Difference between pages "Armenia" and "Diversity and cross-cultural issues in Zambia"

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{{CountryboxAlternative
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{{Diversity_and_cross-cultural_issues_by_country}}
|status= [[ACTIVE]]
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In fulfilling the Peace Corps’ mandate to share the face of America with our host countries, the Peace Corps is making special efforts to see that all of America’s richness is reflected in the Volunteer population. More Americans of color are serving in today’s Peace Corps than at any time in recent years. Differences in race, ethnic background, age, religion, and sexual orientation are expected and welcome among our Volunteers. Part of the Peace Corps’ mission is to help dispel any notion that Americans are all of one origin or race, and to establish that each of us is as thoroughly American as the other, despite our many differences. Our diversity helps us accomplish that goal.  
|Countryname= Armenia
 
|CountryCode= am
 
|Flag= Flag_of_Armenia.svg
 
|Welcomebooklink = http://www.peacecorps.gov/welcomebooks/amwb305.pdf
 
|Region= [[Eastern Europe and Central Asia]]
 
|CountryDirector= [[David Lillie]]
 
|Sectors= [[Education]]<br> ([[APCD]]: [[Gayane Zargaryan]])<br>[[Business]] <br>([[APCD]]: [[Stepan S'hoyan]])<br>
 
|ProgramDates= [[1992]] - [[Present]]
 
|CurrentlyServing= 96
 
|TotalVolunteers= 583+
 
|Languages= [[Armenian]] (official), [[Russian]] (learned in school, not offical), [[Georgian]] (not common), [[Yazidi]] (not common), and [[Azeri]] (not common)
 
|Map= Am-map.gif
 
|stagingdate= Jun 1 2011
 
|stagingcity= Philadelphia
 
}}
 
  
Peace Corps Volunteers assist the government of Armenia in an effort to address multiple development challenges. Currently, the Peace Corps places its emphasis on sustainable capacity-building projects in the areas of Teaching English as a Foreign Language (TEFL) and Community and Business Development (CBD). The environmental education (EE) and community health education (CHE) programs have been closed as of September 2010. The objective is not to teach Armenians “American” values, but to help them help themselves within their own cultural framework.
+
In other ways, however, our diversity poses challenges. In Zambia, as in other Peace Corps host countries, Volunteers’ behavior, lifestyles, background, and beliefs will be judged in a cultural context very different from our own. Certain personal perspectives or characteristics considered familiar and commonly accepted in the United States may be quite uncommon, unacceptable, or even repressed in certain host countries.  
  
 +
Outside of Zambia’s capital, residents of rural communities have had relatively little direct exposure to other cultures, races, religions, and lifestyles. What is advertised as “typical” cultural behavior or norms may also be a narrow and selective interpretation, such as the perception in some countries that all Americans are rich and have blond hair and blue eyes. The people of Zambia are justly known for their generous hospitality to foreigners; however, members of the community in which you will live may display a range of reactions to differences that you present. We ask that you be supportive of one another.
  
== Peace Corps History==
+
To ease transition and adapt to the ways of your host country, you may need to make some temporary, yet fundamental compromises in how you present yourself as an American and as an individual. For example, female trainees and Volunteers may not be able to exercise the independence available to them in the United States; political discussions will need to be handled with great care; and some of your personal beliefs may best remain undisclosed. You will need to develop techniques and personal strategies for coping with these and other limits. The Peace Corps staff will lead diversity and sensitivity discussions during pre-service training and will be on call to provide support, but the challenge, ultimately, will be your own.
  
