2008: Volunteers Return to Liberia
President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf told a standing room only crowd of staff and special guests at Peace Corps headquarters in June, 2012 that she wanted to personally thank “those who rose to the challenge by John Fitzgerald Kennedy to live and work in developing countries.” Peace Corps Volunteers have played a vital role in the special relationship between the United States and her country, she said.
“That is why I campaigned vigorously for Peace Corps’ return,” she said. “Because I knew what a difference they could make in the lives of our citizens.”
The President, who just won a second term, said that she especially wanted to thank the former Volunteers of the organization Friends of Liberia (FOL) who acted as “ambassadors for Liberia when we couldn’t be here” during the country’s 13-year civil war. She said she appreciated their continuing work for Liberia.
In 2009, twenty-seven Friends of Liberia members traveled to Liberia for three weeks. Although Peace Corps Volunteers had just returned to Liberia in 2008 (after an 18 year hiatus), the group had an extremely productive trip, divided into medical, educational and environmental teams. In the final week, the entire group had an hour-long visit with President Sirleaf, where they discussed future plans for FOL to work in and assist Liberia.