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State of Rhode Island General Assembly
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Rep. O’Brien’s resolution honors Peace Corps
STATE HOUSE – Rep. William W. O’Brien introduced a resolution (
) honoring the Peace Corps and declaring that the week of February 26 through March 4 be known as “Peace Corps Week” in Rhode Island.
“I loved my time in the Peace Corps and I cherish the moments, experiences and lessons that I acquired throughout my time helping others and building strong communities across the globe. It is an honor to recognize my fellow Peace Corps volunteers and pay tribute to this tremendous organization that has done so much good work for humanity since its inception. Our world would be a far better place if more people embraced the mission of the Peace Corps and I hope this small gesture of recognition can show at least one individual the value and importance of signing up to travel the planet and help others in need,” said Representative O’Brien (D-Dist. 54, North Providence).
Representative O’Brien served in the Peace Corps in South Africa from 1998 to 2000. During that time, he taught English, mathematics and science to Zulu children in the Province of Mpumalanga, one of the country’s nine provinces. His service area, in the northeast part of South Africa, was 30 miles from the Swaziland border and 40 miles from the Swaziland capital of Mbabane. He worked in five schools in the town of Elukwatini, setting up a math curriculum for children from kindergarten to grade 8 and, during his two-year volunteer stint, saw math scores improve by 20 percent. While teaching in South Africa, he applied for and received grant money from the U.S. government to build a basketball court at two of the five schools.
He is one of the more than 200,000 former volunteers who devoted two years (or more) of their lives to travel to nations around the globe, working directly with communities on their most pressing issues while promoting cross-cultural understanding.
Since being created by former President John F. Kennedy in 1961, thousands of Americans, especially young people, have flocked to serve in dozens of nations, particularly in Latin America, Africa, Asia and the Middle East. Working side by side with the people of these nations, Peace Corps volunteers have helped build sewer and water systems, constructed and taught in schools, assisted in developing new crops and agricultural methods, and participated in many other projects.
For more information, contact:
State House Room 20
Providence, RI 02903
Lt. Governor's Office
Secretary of State
Link to Public Records Request