October 22, 2010
Eleven more Peace Corps trainees sworn in as volunteers

Eleven more Peace Corps volunteers were sworn into service in St. Vincent and the Grenadines during a swearing in ceremony on Wednesday, October 20, 2010. The 82nd group of trainees officially became volunteers in the year of the US Peace Corps 50th anniversary.{{more}}

St. Vincent and the Grenadines currently has fourteen volunteers serving in the country in areas of youth development, literacy, health and social issues.

The newly sworn-in volunteers are Camille Aragon, Christa Elliott, Elizabeth Miller, Heather Dollins, Jennifer Ewart, Julie Mills, Mary Daley, Michael Dolan, Reiko Jones, Sarah Smith and Stephen Chaisson.

Making comments at the ceremony, Marjorie Jeanchild, Country Director of the Peace Corps in the Eastern Caribbean and a past Peace Corps volunteer, stated that most of the volunteers enter the Peace Corps “because we want to do something meaningful.”

“The beauty of service and the power is that it not only benefits who are served but it also benefits those who are serving as well,” she stated, describing the synergy between a volunteer and their community as something ‘magical’.

Jeanchild mentioned the projects done by a few Peace Corps volunteers, including the starting of a youth orchestra, an alternative to violins programme for prisoners and a sports programme which resulted in one young man who participated in the programme receiving a scholarship.

Andrew Simmons, Consultant and Advisor of JEMS Progressive Organization, giving the feature address, highlighted the excellent work of Peace Corps volunteers over the years.

While stating that St. Vincent and the Grenadines is the best place for a Peace Corps volunteer to work, he added that they should search beyond the beautiful palms and beaches and find out the issues which are affecting the communities. He further stated that the country has several community issues, environmental and otherwise that need to be addressed.

EC 82 Volunteer Camille Aragon giving her response addressed her fellow volunteers, saying she has learnt to appreciate them over the months of training. She also expressed gratitude to her home stay family for their compassion and hospitality. The volunteers will work for two years in several communities around the country.(OS)