Friday, January 12, 2007

Peace Corps to Liberia?

Tucked into a new profile of President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf from the Chrisitian Science Monitor:

The United States Peace Corps is one way the president says she hopes to recruit teachers to teach the 50 percent of Liberian children who aren't attending school.

Does the US State Department have a plan for this? The Peace Corps were here starting in the mid-1960's [anyone know how long?] and are remembered fondly by people in the countryside.

3 Comments:

Blogger Joy said...

I've been wondering if/when PC would return to Liberia. Thanks for bringing this tidbit to our attention.

According to this website:

http://www.geocities.com/palmbutter2001/comments/peacecorpsvolunteertoliberia.htm

About 4000 Peace Corps volunteers served in Liberia from 1961 until 1990 (during the war).

2:53 PM  
Blogger josh said...

wow, during the war(s)! that's crazy, i would have thought the US government would have pulled people out.

4:46 PM  
Blogger Joy said...

My mistake...the 14-year civil was was just starting in 1990.

The historical accounts say the civil war started in December of 1989 when Charles Taylor & the NPFL launched their attack from the Ivory Coast. Doe's execution in Sept 1990 was also an indication that the country was falling apart.

It's well known that there was civil conflict in Liberia from 1980 with Tolbert's assassination onward until the "official" 14 year civil war started. So it seems PCVs stuck around during that period.

I usually tell people that Liberia's had 25 years of civil conflict, but the last 14 years were considered civil war (or "world wars" as the Liberians sometimes refer to the them).

There's another site indicating there were PCVs in Liberia after 1990. Perhaps during a peaceful window? See: http://peacecorpsonline.org/messages/messages/467/4594.html

Here's a link to PCV annual reports: http://historyofthepeacecorps.org/ I couldn't find anything specific about the withdrawal of PCVs from Liberia in the late '80s early '90s. Oh well. But it sure would be GREAT to get some PCVs in to teach and do teacher training again.

4:35 AM  

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