The Peace Corps American charitable institution will function on the long-term basis in Azerbaijan, the witness to which is the decision to send a new (the fourth) group of volunteers to the country, the Peace Corps country director for Azerbaijan Zoltan Sigety said in his interview with Trend.
According to him, the Peace Corps operates in Azerbaijan since 2003. The organizationвЂ™s entire activities is based on the agreements with the Educational and Economic Development Ministries of Azerbaijan. The work is carried out within two basic programs: teaching English and business consulting. В"For today there are still 79 Peace Corps volunteers, 66 of which work at secondary schools as English teachers, 13 persons are business consultantsвЂќ, Zigety said.
He reminded, on 12 December 2005 after the 27 вЂ"month work in the country the first group of the Peace Corps volunteers, the English teachers, leaves Azerbaijan and returns to the USA. They will be replaced in summer 2006 by the new team of volunteers.
Sigety noted, the second group of volunteers arrived in Baku in October 2004, Р°nd the third group swore in on 5 August 2005 at the ceremony in Sumgayit at the palace of the chemical industry workers. The fourth group of volunteers will likely to arrive in Baku in June 2006. It will consist of 25 teachers of English and 20 business consultants.
As Sigety noted, the Peace Corps is the institution, funded by the US government and there are 8,000 volunteers in it now. The total number of states where the Peace Corps implemented or is implementing its programs is 140, in 70 of them the programs have been successfully performed.
The Peace Corps attaches a large importance to the work in Azerbaijan, the organizationвЂ™s spokesman stressed, noting that the proposals on the volunteer numbers in Azerbaijan are submitted to the AzerbaijanвЂ™s government for consideration and after discussions a joint decision is taken on the number of volunteers in each specific group.
The process of involvement in the Peace Corps looks like this: The citizens in the USA apply for participation in the Peace Corps programs as volunteers, followed by the selection process to last up to 9 months. During this period the volunteers get the comprehensive information about the country of their future stay. After the selection process the volunteers take the 3-month language training, learning the Azerbaijani language and the culture.
В"The Peace Corps volunteers have contributed already in the potential increase of 5138 AzerbaijanвЂ™s citizens, as well as were involved in 53 organizations and 22 communitiesВ", Sigety noted in conclusion.
The Peace Corps was founded at the instruction of the US President John F. Kennedy and started its activities since 1 March 1961. Females constitute the major part (61%) of the institution. Totally 165,000 people were employed in its structures during 41 years of its existence. The organizationsвЂ™ budget in 2002 was $275 million. The Peace Corps is headed by Gaddy Vaskes.
The nominal purposes of the Peace Corps are assistance to the developing countries and their citizen to raise their environmental awareness, creating opportunities for the economic growth and increase of the agricultural productivity at the local level.