Twenty-seven Peace Corp volunteers have taken their oath of service during the swearing-in ceremony in front of a packed tourism conference room.
This group of Peace Corp volunteers is exceptional, because Cyclone Pam did not permit them to continue their 10-weeks pre-service trainings with host families from Lelepa Island and Nguna Island.
This is because these volunteers were flown to Australia for safety reasons when warnings were issued about Cyclone Pam.
Leaving their host families earlier did not make a difference though, as they get an experience of what they will expect when they will work in communities around Vanuatu.
The volunteers come from all over the United States of America.
Now that they have sworn in, the volunteers who are specialized in fields of technical knowledge, skills and experiences, will be working as community health facilitators providing support to village health workers, nurses, nurse aids and health promotion officers, ICT workers in provincial centres and English literacy trainers in primary schools providing support in English language instruction throughout the country.
The 27 volunteers will be dispatched shortly to assigned communities in the islands of Malekula, Erromango, Ambae, Paama, Maewo, Santo, Torba province and Efate.
Having the opportunity to visit their job sites, the Peace Corps were reminded of the challenges that will come along with their roles as volunteers.
They are encouraged to remain committed to fundamental values – freedom, human rights, democracy, and tolerance, things that they will be practicing and teaching every day in their efforts as Peace Corps volunteers.