LUSAKA – On November 9, the U.S. government through Peace Corps Zambia swore into service 20 new Volunteers from the United States following 11 weeks of training in technical skills, language, and cross-cultural understanding.
The Volunteers will work with community members in rural areas of Zambia for two years on locally-prioritized education and health programs in the Central, Eastern, Luapula, Northern, Muchinga, Northwestern, Southern, and Western provinces. Eleven of the 20 volunteers will work under the Community Health Empowerment Project (CHEP) and nine under the Rural Education Development (RED) Project. CHEP Volunteers work to increase the knowledge and skills of women to adopt practices that contribute to a healthy pregnancy, prevent malaria and new HIV infections, and improve equitable care, support, and treatment for people living with HIV and AIDS. RED Volunteers build the capacity of teachers to use gender-equitable practices in the classroom, improve students’ English skills, and plan and teach adult literacy classes.
In addition to their core responsibilities, all 20 Volunteers will provide HIV/AIDS prevention assistance in their communities through the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR). This ceremony was especially significant as it marks the first time that Volunteers will serve in Western Province.
The Minister of Health, Hon. Sylvia Masebo was the guest of honor at the ceremony. Permanent Secretary Joel Kamoko from the Ministry of Education; Western Province Provincial Minister Kapelwa Mbangweta; Inunda Meimanene and Inunda Namamba from the Western Province representing the Litunga, King of Barotseland; and His Royal Highness Chief Chamuka VI of the Lenje people were special guests. U.S. Embassy Zambia Chargé d’Affaires Linnisa Wahid officially swore in the 20 new Volunteers.
Peace Corps works in Zambia at the invitation of the Zambian government. Since the first Peace Corps Volunteers arrived in Zambia in 1994, more than 2,500 Volunteers have lived and worked in rural communities throughout the country. Zambia has traditionally hosted the largest number of Peace Corps Volunteers in the world.
About Peace Corps
The Peace Corps is an independent agency in the executive branch of the U.S. government. It was established in 1961 by President John F. Kennedy and formally authorized by Congress through the Peace Corps Act. Since President Kennedy established the Peace Corps in 1961, more than 240,000 Americans have served in 142 countries worldwide. Peace Corps Volunteers work hand-in-hand with host country governments, local organizations, and communities to achieve critical development goals. Zambia has traditionally hosted the largest number of Volunteers of all Peace Corps countries worldwide, with Volunteers serving in all ten provinces. Peace Corps works in collaboration with key ministries in Zambia, under cross-sector initiatives including health, education, agriculture, and environment. For more information, visit www.peacecorps.gov/zambia and https://peacecorps.gov/bold.