Difference between revisions of "History of the Peace Corps in Ethiopia"
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Latest revision as of 10:40, 21 May 2014
History of the Peace Corps in Ethiopia
Peace Corps/Ethiopia is one of the oldest Peace Corps programs. The first group of Peace Corps Volunteers arrived in Ethiopia (including present-day Eritrea) in September 1962, with 279 secondary school teachers. Volunteers worked in both secondary and vocational/technical schools, with others working in the health, small business, rural development, law, and agriculture sectors. From 1962 to 1977, Peace Corps/Ethiopia was one of the largest Peace Corps programs in the world. More than 3,000 Volunteers served in the country before Peace Corps terminated the program in 1977 due to the unstable political situation.
In 1991, the Marxist regime in power since 1974 was overthrown. The new government requested Peace Corps’ return and in July 1995, 25 Peace Corps Volunteers arrived as secondary school English teachers. Hostilities between Ethiopia and Eritrea erupted in 1999, forcing Peace Corps to suspend its operations; the program was officially closed in March 2000. In May 2002, Peace Corps received an invitation from the government of Ethiopia to resume its program. After a thorough assessment process, the program reopened with the arrival of 43 health Volunteers in October 2007. Plans are underway to initiate an environment program by September of 2010.
History and Future of Peace Corps Programming in Ethiopia
The Peace Corps has been involved in almost every facet of Ethiopia’s development over the past decades, making contributions in the fields of education, health, rural development, and small business development. Peace Corps’ current program focuses on HIV/AIDS. Volunteers collaborate with Ethiopian counterparts to support the government of Ethiopia’s strategy to create and strengthen community- and family-centered HIV/AIDS prevention, care, and support models in the Amhara, Oromiya, Tigray, and Southern Nations regions. Placements will be in health centers, community based organizations, nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) and HIV/AIDS resource centers. Peace Corps plans to expand into the environment sector by September 2010. Environment Volunteers will collaborate with Ethiopian counterparts to support the government of Ethiopia’s strategy to protect its bio-diversity and promote effective and sustainable management of its natural resources.