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Stories from Namibia

  1. First Volunteer Returns after the Pandemic 

When the COVID-19 pandemic started, Peace Corps evacuated Volunteers worldwide, including Crissy Hendrickson, who had been an education Volunteer at Kaguni Central Combined School in northern Namibia. Sadly, Crissy was evacuated just as she started supporting the library, which at the time was used by only a few learners and teachers because it only had 360 books with little management or organization.

As Crissy waited for Peace Corps to open back up, she would think back to the school where she worked and the library she had promised to help develop. Eventually, as time continued to pass, she held onto the idea of that library more strongly and it became central towards motivating her to return. She says: “When I finally made it back to Kaguni school after two years, so many emotions of gratitude, joy and loss overwhelmed me. COVID had destroyed and changed so much, but the school library was still there waiting on me to help bring it to life.” It took over two months of collaboration, hard work, and input from both teachers and students, but they finally relaunched the library in early September 2022. Crissy trained library prefects to organize and manage the library, as well as motivate other learners to use the library. In August, less than 25 books were checked out but by the end of September that number had jumped to over 150 books borrowed.

After they started the library program when Crissy was reinstated, they went from having zero books borrowed in some months to averaging 100 books borrowed in a week. Initially, there were also less than 100 books available for learners, but during her time at the school over 200 books were donated.

She concludes: “I can't describe how gratified and honored I was to see students literally lined up waiting their turn to get something to read. To me, this exemplified the spirit of the Peace Corps and is why I wanted so badly to come back.”

1-20 of 21 results
Dewey in a Thai classroom

We are celebrating Pride Month by sharing the voices, experiences, and insights of members of the Peace Corps’ LGBTQI+ community.

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Chris Johansen applied his experience in business planning and fundraising to set up a Kenyan community store for success, not knowing that 30 years later he would complete similar work for a Namibian egg farm — this time entirely from home.

PCV Holly and a Peace Corps Staff member in Namibia

Every day since my return home I've thought about the people, places, and experiences of my service.

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I believe that older Americans are better prepared for Peace Corps and have huge advantages while serving abroad.

Pamela Watkins

Though they represent less than 5% of the overall Volunteer population, Americans over the age of 50 are a valuable asset to the Peace Corps community.

Eunice Lee 2

I’m not a perfect gal. I’m not the prettiest, nor the smartest, nor the most fit. To be quite frank, there’s really nothing I can be considered “the best” at.

6 counterparts we're thankful for

When a Peace Corps Volunteer arrives in their host community, they’re paired with a counterpart.

Clarice with her Namibian mother and sisters at their house.

During my pre-service training, I spent three weeks living in a village in Oshana Region, learning Oshikwanyama and practicing teaching science.

VIDEO: Highlighting home in Namibia
The learners at the primary school in my village prepare for a dance competition.

As a college student, I made sure I never missed out on anything.

My host siblings and I using extra equipment found around our homestead to create a fence for our soon to be garden.

I enjoy gardening.

snow in the desert namibia

How do you select gifts for a family you’ve never met?

Nyassa Kollie, Malawi

We asked Peace Corps Volunteers, "What do you wish Americans knew about your country of service?"

Meme Lougha at the craft workshop

Meme Lougha Ihuhuwa is a San woman who lives in northern, rural Namibia, and has been working with Omba Arts Trust, my Peace Corps project, for several years as a craft producer. 

Paul Menard

In honor of Older Americans Month, the Peace Corps commends those who defy expectations of age and pursue the next chapter of their lives by making a difference overseas.

girls soccer Tanzania

Live Your Goals is a slogan of the FIFA Women's World Cup Canada 2015. However, "living your goals" is more of a dream than a reality for millions of girls globally.

Moldova Volunteer Albert Sou reading to kids

Beginning in 1986, I served as an early childhood teacher trainer in Haiti.