Seventy two Peace Corps trainees will be sworn in for their two-year service in Botswana by U.S. Chargé d'Affaires Michael J. Murphy on Wednesday, October 15 after 10 weeks of training in Serowe. The ceremony will be held at the Serowe Institute of Health Sciences and begin at 10:00 a.m. Invited guests and speakers include Bamangwato Regent Kgosi Sediegeng Kgamane. Hig-ranking government officials are also expected to grace the event.
After the ceremony, the new volunteers head for their sites in all corners of the country, including D’kar, Bobonong, Paje, and Shakawe as well as larger villages and towns. Eighteen Volunteers will work with non-governmental organizations, 19 with Clinics and Health Teams, 15 with local government in District AIDS Coordinating (DAC) and Social and Community Development Offices (S&CD), and 20 will work in schools teaching life skills.
The Peace Corps Volunteer trainees range in age from 21 to 78. They bring a wealth of experience and education, which has been augmented by the in-country training with a heavy emphasis on language learning and cross-cultural understanding. Amongst the group members are public health and social workers, teachers, business entrepreneurs, and IT specialists. The group includes six married couples.
More than 2,480 Peace Corps volunteers have served in Botswana between 1966-and the present. They have served throughout the country, from small villages such as Kachikau and Middlepits to larger ones such as Kanye, Maun and Molepolole. With the swearing in of the 72 Trainees, 145 volunteers total will be serving in Botswana.
President John F. Kennedy established the Peace Corps on March 1, 1961, by executive order. More than 215,000 Americans have served with the Peace Corps to promote a better understanding between Americans and the people of 139 host countries. Today, 7,209 Volunteers and trainees are working with local communities in 65 host countries. Peace Corps volunteers must be U.S. citizens and at least 18 years of age. Peace Corps service is a 27-month commitment.