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June 17, 2014
Star News


St Thomas bid farewell to US volunteers
Jolyn Bryan, Star Writer

The Port Morant community in St Thomas last month bid farewell to a United States Peace Corps group of 85 volunteers, who had been training in the area since March.

Despite light afternoon showers, various school groups and community members came out to the Port Morant Primary and Junior High School to entertain and show their appreciation to the volunteers, who were in the community during their stay.

Pancy Murphy, president of the Port Morant Community Development Committee, whose executive body had organised the function, explained that the group had helped with projects, including a pre-Labour Day clean-up in Cotton Tree.

The US Peace Corps was established in 1961 by President John F Kennedy, and was designed to give aid to developing countries through the use of the skills of United States citizens, in the areas of health, agriculture, education and community development.

The 12 volunteers were stationed in primary schools across the island to aid in the improvement of literacy at the primary level. They have been trained in the technical aspect of the Jamaican school system, language and culture of the island, and first aid and safety.

Susan Walden, programme manager of the peace corps, explained that the volunteers helped teachers develop rounded students, by imparting life skills and building self-confidence and esteem, as well as assisting with improving literacy and English-Language comprehension.

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