Dominica has presented three volunteers for the Peace Corps Eastern Caribbean Cohort Ninety Two.
A swearing in ceremony took place on Friday July 22 2022 at the Atlantique View Resort in Anse De Mai. Programme Manager Mrs. Lancashia Joseph-John had the honor of presenting the trainees during that ceremony.
Caitlin Bahr will serve in the Roosevelt Douglas Primary School, Justin Downing in the St. Johns Primary School and Molly Davies in the Mahaut Primary School.
These volunteers will engage the communities on projects in education for a two year period. They will work to build capacity and enhance the literary skills of these students. The volunteers will work with teachers in grades k to three to assess reading and writing skills, deliver lessons.
Representative of the Minister for Education, Human Resource Planning, Vocational Training and National Excellence, Hon. Roslyn Paul has recognized the importance for literacy at an early stage.
“Our Government continues to place great significance on education and we understand the importance of literacy. And so your contribution, we see to be very vital to the education of our young ones,” Hon. Paul stated.
Minister Paul says the time spent on the island will also encourage cultural diversity.
“We are happy that you can be here and be entrenched in our culture, and be able to understand our culture. So we hope that you will be sharing your skills talent and the upliftment of our children in literacy but also gain shared experiences in culture. I am very happy that you are going to be starting out by learning our creole culture which I was actually a coordinator for that programme in 1997, ’98 and ’99. So I know and appreciate the contribution that we can make and the Government has had this partnership with the Peace Corps Volunteer Programme for decades and had benefited greatly from it,” Hon. Paul noted.
District Education Officer for the North, Mr. Francis Jno. Lewis says literacy has been a challenge for students in the early stages of education. He says the covid-19 pandemic and the remote learning has posed more challenges where reading and monitoring students are concerned.
“Seeing that they missed that initial level of exposure where they needed to have the specific skills in terms of the phonics and all of the various literary skills that the early learners require to solidify the literacy foundation. And so we are extremely happy within the Ministry of Education to see that we are back on track with our Peace Corp Volunteers who will add to human resource capacity in our schools in the North. We know that you have been selected because you all are resourceful; we know that you have been selected because of the creativity and because we are certainly in need of additional human resource at the school level. We know what happens at the school with you all ad on a regular basis we will be visiting with you, we will work collaboratively with you to ensure that our students needs are addressed, and addressed in the shortest space of time as possible,” Mr. Jno. Lewis noted.
Meantime, Principal of the Roosevelt Douglas Primary School Mr. Teddy Wallace expressed his gratitude on behalf of the schools for the volunteers. He also took time to welcome them to Dominica.
“I must tell you that it is a fact that you have found yourself among the =most hospitable people on earth and in the most beautiful island on earth. Explore our beautiful scenery, our culture, our local cuisine and our lush green vegetation. Feel free to be part of our day to day activities. We are happy to have all of you and so on behalf of the principals in the north and the rest of Dominica, we want to welcome you to Dominica and we look forward to you just having fun, and being safe as you become part of our lovely Dominica,” Mr. Wallace stated.
Volunteers will also serve in three other island nations of Grenada, Saint Lucia and Saint Vincent and the Grenadines.