''Main article: [[History of Peace Corps in Armenia]]''
+
===Overview of Diversity in Zambia===
  
The Peace Corps program in Armenia began in 1992. During the first years, conditions were very difficult, with no electricity or heat. The country was reeling from the aftermath of the devastating 1988 earthquake, the breakup of the Soviet Union, and a war with Azerbaijan over Nagorno-Karabakh, an Armenian enclave. Since then, more than 500 Volunteers have served in Armenia.
+
The Peace Corps staff in Zambia recognizes the adjustment issues that come with diversity and will endeavor to provide support and guidance. During pre-service training, several sessions will be held to discuss diversity and coping mechanisms. We look forward to having male and female Volunteers from a variety of cultures, backgrounds, religions, ethnic groups, and ages, and sexual orientations, and hope that you will become part of a diverse group of Americans who will take pride in supporting one another and demonstrating the richness of American culture.  
  
 +
===What Might A Volunteer Face? ===
  
 +
The comments that follow are intended to stimulate thought and discussion. The issues discussed may or may not have an impact on your own Volunteer experience. Rather, they are here to make all Volunteers aware of issues that one particular group or another may face.
  
==Living Conditions and Volunteer Lifestyle==
+
====Possible Issues for Female Volunteers====
  
''Main article: [[Living conditions and volunteer lifestyles in Armenia]]''
+
Zambia is a paternalistic society. Young female Volunteers may experience some frustration when Zambian men do not take them seriously at first or view them as children. Female Volunteers may also receive more unwanted and inappropriate attention from Zambian men. They may have to work harder than male Volunteers to gain the respect of colleagues in the workplace. They may not be accorded the respect they are normally used to receiving.
  
During pre-service training, all trainees are required to live with host families. After completing pre-service training and swearing-in, all Volunteers live with host families for a minimum of four months at their permanent site. Living with a host family provides several benefits including accelerated language acquisition; a deeper and more profound cross-cultural understanding; and an improved, in-depth community integration. Being a respected and equal member of a family not only provides strong personal and professional rewards, it can ensure your safety and security as well. Host family accommodations will vary depending on the community. Some may be apartments or separate detached houses; some may have European-style bathrooms while others might use "outhouses" or "squat" toilets. Regardless of the situation, trainees and Volunteers live as the members of their community do. After the four-month period, Volunteers may remain with host families or change to another living situation in their communities depending on availability and personal preferences.
 
  
==Training==
 
  
''Main article: [[Training in Armenia]]''
+
====Possible Issues for Volunteers of Color====
  
Training is an essential part of Peace Corps service. The goal of the nine-week program is to give you the skills and information you need to live and work effectively in Armenia. In doing that, we build upon the experiences and expertise you bring to the Peace Corps. The program also gives you the opportunity to practice new skills as they apply to your work in Armenia. We anticipate that you will approach training with an open mind, a desire to learn, and a willingness to become involved. Trainees officially become Volunteers only after successful completion of training.
+
In Zambian cities and towns, it is fair to say that most Zambians are aware of some of the different racial and ethnic groups that exist in the United States. However, among rural populations, this level of knowledge and understanding greatly diminishes.  
  
You will receive training and orientation in components of language, cross-cultural communication, development issues, health and personal safety, and technical skills pertinent to your specific assignment. The skills you learn will serve as the foundation upon which you build your experience as a Peace Corps Volunteer.
 
  
Upon arrival in Armenia, you will go to the Peace Corps training center a few hours outside of Yerevan. After a brief orientation period, you will move into a host village within an hour of the training center. In the host village, you and other trainees (about 8 to a village) will live with a Armenian host family for the majority of your training period, allowing you to gain hands-on experience in some of the new skills you are expected to acquire.
 
  
==Health Care and Safety==
+
African Americans may not be recognized as Americans and may be asked what their tribal language and customs are.  They may be expected to learn local languages more quickly than other Volunteers. They may be accepted more readily into the culture than other Volunteers or treated according to local social norms because it is assumed they are African.  They may not be recognized as Americans or they may be perceived as considering themselves superior to Africans.  They may be discriminated against by white Africans.
  
