History of the Peace Corps in Niger

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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.

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The Peace Corps entered Niger in 1962 with seven Volunteers teaching English. Programming continued to be centered on education through the 1960s. In later years, in response to the expressed needs of the government of Niger, the program expanded to include health, agriculture, and environmental conservation.

[edit] History and Future of Peace Corps Programming in Niger

Currently, Volunteers in Niger are in four programs: agriculture, natural resources management, community health, and community and youth education. Those in the first three programs are stationed in small (200–1,000 population) rural villages, while education Volunteers are in regional capitals, small towns, and large rural villages. A few Volunteers are assigned to work with special projects and local or international NGOs.

The Peace Corps works with government agencies to place Volunteers from the different sectors in villages located within a 30-mile (50-kilometer) radius of regional towns where government service agencies are located. This clustering permits mutual support and synergy. For example, community health Volunteers might work to raise awareness of the importance of vitamin A-rich fruits and vegetables while agriculture Volunteers demonstrate irrigated gardening and fruit tree propagation. Education Volunteers may work with village-based Volunteers to promote girls’ education or adult literacy.

Most Volunteers in Niger stay at their initial sites for the duration of their two-year assignment. Some extend their stay in Niger for a third year to work as Volunteer leaders or with international organizations and nongovernmental organizations.

There are currently about 120 Volunteers in Niger—the number varies throughout the year as new groups arrive and those completing their service depart. About 60 percent are female. Almost all are under 40 years of age, and most are recent college graduates, ages 22 to 25.

The Peace Corps office in Niamey includes administrative and program offices; a medical unit with a five-bed infirmary; a warehouse; a motor pool; and an information resource center and lounge, where Volunteers can gather information for projects, write reports, hold planning meetings, and just relax.

There is a Volunteer transit house in Niamey for the use of Volunteers who are visiting the capital, and there are Peace Corps offices and transit houses in several regional towns.

[edit] Assignment History

Sector Assignment Beg. Yr End. Yr
Agriculture Ag Extension 1966 2008
Animal Husband 1983 2008
Animal Husband Lg 1980 1981
Apiculture 1975 1993
Crop Extension 1962 2008
Farm Mechanics 1981 1982
Soil Science 1967 1983
Business Business Advising 1972 1991
Business Development 2008 2008
Computer Science 2008 2008
Cooperatives 1986 1991
NGO Advising 2007 2007
Urban and Regional Planning 1971 2007
Education English Teacher 1979 2007
English Teacher Trainer 1989 1998
Fisheries Fresh 1978 1984
Gen. Construction 1995 1998
Industrial Arts 1967 1975
Library Science 1981 1983
Literacy Ed. 1991 1992
Phys. Ed/Youth Wk 1981 1989
Secondary-Ed Math 1984 1993
Secondary-Ed Sci. 1981 2007
Univ. English Teaching 1980 1988
Voc. Trainer 1982 1982
Environment Comm Forestry Ext 1986 1998
Environmental Ed. 1979 2007
Forestry 1979 2008
Protected Areas Management 1987 1998
Health Envir. and Water Resource 1969 1991
Health Degreed 1984 1985
Health Extension 1979 2007
Home Econ/Ext. 1985 1990
Med. Technician 1980 1986
Nursing 1980 1986
Master's International Masters Internationalist 1989 1989
Other Flexible App 1974 1985
Unique Skill 1980 1995
UNV United Nations Volunteer 1971 2004
Youth and Community Development Appropriate Tech. 1974 1988
Commun. Serv/Deg. 1981 2007
Mechanics 1981 1985
Road Const/Engin. 1975 1975
Rural Youth Dev. 1980 1983
Youth Development 2004 2005
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