APIA: FRIDAY 21 DECEMBER 2012: Thirteen new United States Peace Corps Volunteers were sworn in on Tuesday, December 18, as a final step before moving into villages for their two year assignments.
The volunteers just completed an intensive 10-week Pre-Service Training Tuesday and have begun transferring to their individual villages scattered throughout Upolu and Savaii.
Their primary focus is to improve primary school students’ English literacy. In addition, several volunteers are going to villages that were severely affected by Cyclone Evan and will have the unique opportunity to help repair and rebuild the schools they will be working in, as well as help the affected communities in additional ways.
In light of recent events, the volunteers were sworn in by U.S. Chargé d’Affaires Chad Berbert in a private ceremony at the U.S. Embassy Office in Matafele. The following day the volunteers and staff from the U.S. Embassy joined hands with Samoa Victim Support Group to help clean out the SVSG office at the old police building.
“It was quite the task as mud had accumulated up to a foot high in some places due to Cyclone Evan,” Mr. Berbert said.
“SVSG is doing great things for people in this country, including aiding people who are suffering because of Cyclone Evan. I’m very happy we could play a small part in helping to return the favor and assist them in recovering from the storm.”
The new Volunteers are eager to start their two year assignments, which will keep them in Samoa until December 2014.