History of the Peace Corps in Ethiopia

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History of the Peace Corps
Since 1960, when then Senator John F. Kennedy challenged students at the University of Michigan to serve their country in the cause of peace by living and working in developing countries, more than 182,000 Peace Corps Volunteers have served in 138 countries all over the globe.

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History of the Peace Corps in Ethiopia

Peace Corps/Ethiopia is one of the oldest Peace Corps programs. The first group of Peace Corps Volunteers arrived in Ethiopia (including present-day Eritrea) in September 1962, with 279 secondary school teachers. Volunteers worked in both secondary and vocational/technical schools, with others working in the health, small business, rural development, law, and agriculture sectors. From 1962 to 1977, Peace Corps/Ethiopia was one of the largest Peace Corps programs in the world. More than 3,000 Volunteers served in the country before Peace Corps terminated the program in 1977 due to the unstable political situation.

In 1991, the Marxist regime in power since 1974 was overthrown. The new government requested Peace Corps’ return and in July 1995, 25 Peace Corps Volunteers arrived as secondary school English teachers. Hostilities between Ethiopia and Eritrea erupted in 1999, forcing Peace Corps to suspend its operations; the program was officially closed in March 2000. In May 2002, Peace Corps received an invitation from the government of Ethiopia to resume its program. After a thorough assessment process, the program reopened with the arrival of 43 health Volunteers in October 2007. Plans are underway to initiate an environment program by September of 2010.

History and Future of Peace Corps Programming in Ethiopia

The Peace Corps has been involved in almost every facet of Ethiopia’s development over the past decades, making contributions in the fields of education, health, rural development, and small business development. Peace Corps’ current program focuses on HIV/AIDS. Volunteers collaborate with Ethiopian counterparts to support the government of Ethiopia’s strategy to create and strengthen community- and family-centered HIV/AIDS prevention, care, and support models in the Amhara, Oromiya, Tigray, and Southern Nations regions. Placements will be in health centers, community based organizations, nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) and HIV/AIDS resource centers. Peace Corps plans to expand into the environment sector by September 2010. Environment Volunteers will collaborate with Ethiopian counterparts to support the government of Ethiopia’s strategy to protect its bio-diversity and promote effective and sustainable management of its natural resources.

Assignment History in Ethiopia

Sector Assignment Beg. Yr End. Yr
Agriculture Ag Extension 1971 1971
Animal Husband 1971 1971
Apiculture 1971 1971
Crop Extension 1962 1976
Business Business Advising 1970 2007
Business Development 2007 2007
Computer Science 2007 2007
Cooperatives 1967 1967
NGO Advising 2007 2007
Urban and Regional Planning 2007 2007
Education English Teacher 1964 1998
Library Science 1966 1966
Prim-Ed/Teach Trn 1995 1996
Secondary-Ed Math 1964 1964
Univ. English Teaching 1996 1996
Voc. Trainer 1972 1972
Environment Comm Forestry Ext 1997 1997
Health Envir. and Water Resource 1970 1976
Health Degreed 2007 2007
Health Extension 2007 2007
Other Flexible App 1971 1973
Unique Skill 1995 1996
UNV United Nations Volunteer 1974 1991
Youth and Community Development Commun. Serv/Deg. 2007 2007
Road Const/Engin. 1973 1973