''Main article: [[Health care and safety in Armenia]]''
+
Hispanic American Volunteers may also be perceived as not being American; they may be labeled as Cubans or Mexicans.  Zambians may expect Hispanics to automatically assume different role patterns or to interact socially with more ease.  Asian-American Volunteers may be subject to stereotypes based on behavior Zambians have observed in films, such as being assumed to be experts at kung fu, and based on Zambia’s current or historical involvement with Asian countries. They may also be seen as not American.
  
The Peace Corps’ highest priority is maintaining the good health and safety of every Volunteer. Peace Corps medical programs emphasize the preventive, rather than the curative, approach to disease. The Peace Corps in Armenia maintains a clinic with two full-time medical officers, who take care of Volunteers’ primary healthcare needs. Additional medical services, such as testing and basic treatment, are also available in Armenia at local hospitals and clinics. If you become seriously ill, you will be transported to a medical facility in the region or to the United States.
 
  
==Diversity and Cross-Cultural Issues==
 
  
''Main article: [[Diversity and cross-cultural issues in Armenia]]''
+
====Possible Issues for Senior Volunteers====
  
In Armenia, as in other Peace Corps host countries, Volunteers’ behavior, lifestyle, background, and beliefs are judged in a cultural context very different from their own. Certain personal perspectives or characteristics commonly accepted in the United States may be quite uncommon, unacceptable, or even repressed in Armenia.
+
In Zambia, older members of society are viewed and treated with a great deal of respect. Issues for older Americans are more likely to be in relation to their younger fellow Peace Corps Volunteers. Older Volunteers may work and live with individuals in the Peace Corps community who have little understanding of or respect for the lives and experiences of senior Americans. Senior Volunteers may not get necessary personal support from younger Volunteers and may be reluctant to share personal, sexual or health concerns with them or with members of the Peace Corps staff. They may find that younger Volunteers look to them for advice and support; a role they may not enjoy assuming. During pre-service training, senior Volunteers may need to be assertive when developing an effective approach to language learning.  
  
Outside of Armenia’s capital, residents of rural communities have had relatively little direct exposure to other cultures, races, religions, and lifestyles. What people view as typical American behavior or norms may be a misconception, such as the belief that all Americans are rich and Caucasian. The people of Armenia are justly known for their generous hospitality to foreigners; however, members of the community in which you will live may display a range of reactions to cultural differences that you present.
+
====Possible Issues for Gay, Lesbian, or Bisexual Volunteers====
  
* Possible Issues for Female Volunteers
+
In general, Zambians view homosexuality as immoral and as something that has been “imported” from Europe.  Homosexuality is against the law in Zambia and although few cases are brought before the courts, it still requires that homosexuals be mindful that anti-gay laws and sentiment exist. While there are certainly homosexuals, the level of tolerance will probably not be what it was in the States. Due to cultural norms, homosexual Volunteers may discover that they cannot be open about their sexual preference in their community. Volunteers may serve for two years without meeting another gay Volunteer. Lesbians will have to deal with constant questions about boyfriends, marriage, and sex (as do all women). Most Zambian homosexuals have probably migrated to the larger cities, while most Volunteers are posted in rural sites. Gay men must deal with machismo: talk of conquest(s), girl watching, and dirty jokes.
* Possible Issues for Volunteers of Color
 
* Possible Issues for Gay, Lesbian, or Bisexual Volunteers
 
* Possible Issues for Senior Volunteers
 
* Possible Religious Issues for Volunteers
 
* Possible Issues for Volunteers With Disabilities
 
  
==Frequently Asked Questions==
+
====Possible Religious Issues for Volunteers ====
  
