Ambassador Delawie’s Remarks at the Swearing-In of the Fifth Group of Peace Corps Volunteers

Ambassador Delawie’s Remarks at the Swearing-In of the Fifth Group of Peace Corps Volunteers in Kosovo, August 10, 2018

Good morning. Minister Bytyqi, honored guests, host families, Peace Corps Volunteers it is great to be here with you today. Thank you for joining us.

Peace Corps Volunteers represent a partnership between our two countries to promote the development and prosperity of Kosovo and to build a strong foundation of understanding between the people of our two nations.

You volunteers represent Americans from communities across the United States. And you will build friendships with the people of Kosovo from communities across this country as well.

The United States is one of Kosovo’s closest friends and supporters. Despite what you may read in the press, that has not changed; and that will not change. The partnership between our countries is deep and multi-dimensional, and we work hard every day to advance our common goals of democracy, security, and prosperity.

There is no more tangible manifestation that the United States is extending the hand of friendship than the presence and dedication of Peace Corps Volunteers. Your work here and the spirit with which you carry it out will change lives and will give Kosovo citizens direct exposure to American values.

The Peace Corps represents a viable and visible symbol of America’s contribution to world peace efforts. Three goals have defined the Peace Corps mission since the program began during the Presidency of John Kennedy in 1961. Those are:

  • To help the people of interested countries to meet their needs for trained men and women.
  • To help promote a better understanding of the American people on the part of the people served.
  • To promote a better understanding of other people on the part of the American people.

Peace Corps is very much about people exchanging ideas and working together, learning about each other, transferring skills and knowledge, sharing experiences, and fostering understanding and goodwill. Previous Peace Corps volunteers’ accomplishments in Kosovo include:

  • Organizing the annual International Write On! Competition for students in primary and secondary schools across the country. There were over 10,000 world-wide entries, and three Kosovo students won prizes at the international level!
  • Organizing Adult English classes in their communities to various target groups including women and members of local organizations with the aim of helping them learn basic or advanced English.
  • Organizing the first Model United Nations in Kosovo. The team took part in the sub-regional competition in Macedonia and two of the team members were recognized as outstanding delegates.

These are just a few highlights of the important work Peace Corps volunteers do every single day. I am confident that you will meet your own goals for your Peace Corps Service. You have the opportunity in the next two years to change someone’s life for the better, to give and receive new perspectives, and to make a difference in the lives of your students, planting seeds that will grow long after your Peace Corps volunteer service is over.

I would like to express special appreciation for the families who have been hosting Peace Corps Trainees in their homes. This is an essential component of the program and provides unique opportunities to build close ties between the people of our two countries.

My best wishes to each of you for a successful Volunteer service. And my heartfelt appreciation for your dedication to international understanding and to the weaving of closer ties between the United States of America and the Republic of Kosovo. Thank you very much.