103 American Peace Corps volunteers to start working in Ukraine
Recently the Teacher’s House hosted the 41st ceremony of accepting Americans as volunteers to the US Peace Corps in Ukraine. A total of 103 volunteers took oath in front of US Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary in Ukraine John Tefft and head of the Peace Corps in Ukraine Douglas Teschner. As a result 462 volunteers will work in all Ukrainian oblasts. The event coincided with the celebration of the 50th anniversary of the Peace Corps. However, American volunteers have been working in Ukraine only for a short while, since 1992. In this period, over 2,400 volunteers have worked as teachers, management consultants, environmentalists, and specialists on youth development in more than 1,200 Ukrainian communities, The Day informs.
“The Peace Corps is a calling, a lifestyle,” Teschner told the group. “You all have the qualities which will help you improve Ukraine.”
The American volunteers will spend two years in Ukraine. In this time they will work in three directions. First, teaching English in secondary schools, universities, and colleges. Second, working for youth development, which envisages the cooperation of Americans with local departments on family, youth, and sport affairs, holding after-class events, civic projects, and promoting a healthy lifestyle. Third, they may choose is to develop communities: volunteers will help the local authorities, business structures, and NGOs.
Tefft noted that the participation of American citizens in the Peace Corps may become a window to the world for them. “Many of them continue to work as state officials, some work at the State Department, and others come to work in the American Agency for International Development and stay in the country of service,” the American ambassador emphasized.
Jorge Zukoski, President of American Chamber of Commerce in Ukraine, shared his example of opening a window into the world owing to his work in Ukraine. He recounted how he came here 16 years ago as a volunteer and made a career here. Moreover, he met his future wife in the plane to Kyiv.
The Day asked the new volunteers why they decided to spend next two years in Ukraine. “I want to make a contribution to the development of this wonderful country, meet new people, find out how they live and how I can help them. Why Ukraine? Because it is a dynamic and viable country, and people here are very kind and well-wishing,” Edward Oser from Chicago said. Natalie Legran, who links her career with management, sees the work in Ukraine as a possibility to prove herself.