The Ministry of Education and the United States Peace Corps Wednesday signed a Memorandum of Understanding to formalise an arrangement that allows Peace Corps volunteers to continue works in three areas of the educational sector: Primary Literacy, Health and Family Life Education and Primary Science.
But volunteers will be stationed in each administrative Region, with the exception of Region Eight (Potaro-Siparuni) due to inadequate transportation methods from the coast to the Region.
The agreement was signed in the Boardroom of the Ministry of Education’s Lot 26 Brickdam, Georgetown Office, by Minister Nicolette Henry and Country Director of Peace Corps Guyana, Kury Cobham.
The US Peace Corps Country Director noted that though village leaders in Region Eight requested that volunteers be sent to the Region, “the infrastructure for Region Eight has been a challenge for us to ensure that we’re able to provide the support to volunteers there.”
She later explained to News Room that with only air transportation being available to the Region, there are no other means to get to the Volunteers in cases of emergency.
Ms. Cobham added that a meeting is slated for later this year with the Toshaos in the Potaro-Siparuni region where the Peace Corps ability to return to the area will be discussed.
However, US Ambassador to Guyana, Perry Holloway, was quick to point out that Volunteers have been there before with one person currently stationed in one of the border communities.
The Ambassador highlighted the importance of education youths, especially with the developing oil and gas industry.
“The money being spent by the Government and companies exploring is going to create demand for more Chefs like it is going to create more demand for Engineers,” he outlined.
Minister Henry lauded the work done by the volunteers over the years, noting that the Ministry tries as much to complement the works of the Peace Corps.
In March 1961, President John F. Kennedy created the Peace Corps to provide human resource and technical assistance to developing countries.
The volunteers have been working in Guyana since 1966 and there are currently a batch of 37 volunteers in Essequibo who are being trained to commence work in September.