Peace corps to return to Indonesia
Mon, November 16 2009 12:09 | 1224 Views
Jakarta (ANTARA News) - Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono and his US counterpart Barack Obama have announced their intent to re-establish a Peace Corps program in Indonesia.
According to a US Embassy press release, the re-establishment of Peace Corps program in Indonesia was announced following Yudhoyono and Obama`s bilateral discussions on Sunday, November 15, 2009 at the APEC conference in Singapore.
"We are honored that Indonesia will host the next generation of Peace Corps volunteers inspired by President Kennedy`s legacy of service. Over the last 48 years, the Peace Corps has captured the imagination of nearly 200,000 Americans committed to public service abroad," Peace Corps Director Aaron S. Williams said after the announcement.
Williams said he looked forward to working in collaboration with the government and communities of Indonesia.
"This partnership will encourage Americans and Indonesians to work side by side on Indonesia`s education initiatives while advancing a greater understanding of both countries on the part of all involved with the program," he said.
According to Williams, the first group of Peace Corps volunteers was expected to arrive in Indonesia by mid-2010 to work as English teachers in high schools and teacher training institutions.
Meanwhile, US Ambassador to Indonesia Cameron Hume indicated that the presence of a Peace Corps program in Indonesia reflects a strengthening of ties between the two nations.
"Aside from bringing welcomed English language teaching expertise, the relationships that the volunteers will make with their Indonesian hosts, both friends and colleagues, will promote people-to-people ties and cross-cultural understanding and communication between our two nations," said Ambassador Hume, who served as a Peace Corps volunteer in Libya from 1968 to 1969.
The Peace Corps, which President John F. Kennedy established in 1961, was in Indonesia briefly from 1963 to 1965.
The U.S. and Indonesia recently reached agreement in principle on the terms under which a new Peace Corps program would be established in Indonesia.
President Obama has been a strong supporter of expanding public service opportunities for all Americans.
Since 1961, the Peace Corps mission has been to promote world peace and friendship through public service opportunities abroad.
Currently over 7,500 volunteers are working on service projects in 75 countries around the world.
Indonesia will be Peace Corps` 76th host-country. Other Peace Corps host-countries in the region include: China, Cambodia, Mongolia, The Philippines and Thailand. In the past year, the Peace Corps received over 15,000 applications -- an 18 percent increase over 2008. (*)
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