Peace Corps Online: Directory: Jamaica: Peace Corps Jamaica : The Peace Corps in Jamaica: NEW PEACE CORPS HEAD HAS STRONG JAMAICAN LINKS

By Admin1 (admin) on Monday, July 02, 2001 - 1:25 pm: Edit Post

Newly appointed Director of the U.S. Peace Corps in Jamaica, Dr. Suchet L. Loois, recently arrived and is looking forward to the challenge of his new post

Newly appointed Director of the U.S. Peace Corps in Jamaica, Dr. Suchet L. Loois, recently arrived and is looking forward to the challenge of his new post


Newly appointed Director of the U.S. Peace Corps in Jamaica, Dr. Suchet L. Loois, recently arrived and is looking forward to the challenge of his new post. He has already begun visiting some of the numerous projects involving ninety-odd Peace Corps Volunteers across the island.

"I am pleased and honoured to join Peace Corps Jamaica in this landmark year for the organisation," commented Dr. Loois. "Not only is the year 2001 the International Year of the Volunteer, but we are also celebrating the U.S. Peace Corps' fortieth birthday. Last week, Dr. Loois visited a group of Jamaican and American volunteers, who observed Peace Corps Day (March 1) with the building of a two-bedroomed house in Highgate, St. Mary under a Habitat for Humanity programme.

"Our volunteers are currently very busy in Jamaican communities, working to promote environmental awareness and sustainability, strengthen HIV/AIDS education and prevention, and enhance the lives of Jamaican youth," continued Dr. Loois. "For example, volunteers in St. Thomas have just embarked on a biodiversity awareness programme, and we are now preparing for a Youth Camp in the parish of Trelawny this summer. Another exciting project is the creation of an Environmental Youth Corps in Jamaican schools."

Dr. Loois is no stranger to Jamaica. In 1987 he served as consultant for the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), in the evaluation of a human capacity development project at the College of Agriculture Science and Education (CASE), where he interacted with faculty and advised on curriculum and academic development.

Dr. Loois retired from his post as Professor of Animal Science and Associate Vice President of International Programmes at the Department of Agricultural Science at Tuskegee University, Alabama, earlier this year. Dr. Loois went to Tuskegee in 1975, teaching and pursuing research in the fields of animal husbandry, animal nutrition and biochemistry. For more than ten years, he directed an International Fellows Program at Tuskegee in collaboration with the International Foundation for Education and Self-Help (IFSH), training about 150 mostly African American students for grassroots work in Africa, Asia and the Caribbean.

At Tuskegee University, Dr. Loois also touched the lives of hundreds of Jamaican students, teaching, advising and mentoring them at both undergraduate and graduate level. "One of our former Jamaican students recently gained his Masterís degree in Environmental Science after pursuing research into Jamaican environmental issues, and is now working on his doctorate at the University of Minnesota," pointed out Dr. Loois. "And of course, many Jamaican Tuskegee graduates have returned to serve their country with excellence." The institution has traditionally enjoyed a strong relationship with Jamaica, conducting joint research projects in Human Nutrition and Crop Science with the University of the West Indies (UWI) and the Jamaican Government, and maintaining an active Tuskegee Veterinary Alumni group.

Dr. Loois has twenty-three years of international experience, serving in numerous capacities in the fields of human resource development, institutional capacity building, sustainable agriculture, natural resource management, biodiversity and biotechnology in twenty-five countries in the Caribbean, Latin America and Africa. He has also played a key role in setting up collaborative arrangements between Tuskegee University and fifteen international institutions in Africa, the Caribbean, Central and Latin America, and Asia.

One of the most fruitful of these overseas partnerships has been a ten-year programme with Sokoine University in Tanzania, which is expected to enhance sustainable food production and boost farmers' incomes. He has also advised on livestock production in Niger; worked on an infant food project in Kenya; and helped design a USAID-funded agricultural training programme in Burkina Faso, among many other activities.

A native of Haiti and a naturalised American citizen, Dr. Loois graduated in Agricultural Sciences from the University of Haiti, and obtained his Masterís degree and doctorate in Animal Science and Nutrition from the International Center of Tropical Agriculture (CATIE) in Costa Rica and the University of California, Davis, in the United States, respectively.

"We still have a long way to go in solving some of the major problems facing the developing world," concedes Dr. Loois. "But a lot of progress is being made. I am looking forward to working with our volunteers and Jamaican counterparts in areas where they feel the need for greater effort in building a sustainable way of life and stronger communities."

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Story Source: PersonAUS Embassy in Jamaicaal Web Site

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