History of the Peace Corps in Ghana

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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.

See also:

Ghana was the first country in the world to receive Peace Corps Volunteers. The program began with 52 Volunteers arriving on August 31, 1961. Currently, 45 years later, there are 130 Volunteers and trainees working in the fields of health and water and sanitation, HIV/AIDS, Guinea Worm disease eradication, junior and secondary school teaching, small business development, and environment. Peace Corps/Ghana brings in approximately 75 new trainees each year. Volunteers work in all 10 regions of Ghana.

Peace Corps has been a witness to the successes and challenges of Ghana’s modern post-colonial political, economic and social development. In this period, the changing political landscape has had a direct impact on economic and social development as the nation has forged its identity in the context of an increasingly globalized world. After 45 years, the government of Ghana continues to request assistance from Peace Corps because there is still much work to be done.

History and Future of Peace Corps Programming in Ghana

Peace Corps/Ghana supports economic recovery by strengthening Ghana’s human resource base through Volunteer assistance in education, environment, health, and small enterprise development.

Education Volunteers work as junior secondary and senior secondary school classroom teachers helping to improve teaching and learning in science, math, visual arts, and information technology. They work to increase parent and community engagement in education by strengthening PTAs and civic unions to be effective advocates for education and hold districts accountable for school improvement. The project increases school access, quality and equity.

Environment Volunteers work to improve the productive capacity of rural communities by facilitating agroforestry, conservation, environmental education, and sustainable use of environmental resources for income generation.

Health Volunteers work in water and sanitation helping in water resource delivery, hygiene education, improving sanitation and health practices, HIV/AIDS education, and Guinea worm disease eradication. They work closely with rural community leaders to identify community interests and mobilize human and material resources for village-based health-related development projects.

Small enterprise development Volunteers work as business advisors, providing advice and assistance to a diverse group of rural communities and urban small-scale entrepreneurs to promote the export of non-traditional products and community-based eco-tourism development.

The primary job common to all health, environment and business Volunteer assignments (and to some extent education assignments) is this: help people identify their needs and self-interests and community-interests, then colead, co-faciliate, co-mentor, co-plan, and co-train people to meet these needs. This may feel like a very unstructured job but it is a very specific and demanding job.

In addition, Peace Corps/Ghana has cross-sectoral programs in HIV/AIDS education and prevention, and gender and youth development.

Assignment History

Sector Assignment Beg. Yr End. Yr
Agriculture Ag Economics 1981 2007
Ag Education 1982 1982
Ag Extension 1979 2007
Animal Husband 1974 1980
Animal Husband Lg 1980 1980
Apiculture 1973 1988
Crop Extension 1966 1982
Fisheries Marine 1987 1987
Business Business Advising 1987 2007
Business Development 1995 2006
Computer Science 2004 2007
Cooperatives 1977 1996
NGO Advising 1995 2005
Crisis Corps Crisis Corps 2004 2004
Education Art Education 1992 1998
Bus. Ed/Sectl Skl 1981 1986
English Teacher 1978 2005
English Teacher Trainer 1989 2003
Fisheries Fresh 1981 1993
Gen. Construction 1980 2003
Industrial Arts 1981 1996
Library Science 1981 1981
Phys. Ed/Youth Wk 1991 1991
Prim-Ed/Teach Trn 1967 1986
Science Ed/Gen. 1981 1987
Secondary-Ed Math 1970 2008
Secondary-Ed Sci. 1973 2008
Special Ed/Deaf 1981 1981
Special Ed/Gen. 1984 1984
Voc. Trainer 1981 1996
Environment Comm Forestry Ext 1988 1998
Environmental Ed. 2000 2007
Forestry 1977 2006
Protected Areas Management 1988 1988
Health Envir. and Water Resource 1974 2005
Health Degreed 2002 2006
Health Extension 1980 2007
Hygiene Ed/Sanitation 1980 2002
Nursing 1964 1964
Physical Therapy 1978 1986
Other Flexible App 1969 1969
Unique Skill 1978 2007
UNV United Nations Volunteer 1970 1979
Youth and Community Development Appropriate Tech. 1982 1990
Commun. Serv/Deg. 1981 2007
Mechanics 1981 1981
Rural Youth Dev. 1991 1991
Youth Development 1996 2006