{{Volunteersurvey2008
+
Zambia is a declared Christian nation; most Zambians have some religious affiliation and attend church regularly. Zambia has a wide variety of Christian faiths, a very small number of Muslims (mainly in the Asian community), and a few other religions such as Hindu and B’hai. In Zambia, the questions, “Are you a Christian?” and “Do you Pray?” are conversation starters. Volunteers may be chastised for not observing Christian beliefs or asked to explain why they don’t practice a certain Christian denomination. They may be expected to attend church with their communities or they may be actively recruited by a Christian group. Volunteers may have difficulty conveying their beliefs due to language and cultural barriers.  
|H1r= 17
 
|H1s= 76.3
 
|H2r= 25
 
|H2s= 85.3
 
|H3r= 14
 
|H3s= 87.8
 
|H4r= 46
 
|H4s= 103.0
 
|H5r= 30
 
|H5s= 54.0
 
|H6r= 44
 
|H6s= 79.1
 
}}
 
  
''Main article: [[FAQs about Peace Corps in Armenia]]''
+
====Possible Issues for Volunteers with Disabilities ====
  
* How much luggage am I allowed to bring to Armenia?
+
There is very little infrastructure to accommodate individuals with disabilities.Volunteers with disabilities may also find that some people hold prejudicial attitudes about individuals with disabilities and may discriminate against them. Peace Corps Volunteer sites in Zambia are also very remote and isolated, with very little to no public transportation. Disabled Volunteers may find the rural living situation particularly challenging. However, the Office of Medical Services determined that you were physically and emotionally capable, with or without reasonable accommodation, to perform a full tour of Volunteer service in Zambia without unreasonable risk to yourself or interruption of your service. The Peace Corps/Zambia staff will work with disabled Volunteers to make reasonable accommodations in training, projects, housing, job sites, or other areas to enable you to serve safely and effectively.
* What is the electric current in Armenia?
 
* How much money should I bring?
 
* When can I take vacation and have people visit me?
 
* Will my belongings be covered by insurance?
 
* Do I need an international driver’s license?
 
* What should I bring as gifts for Armenian friends and my host family?
 
* Where will my site assignment be when I finish training and how isolated will I be?
 
* How can my family contact me in an emergency?
 
* Can I call home from Armenia?
 
* Should I bring a cellular phone with me?
 
  
==Packing List==
+
====Possible Issues for Married Volunteers ====
  
''Main article: [[Packing list for Armenia]]''
+
Married couples may face the challenge of one spouse being more enthusiastic about the Peace Corps, one spouse being better able to adapt to the new environment, or one spouse being less or more homesick than the other. A married man may be encouraged by Zambians to be the more dominant member in the relationship, to make decisions independent of his wife’s views, or to socialize without his wife. He may be ridiculed if he performs domestic tasks or refuses to have a mistress. A married woman may find herself in a less independent role than she is accustomed to. She may have a more limited social life in the community than single female Volunteers because of Zambians’ assumption that she is busy taking care of her husband. She may be expected to perform more domestic chores than her husband.
  
This list has been compiled by Volunteers serving in Armenia and is based on their experience. Use it as an informal guide in making your own list, bearing in mind that experience is individual. There is no perfect list! You obviously cannot bring everything we mention, so consider those items that make the most sense to you personally and professionally. You can always have things sent to you later. As you decide what to bring, keep in mind that you have an 80-pound weight restriction on baggage. Do not bring valuables or cherished items that could be lost, stolen, or ruined by the harsh climate. And remember, you can get almost everything you need in Armenia.
+
[[Category:Zambia]]
 
 
* General
 
* Packing for training
 
* Clothing
 
* Personal Hygiene and Toiletry Items
 
* Kitchen
 
* Additional Items to Consider Bringing
 
* Items You Do Not Need to Bring
 
 
 
 
 
== Volunteer Projects ==
 
 
 
''Main article: [[Volunteer projects of Peace Corps in Armenia]]''
 
 
 
Peace Corps Volunteers in Armenia have initiated many projects in Peace Corps and some have started websites to promote these projects in Armenia and abroad. Some RPCVs have started American nonprofits to provide continued support to the projects they initiated during their Peace Corps service.
 
