07 Aug 2015 10:30am
WINDHOEK, 07 AUG (NAMPA) - Fifty-five new Peace Corps volunteers from the United States of America are arriving in Namibia on Sunday to help the country strengthen its education sector.
The Peace Corps is a volunteer programme of the United States government through which American volunteers serve overseas for about two years to offer technical assistance.
A media statement issued by the United States Embassy in Windhoek on Thursday said the assistance offered in this regard will assist the country to build its capacity to meet the needs of its people.
Volunteers will be assigned to all 14 regions across Namibia and each volunteer works within a community alongside Namibian counterparts, said the statement.
The first group of 14 volunteers arrived in Namibia on 09 September 1990, less than six months after the country gained its independence.
The primary role of these early volunteers was to teach English, in support of the new government's declaration of English as the country's official language.
Classroom teachers also assisted in the transition from Afrikaans to English as the language of instruction in upper primary and secondary schools.
In the early 1990s, volunteers also provided assistance in drought relief efforts and began to work in youth development offices.
Today, about 120 volunteers work as primary and secondary school teachers, resource teachers, community health volunteers and small business volunteers. Volunteers have provided direct support to parents and other community members to increase both school and community materials and human and financial resources. Activities that have become part of volunteers' primary or secondary duties include recreational sports, library development, girls clubs, HIV/Aids awareness activities, environmental conservation projects, adult literacy, and community development.
Since 2002, Peace Corps Namibia has supported the government of Namibia's efforts to stem the spread of HIV/Aids through more effective educational programming and youth outreach and community-based activities. In addition, volunteers established entrepreneurship clubs for their learners; revamped businesses which are now fully managed and operated by entrepreneurship learners; and created linkages between their schools and the business community.