Peace Corps swears in 31 new Volunteers in Zambia
Peace Corps Zambia swore into service 31 Volunteers following 11 weeks of training in technical skills, language, and inter-cultural understanding.
The Volunteers will work with community members in rural areas of Zambia on education and health programs in the Central, Eastern, Luapula, Northern, Muchinga, Northwestern, and Southern provinces. Eighteen of the Volunteers will serve under the Ministry of Education to support teachers in primary and lower secondary schools (grade 5 to 9) in developing innovative and gender-equitable teaching methodologies, in addition to teaching English. The remaining 13 Volunteers will serve under the Ministry of Health to support community health workers in promoting strategies to improve maternal, neonatal, and child health, in addition to teaching about malaria control and prevention methods.
The Minister of Education, Honorable Douglas Syakalima, was the guest of honor at the ceremony. His Royal Highness Chief Chamuka VI of the Lenje people, and Director of Public Health for the Ministry of Health, Dr. Patricia Bobo, were special guests. U.S. Ambassador to Michael Gonzales officially swore in the 31 new Volunteers.
In addition to their core responsibilities in education and health, all Volunteers will provide HIV/AIDS prevention assistance in their communities through the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR). They will also share information in their communities about preventing the transmission of COVID-19 and promote access to COVID-19 vaccines offered by local health centers.
Since the first Peace Corps Volunteers arrived in Zambia in 1994, over 2,400 volunteers have lived and worked throughout the country.
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A PEACE CORPS MEMORY: Looking back
I have told my story before, about 1960 as an intern at WGBH-TV meeting JFK twice then, once seeking the Democratic Party nomination and the second time as the nominee, both times when the guest on Louis Lyons’ (Nieman Journalism Foundation Curator, Harvard) news program on which I was the assistant.
On one (I think the first) Lyons spoke about Hubert Humphreys’ idea (of what would be called the Peace Corps, then unnamed as something similar to the American Friends Service Committee program abroad).
The then Senator John Kennedy replied in his best almost happy/ smart manner that it was a good idea (saying good ideas from another candidate were GOOD ideas) and that “When I am president, I will start such a program” (or words pretty close to that, and ending with his handsome head cocked to the side and smiling — you know like the cat that ate the cream).
I was 23 then and it thrilled me, not just the idea for beginning such an organization but as much for the joyful intelligence and daring-do in a politician.
As a Peace Corps Volunteer heading then earlier on the day on a prop 2 engine Convair airplane to Ghana in late August 1961 in the White House, I met President Kennedy both in the Rose Garden and in the Oval Office along with the other volunteers from early Peace Corps groups –Columbia, Tanganyika, Ghana– 50 peace corps volunteers, Ghana One.
© Copyright Edward Mycue (revisited on the Feast of All Souls, Wednesday 2 November 2022)