 
 
==Peace Corps News==
 
 
 
Current events relating to Peace Corps are also available by [[News | country of service]] or [[News by state|your home state]]
 
 
 
''The following is automatic RSS feed of Peace Corps news for this country.''<br><rss title=on desc=off>http://news.google.com/news?hl=en&ned=us&scoring=n&q=%22peace+corps%22+%22armenia%22&output=rss|charset=UTF-8|short|date=M d</rss>
 
 
 
<br>'''[http://peacecorpsjournals.com PEACE CORPS JOURNALS]'''<br>''( As of {{CURRENTDAYNAME}} {{CURRENTMONTHNAME}} {{CURRENTDAY}}, {{CURRENTYEAR}} )''<rss title=off desc=off number=10>http://peacecorpsjournals.com/rss/am/blog/50.xml|charset=UTF-8|short|max=10</rss>
 
 
 
==Country Fund==
 
 
 
Contributions to the [https://www.peacecorps.gov/index.cfm?shell=resources.donors.contribute.projDetail&projdesc=305-CFD Armenia Country Fund] will support Volunteer and community projects that will take place in Armenia. These projects include water and sanitation, agricultural development, and youth programs.
 
 
 
==See also==
 
* [[Armenian]]
 
* [[Volunteers who served in Armenia]]
 
* [[Staff members who served in Armenia]]
 
* [[Armenia books]]
 
* [[Armenia web resources]]
 
* [[Pre-Departure Checklist]]
 
* [[Inspector General Reports]]
 
* [[Treaties for Peace Corps by US State Department]]
 
 
 
 
 
[[Category:Eastern Europe and Central Asia]]
 
[[Category:Country]]
 
[[Category:Armenia]]
 
[[Property::Located in::Eastern Europe and Central Asia]]
 

Latest revision as of 12:15, 23 August 2016

Diversity and cross-cultural issues in [[{{#explode:Diversity and cross-cultural issues in Zambia| |5}} {{#explode:Diversity and cross-cultural issues in Zambia| |6}} {{#explode:Diversity and cross-cultural issues in Zambia| |7}}]]
In fulfilling the Peace Corps’ mandate to share the face of America with their host countries, Peace Corps is making special efforts to see that all of America’s richness is reflected in the Volunteer corps. More Americans of color are serving in today’s Peace Corps than at any time in recent years. Differences in race, ethnic background, age, religion, and sexual orientation are expected and welcomed among our Volunteers. Part of the Peace Corps’ mission is to help dispel any notion that Americans are all of one origin or race and to establish that each of us is as thoroughly American as the other despite our many differences.
  • [[Packing list for {{#explode:Diversity and cross-cultural issues in Zambia| |5}} {{#explode:Diversity and cross-cultural issues in Zambia| |6}} {{#explode:Diversity and cross-cultural issues in Zambia| |7}}]]
  • [[Training in {{#explode:Diversity and cross-cultural issues in Zambia| |5}} {{#explode:Diversity and cross-cultural issues in Zambia| |6}} {{#explode:Diversity and cross-cultural issues in Zambia| |7}}]]
  • [[Living conditions and volunteer lifestyles in {{#explode:Diversity and cross-cultural issues in Zambia| |5}} {{#explode:Diversity and cross-cultural issues in Zambia| |6}} {{#explode:Diversity and cross-cultural issues in Zambia| |7}}]]
  • [[Health care and safety in {{#explode:Diversity and cross-cultural issues in Zambia| |5}} {{#explode:Diversity and cross-cultural issues in Zambia| |6}} {{#explode:Diversity and cross-cultural issues in Zambia| |7}}]]
  • [[Diversity and cross-cultural issues in {{#explode:Diversity and cross-cultural issues in Zambia| |5}} {{#explode:Diversity and cross-cultural issues in Zambia| |6}} {{#explode:Diversity and cross-cultural issues in Zambia| |7}}]]
  • [[FAQs about Peace Corps in {{#explode:Diversity and cross-cultural issues in Zambia| |5}} {{#explode:Diversity and cross-cultural issues in Zambia| |6}} {{#explode:Diversity and cross-cultural issues in Zambia| |7}}]]
  • [[History of the Peace Corps in {{#explode:Diversity and cross-cultural issues in Zambia| |5}} {{#explode:Diversity and cross-cultural issues in Zambia| |6}} {{#explode:Diversity and cross-cultural issues in Zambia| |7}}]]
See also:
[[Category:{{#explode:Diversity and cross-cultural issues in Zambia| |5}} {{#explode:Diversity and cross-cultural issues in Zambia| |6}} {{#explode:Diversity and cross-cultural issues in Zambia| |7}}]]

