HomeBensalem TimesLanghorne resident among first Peace Corps volunteers to return to Sri Lanka...

Langhorne resident among first Peace Corps volunteers to return to Sri Lanka in 26 years 

Tresier Mihalik will co-teach and support Sri Lankan counterparts in schools across the country for two years

Mihalik with students. Submitted Photo

Langhorne’s Tresier Mihalik was recently sworn-in as a Peace Corps volunteer in Sri Lanka. She is one of 20 volunteers who will spend the next two years in Sri Lanka as the first group to serve in the country since 1998.

Peace Corps director Carol Spahn traveled to Sri Lanka to officiate the historic swearing-in ceremony, engage in high-level meetings aimed at strengthening partnerships and expanding collaboration, and meet with Sri Lanka President Ranil Wickremesinghe.

“Today marks the start of a new chapter in a longstanding friendship shared between the Peace Corps and the wonderful people of Sri Lanka,” said Spahn. “I am grateful to our staff, host communities and volunteers for answering the call to serve in the spirit of peace and understanding, for opening their hearts and homes, and for embracing the opportunity to stretch beyond their comfort zones. It is our hope that the opportunity to learn and grow together will build bridges of connection that last a lifetime.”

Since Peace Corps’ departure from Sri Lanka in 1998, Sri Lankan ministers, local administrators and teachers have emphasized the great demand for English language education as a means of accessing economic, educational and cross-cultural opportunities that benefit youth, families and communities across the country. Through their advocacy and partnership, the government of Sri Lanka invited Peace Corps to return to the country in 2016. Peace Corps subsequently re-established operations in the country in 2018 and formalized the development of the English education sector that same year. 

Today’s volunteers represent the latest evolution in the agency’s commitment to Sri Lanka and meeting their development priorities. These volunteers join the more than 500 U.S. citizens who have served as volunteers in Sri Lanka since 1962.

This volunteer cohort arrived in Sri Lanka in December 2023 to complete a comprehensive cross-cultural, language and technical training program to prepare them in understanding the country’s education system. Following the ceremony, the volunteers are co-teaching with and supporting their Sri Lankan counterparts in Tamil and Sinhala schools across the country for two years.

Peace Corps invites U.S. citizens from all backgrounds, who embody the spirit of service and cross-cultural understanding, to become volunteers. The next application deadline is April 1. Interested individuals are encouraged to apply online at peacecorps.gov/apply/ to take the first steps toward contributing to global peace and friendship. Visit PeaceCorps.gov/Bold to learn more about Peace Corps volunteer service and how volunteers connect with immersive experiences in over 60 countries.

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