The U.S. government, through Peace Corps Zambia, welcomed and officially initiated 20 new Volunteers from the United States on November 9. These individuals completed an extensive 11-week training program focusing on technical skills, language proficiency, and cross-cultural understanding.
These Volunteers will be stationed in rural areas across eight provinces in Zambia, devoting two years to education and health programs tailored to the specific needs of local communities. Eleven Volunteers will be part of the Community Health Empowerment Project (CHEP), while nine will contribute to the Rural Education Development (RED) Project. Those in the CHEP focus on enhancing women’s knowledge and skills for healthier pregnancies, malaria prevention, and reducing new HIV infections while improving care for those living with HIV and AIDS. RED Volunteers, on the other hand, aim to enhance teachers’ capacity in using gender-equitable practices in classrooms, improving English skills, and conducting adult literacy classes.
Beyond their primary responsibilities, all 20 Volunteers will also engage in HIV/AIDS prevention efforts through the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR). Notably, this ceremony marks the first deployment of Volunteers to serve in Zambia’s Western Province.
The event saw the presence of notable figures including Minister of Health Hon. Sylvia Masebo, Permanent Secretary Joel Kamoko from the Ministry of Education, Western Province Provincial Minister Kapelwa Mbangweta, and representatives from the Western Province, Inunda Meimanene, Inunda Namamba, and His Royal Highness Chief Chamuka VI of the Lenje people. U.S. Embassy Zambia Chargé d’Affaires Linnisa Wahid administered the official swearing-in of the 20 new Volunteers.
Peace Corps operates in Zambia by invitation from the Zambian government. Since the arrival of the first Peace Corps Volunteers in 1994, over 2,500 Volunteers have lived and served in rural communities across the nation. Zambia traditionally hosts the largest number of Peace Corps Volunteers globally.