Peace Corps sends first ever mission to Cambodia
Three Americans sang the Cambodian national anthem in the Khmer language at a ceremony in Phnom Penh on Wednesday to herald the official start of the U.S. Peace Corps' first volunteer program in this impoverished Southeast Asian nation. All 400 attendees stood as Sam and Kara Snyder, a couple from Buffalo, New York, and Autumn West, from Greenback, Tennessee, opened the event by singing the national anthem in Khmer. They then sang the U.S. national anthem while their fellow volunteers and American officials stood to attention with their hands on their chests.
Conor Cronin, from Scarsdale, New York, delighted the audience by delivering a speech in Cambodian, with Felicidad Garcia, from Miami, Florida, acting as his translator for the American guests. The crowd laughed when Cronin joked that he was chosen to give the speech because he was "the most handsome volunteer." "We, the volunteers, have come to Cambodia from different parts of America, each with a different history. But we are all here ... with the same commitment to serve as best as possible in every way," Cronin said. Read more.
Caption: Peace Corps Cambodia volunteers clap during a swearing-in ceremony at National Institute of Education in Phnom Penh on April 4, 2007. Thirty English teachers, the first group of Peace Corps volunteers will serve in Cambodia teaching English at the upper secondary level and supporting teachers in Cambodian provinces and districts to improve their English language and teaching skills. Reuters/Chor Sokunthea
Tschetter swears in first Cambodia Peace Corps Volunteers
Peace Corps Director Ron Tschetter swore-in Peace Corps' first group of Volunteers, signifying the beginning of an historic new partnership with the Kingdom of Cambodia. “This first group of Peace Corps Volunteers is bringing with them the great tradition of service and friendship to an extraordinary country and a remarkable people,” said Director Tschetter. “They are not only trained professionals, but they are dedicated Americans who share in common a spirit of service and a commitment to make a difference in the lives of the citizens of Cambodia.” New Peace Corps Volunteers during their swearing in ceremony in Phnom Penh, Cambodia.
U.S. Ambassador to Cambodia Joseph A. Mussomeli also participated in the swearing-in ceremony. He remarked, “Cambodia is the kind of country President Kennedy had in mind when he created the Peace Corps. Peace Corps Volunteers do more to advance freedom and justice in the world and protect American ideals and principles than any other program of the United States government.” Director Tschetter thanking His Majesty King Sihamoni of Cambodia for the warm hospitality and friendly welcome of the Cambodian people
Following the swearing-in ceremony, Director Tschetter had an audience with His Majesty King Sihamoni and thanked His Majesty for the warm hospitality and friendly welcome of the Cambodian people. In return, His Majesty said, “On behalf of the Cambodian people, we are grateful for your initiative and cooperation and we thank the Peace Corps and the American people for their work in advancing peace and stability in Cambodia.” Read more.