Guyana Chronicle
December 4, 2003

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Peace Corps first received a formal invitation from Guyana in 1966, the year of its independence. At that time the Guyanese Government, led by Prime Minister Forbes Burnham, requested Volunteers to serve in education and infrastructure projects. From 1966 until 1971, more than 160 Volunteers served in Guyana with the Peace Corps. Volunteers in the Education field (Education Volunteers) broadened the school curriculum to include technical and vocational subjects, including home economics, crafts, and visual arts. Peace Corps/Guyana provided skilled technicians, architects, and engineers to assist in developing and carrying out plans of Guyana's Ministry of Works and Hydraulics.

After an absence of nearly a quarter-century, the Guyanese Government, led by President Cheddi Jagan, approached Peace Corps in 1993 about the prospects for Peace Corps' re-entry into Guyana. In March of 1995, Peace Corps officially re-opened a joint Peace Corps Office for Suriname and Guyana. The first Volunteers arrived in 1995 to work in Community Health and Youth Development. Approximately, Two-Hundred Volunteers have served in Guyana since 1995.

Peace Corps is pleased to be a part of the international celebration in Guyana of International Volunteer Day. Currently, there are 52 Peace Corps Volunteers, who work in health extension, community education and information technology. Twenty Volunteers are assigned to health posts, health centres, and NGOs working in HIV/AIDS education, prevention and counselling. Additionally, two Volunteers are each assigned to the Ptolemy Reid Rehabilitation Centre and the National Commission for Disability. Thirty-two Volunteers are working in education and information technology

In the areas of Education and Information Technology (IT), Volunteers assigned to secondary schools teach Life Skills, Literacy and Reading, Mathematics, and Integrated Science. IT Volunteers are teachers in some secondary school's computer laboratories, technical institutes, adult and community based NGO that have expanded computer education to communities and villages.

In the near future, the Peace Corps program expects to expand its activity to include Small Business Entrepreneurship with a focus on Youth. Peace Corps along with other international volunteer organizations is pleased to offer its service to people of Guyana towards achieving their human and economic development aspirations.

Contact: Peace Corps Country Director 225-5072/73 Ext. 401