Washington — U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, on a visit to Dakar, Senegal, August 1, swore in 19 Peace Corps volunteers who will be working in community economic development.
The ceremony took place on the first day of Clinton’s six-country visit to Africa. U.S. Ambassador to Senegal Lewis Lukens, Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs Johnnie Carson, Peace Corps Country Director Michael Simsik and other Peace Corps staff members attended the ceremony.
Clinton congratulated the new volunteers for completing their pre-service training and thanked them for the work they will be doing in service to the Senegalese people. After the ceremony, the volunteers presented her with a bag of handicrafts made by Senegalese artisans who have been trained by Peace Corps volunteers.
Since arriving in Senegal in May, the volunteers have received several months of cross-cultural, language and technical training. After the swearing-in ceremony, the volunteers will travel to their permanent sites in local communities, where they will live and work for the remaining two years of their service.
Peace Corps community economic development volunteers help communities with business and nongovernmental organizational development, urban and regional planning, and information technology. Volunteers provide basic business and financial management training for small businesses and help artisans market their products. They also teach computer and multimedia skills, develop database systems and implement business networks to help communities plan for the future.
There are 254 Peace Corps volunteers serving in Senegal; more than 3,190 volunteers have served in the country since the program was established in 1963. Volunteers work in the areas of agriculture, environment, health and business. They are trained and work in the following languages: French, Wolof, Pulaar du Nord, Fulakunda, Pulafuta, Seereer, Malinke, Mandinka and Jaxanke.