2006.10.13: October 13, 2006: Headlines: COS - Saint Lucia: Caribbean Net News: October 15 marks the 45th anniversary of the arrival of Peace Corps Volunteers in St Lucia

Peace Corps Online: Directory: Saint Lucia: Peace Corps Saint Lucia : The Peace Corps in Saint Lucia: 2006.10.13: October 13, 2006: Headlines: COS - Saint Lucia: Caribbean Net News: October 15 marks the 45th anniversary of the arrival of Peace Corps Volunteers in St Lucia

By Admin1 (admin) (ppp-70-245-26-66.dsl.okcyok.swbell.net - on Saturday, December 30, 2006 - 3:14 pm: Edit Post

October 15 marks the 45th anniversary of the arrival of Peace Corps Volunteers in St Lucia

October 15 marks the 45th anniversary of the arrival of Peace Corps Volunteers in St Lucia

St Lucia was one of the first nations to respond to President Kennedy’s initiative to offer the services of Americans who would contribute to the development process of interested countries. St Lucia was the second nation worldwide to receive Peace Corps Volunteers, just two hours after their counterparts landed in Ghana in 1961.

October 15 marks the 45th anniversary of the arrival of Peace Corps Volunteers in St Lucia

US Peace Corps marks major milestone in the region

Friday, October 13, 2006

BRIDGETOWN, Barbados: Sunday, October 15 marks the 45th anniversary of the arrival of Peace Corps Volunteers in St Lucia.

St Lucia was one of the first nations to respond to President Kennedy’s initiative to offer the services of Americans who would contribute to the development process of interested countries. St Lucia was the second nation worldwide to receive Peace Corps Volunteers, just two hours after their counterparts landed in Ghana in 1961.

To mark this milestone, Peace Corps/St Lucia will “welcome back home” four of the original volunteers from 1961: Fred Brancel, Jac Conaway, Merlin Skretvedt, Carol Watkins, and their families. Current Peace Corps/St. Lucia director Kate Raftery noted, “Their presence will add even greater significance to the celebration.”

The 45th Anniversary celebration will be launched with the opening of an exhibition on the history of Peace Corps in the Caribbean at 10:00 am on Thursday, October 12, 2006 in the courtyard at La Place Carenage. The exhibition will remain through Friday, October 13th and will then move to various communities throughout the island.

Dame Pearlette Louisy will host a reception in honor of Peace Corps on Friday evening. On Saturday, October 14th, Peace Corps Volunteers and community partners will be hosting a beach clean up and other activities in Dennery.

St Lucia paved the way for Peace Corps’ relationship with other governments in the Eastern Caribbean. In 1966, Peace Corps entered Grenada and St. Kitts and Nevis; in 1967 Antigua and Barbuda, Dominica and St. Vincent and the Grenadines. Peace Corps entered Barbados in 1968, Montserrat in 1974 and finally Anguilla in 1980.

Apart from St Lucia, today volunteers serve in Antigua and Barbuda, Dominica, Grenada and Carriacou, St Kitts and Nevis, and St Vincent and the Grenadines. In December 1989 St. Lucia became the new headquarters for Peace Corps operations in the Eastern Caribbean.

Over the years Peace Corps Volunteers, working with their local counterparts have made significant contributions to the people of St Lucia in community development, education, small business development, health education, among others.

Initially, volunteers in the education sector complemented the work of local teachers, later providing general student support. Peace Corps volunteers worked with teachers to change attitudes towards persons with disabilities, galvanising parents and teachers all across the island to advocate for special education facilities.

Today these efforts have yielded learning resource rooms and centers built in several of schools and communities across the island. Peace Corps volunteers also helped to launch the national Special Education Needs Training (SENT) program from an initial collaboration with Lynchburg College to train 14 teachers.

Today SENT is an ongoing Ministry of Education/Lynchburg College partnership for counselor training. Peace Corps volunteers also associated helped to establish the Dunnotar School and maintain a long-standing relationship with the CARE (Centre for Adolescent Rehabilitation and Education) schools, providing facilitation and organisational resources for some of their programs.

Patrick Palmer, a 1999-2001 volunteer, in addition to his work at CARE, offered music lessons to dozens of children at his home, led the La Clery church choir and served as athletics instructor to the boys at Massade School.

For some years Peace Corps/St Lucia has been a valued partner to the Chamber of Commerce’s Junior Achievement (JA) program. Former volunteer Chris Kitzer worked tirelessly with schools to establish JA and nurture a culture of entrepreneurship among St. Lucian youth.

Other volunteers like Barbara Washington-Grant serving in the Laborie community, provided young entrepreneurs with life-changing experiences. She assisted a young community member to set up a sea moss business project so successful that he became known as “Simeon Seamoss”.

In the area of public health, Peace Corps volunteers have assisted the National AIDS Program, strengthening the agency’s ability to lead the national response to HIV/AIDS. As members of their communities across the island, volunteers have facilitated health-related sessions addressing HIV/AIDS awareness, in schools, health centers and to community groups.

Current volunteers work with the National AIDS Program and community groups to develop a behavior change communication (BCC) manual for community HIV/AIDS behavior change communication campaigns.

They also work with community groups in Anse-la-Raye, Canaries, Choiseul, Dennery and Laborie on a bill board project targeting specific groups with their HIV/AIDS message.

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Headlines: October, 2006; Peace Corps Saint Lucia; Directory of Saint Lucia RPCVs; Messages and Announcements for Saint Lucia RPCVs

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