History of the Peace Corps in Kiribati
From Peace Corps Wiki
|History of the Peace Corps|
|Since 1960, when then Senator John F. Kennedy challenged students at the University of Michigan to serve their country in the cause of peace by living and working in developing countries, more than 182,000 Peace Corps Volunteers have served in 138 countries all over the globe.
The Peace Corps presence in what would become the Republic of Kiribati began with the placement of a single Volunteer in 1973. Until 1988 the program was administered from the Peace Corps office in the Solomon Islands. During the early years, the number of Volunteers remained under 10 per year and assignments included a wide variety of projects. The first major expansion occurred in 1979 when the Republic of Kiribati was formed. Twelve health and water sanitation Volunteers began their service that year. Until 1987 Volunteers numbered between 12 and 18, and programming concentrated on education assignments. With the arrival of the first country director in 1988, the Peace Corps established an independently administered post on Tarawa, the capital of the Republic of Kiribati. From 1990 until 1997 about 15 to 20 Volunteers worked as teacher trainers, focusing on outer island primary schools.
 History and Future of Peace Corps Programming in Kiribati
The second major expansion occurred in 1997, with the launching of the rural community health promotion project. Twenty-seven trainees arrived in the first group, raising the total number of Volunteers in Kiribati to about 40.
Current Volunteer primary assignments are in education and in health and community development. Volunteers have been assigned to all 18 islands of the Gilbert group. (There are 16 named islands, but Tarawa and Tabiteuea are divided into north and south.)
Most Volunteers are assigned to one of the outer islands. Some limited opportunities exist in the capital on South Tarawa to work at the national government level. These opportunities are best suited to third-year extension Volunteers with previous experience in the outer islands. Two Peace Corps Volunteer leaders (third-year extension Volunteers) are based in South Tarawa where they combine project work with helping to support the current Volunteers in their respective areas.
The government and people of Kiribati have warmly embraced the Peace Corps’ presence in their nation. The work of the Volunteers is requested, accepted, and appreciated. Peace Corps/Kiribati will continue working in the core areas of education and health and community development, but will also explore new opportunities as resources become available.