Ron Tschetter in Cameroon for 45th Anniversary
Peace Corps Director Ron Tschetter unveiled a bust of former President John F. Kennedy at a U.S. Embassy ceremony on June 21 held to commemorate the 45th Anniversary of the Peace Corps in Cameroon. The outdoor ceremony, hosted by U.S. Ambassador Niels Marquardt, was attended by over 100 people ranging from currently serving Peace Corps Volunteers to high ranking Cameroonian government officials, many of whom were taught by Peace Corps Volunteers.
In his remarks, Tschetter quoted former President Kennedy's famous speech, "My fellow citizens of the world: ask not what America will do for you, but what together we can do for the freedom of man.”
Tschetter continued, "As I have traveled around Cameroon, I have seen countless examples of our Volunteers and the people of Cameroon working together, and that’s what the Peace Corps is all about. Whether it is in education, agro-forestry, small enterprise development, or community health, our work can not be effective without a 'working together' relationship. And these bonds of trust, understanding and caring will absolutely contribute to the freedom of man President Kennedy talked about at his inauguration 46 years ago."
U.S. Ambassador Marquardt, who served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Rwanda in the late 1970's, said in his opening remarks, "With Director Tschetter's visit and today's ceremony, we also commemorate the 45th anniversary of the Peace Corps' uninterrupted presence in Cameroon. This record of continuous, unbroken presence since the very first Volunteers arrived in Cameroon, in September 1962, is matched in only two other countries on earth." He further stated that the Peace Corps, "has done more than any other American initiative to promote peace, mutual understanding, mutual respect, and social development around the world, and perhaps most especially in Africa." Read more.
Caption: Cameroon Peace Corps Director James Ham joins Peace Corps Director Ron Tschetter at the bust of President John Kennedy in Yaounde. The Friends of Cameroon contributed to the creation of the bust, which was unveiled in June 2007. Photo: Friends of Cameroon
Tschetter visits volunteers in Kenya
Peace Corps Director Ron Tschetter concluded his five day visit to Kenya on June 26 where he met with Peace Corps Volunteers, staff, media, and government officials. In a meeting with U.S. Ambassador to Kenya Michael Rannenberger and Kenya's Minister of Education George Saitoti, Tschetter said, "The Peace Corps program in Kenya remains strong. I am impressed with the many wonderful achievements of the Volunteers here and look forward to continuing to develop our partnership with the people of Kenya long into the future."
Ambassador Rannenberger also commented, "The relationship between the United States and Kenya is stronger than ever and the Peace Corps is an important and positive component of that partnership."
A highlight of Tschetter's trip was a visit on June 25 to a school for children who are Deaf in central Kenya where Peace Corps Volunteer Erin Hayba, of Lovettsville, Va., and a recent graduate of Penn State University, serves. Erin is among 29 Volunteers currently serving in Deaf education in Kenya, Peace Corps only Deaf education program country.
This unique program began in 1992 as a way to train educators on better teaching methods, and to broaden the production of learning materials and facilities for Deaf and hard of hearing students. The program now includes computer training and health and HIV/AIDS education programs, as part of the President's Emergency Plan for Aids Relief. Read more.
Caption: Ron Tschetter observing students in the new computer lab built by the Peace Corps at the Kerugoya School for the Deaf. Peace Corps Volunteers Erin Hayba and Frank Lester participate in the presentation.