On August 16, 2018, I had the privilege to swear in 33 Peace Corps education volunteers who will go into rural Ghana to teach science, mathematics, visual arts, and special education. Volunteers will work with teachers to develop teaching resource manuals and establish science resource centers, laboratories, and art studios. And while they work alongside Ghanaians to develop the education system, the volunteers will become proficient in local languages.
Since the first volunteers to Ghana arrived in 1961, the United States continues to demonstrate our commitment to Ghana’s development. America’s sons and daughters in the Peace Corps have been at the core of this partnership, advancing improvements in areas such as health, education, and agriculture. Of equal importance, Peace Corps Volunteers strengthen personal ties of friendship, mutual understanding, and goodwill by living and working in Ghanaian communities.
The 33 new volunteers join over 5,000 fellow Americans who have served as Peace Corps volunteers in Ghana over the past 57 years. The volunteers who came before them directly impacted countless lives and left a golden legacy to emulate. The new volunteers will undoubtedly do the same.
During the swearing in ceremony, I echoed the words shared by President John F. Kennedy to the first outgoing volunteers to Ghana in 1961:
“There are…a great many… people scattered throughout the world. You will come in contact with only a few, but the great impression of what kind of country we have, and what kind of people we are, will depend on their judgment… of you… If you can impress them with your commitment to freedom, to the advancement of the interests of people everywhere, to your pride in your country and its best traditions and what it stands for, the influence… will go far beyond the immediate day-to-day tasks that you may do in the months that are ahead.”
Peace Corps Volunteers influence lives beyond those they work with directly. They impact parents, friends, colleagues, and neighbors, and in so doing, leave lasting and positive impressions for the Peace Corps, and for the United States.
About the Author: Christopher J. Lamora serves as Chargé d’Affaires at the U.S. Embassy in Ghana.
Editor's Note: This entry also appears in the U.S. Department of State's publication on Medium.