December 29, 2003 - Personal Web Site: Ambassador Robert V. Royall says theme of this year's observance of the Declaration of Independence is volunteerism

Peace Corps Online: Directory: Tanzania: Peace Corps Tanzania: The Peace Corps in Tanzania: December 29, 2003 - Personal Web Site: Ambassador Robert V. Royall says theme of this year's observance of the Declaration of Independence is volunteerism

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Ambassador Robert V. Royall says theme of this year's observance of the Declaration of Independence is volunteerism

Ambassador Robert V. Royall says theme of this year's observance of the Declaration of Independence is volunteerism

226th Anniversary of Declaration of Independence
VENUE: Royal Palm Hotel, July 3, 2002.

Remarks by Ambassador Robert V. Royall

Thank you so much for joining us to celebrate the 226th anniversary of our Declaration of Independence.

I especially want to thank President Karume for being here tonight to represent the people of Tanzania and the people of Zanzibar. And I want to welcome Mama Shadya Karume and the other members of the President's delegation to our observance this evening.

As you know, last week the leaders of the G-8 agreed to emphasize once again our relationship with and responsibility to Africa. Well, the first U.S. diplomatic presence in Africa was the consulate we established in Zanzibar back in 1837. And so it is appropriate that in a week when we are emphasizing our relationship with Africa, President and Mrs. Karume and their delegation should be with us for this celebration.

This year's celebration is very different from those of the past, for we gather in the wake of the events of September 11th, 2001, and we are at war.

The people of Tanzania were very much affected by those events, but it was not the first time that Tanzanians and Americans have stood together to mourn the loss of life and to resolve to fight the common enemy.

To the people of Tanzania, let me say that we are proud to stand with you. And we are grateful to you for your support in the war on terrorism.

The theme of this year's observance of the Declaration of Independence is volunteerism, and for a couple of minutes I want to focus on the role of some of the volunteers who are helping to make a difference here in Tanzania.

We have 90 volunteers who are serving with the Peace Corps here. They teach science and math, they work in HIV and AIDS prevention, and they work to help Tanzanians save their environment. Wherever I go, people tell me how much the Peace Corps Volunteers have meant to them, and the difference the volunteers have made to their lives.

President Bush his State of the Union address this year recognized their effectiveness by calling for the doubling of the Peace Corps over the next five years. Here in Tanzania, we are planning to grow to about 100 Volunteers by next January, to 120 Volunteers by January 2004, and to 200 Volunteers by January 2005.

The importance of the Peace Corps was once again emphasized by our First Lady, Laura Bush, earlier this year. In her remarks to Katie Couric on the Today show, she urged Americans to work together to fight against terror and promote tolerance. She emphasized the value of the Peace Corps in not only educating people around the world, but also in promoting the values of life and liberty.

Tonight I want you to meet five of our fine volunteers in Tanzania. Please join me as I call your name:

* Daniel DeHaven Stamp was born and raised in Paw Paw, Michigan -- which you will see in your program is almost exactly half way between Chicago and Detroit. He taught science in Ruangwa District and is now a Volunteer Leader for the Peace Corps Education Program throughout Tanzania.

* Laurie Geneva was born in Amarillo, Texas, and is teaching biology and chemistry at Mlalo Secondary School. She is also a health educator for the school and the surrounding community. According to her entry in our program, "Overall, her first six months in Tanzania have been a positive and rewarding experience, and she looks forward to serving her community in the years to come."

* Lauge Farnaes was born in Copenhagen, Denmark. He is a teacher and health educator in Mwanza and coordinates health education programs at his school. In addition, Lauge is helping to teach classes on HIV/AIDS at the School of Pharmacy at Bugando Hospital in Mwanza and is also helping to write technical material about HIV to train new Peace Corps Volunteers and their Tanzanian counterparts.

* Rebecca Arnold is from Rock Island, Illinois. She is a Crisis Corps Volunteer, assisting Femina to further develop the magazine's publication efforts relating to HIV/AIDS prevention. She previously completed a 2-year Peace Corps assignment in Madagascar.

* Brian Doench was born in Centerville, Ohio. In 1998, Brian studied wildlife management and Kiswahili here in Tanzania, and taught Biology for eight months in Maasai land. In 1999, Brian entered into his service with Peace Corps Tanzania in the environment project, and he is currently providing support to the Peace Corps Volunteers working in the environment sector.

I am very proud of these young men and women. They reflect the spirit of volunteerism that is so vital for modern societies to succeed. They have set out to make a difference in this world -- and they are succeeding.

I hope Tanzanians will also volunteer to help make their beautiful country a land of good health and educational opportunity for all. I know the leaders of the country are moving the country in the right direction, and I pledge my country's continued support in this effort in the years ahead.

So please join me in the spirit of friendship in toasting President Mkapa and President Karume with our best wishes for the continued growth and prosperity of the people of Tanzania.

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