Interview SummaryHeather Cumming served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in the education sector in Zambia from 2004-2006. Born in Dayton, Ohio, she moved to Colorado and graduated from the University of Colorado at Boulder. Cumming joined the Peace Corps because she wanted to live in Africa, and only Africa. She lived with a host family while she completed a 3-month training program in Zambia. She received Tonga language training and project skills training in LTM, Learning at Taonga Market, via Zambian radio through the Ministry of Education. Cumming chose to serve as a volunteer for the new LTM learning program for the remote village of Sibooli-B in Southern Province, an arid and poverty-stricken region of Zambia. In a community meeting at the village school, village leaders and parents embraced the new LTM project and eagerly took on specific tasks she needed help with. Cumming felt that her village made progress in primary education during her two years there, and she learned that in Africa, there are infinite possibilities that take infinite work. The work Cumming began in Peace Corps has become her life’s work. In 2008, her Zambian village leaders asked her to return to help them meet their most pressing need: clean, sustainable water for their people and animals instead of impermanent, seasonal, and toxic water sources. In 2009, Cumming founded the non-profit Simwatechela Sustainable Agriculture and Arts Program (SSAAP). Her work is built on Peace Corps’ values of sustainable knowledge, practices, and relationships. Starting with clean water wells, SSAAP’s programs have expanded to microloans, school sponsorships, and adult literacy for women 35+ in both Zambia and Sierra Leone. Cumming is SSAAP’s Executive Director and lives in her Zambian village with her daughter, as well in various villages in Sierra Leone. The project also accommodates a Nonviolence Library in Port Loko, Sierra Leone, as well as sponsorships for primary school children to attend school, and sponsorships for teenage mothers returning to school in Sierra Leone. Both countries offer animal projects, specifically cattle, goat, and guinea fowl projects. SSAAP has completed over 40 water wells in rural Zambia, and 21 water wells in rural Sierra Leone, West Africa. Cumming is forever indebted to Peace Corps for “giving me Africa” and for teaching her the daily skills she needs to do her work.