By Charles Ariko
A total of 45 American Peace Corps volunteers last week took oath as they started a new life in Uganda to serve the local communities over the next two years.
The volunteers were sworn in by the US ambassador, Jerry Lanier, at his residence in Kololo, Kampala, in a ceremony that was witnessed by government officials and representatives of the communities where the volunteers are going to serve.
The Peace Corps Uganda country director, Ted Mooney, in his address to the volunteers said: â€œThis journey of service on which you are now embarking will be among the most challenging and meaningful of your lives. Embrace it for all its opportunity, for discovery and exploration.â€
Mooney said the mission of global peace and friendship that Peace Corps encourages could only be achieved through sustainable technical assistance and an enduring, bilateral cultural exchange.
Twenty-five of the volunteers will work with community health centres to prevent the transmission of HIV and improve maternal and child health, while the other 20 will work with organisations supporting economic development.
Lanier said the new group of volunteers brings to 156 the number of Peace Corps working in Uganda.
â€œYou are about to join a long tradition of almost 200,000 volunteers who have dedicated themselves to living and working side by side with people in local communities all over the globe who wish to improve the world,â€ Lanier said.
â€œI am certain that your experience over the next two years will challenge your intellect, your resourcefulness and your spirit of adventure perhaps more that anything you have ever done before,â€ Lanier added.
Dr.Vincent Owiny who represented the health minister at the function commended the US government for sending Peace Corps to serve in Uganda