January 16, 2003 - Personal Web Site: History of the Peace Corps in Tanzania

Peace Corps Online: Directory: Tanzania: Peace Corps Tanzania: The Peace Corps in Tanzania: January 16, 2003 - Personal Web Site: History of the Peace Corps in Tanzania

By Admin1 (admin) on Thursday, January 16, 2003 - 11:33 pm: Edit Post

History of the Peace Corps in Tanzania

History of the Peace Corps in Tanzania

History of the Peace Corps in Tanzania

As a result of political disagreements over the Vietnam War and President Nyere's self-reliance philosophy, the Peace Corps withdrew from Tanzania from 1969 to 1979. The Peace Corps had another short period of interrupted service in 1991 and 1992, due to tensions and security concerns related to the Gulf War. In 1992, a thorough re-evaluation of the Peace Corps' development priorities in Tanzania resulted in a decision to focus efforts on a revitalization in secondary education. In 1996, Peace Corps/Tanzania launched its environment project. In 2000, the Peace Corps initiated its school health education project. Today, Peace Corps/Tanzania has 115 Volunteers. Fifty percent of them are serving in the education project, 30 percent in the environment project, and 20 percent are involved in the school health project.

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History and Future of Peace Corps Programming in Tanzania

As a relatively small player in a country of 32 million people, Peace Corps/Tanzania recognizes the need for a strategic vision that focuses in niche areas, where a small number of dedicated Volunteers can make a significant difference. Our projects are in areas where we can play a catalytic or model-building role as we meet Tanzania's real, identified needs. Thus, our projects in health, education, and the environment, with increasing emphasis on youth empowerment, provide the potential to make a real difference in Tanzania. Our focus on youth, particularly in the areas of environment, education, girls' empowerment, and HIV/AIDS prevention, serves as our overall "country theme" as we seek to empower young people to take greater control of their lives and to be responsible, active members of their communities.

To achieve our mission, the education program continues to play a critical role in math and science education by serving students and teachers in schools, particularly girls' and rural schools, throughout Tanzania. The Peace Corps encourages out-of-classroom initiatives, particularly in three focus areas, (environmental education, HIV/AIDS prevention, and girls' empowerment), by providing resources and training opportunities for youth leadership and activism and by employing peer education modules. As we move ahead in the next few years, we will explore opportunities for Volunteers to get further involved in teacher training and computer education activities.

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Street in Zanzibar

Our environment project addresses issues of land, degradation and sustainable agricultural practices. Increasingly, the environment project focuses upon youth, the farmers of tomorrow, through environmental education activities in primary schools and with out-of-school youth. Project participants work with other Peace Corps sectors to promote girls' empowerment as well as to address health concerns at the grassroots level.

Our school health education project focuses on HIV/AIDS prevention. This project has Volunteers "anchored" in supportive secondary schools serving a cluster of primary and secondary schools in selected localities. Volunteers in this project teach science or mathematics half time and the other half work on school and community health issues. They are tasked with bringing relevant health education information into the classroom, facilitating health clubs, promoting health exhibits and newsletters, conducting teacher training, and working with youth peer educators.

The Peace Corps Mission

The Peace Corps was established in 1961 to promote world peace and friendship through the service of American Volunteers abroad. I adapting to changing needs around the world, the Peace Corps remains guided by its founding mission, to help the people of developing countries meet their basic needs and help promote mutual understanding among Americans and people of other cultures. More than 153,000 Americans have furthered these goals through service in the Peace Corps for over 38 years and in 134 countries.

Volunteers represent the foundation of the Peace Corps' efforts, coming from every background and traveling to the far reaches of the globe to share skills and values. Volunteers earn the admiration and respect of people who often have never met an American. Despite advances in technology that make it easier to communicate across borders and across the world, the on-the-ground, people-to-people relationships Peace Corps Volunteers forge with their co-workers and friends continues to be fundamental to international peace and understanding.

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The Peace Corps is more than the sum total of the Volunteers' activities. It stands for something special. It is a non-traditional government agency that reflects the most enduring values of ideals of the American people: generosity, civic pride, a strong work ethic, and a commitment to service. By demonstrating and sharing these qualities during their service, Volunteers contribute each day to creating a better understanding of Americans around the world. In the face of many personal and physical challenges, Peace Corps Volunteers offer ingenuity and an approach to problems that is both idealistic and pragmatic.

History of the Peace Corps

The history of the Peace Corps is the story of tens of thousands of people who have served as Volunteers since 1961. Their individual experiences in villages, towns and cities around the world have composed a legacy of service that has become part of America's history.

By Paul Bolstad (cache-rtc-ab11.proxy.aol.com - on Sunday, July 22, 2007 - 8:40 pm: Edit Post

As a mid-sixties volunteer from the early days of Peace Corps and nearing the end of my working life and contemplating retirement(age=almost 64), I look back on my Peace Corps years as some of the happiest and fulfilling years of my life. Many of my exPCV "mates" have, like me, formed a lifelong bond with the people of Tanzania. We suffered through the lean years of the great experiment the well-intentioned father of the country, Julius Nyerere, brought to the history of Tanzania. I actually returned in another capacity(missionary teacher, secondary school) for some of those years. For my wife, it was a life changing experience, bonding such strong bonds with many Tanzanians.
I am now preparing to lead a group of relatives, including my two daughters, a brother and two sisters, to revisit the people and places that were so important in our experiences. I associate as often as possible with several of my exPCV "mates" and spouses and consider them some of my best friends in life. Whether there will be more return trips to TZ only time will tell. But I can say that my upcoming "safari" is the most exciting prospect that I have had in recent years, perhaps only exceeded by the birth of my children and now, one grandchild.
I encourage all exTZ PCV's to consider a trip like this some day, as time and money becomes available when children leave home, and responsibilities of the like recede. Life is short, as they say, so dont' wait too long! The Tanzanian people will welcome you back, at least most of you!
In the day of the internet, it is a mind-blowing experience to plan a trip such as this... communicating with friends across the continents almost effortlessly. I believe that Tanzania is a country on the move, finally, having avoided so much of the violence affecting it's neighbors and having successfully seen the transition of elected leaders peacefully. I hope to have as optimistic view after my safariD! I will post another entry at that time...until then, wasalaam nyinyi nyote. Feel free to contact me if you have any comments on my comments!

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