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SK man joins Peace Corps

t Dan Kettwig will help improve education in nation of Liberia.

Port Orchard resident Dan E. Kettwig, 56, and a woman from Eastern Washington have been accepted into the Peace Corps in Liberia, a recently re-opened program, according to public affair specialist Maria Lee.

After an absence of nearly two decades, experienced volunteers will be serving in Liberia through a program called Peace Corps Response, which mobilizes returned Peace Corps volunteers for short-term humanitarian service assignments worldwide.

“Liberia has faced great challenges and shown the world its strong spirit,‚” said Peace Corps Director Ron Tschetter. “We’re proud to continue the American legacy of providing education Volunteers to Liberia, and to be able to contribute to the country’s development efforts.‚”

Kettwig, a career mental health professional, will be working with the Ministry of Education in Liberia as a mentor to Rural Teacher Training Institutes director. He first served in Thailand from 1975 to 1977, then returned there from 2005 to 2006 to aid those affected by the Indian Ocean tsunami.

The first group of volunteers in Liberia will serve for eight months and will close out their service in June 2009.

Over 4,400 Peace Corps volunteers served in Liberia from 1962 to 1990, until the program was suspended due to the Liberian civil war. With the country enjoying a new period of stability and at the request of President Sirleaf, the Peace Corps has re-established a program in Liberia.

The Peace Corps is approaching its 50th anniversary with more than 195,000 Peace Corps volunteers ‚Äî including 8,087 from the state of Washington, the third largest producer of Peace Corps volunteers in the nation — having helped promote a better understanding between Americans and the people of the 139 countries in which they have served.

Applications to serve in the corps have increased 16 percent this past year, which is reports is the largest boost in the last five years. Currently, 7,876 Peace Corps volunteers are serving in 75 countries.

To learn more about the Peace Corps, please visit www.peacecorps.gov.

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