23/09/2011: Reunion of Peace Corps Volunteers

September 23, 2011

Reunion of the Peace Corps Volunteers at the Embassy

Bangladesh Embassy in Washington DC hosted a get together to commemorate the 50th Anniversary of the Peace Corps volunteers. Established in 1961 by President John F. Kennedy to promote peace and friendship around the world, Peace Corps is celebrating the Golden Jubilee of its creation this year.

More than fifty Peace Corps volunteers and their family members who worked in Bangladesh attended the event. Reminiscing of their days in Bangladesh, the volunteers shared their experiences of working in various parts of the country to contribute in areas such as community development, infrastructure, agriculture, health and education. Comparing today’s Bangladesh with that of sixties and seventies, the Volunteers lauded Bangladesh’s rapid progress in socio-economic fields and deeply appreciated her contributions to develop innovative solutions to global problems such as poverty alleviations, rural development and women empowerment. An audio-visual presentation tilted “Bangladesh then and now” was shown on the occasion, displaying images of Peace Corps activities in the country beginning from 1961 and juxtaposing those with present day Bangladesh. Walking down the memory lane and recalling their work for the socio-economic transformations of the country, the volunteers experienced a great sense of self accomplishments and thanked the Embassy for hosting the event.

Speaking on the occasion, Bangladesh Ambassador to the USA and State Minister, Mr. Akramul Qader recalled peoples’ fight in the 60s for political and economic emancipation and the subsequent relentless efforts to take Bangladesh’s rightful place in the comity of nations. He said that the government of Bangladesh under the leadership of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has been working to graduate Bangladesh to a middle-income country by 2021. Ambassador Qader highlighted Bangladesh’s achievements in socio-economic fields particularly in attaining MDG goals for poverty alleviation, reducing infant and child mortality and ensuring gender parity. He said that Bangladesh is now a model country for the developing world and her leadership role is being lauded by the International community. In recognition to her contributions to global causes, Bangladesh received for the consecutive second year the United Nations Award. Last year Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina received the UN award for MDG goals and this year the UN has conferred upon Bangladesh the UN award titled "Digital Health for Digital Development".

The Ambassador also touched upon the daunting challenges that the country faces to elevate herself to the next level of development, the dream for becoming a middle income country by 2021. “One such challenge that looms large in the horizon is the adverse impact of the climate change”, the Ambassador added. He emphasized that all the countries should work together to face the challenges posed by the global climate change and urged upon the Peace Corps volunteers to add their voices on this issue.

Among others, the officers and officials of the Embassy attended the program. The guests were served with the traditional Bangladeshi cuisine.