We are excited to announce that the application cycle for the 2017 PEPFAR Small Grants is now open. Application deadline is Tuesday, February 28, 2017. For more information, please visit zm.usembassy.gov and follow the U.S. Embassy in Zambia on Facebook and Twitter. To help us with the facts and details of the application process, we are joined by PEPFAR Civil Society Engagement Officer, Ms. Priscilla Chisala Chimba.
Ambassador Eric Schultz discusses the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) meeting in South Africa this month. The 182 CITES member countries, including both the United States and Zambia, will decide what measures are needed to end poaching, illegal trade in wildlife, and wildlife trafficking, while keeping pressure on poachers. The Ambassador says poaching impacts both game ranching and tourism, areas that have unfulfilled potential to create jobs. Wildlife populations need to increase to make ranching and tourism sustainable. One study shows an elephant can be worth US$ 1.5 million in tourism revenue over its lifetime, while hunting fees and local spending by hunters may only draw a small fraction of that amount, benefitting a small number of people only once. The United States is proud to be a supporter of Zambian wildlife by providing funding and training to DNPW staff, and Americans are the largest group of foreign holiday tourists who visit Zambia every year.
Ambassador Eric Schultz announces the 2017 Mandela Washington Fellowship application cycle Sept 21 - Oct 26!
Dr. Agnes Ngoma Leslie a Senior Lecturer and Outreach Director at the Center for African Studies at the University of Florida, spoke to us about the importance of women getting involved in politics. She says having more politically involved women will increase women's voice in parliament and lead to better laws for women being passed in parliament. Dr. Leslie received her B.A. in Mass Communication from the University of Zambia and her Ph.D. in Political Science from the University of Florida. She teaches courses in African politics, Women and Politics and Human Rights in Africa. Her research focuses on social movements, citizenship, human rights, policy and development, and regional integration in Southern Africa. Her book: Social Movements and Democracy in Africa: The Impact of Women’s Rights in Botswana was published by Routledge in New York and London in 2006. She is a senior editor of Encyclopedia of African History and Culture: A Learning Source Book.
We sat down with Kathryn Koonce from the PEPFAR Zambia team to talk about the DREAMS writing challenge. DREAMS is an initiative to reduce HIV infections among adolescent girls and young women in 10 sub-Saharan African countries including Zambia. The goal of DREAMS is to help girls develop into Determined, Resilient, Empowered, AIDS-free, Mentored, and Safe women.
2. What is your dream for young women in Zambia and how can you (as an individual) help make this dream a reality?
DREAMS is addressing the factors that directly and indirectly increase girls’ HIV risk, including poverty, gender inequality, sexual violence, and a lack of education. It will be working in Lusaka, Ndola and Chingola.
It’s supported by the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and Girl Effect. In Zambia we are working closely with the National AIDS Council, UNAIDS and many other partners.
As we are leading to the launch of dreams at the end of January, we’re asking for young people in Zambia (from 15 to 24) to submit 600-word essays answering one of these two questions:
1. What is your dream for young women in Zambia and how can others (your family, community, school, government, etc.) help you, as an individual, achieve this dream?
We caught up with Dr. Michelle Gadd from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to chat about wildlife conservation and the state of elephants and rhinos in Zambia. Michelle said wildlife trafficking, though illegal, moves without much public acknowledgment and without proper statistics. She says it’s a global problem. Animals are moved, dead or alive by people for pet trade, ivory trade and rhino horn use. Michelle goes on to say that with the advancement of technology, things are changing for the better. She also explains that president Obama has made it a priority that all U.S. Government agencies must work together and regard Wildlife trafficking as a high priority crime. This decision has made it possible to allocate more resources towards wildlife security.
We caught up with Aaron Mwewa, to talk about his experience in the Public Management track of the Mandela Washington Fellowship. Aaron Mwewa is an award-winning media practitioner who has worked for over 10 years at national and international levels. As an assistant editor for Parliamentary publications in Zambia, he has the responsibility of expeditiously producing well-edited transcripts of the parliamentary debates, which are published as official records. He is skilled in community and resource mobilization, as well as providing media-related training and developing content for various media outlets. Aaron holds a degree majoring in Mass Communication and minoring in Development Studies from the University of Zambia. For now, his main driver is to help bridge the gap between Parliament and the people.
We were excited to talk to U.S. Ambassador Eric Schultz about the Mandela Washington Fellowship. In his interview, Ambassador Schultz said the U.S. government has seen a significant impact from its investment in young leaders through the Mandela Washington Fellowship. Upon completion of their Fellowship experience in the United States, Fellows are building innovative businesses, connecting with U.S. and African investors, forging new relationships with young leaders across African nations, and serving their communities with skills developed during the Fellowship. He also encouraged Zambians between the age of 25 and 35 to apply for the 2016 Mandela Washington Fellowship program before the deadline.
USAID Health Office Deputy Director Jessica Healey and USAID DREAMS/Public Private Partnership Advisor Lizzy Chanda explained to us the importance of commemorating the International Day of the Girl Child, established on December 19, 2011, when the United Nations General Assembly adopted . The purpose of the International Day of the Girl Child is to recognize girls’ rights and the unique challenges girls face around the world. This year, the theme is "The Power of the Adolescent Girl: the Vision for 2030" and USAID highlights some of its activities to keep Zambian adolescents in school and support them to be empowered, AIDS-free, mentored and safe.