In fulfilling the Peace Corps’ mandate to share the face of America with our host countries, the Peace Corps is making special efforts to see that all of America’s richness is reflected in the Volunteer population. More Americans of color are serving in today’s Peace Corps than at any time in recent years. Differences in race, ethnic background, age, religion, and sexual orientation are expected and welcome among our Volunteers. Part of the Peace Corps’ mission is to help dispel any notion that Americans are all of one origin or race, and to establish that each of us is as thoroughly American as the other, despite our many differences. Our diversity helps us accomplish that goal.

In other ways, however, our diversity poses challenges. In Zambia, as in other Peace Corps host countries, Volunteers’ behavior, lifestyles, background, and beliefs will be judged in a cultural context very different from our own. Certain personal perspectives or characteristics considered familiar and commonly accepted in the United States may be quite uncommon, unacceptable, or even repressed in certain host countries.

Outside of Zambia’s capital, residents of rural communities have had relatively little direct exposure to other cultures, races, religions, and lifestyles. What is advertised as “typical” cultural behavior or norms may also be a narrow and selective interpretation, such as the perception in some countries that all Americans are rich and have blond hair and blue eyes. The people of Zambia are justly known for their generous hospitality to foreigners; however, members of the community in which you will live may display a range of reactions to differences that you present. We ask that you be supportive of one another.

To ease transition and adapt to the ways of your host country, you may need to make some temporary, yet fundamental compromises in how you present yourself as an American and as an individual. For example, female trainees and Volunteers may not be able to exercise the independence available to them in the United States; political discussions will need to be handled with great care; and some of your personal beliefs may best remain undisclosed. You will need to develop techniques and personal strategies for coping with these and other limits. The Peace Corps staff will lead diversity and sensitivity discussions during pre-service training and will be on call to provide support, but the challenge, ultimately, will be your own.

Overview of Diversity in Zambia

The Peace Corps staff in Zambia recognizes the adjustment issues that come with diversity and will endeavor to provide support and guidance. During pre-service training, several sessions will be held to discuss diversity and coping mechanisms. We look forward to having male and female Volunteers from a variety of cultures, backgrounds, religions, ethnic groups, and ages, and sexual orientations, and hope that you will become part of a diverse group of Americans who will take pride in supporting one another and demonstrating the richness of American culture.

What Might A Volunteer Face?

The comments that follow are intended to stimulate thought and discussion. The issues discussed may or may not have an impact on your own Volunteer experience. Rather, they are here to make all Volunteers aware of issues that one particular group or another may face.

Possible Issues for Female Volunteers

Zambia is a paternalistic society. Young female Volunteers may experience some frustration when Zambian men do not take them seriously at first or view them as children. Female Volunteers may also receive more unwanted and inappropriate attention from Zambian men. They may have to work harder than male Volunteers to gain the respect of colleagues in the workplace. They may not be accorded the respect they are normally used to receiving.


Possible Issues for Volunteers of Color

In Zambian cities and towns, it is fair to say that most Zambians are aware of some of the different racial and ethnic groups that exist in the United States. However, among rural populations, this level of knowledge and understanding greatly diminishes.


African Americans may not be recognized as Americans and may be asked what their tribal language and customs are. They may be expected to learn local languages more quickly than other Volunteers. They may be accepted more readily into the culture than other Volunteers or treated according to local social norms because it is assumed they are African. They may not be recognized as Americans or they may be perceived as considering themselves superior to Africans. They may be discriminated against by white Africans.

