The Gambia Training

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Welcome Books
Peace Corps' official publication on The Gambia is "The Peace Corps Welcomes You to The Gambia". This book is mailed to Peace Corps Invitees that have been invited to serve in The Gambia and can viewed electronically [{{{Welcomebooklink}}} here]. The Welcome Book is officially revised every couple of years with the bulk of the responsibility for editing/updating the content placed on the Peace Corps/The Gambia Country Director (CD).

This page is based on the information in The Peace Corps Welcomes You to The Gambia; however, PCV's in The Gambia and RPCV's who served in The Gambia actively edit items and add content to this page to keep it updated. The links below are based on the grouping of information available about each country.


OR

The Gambia Articles | History of Peace Corps in The Gambia | Living conditions and volunteer lifestyles in The Gambia | Training in The Gambia | Health care and safety in The Gambia | Diversity and cross-cultural issues in The Gambia | Packing List for The Gambia | Pre Departure Checklist for The Gambia | Books | FAQs about Peace Corps in The Gambia | Web Resources | The Gambia volunteers | The Gambia Volunteer Site Postings

Contents

[edit] Overview of Pre-Service Training

Pre-service training will probably be the most intense period of your Peace Corps service, as you will need to gain the knowledge and experience necessary to successfully serve as a Volunteer in just 10 weeks. While the training period will be extremely busy, it should also be a time of excitement, discovery, and self-fulfillment. The effort and challenges of adapting to a new culture will draw on your reserves of patience and humor but will be handsomely rewarded with a sense of belonging among new friends. The long hours of study and the accomplishment of difficult tasks will pay off in your ability to work effectively in a challenging job that will directly benefit a great number of people.

The training approach is best described as discovery-oriented and self-directed. Based on adult learning methods, it emphasizes individual responsibility for developing the competencies to function independently as a Volunteer.

[edit] Technical Training

Technical training will prepare you to work in The Gambia by building on the skills you already have and helping you develop new skills in a manner appropriate to the needs of the country. Technical training will include sessions on the environment, economics, and politics in The Gambia and strategies for working within such a framework. You will review your project’s goals and will meet with the agencies and organizations that invited the Peace Corps to assist them. You will be supported and evaluated throughout the training to build the confidence and skills you need to undertake your project activities and be a productive member of your community.

By the end of training, health trainees will be able to contribute to the improvement of The Gambia’s primary health care through the planning and implementation of educational activities that promote maternal and child health. Education trainees will be ready to teach computer literacy, math and science, social and environmental studies, and English, as well as to implement in-service teacher-training programs. Environment trainees will be prepared to teach agroforestry and improved agricultural and horticultural techniques to rural farmers, as well as to promote community forestry projects and environmental education in schools and communities.

[edit] Language Training

You will find that language skills are the key to personal and professional satisfaction during your service. These skills are critical to your job performance, they help you integrate into your community, and they can ease your personal adaptation to the new surroundings. Therefore, language training is the heart of the training program, and you must successfully meet minimum language requirements to complete training and become a Volunteer. Experienced Gambian language instructors teach formal language classes five days a week in small groups of four to five trainees.

Your language training will incorporate a community-based approach. In addition to classroom time, you will be given assignments to work on outside of the classroom and with your host family. The goal is to get you to a point of basic social communication skills so that you can practice and continue to learn the language once you are at your site. Prior to being sworn in as a Volunteer, you will work on strategies to continue language studies during your two years of service.

[edit] Cross-Cultural Training

One of the most important aspects of the training program is the experience of living with a Gambian host family. There is no other way to learn as much about Gambian attitudes, customs, and day-to-day life. Your host family can be invaluable in helping you learn the language and in introducing you to other members of the community. Many Volunteers form strong and lasting friendships with their host families.

Cross-cultural and community development training will help you improve your communication skills and understand your role as a facilitator of development. You will be exposed to topics such as community mobilization, conflict resolution, gender and development, nonformal and adult education strategies, and political structures.

[edit] Health Training

During pre-service training, you will be given basic medical training and information. You will be expected to take responsibility for your own health by adhering to all medical policies. Trainees are required to attend all medical sessions. The topics include preventive health measures and minor and major medical issues that you might encounter while in The Gambia. Nutrition, mental health, safety and security, setting up a safe living compound, and how to avoid HIV/AIDS and other sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) are also covered.

[edit] Safety Training

During the safety training sessions, you will learn how to adopt a lifestyle that reduces your risks at home, at work, and during your travels. You will also learn appropriate, effective strategies for coping with unwanted attention and about your individual responsibility for promoting safety throughout your service.

[edit] Additional Trainings During Volunteer Service

In its commitment to institutionalize quality training, the Peace Corps has implemented a training system that provides Volunteers with continual opportunities to examine their commitment to Peace Corps service while increasing their technical and cross-cultural skills. During your service, a variety of training events may be conducted. The titles and objectives for those trainings are as follows:

The key to the training system is that training events are integrated and interrelated, from the pre-departure orientation (staging) through the end of your service, and are planned, implemented, and evaluated cooperatively by the Peace Corps staff, the training staff, and Volunteers.

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