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23 new Peace Corps Volunteers sworn in

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09th November 2017 Twenty-three (23) volunteers from Peace Corps Group 82 took their oath of service to serve Tonga for two years in a swearing-in ceremony at Epworth Hall this morning.

The Prime Minister Hon. Samuela ‘Akilisi Pohiva accepted the volunteers on behalf of the Tongan Government.

He congratulated the volunteers on their decision to dedicate their lives to serve Tonga.

“You are received with open hearts and I believe that Tongan families, your families away from home will prove to you that you have landed in a country with long tradition of hospitality. Today, as ambassadors of goodwill, partnership, and friendship, as our new group of volunteers- you will continue the success of this programme.”

“During your stay in Tonga, I am sure you will live through special moments of sorrow and joy. You will share the good and the bad with citizens of this country. But nevertheless, the optimism and energy that you bring with you will make Tonga a memorable and a unique experience.”

Hon. Pohiva also extends his sincere gratitude to the Government of the United States of America for the valuable contribution and efforts of the Peace Corps Programme to the development of Tonga.

In a message to the new volunteers, Peace Corps Tonga Country Director Ms. Nancy Gehron said, “Today we honor you. We honor you because of the sacrifices you have already made, giving up your families and jobs and friends for two years. We honor the sacrifices you will make in the future.”

“I believe you will all be great teachers and super volunteers. We have the highest hopes and expectations for you! Be brave, be prepared to make mistakes, forgive others, embrace the uncomfortable, say yes to every opportunity, and fall in love with Tonga. Your Peace Corps service and the people you meet will change you forever. Thank you for your time, your hard work and your commitment to service in Tonga.”

Prior to the swearing-in ceremony, the volunteers lived with 23 host families in Kolonga for 10 weeks where they learned about the Tongan language and culture.  The volunteers were also trained by the Kolonga Training Team consisted of teachers and members of Kolonga’s community.

The new volunteers are allocated to serve in high schools and primary schools in Vava’u, Ha’apai, ‘Eua and Tongatapu.

ENDS

Issued by the Ministry of Meteorology, Energy, Information, Disaster Management, Environment, Climate Change and Communications

 

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