United States of America’s Peace Corp Volunteers have begun returning to the tiny West African Country of Liberia after they left due to the deadly Ebola Outbreak that lasted for a year.
The deadly outbreak forced the evacuation of more than 100 Peace Corps Volunteers stated U.S Ambassador Deborah Malac as she welcomed five of those volunteers back to Liberia.
The five who decided to return as Response Volunteers are Maureen, Kris, Matt, Brian, and Luc.
“…We are so happy you have decided to return to Liberia as Response Volunteers — you continue a legacy of service between the U.S. and Liberia that dates to the very beginning of the Peace Corps, more than fifty years ago,” stated Ambassador Malac.
“We know you left under extreme circumstances and it happened swiftly. I hope the heartbreak you felt that day will be replaced with joy in knowing you are back ‘home’ and are able to smoothly pick up where you left off.”
The U.S Ambassador said that over the next twelve months the Peace Corps plans to expand the number of volunteers who would return, to the level it was pre-Ebola. Ambassador Malac said volunteers will continue to help students and teachers better employ limited resources such as libraries, laboratory materials, and learning aids and they will begin looking at ways they can help support public health and literacy initiatives.
“Volunteers also will continue to build Liberian capacity that spans far beyond the classroom, as you all have shown in your commitment to gender equity, food security, malaria prevention, and many, many other initiatives in the past,” she said.
Continued Ambassador Malac: “All of these activities prepare youth to be productive adults and citizens. The Peace Corps is challenging students to leverage their abilities, communication skills, and decision-making in service to their families and communities. Taken together, Peace Corps is not just teaching but educating for life. Volunteers are creating a foundation for lifelong learning that will serve students in Liberia well for generations.”
The five Americans will join the legacy created by more than 4,300 Volunteers who came to Liberia before them according to Ambassador Malac.
On July 30, 2015 the Peace Corps announced the temporary removal of its volunteers from Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea due to the increasing spread of the Ebola virus disease at the time.
There were 102 volunteers in Guinea working in the areas of education, agriculture and health; and 108 volunteers in Liberia and 130 volunteers in Sierra Leone working in education.
Meanwhile as though the Liberia has been declared Ebola free and has not reported any new case, the Government of Liberia on Thursday issued a travel and health alert, warning Liberians to avoid traveling to Guinea and Sierra Leone.
Deputy Health Minister Tolbert Nyenswah said there is active transmission of the Ebola virus in the two countries adding that Guinea and Sierra Leone have within a week reported 31 confirmed Ebola cases.
“It is good to stay on this side of the border if you don’t have very pertinent thing to do there,” he said.