Peace Corps Returns to Ghana
Accra, Ghana – U.S. Peace Corps Volunteers arrived in Ghana last week after a two-year hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The initial group of thirteen Volunteers will resume Peace Corps’ mission of promoting peace and friendship, in collaboration with their Ghanaian counterparts, in junior high schools and schools for the deaf, health centers, and farming communities in the Eastern and Volta Regions. Additional Volunteers who will work in the agriculture and health sectors will arrive in January 2023.
“Ghana was the first country to receive Peace Corps’ volunteers in 1961. As a former Returned Peace Corps Volunteer myself, I’m beyond excited to welcome them back to Ghana. The Peace Corps represents the ideals of the United States – volunteerism, cooperation, and friendship – and these Volunteers are no exception,” said Acting U.S. Chargé d’Affaires Greg Morrison at a reception welcoming the Volunteers. Morrison himself served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Morocco from 1994 to 1996.
President John F. Kennedy sent the very first Peace Corps volunteers to serve in Ghana in 1961. More than 5,000 Peace Corps Volunteers have since served in Ghana for 59 years, interrupted only by the COVID-19 pandemic.
“As we like to say: the Peace Corps was born in the United States, but learned to walk here in Ghana. Now, our Volunteers are back to continue our 61-year commitment to the people of Ghana,” said Peace Corps Ghana Country Director Tamu Daniel.
Peace Corps Volunteers work in critical sectors to help Ghanaian communities on locally prioritized projects. In addition to working in schools, health centers, and farming communities, Volunteers will partner with communities to provide COVID-19 education and promote access to vaccinations in coordination with local leaders and partner ministries, including the Ministry of Health.
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I’m in this photo bottom right in that very Ghana 1 group end of August 1961 and I am standing looking down in a black suit coat and white shirt and being touched on the back by one of our women volunteers who I think might have been Maureen Pine or maybe Marion Morrison. Hard to tell at this late stage.
Ruth Whitney another of our 50 PCV’s says that’s Maureen Pyne touching me on the shoulder (and I bet she did so I would look up for the photo).
Here’s a quote I like found on a wall in London after WWII and nobody knew for a long time who wrote it — it was Thomas Ashe they found later”
Thomas Ashe:”Look upon us in this city/ keep our sympathy/ and pity fresh/ our faces heavenward/ lest we go cold”.
I was 10 years old in 1961, living in Ghana with my family. My father took us out to the airport to welcome the first volunteers. I was struck by what they were doing, and my goal from that time forward was to work in the Peace Corps. I entered service in Zaire in 1973.
Love the quote, Edward. Thanks!