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Nov 17, 2023

Nineteen Peace Corps Volunteers Sworn In Today

The COVID pandemic placed challenges on the Peace Corps service in 2019, but plans remained to resume the program. Today, a new cohort of nineteen Peace Corps volunteers from all across the United States took their oath to serve Belize in the area of sports. The volunteers will be deployed across the country for the next twenty-four months to assist in sporting programs at the primary and secondary level. News Five’s Marion Ali was present for the swearing in and filed this report.


Marion Ali, Reporting

Today in Belmopan, nineteen new U.S Peace Corps pledged to volunteer their services to Belize in the area of sports. The volunteers have committed to assist in schools across Belize for the next twenty-four months under the tutelage of U.S Peace Corps Director, Dr Nadine Rogers.


Nadine Rogers

Dr. Nadine Rogers, U.S Peace Corps Director, Belize

“We are so thankful to this brave group that has come from all over the United States to live, work and build relationships and beliefs for the next two years. They have shown remarkable commitment and creativity. They promised me back in September that they came in together and they would swear in together. I’m humbled by how you’ve kept your promise, not just to me, but to our partners in Belize.”


The volunteerism was welcomed by the Belize Sports Council Director, Iris Senteno and the Minister of Sports, Rodwell Ferguson.


Iris Senteno

Iris Senteno, Director of Sports, National Sports Council

“We are committed to change and transform Belize through sport to assist every athlete and change the way things are in our country. To the trainees, I want to say thank you on behalf of my staff and the National Sports Council for coming to an unknown country with your noble heart, your kindness and willingness to come and assist us.”


Rodwell Ferguson

Rodwell Ferguson, Minister of Sports

“I got a call from Peace Corps Belize and they said they want to partner with the Department of Sports. And if you know that we have a country with about 68 percent of the population under the age of 29, so I would find accommodation for them. So after we met with Peace Corps the first time, we continued dialoguing and this is the end result. And they are here now to volunteer around the country in sports.”


The volunteers spent several weeks in training and familiarizing themselves with the programs and Belizean culture.


Michelle Kwan

Michelle Kwan, U.S Ambassador to Belize

“The last 11 weeks, these Peace Corps volunteers were in intense training in terms of culture, language and the curriculum. They will be helping in terms of carrying out throughout the country in Belize. So it was intense training, but today is like the capstone graduation. They swore in, and now they’re going to go into the Belizean community to make a difference.”


And one of the obvious areas they spent learning over the eleven weeks is our Kriol language as one of the volunteers, Olivia Roy displayed to everyone’s delight.


Olivia Roy

Olivia Roy, Volunteer, Peace Corps

“Wi want thank all ah the Peace Corps staff fi all ah deh hard work, guidance, and support during PST.  Thank unu fi mek wi feel at home, fi ansa all ah wi question, especially the one about the appropriate shoes fi wear, and fi believe eena wi as volunteer. We cudda neva do it without yoh, and wi wa be foreva grateful fi each and everyone ah unu. I want give a special shout out to the amazing and outstanding language teacher, Shanaya, Rose, Ivania, and Vivek fi teach mi how fi talk wa new language and how fi act correct fi integrate eena wa new country. Now wi mek sure wi bid the time ah day and act like we got some home training.”


Marion Ali for News Five.

Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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