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Volunteer Ready For Two-year Stint In Koro

An American volunteer hopes to positively contribute to the people of Koro by helping them rebuild from whatever was left from Tropical Cyclone Winston. Twenty-three-year-old Thea Mink was one of
04 Nov 2016 11:43
Volunteer Ready For Two-year Stint In Koro
The 34 US Peace Corp volunteers with Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama at the University of the South Pacific’s Japan-Pacific ICT Centre. Photo: Filipe Naigulevu INSET: Thea Mink

An American volunteer hopes to positively contribute to the people of Koro by helping them rebuild from whatever was left from Tropical Cyclone Winston.

Twenty-three-year-old Thea Mink was one of the 34 United States Peace Corps volunteers who were sworn in yesterday at the University of the South Pacific Japan-Pacific ICT Centre.

The volunteers successfully completed two months of training in Fiji and will be deployed to serve for two years in various villages and settlements around the country.

Ms Mink, originally from Washington, DC, in the US, said she was excited to receive the news of serving in Nabasovi Village in Koro.

“I’ve already visited Nabasovi Village in Koro for a really brief stay,” Ms Mink said.

“What really touched me was the resilience of the community and how they have managed to survive since Cyclone Winston.”

Ms Mink aims to partner with the villagers in rebuilding their homes and  work with youths by strengthening and empowering them.

Although she missed the comfort of her family back home, she said two years would not be hard with the warm support of the villagers.

Ms Mink will work closely with the villagers at Nabasovi in carrying out her work.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama, while officially receiving the volunteers, thanked them for their decision to serve in the country.

“I know you’ve already experienced our world-famous hospitality during your nine weeks in Fiji so far. You have gotten that first taste of our culture,” he said.

“The work that you do and the experience you will have of immersing yourselves in our culture will give you a unique and invaluable perspective into our society, our customs and our people one that few others can claim.

“You will be a part of us and you will learn from us, and by this time — two years from now — you will have forged a bond with our nation, and with our people, that will stay with you forever.”

Mr Bainimarama also acknowledged the partnership between Government and the US Peace Corps.

“I am a firm believer in the idea that a just and free society must do its best to lift up the marginalised, provide them opportunities and make them equal,” he said.

Since 1968, over 2500 US Peace Corps volunteers have served in Fiji and have built ties with schools, settlements and villages around the country.

 

Edited by Rusiate Mataika

Feedback:  filipe.naigulevu@fijisun.com.fj

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