Suva, Fiji – On Wednesday, March 28, at 10.30 AM at the General Post Office on 10 Edward Street, Suva, the U.S. Embassy, in collaboration with Post Fiji Limited, will unveil a special run of commemorative postal stamps to mark the 50th anniversary of the U.S. Peace Corps in Fiji. The set includes four stamps depicting volunteers – current and from decades past — working in various communities throughout Fiji. Though separated in time, the pictures showcase the volunteers’ dedication to community service and the strong friendships they have built with their Fijian host communities.
On March 1, 1961, President John F. Kennedy signed the Executive Order that created the Peace Corps. Since then, more than 200,000 Americans have served as Peace Corps volunteers in 139 countries around the world. Over the past 50 years, more than 2,500 Peace Corps Volunteers have served in Fiji.
The first group of Peace Corps Volunteers arrived in Fiji in early 1968, beginning a long and meaningful history of friendship, cooperation, and learning between the peoples of the United States and Fiji that endures to this day. Over the past half century, Peace Corps Volunteers have shared their skills in agriculture, forestry, education, health and sanitation, vocational training, business development, and other subjects. In the course of their training and service, they learned to speak Fijian – often specializing in particular dialects – and grew to be familiar with the diverse cultures of their host communities. And to their Fijian friends, they showed, by example, the best face of the United States.
Today, Peace Corps Volunteers live and work in 13 Fijian Provinces as part of the Community Youth Empowerment Program. They work hand-in-hand with local community members, ministries, nongovernmental organizations and schools to enable youth to make healthier life decisions, to find opportunities for advancement, and to contribute to the development of their communities.
To celebrate the men and women – of all ages – who have carried forward the United States’ finest tradition of service, the U.S. Embassy funded the production of this special set of commemorative stamps. The stamps, designed in cooperation with the Department of Post Fiji Limited, will be in circulation around the world for the next two years. They not only highlight the Peace Corps in Fiji, but serve to refocus attention on the Peace Corps’ enduring vision of service in the cause of peace and understanding.
For more information please contact: Regional Public Affairs Office at (679) 331-4466