Posted by: Douglass Teschner, Ukraine Peace Corps Country Director
On July 13, I had the honor to meet with President Leonid Kravchuk, the first President of Ukraine who, in 1992, signed the initial agreement with President George H. W. Bush inviting Peace Corps to Ukraine. The meeting was very warm and friendly.
Mr. Kravchuk told me that, “People who know that I was involved [in establishing Peace Corps in Ukraine] tell me they are thankful for this and speak very warmly about Peace Corps Volunteers.”
The former President said that Peace Corps Volunteers create lifetime relationships in Ukraine. “The Volunteers are very unselfish and very committed, they do noble work giving themselves
to their service,”he said.
Mr. Kravchuk also complimented Peace Corps for the selection process that picks committed people and also for the strong management that helps the program to run well. “Volunteerism is a lifelong philosophy,” he added.
At the end of the meeting, he signed Peace Corps Ukraine’s 50th Anniversary Guest Book as follows: “Congratulations, Peace Corps! People would like to express their gratitude to you for your attitude towards Ukrainians. Good luck to you!”
This being the 50th anniversary of Peace Corps, this was a fitting time to reconnect with the former President who played such a positive role in bringing Peace Corps to Ukraine 19 years ago.