Training in Ghana

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Training in Ghana
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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.
Flag of Ghana.svg

See also:
Pre-Departure Checklist
Staging Timeline

For information see Welcomebooks

When you arrive in Ghana, women should wear dresses or long skirts and men should wear long trousers. Although female Volunteers do wear trousers, Peace Corps/Ghana would appreciate the positive impression that will be created by trainees coming into the country for the first time being somewhat dressed up.

Upon arrival at the airport in Accra, you will be met by several staff members. You will then go through the immigration and customs formalities on your own. In filling out the immigration form, use the Peace Corps address of P.O. Box 5796, Accra-North. The day after your arrival, you will have some time to rest and then begin the orientation to pre-service training. The following day you will go to the Peace Corps office for a short welcome ceremony and a tour of the office, during which time you will meet most members of the staff. For the remainder of the day, you will have individual medical interviews. You will also receive a welcome packet and a small walk-around allowance at that time. During the next few days, you will participate in a cultural scavenger hunt, which will take you throughout Accra, attend a reception at the residence of the U.S. ambassador, and have a number of sessions preparing you for training and your next two years.

On the sixth day you will start your “vision quest” for five days. This means you will travel on your own or in pairs to a current Volunteer’s site and learn firsthand what your life might be like. The vision quest allows you to set a vision for your two-year service, and, more immediately, allows you to identify what you want to learn in the 10 weeks of pre-service training. After the vision quest, you will travel to Techiman where you will live with a family for nine weeks of the community-based training program. You will be assigned your site about three weeks after you arrive.

There are five major components of training: a core curriculum, which includes foundations in development skills and cross-cultural issues; job-specific technical training; language; personal health and safety; and finally, Peace Corps policies.

One of the roles of the training staff is to assess the progress of trainees and to help them achieve the training goals set jointly by trainees and trainers. Ongoing evaluations are conducted every two weeks so that you have a good idea where you stand, and so you can participate in setting your own goals and assessing your own progress.


[edit] Technical Training

Technical training will prepare you to work in Ghana by building on the skills you already have and by helping you to develop new skills in a manner appropriate to the needs of the country. The Peace Corps staff, Ghana experts, and current Volunteers conduct the training program. Training places great emphasis on learning how to transfer the skills you have to the community in which you will serve as a Volunteer.

Technical training will include sessions on general environmental, economic, and political situations in Ghana and strategies for working within such a framework. You will review your technical sector’s goals and will meet with Ghanaian agencies and organizations that invited the Peace Corps to assist them.

You will be supported and evaluated by the training staff throughout the training to build the confidence and skills you will need to undertake your project activities and to be a productive member of your community.

[edit] Language Training

Language training is the heart of the program. As a Peace Corps Volunteer, 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, will help you integrate into your host community, and ease your personal adaptation to the new surroundings. You must successfully meet minimum language requirements to complete training and become a Volunteer. Experienced Ghanaian language instructors give formal language classes five days a week in small classes of four to five people. Your language is also introduced in the health, culture, and technical components of training. Your language training will incorporate a community-based approach. You will have classroom time and will be given assignments to work on outside of the classroom and with your host family to learn the language. Our goal is to get you to a point of basic social communication skills so that you can practice and develop language skills more thoroughly once you are in your site. Prior to swearing-in as a Volunteer, you will work on strategies to continue language studies during your two years of service.

[edit] Cross-Cultural Training

As part of your pre-service training, you will live with a Ghanaian host family. This experience is designed to ease your transition into life at your site. Families have gone through an orientation conducted by Peace Corps staff to explain the purpose of the pre-service training program and to assist them in helping you adapt to living in Ghana. Many Volunteers form strong and lasting friendships with their host families.

Cross-cultural techniques and community development will be covered to help improve your skills of perception, communication, and facilitation.

[edit] Health Training

You are expected to practice preventive healthcare and to take responsibility for your own health by adhering to all medical policies. During pre-service training, you will be given basic medical training. As a trainee, you are required to attend all medical sessions. The topics include preventive health measures and minor and major medical issues that Volunteers may encounter while in Ghana. Sexual health and harassment, nutrition, mental health, and safety issues are also covered. You will also be given various shots against vaccine-preventable diseases like typhoid, rabies, tetanus, hepatitis A and B, and meningitis. You will learn how to protect yourself from malaria. You do not need to obtain any vaccines or begin taking anti-malaria prophylaxis prior to your departure for the pre-orientation event. You will receive vaccines for MMR (measles, mumps, and rubella), yellow fever, and polio as well as the first dose of your anti-malaria phophylaxis regiment the final day of your pre-orientation.

[edit] Safety Training

During the safety training sessions, you will learn how to adopt a lifestyle that reduces risk in your 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.

Additional Trainings During Volunteer Service

In its commitment to institutionalize quality training, the Peace Corps has implemented a training system which provides trainees and Volunteers with continuous opportunities to examine their commitment to Peace Corps service while increasing their technical and cross-cultural skills.

During your service, there are usually four training events.

The titles and objectives for those trainings are as follows:

The number, length, and design of these trainings will be adapted to country-specific needs and conditions. The key to the training system is that training events are integrated and interrelated, from the pre-departure orientation through the end of your service, and are planned, implemented, and evaluated cooperatively by the training staff, Peace Corps staff, and Volunteers.

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