Peace Corps Director Ron Tschetter welcomed U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice to Peace Corps Headquarters. Secretary Rice’s remarks to 65 Country Directors and headquarters staff officially kicked-off the Peace Corps 2008 Worldwide Country Director Conference. Secretary Rice is the first sitting Secretary of State to visit Peace Corps Headquarters.
Secretary Rice said, “Each of you is to be commended for your dedication to helping the world’s neediest people, often times in some of the world’s most impoverished communities. Through your work, you’re strengthening communities, you’re improving lives and you’re building bridges between nations.” She added, “Throughout its history, the Peace Corps has met the challenges of an ever-challenging world by adapting and responding to the issues of the day, but never losing sight of the values that have sustained the Peace Corps throughout its history.” Read more.
"Today, Peace Corps volunteers are opening up a whole new world for the people that they serve by teaching computer skills and providing access to the internet, so keeping abreast with the challenges of today. The invaluable trust Peace Corps volunteers are gaining among the people that they serve gives them the credibility to talk about diseases like HIV/AIDS prevention in their communities when, frankly, others cannot. That is why the Peace Corps is emerging as an important part of the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS relief, particularly in Africa and the Caribbean.
In fact, as the Director said, while visiting Accra, Ghana in February with President Bush, I was fortunate enough to have lunch with a group of your Peace Corps colleagues. And earlier this month, I accompanied President and Mrs. Bush to Ukraine where we had the opportunity to see an HIV/AIDS education play put on by Peace Corps volunteer Margaret McKenna and 15 of her students. Margaret and her students not only perform in their own community, but they travel to educate other schools throughout Ukraine about the danger of AIDS.
Throughout its history, the Peace Corps has met the challenges of an ever-challenging world by adapting and responding to the issues of the day, but never losing sight of the values that have sustained the Peace Corps throughout its history. Currently more than 8,000 Peace Corps Volunteers continue to meet these new challenges across the globe, particularly in places where the Peace Corps has been absent for some time.
Just this past February, of course, President Bush announced the return of the Peace Corps to Rwanda, after a 15-year absence. And this summer, the Peace Corps will return to Liberia with a Peace Corps response program working in education. In 2007 the Peace Corps returned to Ethiopia after an absence of eight years. And volunteers began their service for the first time in Cambodia in 2007 to train teachers and teach English in seven provinces. " Read Rice's entire speech at Peace Corps Headquarters.