Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | United States’ Peace Corps Program has deployed 158 American volunteers to introduce business development and agribusiness skills in rural areas of Uganda.
The volunteers are tasked with introducing culture of savings among rural women, mentoring Ugandan teachers and health workers and introducing American ways of life to the people.
Those deployed in health work with Ministry of Health Officials to train members of the Village Health Teams (VHTs) skills needed the most by rural communities to fight the bites of malaria transmitting mosquitoes.
James Ham, the Country Director of United States Peace Corps in Uganda says the volunteers impact the rural areas where they are deployed in many different ways.
In August, US Ambassador Deborah Malac passed out a team of 46 new volunteers destined for various rural communities in Uganda. Their arrival brings the number of American volunteers who have worked in Uganda to more than 4,000 since 1964 when they were invited by the government of Uganda.
According to the just-released 2018 US assistance to Uganda report, the volunteers participate in teaching communities how to mend their torn mosquito nets, distribute new mosquito nets and mentor nursing mothers on nutrition and maternal health practices for their newborn babies.
In schools, they cultivate reading cultures among students, classroom teaching and peace programs for making schools safe for learners among others, as Ham explains.
In the health sector, they create awareness about HIV, Nutrition and Maternal Health under the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR).
Dr Jody Olsen, the Global Director of the United States Peace Corps says the volunteers are part of a network of more than 7,000 Peace Corps working in 141 countries around the world.
She says the volunteers share American culture, ways of life and return back home to the US with Ugandan cultures, languages, skills and ways of life, something she says is serving Uganda as informal ambassadors.
US Ambassador Deborah Malac says they are very proud of the works being done by Peace Corps volunteers in Uganda. She says Dr Jody Olsen is in Uganda to tour some of the projects being implemented by the Peace Corps in Uganda.
While some of the volunteers are young professionals who have just graduated from Colleges and Universities in the US, others are married and retired individuals passionate about serving the world with their skills and times. While in Uganda, they earn allowances equivalent to salaries of Ugandan school teachers.
Some of the Volunteers who have returned back to the US reported on the Peace Corps Website that they taught rural women how to make energy-efficient cook-stoves to solve the energy crisis they go through to put food on their family tables. The skills they say helped some families generate income for education of their children through selling the stoves to their neighbours.