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By Cherelle Jackson

APIA, Samoa (June 15, 2002 – Samoa Observer)---Fourteen young American men and women arrived earlier this month as the 68th group of Peace Corps volunteers to work in Samoa.

They will be going through 11 weeks of training before they start their designated assignments, according to Peace Corp Director, Mr. Brian Riley.

"In training they will learn the Samoan language and how to live and work with the Samoan culture in the villages," he said.

Mr. Riley told the Samoa Observer that 11 volunteers from group 68 would be distributed to villages under the Village Based Development Project.

The project is a new partnership between the U.S. Peace Corps and the Ministry of Internal Affairs and villages.

Last year, 12 volunteers were placed in villages where they supported the work of the Pulenuu.

They assisted in the planning and implementation of community projects, and helped villages link with existing services in the country.

Two volunteers will be assigned to the Ministry of Lands, Surveys and Environment to work under a project called Marine Protected Areas.

Mr. Riley said: "Both volunteers are marine biologists. They will be working at the Aleipata and Safata districts."

One volunteer will be assigned to the Ministry of Youth, Sports and Culture to work in the Future Farmers Project, a worldwide project.

"We are trying to stimulate youth to take interest in farming as a career," he said.

Group 68 will be sworn in at a ceremony in August, after which they will serve two years before returning home.

The U.S. Peace Corps have been working in Samoa for 35 years.

For additional reports from the Samoa Observer, go to PACIFIC ISLANDS REPORT News/Information Links: Newspapers/Samoa Observer.

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