Difference between pages "EMA" and "ET"

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Many of the countries in the Europe, Mediterranean,
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#REDIRECT[[Early Termination]]
and Asia (EMA) region are undergoing rapid economic
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and social changes while striving to play a larger part in
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the global economy. Challenges to this growth include
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outdated technology, unstable monetary systems, and
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the growing pains associated with adapting to free-
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market economies. Volunteers in the EMA region have
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worked to support growth and stability by assisting
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with strengthening English language teaching, offering
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practical business skills, generating environmental
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awareness, and improving health education. More than
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50,128 Volunteers have served in the region since 1961.
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At the end of fiscal year (FY) 2007, EMA expects to
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have 2,088 Volunteers and trainees working in 19
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countries.
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The safety and security of the Volunteers and staff
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are the top priority in the EMA region. Training is an
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important component to ensuring that Volunteers are
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aware of safety and security policies and procedures.
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The region recognizes that safety is best assured when
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Volunteers are integrated into their local communities,
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respected and protected as extended family members,
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and viewed as contributors to development. Each country
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monitors safety and security according to agency
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guidelines. In 2006, the region’s programs in East
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Timor and Bangladesh were suspended for safety and
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security reasons, and subsequently closed.
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Volunteers play many roles and work in a variety
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of settings, working with governments, local organizations,
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and communities to provide needed technical
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expertise and to promote cross-cultural understanding
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in programmatic areas identified as critical in each
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host country.
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All Peace Corps countries in the EMA region have
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identified education as a priority. Volunteers are part of
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national and local efforts to strengthen primary, secondary,
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and university education capacity through classroom
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instruction, professional development for teachers, and
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by promoting resource and community development.
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Volunteers help students develop their English language
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competence as well as critical thinking skills. Through
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team-teaching and teacher training courses and workshops,
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Volunteers help new and experienced instructors
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learn new teaching methodologies and provide ongoing
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support that boosts teachers’ confidence and fluency to provide more interactive, learner-centered instruction.
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Volunteers and host teachers work collaboratively
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to develop curricula and materials for special education,
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environmental awareness, American studies, and
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other content-based courses. They facilitate lessons
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and extra-curricular activities that focus on life skills,
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decision-making, healthy choices, and developing
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personal and professional skills. They work alongside
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people of diverse ages, ethnicities, and socio-economic
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status to explore individual and community needs.
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These needs include learning how to use computers
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or acquiring employment skills, organizing sports
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teams, upgrading local facilities, writing résumés, or
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preparing for international competitions. Volunteers
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are often catalysts for getting youth, teachers, and community
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members involved in service learning as they
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reach out to people in orphanages, hospitals, minority
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villages, and centers for the displaced, homeless, and
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those with special needs.
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During the last 10 years, business projects have
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evolved from those focused on promoting small business
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startups and consulting to projects that work
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broadly with business issues—with entrepreneurs, governmental
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and nongovernmental agencies, educational
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institutions, community groups, and individuals.
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Volunteers live in their communities for two years,
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so they are uniquely able to integrate themselves and
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earn the trust and respect needed to be accepted as
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valued partners and mentors. Earning that trust is
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particularly vital to business development Volunteers
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who consult on what are often basic issues of money,
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planning, and survival. There is a wide diversity in
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EMA countries, so some Volunteers work with illiterate
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villagers while others work in countries about to join
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the European Union (EU). Regardless, in each country,
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Volunteers use formal and nonformal education to
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help community members build basic business skills,
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improve communication, network, develop organizational
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capacity, access and use available technologies,
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and develop life skills.
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Business development Volunteers are engaged
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at the grassroots level in their respective countries,
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working increasingly with underserved populations,
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women, and youth. They also work across sectors
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when their business and organizational skills complement
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those of health, environment, and education Volunteers. Issues of sustainability, transparency,
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and community participation continue to guide
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project development, particularly as posts seek to
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work in more rural areas with great needs and few
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resources.
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Peace Corps projects in the region continue to
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explore the integration of information and communication
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technology (ICT) at all levels of project planning
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and implementation, and Volunteers make major
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contributions toward closing the global “digital divide.”
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They provide guidance to communities on incorporating
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ICT into business, education, and community
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development projects. Capacity-building efforts
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concentrate primarily on training people to use basic
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software applications, such as word processing, spreadsheets,
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and databases. While many Volunteers conduct
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skill-building exercises, others expand their work by
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focusing on training of trainers. Several Volunteers
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specifically incorporate activities that promote girls’
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and women’s use of technology. Volunteers have also
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established Volunteer-led ICT committees and taught
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community members to use videos, newsletters, and
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audiotapes in product development.
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A Volunteer in Jordan, working with the teacher in
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a special education school, used computers to enhance
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the school’s curriculum and training. Using a small
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project assistance grant, three computers and peripheral
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equipment were purchased and training sessions
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scheduled. After receiving basic computer training, the
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teachers trained their students to use the computers.
