President Stevo Pendarovski addressed today the swearing-in ceremony of Peace Corps volunteers who will live and serve in the Republic of North Macedonia for the next two years. The Peace Corps, as a US governmental organization, implements its programs in partnership with the Ministry of Education and Science and the Ministry of Local Self-Government.
Below is the full text of President Pendarovski’s address.
Respected Peace Corps Volunteers,
Distinguished US Ambassador,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
I am especially honored to be part of the swearing-in ceremony of 36 Peace Corps volunteers who are part of the 24th group of volunteers who will live and serve in the Republic of North Macedonia in the next 2 years. I wish them a warm welcome and a pleasant stay in our country and, of course, successful volunteer work.
For already 27 years, we have been a destination where Peace Corps volunteers invest their time, effort and dedication, helping Macedonian citizens. The Corona virus pandemic was the reason for a small break in the activities and the recruitment process, but we all hope that in the future there will be no unforeseen obstacles and crisis situations of this type.
Over 800 volunteers who have been our neighbors for the past three decades have undoubtedly achieved the goals of the organization that sends them here. They have fully incorporated themselves into our development and through their activity and exchange of information and experiences have contributed to our better understanding of the American people, but also to a better understanding of the American citizens of our culture and world view.
The Peace Corps program is original and specific in activity, scope and duration. Quite different from the most exposed international volunteer program in our country, the European Solidarity Corps, previously known as the European Volunteer Service, as a program of the European Commission. The Peace Corps recruitment, selection and training process is thorough and detailed and truly produces volunteers who are fully prepared to serve the community in which they reside.
What I would like to share with you on this occasion is the fact that Peace Corps volunteers help with their activities in the most remote corners of our homeland, in rural areas and in smaller towns, making a visible difference in the lives of the local population. With their knowledge, skills and dedication, Peace Corps volunteers manage to bring new energy, ideas and motivation to local communities.
Of particular value is the fact that after 2 years of living together with the hosts, lasting friendships remain. The relationships that Peace Corps volunteers establish and nurture are also a lasting stake in the Macedonian-American friendship. Those ties build on and complement diplomacy, financial support, trade and partnerships in international organizations…
Therefore, I want to extend a big thank you to the Peace Corps as a US government organization for the inclusion of the Republic of North Macedonia in this program, but also thank you to the USA for the overall support so far, as our strategic partner and a great friend of our nation.
Bearing in mind that the Peace Corps implements its programs in partnership with the Ministry of Education and Science, the Ministry of Local Self-Government and the Ministry of Labor and Social Policy, I would like to emphasize the contribution of these Macedonian institutions that enables the planned program to run smoothly.
Greeting the new volunteers, our new fellow citizens for the next two years and, no doubt, our lifelong friends after that, I would once again like to wish them a successful mission and a pleasant stay in Macedonia.