Kenya in Depth: A Peace Corps Publicationby Peace Corps
The Peace Corps program in Kenya began soon after the country gained its independence in 1963. The first group of 37 Peace Corps Volunteers arrived in Kenya on December 31, 1964. Since early 1965, the Peace Corps has been assisting the government of Kenya in meeting its development needs by providing skilled Volunteers in the
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History of the Peace Corps in Kenya
The Peace Corps program in Kenya began soon after the country gained its independence in 1963. The first group of 37 Peace Corps Volunteers arrived in Kenya on December 31, 1964. Since early 1965, the Peace Corps has been assisting the government of Kenya in meeting its development needs by providing skilled Volunteers in the areas of economic development, education, and public health. In December 2007, Peace Corps Kenya had over 140 Volunteers, making it one of the largest Peace Corps programs in Africa. Due to the violence which occurred during the post-election crisis, Peace Corps Kenya temporarily suspended its program in February 2008. Peace Corps reinstated Volunteers in June 2008 and welcomed its first full training class of 42 trainees in November 2008.
To contribute to Kenya’s economic development, the Peace Corps focuses on activities that support creation of employment and income-generating opportunities. The country’s focus on gender equality creates a need to expand girls’ access to, and retention in, secondary schools. Also, the government of Kenya stresses the importance of providing education to children with special needs so they can be fully contributing members of society. Public health continues to face challenges in both water-borne and infectious diseases, especially HIV/AIDS, malaria control and environmental health hazards. The Peace Corps Kenya program enjoys strong support from government officials at district and national levels.
History and Future of Peace Corps Programming in Kenya
The Peace Corps’ support for Kenya’s development focuses on capacity building in the three priority areas mentioned above and supports Kenya’s goal of industrialization by 2020. The country program addresses the reduction of poverty, educational needs of diverse populations, the impact of environmental degradation on health, and improvement of the life expectancy of Kenyans. Across all sectors, Peace Corps Kenya targets women and youth as the most vulnerable in Kenyan society, and integrates HIV/AIDS education in all projects. Peace Corps Kenya has redesigned the education project to focus on HIV/AIDS.
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