WASHINGTON D.C., December 17, 2010—Peace Corps and PSI (Population Services International) this week announced a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to expand health opportunities in six pilot countries in Africa where both organizations have long-standing programs. Efforts are already under way in Benin, Kenya, Madagascar, Malawi and Mozambique.
“This partnership will expand health programs in five key African countries and give Peace Corps volunteers more tools to work with in the fight against HIV and other global health challenges,” said Peace Corps Director, Aaron S. Williams (returned Peace Corps volunteer/Dominican Republic 1967-1970). “This partnership with PSI will increase the capacity of our organizations to work shoulder-to-shoulder with African communities on assessable health solutions.”
The Peace Corps and PSI developed this MOU based on existing successful collaboration. In Benin, PSI has worked with Peace Corps volunteers since 2003, through funding from the United States Agency for International Development, to promote positive health messages through a group of trained peer educators. Since 2003, Peace Corps volunteers have helped PSI/Benin reach more than 100,000 youths in 105 communities via their Amour et Vie program.
“PSI has always considered the Peace Corps a close partner, and we are thrilled to expand our relationship with this Memorandum of Understanding,” says PSI President and CEO, Karl Hofmann. “This partnership truly leverages each organization’s strengths to create sustainable health impact and improve the well-being of countless communities.”
PSI works in more than 65 developing countries around the world to overcome some of the most pressing public health issues, including malaria, child survival, HIV prevention, maternal mortality and access to reproductive health services. This partnership creates a system through which Peace Corps posts and local PSI offices can establish a working relationship on the ground designed to increase the capacity of both efforts. Peace Corps volunteers live and work with the communities they serve. The volunteers associated with this collaboration will be able to share resources and techniques and help supplement each other’s work.