LUSAKA, Zambia – On March 14, Peace Corps Zambia welcomed the first group of Peace Corps Volunteers back to the country after all volunteers were evacuated worldwide in March 2020 due to COVID-19. Zambia is the first country to receive Peace Corps Volunteers after the global evacuation.
The March 2020 departure was the first time in the agency’s 60-year history that volunteers were evacuated from all posts. Since then, Peace Corps Zambia staff have continued supporting a variety of projects in rural aquaculture, reforestation, sustainable agriculture, education, and public health, including COVID-19 mitigation and vaccination campaigns with rural health offices and schools.
“We are excited to see the return of Peace Corps Volunteers to Zambia and to reengage with our existing community and Zambian government partners to continue work already in progress,” said Peace Corps Zambia Country Director Brad Favor. “Since March 2020, Peace Corps staff around the world have worked to strengthen the foundation of the agency and prepare for the return of volunteers. Peace Corps Zambia is proud to have received the first group of returning volunteers.”
Peace Corps works in Zambia at the invitation of the Zambian government, and volunteers will reengage in rural Zambian communities in collaboration with the Ministries of Health, Education, Environment and Green Economy, and Fisheries and Livestock. As active community members, volunteers will contribute to initiatives related to food security, mother and child nutrition, reforestation, English education, fish production, gender equality, HIV treatment and prevention, and the prevention and eradication of malaria. In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, they will also support local partners’ efforts to disseminate COVID-19 mitigation information and promote access to vaccinations in alignment with Ministry of Health guidance.
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 John F. 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 Central, Copperbelt, Eastern, Luapula, Lusaka, Muchinga, Northern, North-western, and Southern 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.
Since the first Peace Corps Volunteers arrived in Zambia in 1994, over 2,400 volunteers have served in the country, living and working in rural communities in nine of the ten provinces. We look forward to resuming our work and expanding to cover all ten provinces.