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The teachers are using computer technology to monitor
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attendance, send out correspondence, and develop new
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curricula, and the students, all of whom have special
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needs, are accessing academic programs on the computers
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and using them for self-directed study.
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Half the population is younger than 25 in more than
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half of the countries of the EMA region. Consequently,
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youth development activities are increasingly important.
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Projects that develop the assets and capacities
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of young people are underway in Bulgaria, Jordan,
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Mongolia, Morocco, the Philippines, and Ukraine. It is
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more critical than ever for young people to have positive
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channels of economic, social, and political opportunities.
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Volunteers help young people and their communities
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view youth as an important asset in facilitating
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positive change. They engage and prepare youth for
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their roles within family life, the workforce, and as active citizens. Important areas of activity include life-
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skills training for employment, entrepreneurship, and
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leadership; and promoting tolerance, self-esteem, and
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conflict resolution. In one emerging area, Volunteers
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are working with youth on journalism-related activities
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and partnering with youth on community development
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projects. In all of the areas in which Volunteers work
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with youth, they advocate for youth participation in
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their communities using effective methods such as
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service-learning programs.
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Many Volunteers work with young people in the
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classroom or through after-school clubs to support
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school-to-work transitions and to make learning
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relevant to real-life priorities. Some Volunteers use
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English language instruction in camps or clubs to teach
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important life skills. Other Volunteers work with marginalized
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young people to build their capacity to create
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a positive future in a region where human trafficking,
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street children, drug and alcohol use, prostitution, and
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lack of schooling plague youth.
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Health Volunteers in the EMA region continue
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to educate individuals, households, service providers,
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and communities about the importance of health
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promotion and disease prevention. In addition to
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other sector area projects with health components,
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Albania, Armenia, Moldova, Mongolia, Morocco, and
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Turkmenistan support distinct health projects that
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emphasize preventive health education as an important
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component of healthy lifestyles and improved quality
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of life. Volunteers and their counterparts strengthen
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different aspects of health education not only at health
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clinics and hospitals, but also in day-care centers,
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schools and universities, and local community organizations.
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Their assignments encompass the design of
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health education materials as well as the delivery of
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these messages with an emphasis on behavior change.
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Health education topics include pre-and post-natal
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care, personal and environmental hygiene, nutrition
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and food security, and preventing sexually transmitted
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diseases, including HIV/AIDS.
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Working in schools, with youth groups, and with
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nonprofit organizations, Volunteers promote a greater
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understanding of local ecology and environmental
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issues. Although the specific issues addressed in
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these projects vary greatly among countries, there is
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some overlap in activity types, as Volunteers increase
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awareness through eco-clubs, camps, and tree-planting campaigns. Volunteers also address coastal issues,
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recycling, and small animal husbandry. They help
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improve cook stoves and train park guides. Volunteers
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who teach English as a second language (TEFL) also
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take on environmental awareness projects as secondary
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activities. In Romania, for example, they helped
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organize an agricultural fair which drew an estimated
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10,000 visitors. More than 60 community volunteers
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gave their time to the festival, which included 10 seminars
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on agricultural themes and provided 35 exhibitor
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stands for agriculture companies.
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To ensure a project’s sustainability, gender roles
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must be considered at all levels of project planning
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and implementation. Volunteers across sectors receive
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training in participatory approaches to project planning
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and community development. These approaches
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help increase community members’ participation in the
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decision-making processes that affect their lives. This
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is especially true for women and youth. At in-service
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trainings, community members and Volunteers learn
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to use tools that aid in designing and implementing
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community projects to include a gender perspective.
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In addition to integrating a gender perspective
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from the outset of their activities, Volunteers and
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their host country partners often focus projects on
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empowering girls who are often more disadvantaged
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than boys, especially in the areas of education, leadership
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skills, and self-esteem. The highest percentage of
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girls’ and boys’ leadership camps is in the EMA region.
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These camps provide a format for a wide variety of
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topical, leadership, and empowerment activities for
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girls and boys.
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In addition, every post in the EMA region is a
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source, transition, and/or destination country for
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human trafficking, so anti-trafficking efforts are a high-
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priority development issue. Anti-trafficking committees
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have been established in Albania, Macedonia, and
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Mongolia to assist Volunteers interested in contributing
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to reduction efforts by researching and developing best
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practices and possible programs that target youth.
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As a whole, the EMA region strives to continually
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develop and refine its programs and Volunteer projects
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to address the current development needs of host
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countries, to ensure that Volunteers gain a broader
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understanding of other cultures, and that other cultures
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gain a better understanding of the United States
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and its diversity.
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==External Links==
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[http://www.peacecorps.gov/multimedia/pdf/policies/peacecorps_cbj_2008.pdf Congressional Budget Justification 2008] Peace Corps website (PDF, 47MB)
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Latest revision as of 06:57, 21 May 2014