Where Are They Now? – Stomp Out Malaria Catches up with Returned Volunteers
By Alicia Nelson on Monday, January 13th, 2014
Malaria has been part of the Peace Corps experience from the beginning. In a 1961 memo to President Kennedy, Sargent Shriver outlined malaria prevention as an integral programmatic priority.
On April 25, 2011 Peace Corps reenergized and refocused that commitment by launching the Stomping Out Malaria in Africa (Stomp) initiative. The goal of the initiative was to advance a vision for a unique collaboration between Peace Corps Volunteers (PCV) in the field, U.S. Government malaria prevention professionals, international NGOs and host country institutions across Africa.
Peace Corps would train a cadre of highly specialized malaria prevention Volunteers – the Malaria Team – and embed those Volunteers in malaria-focused organizations in Africa with an urgent need for human resources. Malaria Team Volunteers would make the organizations they worked in more effective and coordinate between those organizations and the network of over 3,000 Volunteers in sub-Saharan Africa to bring the full focused effort of the Peace Corps Volunteer network to bear on the issue of malaria prevention.
Since 2011, more than 200 PCVs and Peace Corps staff from 24 countries have joined the Malaria Team and participated in an intensive technical training in Thies, Senegal known as Malaria Boot Camp. These trainings serve to empower and motivate a diverse collective of Peace Corps Volunteers, Response Volunteers, and staff to lead their posts’ malaria efforts and facilitate projects for their volunteers in the field.
As PCVs conclude their service and move on to jobs, graduate school, and new adventures, Stomp has noticed a remarkable trend. Many alumni of the Malaria Team are choosing to stay in the field!
To capture the impact Returned Peace Corps Volunteers (RPCVs) are continuing to make in public health and development following their service, Stomp has recently launched a “Malaria Team: Where Are They Now Series” on their Facebook page (www.facebook.com/Stompoutmalaria). Each week they profile one outstanding RPCV, providing a window into their service and sharing what they’re up to now.
In the coming weeks, Stomp would like to expand its coverage to RPCVs whose service predated the Stomping Out Malaria in Africa initiative. If you would like to nominate yourself or someone else to be featured, please contact Stomping Out Malaria in Africa’s Communications Manager, Kate Glantz, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
To learn more about Stomping Out Malaria in Africa, visit www.stompingoutmalaria.org.