July 19, 2003 - Tulane University: RPCV Knighted by Malagasy Government

Peace Corps Online: Directory: Madagascar: Peace Corps Madagascar : The Peace Corps in Madagascar: July 19, 2003 - Tulane University: RPCV Knighted by Malagasy Government

By Admin1 (admin) on Saturday, July 19, 2003 - 10:25 am: Edit Post

RPCV Knighted by Malagasy Government

RPCV Knighted by Malagasy Government

R PCV Shannon McClellan (Madagascar, 1997-99) received a rare honor last year, just days before her close of service. As the Malagasy and American national anthems played in the background, Shannon was honored at a town festival with a military gun salute, speeches by officials from her village, and a medal naming her a "Chevalier de l'Ordre de Madagas- car," presented by the secretary general from the Ministry of Health. She also received a diploma signed by Madagascar's President Didier Ratsiraka. "I was touched and honored by the award," McClellan said. "I did not expect such official recognition for my work there."

The recognition stemmed from her creative work as a volunteer in health education. McClellan wrote songs in Malagache, the local language, organized village theater presentations, created a youth group, and helped launch her village's first library. She video- taped health-themed skits and convinced local movie theaters to show the videos before the main features. The enterprising volunteer also re-created a number of local dishes using protein-rich soy flour to replace traditional rice flour as a way of increasing protein consumption in children.

McClellan received her master's degree in public health as a Peace Corps Masters International student from the Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine. Because of her positive experience as a Peace Corps Volunteer, McClellan decided to stay in Madagascar as a public health worker. "The award has given me a sense of belonging to Madagascar and to the Malagasy people, and a certain confidence in my abilities as a public health worker," she said

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Story Source: Tulane University

This story has been posted in the following forums: : Headlines; COS - Madagascar; Health Education



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