Agricultural Specialist-Linking Income, Food & the Environment (LIFE)

Before You Apply

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Project Description

Volunteers who have served in Zambia consider it to be the "quintessential Peace Corps" experience.

In the Linking Income, Food and Environment (LIFE) project, Volunteers promote the incorporation of agroforestry technologies in the farming system, help to enhance soil and water management practices, and teach improved gardening techniques. Volunteers also provide training in basic business skills, such as planning, record keeping, and marketing for farmers who are interested in scaling up their activities.

The most successful Volunteers in Zambia are extremely flexible and adaptable, and have a passion for inspiring others. Peace Corps Zambia offers exceptional technical training during Pre-Service Training for those with the motivation to learn about the Environment and Food Security.

Required Skills

Competitive candidates will have one or more of the following criteria:
Bachelor of Science degree or Associate degree in Agronomy, Horticulture, or other related fields

Desired Skills

• Experience organizing/leading environmental education activities

• 1 to 3 years full-time farm experience

• 5 years professional work experience

Required Language Skills

There are no pre-requisite language requirements for this position. Please take a moment to explore the Language Comments section below to find out more on how local language(s) will be utilized during service.

Additional Language Information

While English is the official language of Zambia, most Volunteers will need to speak the local language in order to effectively communicate in their community. Some community members may have intermediate or advanced levels of English, most will not. Therefore, Volunteers will be most effective when conversing and working in the local language and all Trainees must come prepared to learn a local Zambian language. Trainees will undergo three months of language learning in Trainees will have the privilege of undergoing one of the most comprehensive language immersion programs in the world. They will receive three months of language learning from native speakers in the the predominant language spoken at the site they will be placed in and will be required to attain intermediate level. They will also receive a survival language kit for the dialect found in their site and encouraged to engage the services of a tutor once they get to their site.

Living Conditions

Becoming an Agricultural Specialist in Zambia requires commitment to working in remote areas with mentally and physically challenging environments. Volunteers must be prepared to bike long distances (up to 12 miles in one direction) and to work and live in rural Zambian settings. Housing will be made of mud with thatched roofs and no electricity. Water will be from a nearby well or stream, which is then filtered through a Peace Corps-issued water filter. Cell phone coverage may not exist at your site, but all Volunteers report having cell phone coverage nearby to at least be able to text.

Volunteers typically live on a large housing compound with two or three other families, but have their own housing structure, cooking area, private washing area, and latrine. Volunteers may choose to share meals with their host neighbors or cook on their own.
Peace Corps Zambia supports its Volunteers in this uniquely rural environment through a strong regional office model. In each province where Volunteers serve, PC/Zambia operates a Provincial House, which is staffed year round and serves as a resource center for work collaboration and training. Further, having Peace Corps Staff and resources nearby allows for more comprehensive and timely support of volunteers, especially their health and safety -which are Peace Corps' top priorities.

Learn more about the Volunteer experience in Zambia: Get detailed information on culture, communications, housing, and safety — including crime statistics [PDF] — in order to make a well-informed decision about serving.

Medical Considerations in Zambia

  • Zambia may not be able to support Volunteers  with the following medical conditions: asthma, including mild or childhood;  gastroenterology; insulin-dependent diabetes; mammography; requiring a psychiatrist for psychotropic medications support; some types of gynecologic support; seizure disorder, peanut allergies; ongoing counseling.
  • The following medication(s) are not permitted for legal or cultural reasons: Adderall, Ritalin and Vyvanse.
  • Volunteers who should avoid the following food(s) may not be able to serve: gluten; peanut.
  • After arrival in Zambia, Peace Corps provides and applicants are required to have an annual flu shot, to take daily or weekly medication to prevent malaria, and to receive mandatory immunizations.

Before you apply, please also review Important Medical Information for Applicants [PDF] to learn about other health conditions typically not supported in Peace Corps service.


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