Peace Corps Zambia says it has welcomed the first group of Peace Corps Volunteers back to the country.
The group of volunteers came back to Zambia on March 14, and this was after all volunteers were evacuated worldwide in March 2020 due to COVID-19.
In a statement issued to the media by Peace Corps Zambia Communication Specialist Mwinsi Akapelwa, Zambia is the first country to receive Peace Corps Volunteers after the global evacuation.
Ms Akapelwa stated that 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,” she noted.
And Peace Corps Zambia Country Director Brad Favor, said, the Organisation is excited to see the return of Peace Corps Volunteers to Zambia.
Mr Favor said the team of volunteers will now reengage with its existing community and Zambian government partners to continue the work already in progress.
“Since March 2020, Peace Corps staff around the world have worked to strengthen the foundation of the agency and prepare for their turn of volunteers. Peace Corps Zambia is proud to have received the first group of returning volunteers,” he said.
Meanwhile, the Communication Specialist explained that Peace Corps works in Zambia at the invitation of the Zambian government.
Ms Akapelwa further explained that the volunteers will reengage in rural Zambian communities in collaboration with the Ministries of Health, Education, Environment and Green Economy, and Fisheries and Livestock.
She further added that 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.
She highlighted that 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.
Ms Akapelwa said her organization is looking forward to resuming its work and expanding to cover all ten provinces.