Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Number One Hit on Radio Malawi

We're about halfway through the summer break. Have you begun to think about classroom visits for next year?

If you know any Returned Peace Corps Volunteers, ask them to come to speak to your class. Most are delighted to come and share their experiences. They have everyday, inside information about countries all over the world to share. Their enthusiasm for service is infectious. And sometimes they have stories to tell that will change lives.

While you're contacting your own Peace Corps friends and neighbors, learn more about Returned Peace Corps Volunteer Jack Allison at the Friend of Malawi website. During his service in the Central African nation of Malawi, Jack supported child nutrition. As part of his effort to improve children's health, he wrote and recorded a song called Ufa Wa Mtdeza ("put peanut flour in your child's cornmeal mush"). The nutrition message got across, and Jack's song was number one on Radio Malawi for three and a half years.

Jack took his act on the road, playing and singing to crowds all through the country in support of public health. Years later, after Jack had returned to the United States and become a physician, the government of Malawi requested he return and launch a musical/medical mission to help combat the spread of HIV/AIDS. He did, and you can listen to the songs for public health Jack wrote and performed in villages throughout Malawi.

Peace Corps resources for teachers and students are available here. I'll be featuring World Wise Schools in a future post. In the meantime, sing along to Ufa Wa Mtdeza and round up your Peace Corps friends. It's not too soon to plan their visits!

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