Peace Corps Volunteer: Rio Abajo, El Salvador and Zambia

Presented By

Kristin Koo

Presentation Date

12/05/2018

Penn Nursing Degree(s)

MSN ’19

Kristin Koo’s experience as a Peace Corps Volunteer is two-fold in that she served as a volunteer in Rio Abajo, El Salvador (February 2009 – April 2011) followed by another service term (February – November, 2013) in Zambia.

In Rio Abajo, Kristin served as a Rural Health & Sanitation Specialist and was actively engaged with the community in a number of projects including: development of a gardening and nutrition project; formation of a women’s group aimed at creating an interactive environment for women to learn and recreate the cooking and gardening practices they were being taught; creation of various youth-geared camps ranging from environmental awareness to HIV/AIDS education; and the organization of a girls’ soccer team where she could also provide lessons of life skills and teenage health topics.

As a Peace Corps Response Volunteer in Zambia, Kristin served as the Maternal Health Advisor of the Saving Mother, Giving Lives (SMGL) Initiative in the Nyimba district, Eastern Province. In this role, Kristin carried out a wide range of duties: promoting maternal health outreach at all 18 rural health centers and health posts; lobbying for improved resources at health center shelters for expectant mothers; and sensitizing communities and their traditional leaders on safe maternal and child health practices.

The relationships she built during her Peace Corps service, with women of different cultures and backgrounds, affirmed Kristin’s commitment to working with women across their lifespan. Equipped with Penn Nursing training and expertise as a nurse-midwife, Kristin hopes to have an extensive career contributing to interventions to improve the quality of life for women, their families, communities, and society.