Aquaculture Extension Specialist-Rural Aquaculture Promotion (RAP)

Before You Apply

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Project Description

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

The Rural Aquaculture Promotion (RAP) project is focused primarily on the principles and practices of rural-based, small-scale, integrated agriculture technologies. Volunteers collaborate with Zambia's Department of Fisheries with the goal of improving nutrition and rural livelihoods through fish farming. Volunteers live in rural farming communities and provide intensive extension services aimed at increasing farmer capacities to successfully build and manage fishponds to increase production and incomes. Volunteers teach and assist farmers in technical aspects such as site selection, pond construction, stocking, management, and harvesting. Volunteers seek to enhance the integration of fish farming with other agricultural activities such as gardening, animal husbandry, fruit trees, and agro-forestry.

For farmers who are interested in scaling up their activities, Volunteers also provide training in basic business skills such as planning, record keeping, and marketing. In addition, Volunteers teach members of households the importance of improving nutrition by using more food groups and meals that include fish.

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 an expressed interest in working in agriculture and a Bachelor of Arts/Bachelor of Science degree in any field.

Desired Skills

• Degree in Environmental Education, Environmental Studies, or Natural Resources
• Experience organizing/leading environmental education activities
• Experience promoting environmental awareness in schools and communities
• 5 Years of 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 are provided with one of the most comprehensive language immersion programs in the world. They will receive three months of language learning from native speakers in the predominant language spoken at the site they will be placed in and will be required to attain language skills in listening and speaking. 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 Aquaculture Extension 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. Houses are 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 call coverage may not exist at your site, but all Volunteers are able to send or receive a text message.

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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