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December 3, 2014

The Zambian Experience: New Volunteers have arrived (26-2 Batch)

With the eagerness and enthusiasm of freshly arriving in the country, last month we received a group of new group of six volunteers; one senior volunteer and five junior volunteers adding to the number of gallant Japanese men and women offering themselves in service of Zambia.

It is always refreshing and interesting to meet people who are coming to Africa and specifically to Zambia for the first time; the excitement they display as they come into contact with things that we as nationals see as normal and take for granted, like the red blossoms of the African tulip tree.

Out of the six new volunteers, one senior volunteer and two JOCV's will be spending the next two years working in the health sector, bringing on board their knowledge and experience to inadequately staffed rural and urban health centers- a reality which is typical of the qualms of access to health care. Two will be under Education, both embarking on Physical education: a field which under the new Zambian curriculum will now be an examinable subject for the first time in the country. Last but not the least, a placement in community development, committed to improving the lives of people at the grassroots.

As you interact with this group, what keeps coming up during their orientation and when they talk about their different assignments is how they are pledging to "do their best" in their various fields. What we can do is also wish them all their as they embark on this journey to make a difference in the lives of ordinary Zambians. With most of them assigned to rural areas, we can only imagine the hardship of being away from everything familiar and yet eager to forge ahead.

JICA Volunteer Program Officer
Mwaba Mumba




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