Mike Sheppard

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Mike Sheppard
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Country The_Gambia
Years: 2003-2005
Site(s) Fajara
Program(s) Education
Mike Sheppard started in The_Gambia 2003
Mike Sheppard
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Christopher Bradley, Chris Bradley, Karen Jackson, Mike Sheppard, Mano Sonko
Other Volunteers who served in The_Gambia
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Christopher Bradley, Chris Bradley, Jacob Dyer, Claudius Isfan, Karen Jackson, Maureen Magee, Mike Sheppard, Mano Sonko, Kirsten Unfried, Suzanne Zanelli, Jeff Ziarnik
Projects in The_Gambia
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Description of Peace Corps Volunteer Service

Contents

INTRODUCTION

Michael Sheppard began Peace Corps training on July 9th, 2003, in Washington D.C. and completed the 10-week training program in The Gambia, West Africa. The training program included 52 hours of technical training, 64 hours of directed activities, 8 hours of language clinic during seminar, 142 hours of language class in the village, 20 hours of culture, 34 hours of personal health, 8 hours of safety, and 6 hours of administration. During his training, Mr. Sheppard successfully completed a two-month intensive language program in the language of Wollof. At the completion of training, Mr. Sheppard was chosen to begin a 22-month tenure. He was sworn-in as a Peace Corps Volunteer on September 12, 2003.

Mr. Sheppard was assigned to Kanifing in the Kombo Region. Kanifing is located about 18 km south of the capital city of Banjul, in the Kombo Municipal Division. Kanifing is home to 27 Primary Schools, 13 Junior Secondary Schools, and six Senior Secondary Schools along with The University of The Gambia and Gambia College. The district has approximately 325,000 people. The predominant language in Kanifing is the official national language of English, but there are also many Wollof and Mandinka speakers throughout the region. The monthly per capita income of The Gambia is 775 Dalasis [D] with the current exchange rate being D30.00 to $1.00.

During Mr. Sheppard’s service in The Gambia he served as an education volunteer. He was posted to the University of The Gambia in which his primary responsibilities included teaching mathematics and science. In addition to these responsibilities, Mr. Sheppard worked at the Central Statistics Department in the capital Banjul as a guest statistician. During his two-year tenure at the University Mr. Sheppard worked hard to promote a healthy attitude toward education by acting as a role model for teachers and students. He consistently encouraged preparation, punctuality, positive reinforcement, and alternative discipline. Throughout his two years of service Mr. Sheppard was an active member in Peace Corps Administration. Mr. Sheppard showed essential signs of cross-cultural adaptation and demonstrated a grasp of the skills needed to successfully transfer this knowledge to other applications of life: personally and professionally.

PRIMARY PROJECTS

During Mr. Sheppard’s two-year service in the Kombo district, his primary responsibility was a Lecturer at the University of The Gambia. Additionally, his specialties in mathematics and statistics help procure a placement at the Central Statistics Department as a guest Statistician.

Lecturer, University of The Gambia

Guest Statistician, Central Statistics Department

While Mr. Sheppard worked at the University he also worked part-time for six months at the Central Statistics Department (CSD). The CSD is involved in the collection, compilation, analysis, abstraction, and publication of statistical information and related matters about The Gambia and its residents.

SECONDARY PROJECTS

In addition to the efforts Mr. Sheppard was making towards his primary projects, he continued to use his free time to work on auxiliary goals that would benefit the communities in which he lived.

PEACE CORPS

Taking full advantage of experiences as a volunteer, Mr. Sheppard extended his responsibilities to working within the Peace Corps Administration to assist current volunteers throughout the country.

Leadership Roles

Mail Collection and Delivery

Even before being sworn in as a volunteer Mr. Sheppard took over sole responsibility for the collection and delivery of all incoming mail to the staff, 100 volunteers, and trainees. Mr. Sheppard was able to serve his entire Peace Corps service as the main volunteer for mail collection and delivery. This entailed upwards of three-times-a-week runs to Banjul to collect mail and parcels. The Peace Corps organization receives 15% of all parcels coming into The Gambia.

Hostel

Until all responsibilities were shifted to PC Administration, Mr. Sheppard served as Chairman of the Hostel Committee for nine months. Responsibilities included payment of three staff members every month, fee collection of volunteers, bill distribution for lack of payments, monthly purchase of communal supplies.

Gambia Student Scholarship Committee

The Gambia’s Student Scholarship Committee is an assembly of volunteers that focuses specifically on locating, raising, and distributing funds to selected students in The Gambia. As someone passionate about the pursuit of education, Mr. Sheppard took full advantage of the opportunity to collaborate with the Gambia Student Scholarship Committee to assist needy students in finding funds to afford basic education.

Newsletters and Bulletins

Training

Administration

PERSONAL

Besides working with his primary and secondary projects, and volunteering in his free time with Peace Corps Administration, Mr. Sheppard has benefited personally from his two-year service.

CONCLUSION

Pursuant to Section 5(f) of the Peace Corps Act, 22 USC 2504(f), as amended, any former Volunteer employed by the United States Government following his / her Peace Corps Volunteer Service is entitled to have any period of satisfactory Peace Corps service credited for purposes of retirement, seniority, reduction in force, leave, and other privileges based on length of Government service. That service shall not be credited toward completion of the probationary or trial period of any service requirement for career appointment.

This is to certify in accordance with Executive Order 11103 of April 10, 1963, that Michael R. Sheppard served successfully as a Peace Corps Volunteer. His service ended on July 13, 2005. He is therefore eligible to be appointed as a career-conditional employee in the competitive civil service on a non-competitive basis. This benefit under the Executive Order extends for a period of one year after termination of Volunteer service, except that the employing agency may extend the period for up to three years for a former Volunteer who enters military service, pursues studies at a recognized institution of higher learning, or engages in other activities that, in the view of the appointing agency, warrant extension of the period.

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