Lusaka, 5th June 2022 (TDI):  Zambia welcomed back the first US Peace Corps Volunteers, who will assist the rural communities in the country in addressing aquaculture and forestry issues.

Zambia and the United States have had strong bilateral relations in the past few years. The peace corps operates under the Zambian government and has hosted many volunteers.

However, in March 2020, all peace corps working in Zambia were evacuated due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Zambia is currently the first country to welcome the set of volunteers following the COVID-19 pandemic.

The peace corps in Zambia welcomed 21 new volunteers from the USA who were sworn in on the 2nd of June.

The volunteers arrived after they had undergone vigorous training in technical skills, Language, and cross-cultural understanding.

Additionally, a ceremony on the occasion was held. It was attended by the Peace Corps Director Brad Favor and Michelle Godette, the vising Peace Corps Regional Director for Africa.

Some of the special attendees of the ceremony included the Permanent Secretary for the Ministry of Green Economy and Environment, John Msimuko; the Permanent Secretary for the fisheries and livestock Dr. Anna Songolo; and lastly Chief Chamuka of the Lenje people.

The role of the volunteers: 

The volunteers are expected to live and work in the rural areas for two years on aquaculture and environmental programs. The forestry department will work with 13 volunteers. They will work in North-western, Southern, Eastern, and Luapula Provinces. Moreover, it is the responsibility of the volunteers to help small-scale farmers come up with practices that preserve and increase forestry.

Likewise, the other 8 volunteers will work under the Department of Fisheries and they will be based in Central, Northern, and North-western provinces. They will be providing support to small scale farmers in order to enhance fish production, consumption, and revenue

In addition, the volunteers are to offer assistance in HIV/AIDS prevention. This will be done through the U.S Presidents’ Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR). Also, they are to spread awareness for the prevention of COVD-19 and increase the availability of COVID-19 vaccines.

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