49 Peace Corps trainers arrive

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By Kuzeeko Tjitemisa

WINDHOEK – Education and small enterprise development received a further boost with the arrival of more United States Peace Corps volunteers.

The American Embassy on Wednesday welcomed 49 more Peace Corps trainers at Hosea Kutako International Airport. The group includes 32 teachers and 17 small and medium enterprise business trainers to complement the 100 Peace Corps volunteers still in service in Namibia.

They make up the 40th group of Peace Corps volunteers to serve the country and will be officially sworn in after nine weeks of pre-service training.

During this cross-cultural exchange period they live with host families who will teach them “the Namibian way of life”. This includes learning to prepare local dishes, negotiating in the market place and participating in community activities.

In addition, during the training the new recruits will be engaged in field practicums in local schools with the aim of enhancing their abilities to meet the needs of the communities they will serve.

Upon accepting the invitation to serve, the volunteers agreed to live and work in Namibia for two years.

The volunteers will be posted to primary and secondary schools as teachers, and in the community as small enterprise development officers.

On arrival one of the volunteers who spoke for the group said they thanked the government and its people for affording them the opportunity to be in the country.

Since independence, the Peace Corps have been helping Namibia meet its need for trained men and women, initially with classroom teachers, but subsequently expanding into public health and support to small enterprise development and youth entrepreneurship promotion. 

Since 1990, more than 1 500 Peace Corps volunteers have each dedicated two years of their lives to the betterment of Namibia.

The main partners in the Peace Corps collaboration are the Ministry of Education, the Namibia Training Authority (NTA), Namibia Chamber of Commerce and Industry (NCCI), Community Skills Development Centres (COSDECs), and Katutura Youth Enterprise Centre (KAYEC).