April 21, 2011
Peace Corps holds awards ceremony

Fifty years have elapsed since the Peace Corps started promoting peace and friendship around the world. And in commemoration of their 50th anniversary, the Peace Corps, on Friday, April 15, held an awards ceremony at the Peace Memorial Hall under the theme:{{more}} ‘50 years of Peace Corps: Celebrating yesterday, today and tomorrow’.

The small ceremony saw the Peace Corps volunteers distributing certificates of appreciation to 21 individuals; various Government offices, business, corporations, schools and non-governmental organisations for their assistance with the Peace Corps program.

Some of these include: The Ministry of Health, the National AIDS Secretariat, the Youth Affairs Department; Ministry of Culture, National Sports Council; the Forestry Department, SEARCHLIGHT, Digicel, SVGTV, Nice Radio, Buccament Bay Secondary School and School for Children with Special Needs, among others.

The Peace Corps was established in 1960, when then President John F. Kennedy challenged students at the University of Michigan to serve their country in the cause of peace by living and working in developing countries. That inspiration grew into an agency of the federal government, devoted to world peace and friendship.

Since that time, over 200,000 Peace Corps Volunteers have served in 139 host countries to work on issues ranging from AIDS education to information technology and environmental preservation.

Featured speaker, Educator Hayden Marshall, congratulated the organisation on their milestone achievement and wished them 50 more years of success.

Marshall told the volunteers in order to be a successful Peace Corps volunteer, they must first practice patience; be committed and vigilant.

Marshall stated that it will take time before they see the fruits of their labour, but told them it will be worth the hard work. “It will take time for results to be seen. You need to be patient,” he urged.

He beseeched the volunteers to be committed to their task if they want to succeed. He told the gathering that negative forces will come their way and told them to expect resistance from some persons in their various communities. “There are some seeking to destroy, but I urge you to remain enthusiastic and positive if you are going to bring about change. Inspire others to go forward and stay positive,” Marshall stated.

Cuthbert James, Associate Peace Corps Director, delivered the welcome address. Cultural performances came from the Naked Roots and La Gracia Dance Company.

Urban Expressions delivered a short skit on HIV/AIDS, while the Resistance Heartbeat Drummers played several folk songs.(KW)