Hispanic American Volunteers may also be perceived as not being American; they may be labeled as Cubans or Mexicans. Zambians may expect Hispanics to automatically assume different role patterns or to interact socially with more ease. Asian-American Volunteers may be subject to stereotypes based on behavior Zambians have observed in films, such as being assumed to be experts at kung fu, and based on Zambia’s current or historical involvement with Asian countries. They may also be seen as not American.


Possible Issues for Senior Volunteers

In Zambia, older members of society are viewed and treated with a great deal of respect. Issues for older Americans are more likely to be in relation to their younger fellow Peace Corps Volunteers. Older Volunteers may work and live with individuals in the Peace Corps community who have little understanding of or respect for the lives and experiences of senior Americans. Senior Volunteers may not get necessary personal support from younger Volunteers and may be reluctant to share personal, sexual or health concerns with them or with members of the Peace Corps staff. They may find that younger Volunteers look to them for advice and support; a role they may not enjoy assuming. During pre-service training, senior Volunteers may need to be assertive when developing an effective approach to language learning.

Possible Issues for Gay, Lesbian, or Bisexual Volunteers

In general, Zambians view homosexuality as immoral and as something that has been “imported” from Europe. Homosexuality is against the law in Zambia and although few cases are brought before the courts, it still requires that homosexuals be mindful that anti-gay laws and sentiment exist. While there are certainly homosexuals, the level of tolerance will probably not be what it was in the States. Due to cultural norms, homosexual Volunteers may discover that they cannot be open about their sexual preference in their community. Volunteers may serve for two years without meeting another gay Volunteer. Lesbians will have to deal with constant questions about boyfriends, marriage, and sex (as do all women). Most Zambian homosexuals have probably migrated to the larger cities, while most Volunteers are posted in rural sites. Gay men must deal with machismo: talk of conquest(s), girl watching, and dirty jokes.

Possible Religious Issues for Volunteers

Zambia is a declared Christian nation; most Zambians have some religious affiliation and attend church regularly. Zambia has a wide variety of Christian faiths, a very small number of Muslims (mainly in the Asian community), and a few other religions such as Hindu and B’hai. In Zambia, the questions, “Are you a Christian?” and “Do you Pray?” are conversation starters. Volunteers may be chastised for not observing Christian beliefs or asked to explain why they don’t practice a certain Christian denomination. They may be expected to attend church with their communities or they may be actively recruited by a Christian group. Volunteers may have difficulty conveying their beliefs due to language and cultural barriers.

Possible Issues for Volunteers with Disabilities

There is very little infrastructure to accommodate individuals with disabilities.Volunteers with disabilities may also find that some people hold prejudicial attitudes about individuals with disabilities and may discriminate against them. Peace Corps Volunteer sites in Zambia are also very remote and isolated, with very little to no public transportation. Disabled Volunteers may find the rural living situation particularly challenging. However, the Office of Medical Services determined that you were physically and emotionally capable, with or without reasonable accommodation, to perform a full tour of Volunteer service in Zambia without unreasonable risk to yourself or interruption of your service. The Peace Corps/Zambia staff will work with disabled Volunteers to make reasonable accommodations in training, projects, housing, job sites, or other areas to enable you to serve safely and effectively.

Possible Issues for Married Volunteers

Married couples may face the challenge of one spouse being more enthusiastic about the Peace Corps, one spouse being better able to adapt to the new environment, or one spouse being less or more homesick than the other. A married man may be encouraged by Zambians to be the more dominant member in the relationship, to make decisions independent of his wife’s views, or to socialize without his wife. He may be ridiculed if he performs domestic tasks or refuses to have a mistress. A married woman may find herself in a less independent role than she is accustomed to. She may have a more limited social life in the community than single female Volunteers because of Zambians’ assumption that she is busy taking care of her husband. She may be expected to perform more domestic chores than her husband.