Peace Corps Volunteers
Date: February 16, 2012
Place: Washington DC
Interview: Laura and Rob Gray, Former Peace Corps Volunteers
Peace Corps is a program that allows people from the United States to volunteer 2 years to live and work in another country. Peace Corp volunteers work side by side with the native people to develop industry, education or business in the country that they serve.
Meet Laura and Rob.
Laura Gray, Former Peace Corps Volunteer:
I served with my husband in Zambia from 2007-2009. I was a health volunteer, so I worked with traditional midwives (women that cared for pregnant women) and community health workers educating people about different common health illnesses.
Rob Gray, Former Peace Corps Volunteer:
I was an education volunteer. They were called rural educational development volunteers. In Zambia, they had an issue with not enough schools , basically, for the children there. So what they chose to do was broadcast radio lessons over, broadcast school lessons over the radio. So the children would be able to listen to the radio with the help with a skilled teacher.
Zambia is in southern Africa. It's two countries above South Africa. So it goes South Africa, Zimbabwe and Zambia. It's about the size of Texas in terms of the total land area and it's got about 11 million people, which is about the same number of people in Minnesota.
Zambia uses kwacha. A hundred kwacha can get you a couple of bananas or a few tomatoes, and the equivalence in dollars is like 3 cents or something like that.
Laura: Most volunteers in Zambia were welcomed by their neighbor as kind of a family member, so they would invite you in and have nightly dinner with them. And you make family where you are, so the communities really welcomes you and they become your friends and your family.
Rob: There was a pen pal system. So the kids in Zambia would write to the kids in America and back and forth.
If you are watching this and you're interested in getting involved, what you can do is ask your teacher to submit a letter to the World Wise Schools program. They'll match you up. They'll match up your entire class with another class of a currently serving Peace Corps volunteer. You can get your letters sent back and forth. It's really a great thing to do. And nowadays depending on where the kids are that they're serving with, occasionally you can set up web chats and web cams.