team traveled to Rwanda to explore the viability of re-establishing Peace Corps operations. This was the first assessment team to visit the country since the program closed in 1994. From the initial meetings it became clear that both the community and the current government of Rwanda are eager to welcome Peace Corps back to the country.
On July 18, 2008, U.S. Ambassador Michael Arietti and Secretary General of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Rwanda Amandin Rugira signed an agreement officially reestablishing the U.S. Peace Corps program in Rwanda.
Living Conditions and Volunteer Lifestyle
Main article: Living conditions and volunteer lifestyles in Rwanda
As a Volunteer, you will most likely live in a small town or rural community, and not have access to indoor plumbing or electricity. Expect to use lamps and candles for lighting and to cook using a single-burner kerosene stove, wood, or charcoal.
The standards and conditions of Volunteer housing vary widely, from mud houses with thatched roofs to very modern cement houses with running water and electricity. The type of house you have will depend on your project, the area of the country to which you are posted, and the types of houses available in the community. You may also be required to share housing with other staff or to live in a room behind a shop at a market center. You can expect to have, at the very least, a room to call your own. The decision as to whether housing standards are “acceptable” lies with the Peace Corps staff. When it comes to your housing, you should not lose sight of the guiding goal of the Peace Corps. Maintain your focus on service to the people of Rwanda and not on the level of your accommodations.
Main article: Training in Rwanda
Peace Corps News
- Trip across the world delayed - Pilot Tribune
Pilot TribuneTrip across the world delayed
Since Frantz had been to Rwanda previously, the Peace Corps felt like she has too many personal connections there, due to her previous visits and study abroad that she was a part of. "The indications early on that I was going to go to Tonga," Frantz said.
- Peace Corps Volunteers Conclude Two-Year Mission in Rwanda - AllAfrica.com
[?]Peace Corps Volunteers Conclude Two-Year Mission in Rwanda
Peace Corps Volunteers who are concluding their two-year mission in Rwanda have described Rwanda as a great country to work with. Claire Brosnihan, 24, one of the volunteers who have been in Rwanda since 2012, said: "I see myself coming back to ...
PEACE CORPS JOURNALS
( As of Thursday April 17, 2014 )
Contributions to the Rwanda Country Fund will support Volunteer and community projects that will take place in Rwanda. These projects include water and sanitation, agricultural development, and youth programs.