New Peace Corps program in Montenegro




WASHINGTON – Peace Corps Director Jody Olsen (Tunisia 1966-68) and Montenegrin Deputy Prime Minister Zoran Pažin signed a historic agreement May 6 establishing a new Peace Corps program in Montenegro, the agency’s 142nd country of service.

“Today’s signing is a testament to the close partnership between the United States and Montenegro,” said Olsen, who met with the deputy prime minister in the capital Podgorica. “And it is a testament to our commitment to a common vision of a brighter future for Montenegro and its neighbors in the Western Balkans.”

Deputy Prime Minister Pažin said the Peace Corps program in Montenegro is another confirmation of the partnership, support and friendship of the U.S. Government and American people to Montenegro and its citizens.

“We see the service of the U.S. Peace Corps volunteers in Montenegro as another opportunity for Montenegrin and U.S. citizens to enrich their lives and to create friendships based on mutual understanding and shared values,” he said.

The Government of Montenegro invited the Peace Corps to establish a program in the country in August 2018. The program will be managed by the existing Peace Corps post in neighboring Albania.

The first group of Volunteers is scheduled to depart in January 2020. The newVolunteers will undergo three months of technical, cross-cultural and language training before starting two years of service in small, under-served Montenegrin communities, working alongside Montenegrin English teachers in primary schools.

Prospective applicants can  view open positions for Montenegro on the Peace Corps website.

Also this week, Jody traveled to Tirana, Albania, to meet with Prime Minister Edi Rama and President Ilir Meta and sign a memorandum of understanding with the Ministry of Education. Over the last 22 years, nearly 900 Peace Corps Volunteers have taught in Albania and worked with youth throughout the country.

Judy’s Olsen’s visit to Tirana included a cookout with Peace Corps staff and Volunteers and a close-of-service ceremony for 14 departing Volunteers.

When Elaine Chao was briefly Peace Corps Director (1991-92) she would always try and play volleyball with the PCVs, and always, regardless of what country, have her hair done. Priorities first.

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