President Jahjaga’s speech at the oath swearing ceremony of the Peace Corps Second Volunteer Group in Kosovo

I have the great pleasure to wish a very warm welcome to the Republic of Kosovo to the second group of Peace Corps volunteers.

Honourable Minister Bajrami,
Honourable Minister Abrashi,
Honourable Ambassador Delawie,
Honourable Peace Corps Director, Mr. Kurtz,
Honourable Peace Corps Volunteers,
Honourable Families,
Honourable participants,
Ladies and Gentlemen;

I have the great pleasure to wish a very warm welcome to the Republic of Kosovo to the second group of Peace Corps volunteers.

I would also like to congratulate the first volunteer group who during these few months showed that friendship between our two nations is a sincere one. Volunteers of the first group worked with devotion throughout Kosovo and provided a window of American culture to the community where they served. It proved that values which our two nations nurture with pride are common values. You were the best ambassadors of your state. Kosovar families did not only open the doors of their homes, they also opened their hearts to accommodate volunteers form the most amicable state of Kosovo, state which had faith and enabled us to live free and in peace today.

I feel pride in the fact that this program’s success continues to grow. You, new volunteers, will see that family with which you will reside, schools at which you will be working at and the community which you will be serving, have a long tradition of hospitality. You will feel the fact that a family friend is a part of the family, and enjoys the greatest respect. You shall see that not only in the community in which you will be serving, but all around Kosovo, our nation is proud of the partnership and eternal friendship between the state of Kosovo and United States of America.

This will be the most noble and the most meaningful experience. You will experience special moments during your work with Kosovar families. You will share the bread, the salt and the heart. You will learn about Besa and its importance through the centuries. You will bear the responsibility to guard the honour of the home and will understand how sacred education is to us. In our Odas, you will be hearing stories about survival, honour and endeavours of the citizens of Kosovo. You will shed tears after hearing the stories about the last war, about memories of those who lost their lives, suffering of those who were raped, or about those who are still missing to date.

You will no doubt be amazed with the stoicism of our citizens in their endeavours to create a different state, to forgive and to carry on. You will be astonished by the will and the courage of girls and boys of Kosovo to the state of Kosovo. This energy of our youth is of existential importance to our state. Kosovo will be an unforgettable experience for you.

I know that this volunteer group shall for the first time live with and help the Serbian community of Kosovo. You will see that Kosovo is the state of everyone. You will find out that things which differentiate us do not separate us, but they make us stronger. Srpska zajednica Kosova je važan deo naše države. Zajedno mi gradimo drugačije Kosovo, državu slobode, ravnopravnosti i mira.

I would like to thank Ambassador Delawie, who presented his credentials just yesterday and commenced his tenure as the Ambassador of the United States of America to Kosovo, for his support to this program on his very first day at work. I would also like to mention that from today onwards, he will be competing with all these Ambassadors of peace and cooperation.

A special commendation and gratitude also goes to the General Director Mr. Kurtz and to the exceptionally professional Peace Corps staff here in Kosovo. Their work has made Peace Corps become one of the most successful programmes in Kosovo to date.

Peace Corps here in Kosovo is an important programme for strengthening of the eternal friendship of our two nations.

I wish you lots of luck, success and prosperous work in your mission here in Kosovo, in your most amicable country.

Thank you.

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