Difference between pages "Diversity and cross-cultural issues in Thailand" and "Malawi"

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{{Diversity_and_cross-cultural_issues_by_country}}
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{{CountryboxAlternative
In fulfilling its mandate to share the face of America with host countries, the Peace Corps is making special efforts to see that all of America’s richness is reflected in the Volunteer corps. More Americans of color are serving in today’s Peace Corps than at any time in recent years. Differences in race, ethnic background, age, religion, and sexual orientation are expected and welcomed among our Volunteers. Part of the Peace Corps’ mission is to help dispel any notion that Americans are all of one origin or race and to establish that each of us is as thoroughly American as the other despite our many differences.
+
|Countryname= Malawi
 +
|CountryCode = mi
 +
|status= [[ACTIVE]]
 +
|Flag= Flag_of_Malawi.svg
 +
|Welcomebooklink = http://www.peacecorps.gov/welcomebooks/mwwb614.pdf
 +
|Region= [[Africa]]
 +
|CountryDirector= [[Kevin]]
 +
|Sectors= [[Health and HIV/AIDS]]<br> ([[APCD]]: [[Cornelius Msanyama]])<br> [[Environment]] <br>([[APCD]]: [[Lu Munthali]])<br> [[Education]] <br>([[APCD]]: [[Dora Mwalwenje]])
 +
|ProgramDates= [[1963]] - [[1969]]<br>[[1973]] - [[1976]]<br>[[1978]] - [[Present]]
 +
|CurrentlyServing= 128
 +
|TotalVolunteers= 2263
 +
|Languages= English, Chichewa, Chitonga, Chitumbuka
 +
|Map= Mi-map.gif
 +
|stagingdate= March 5, 2011
 +
|stagingcity= Philadelphia
 +
}}
  
Our diversity helps us accomplish that goal. In other ways, however, it poses challenges. In Thailand, as in other Peace Corps host countries, Volunteers’ behavior, lifestyle, background, and beliefs are judged in a cultural context very different from their own. Certain personal perspectives or characteristics commonly accepted in the United States may be quite uncommon, unacceptable, or even repressed in Thailand.  
+
The first Peace Corps Volunteers arrived in Malawi just before its independence in 1963. Since then, nearly 2000 Peace Corps Volunteers have served here, with the majority working in the education and health sectors.
  
Outside of Thailand’s capital and other cities, many residents have had relatively little sustained exposure to other cultures, races, religions, and lifestyles, though they may have had some contact with the many tourists who visit each year.  What people view as typical American behavior or norms may be a misconception, such as the belief that all Americans are rich and have blond hair and blue eyes.
 
  
The people of Thailand are justly known for their generous hospitality to foreigners. However, members of the community in which you will live may display a range of reactions to cultural differences that you present.
+
==Peace Corps History==
  
To ease the transition and adapt to life in Thailand, you may need to make some temporary, yet fundamental compromises in how you present yourself as an American and as an individual. For example, female trainees and Volunteers may not be able to exercise the independence available to them in the United States; political discussions need to be handled with great care; and some of your personal beliefs may best remain undisclosed. You will need to develop techniques and personal strategies for coping with these and other limitations.  The Peace Corps staff will lead diversity and sensitivity discussions during pre-service training and will be on call to provide support, but the challenge ultimately will be your own.
+
''Main article: [[History of the Peace Corps in Malawi]]''
  
===Overview of Diversity in Thailand ===
+
The first Peace Corps Volunteers arrived in Malawi just prior to independence in 1963. Most Volunteers worked on education and health projects, and numbers quickly grew to more than 350 Volunteers. In total, more than 2,300 Americans have served as Peace Corps Volunteers in Malawi. Under the very conservative Banda regime, the program was suspended for several years due to the “non-conformist” role of some Volunteers, but the program was restored in 1978. Since that time, the program has developed a close working relationship with the government of Malawi.
  
Although the majority of Thailand’s population is both Buddhist and ethnically and linguistically Thai, there are regional linguistic, cultural, and socioeconomic differences. The presence of many non-Thai groups also contributes to the diversity of the country. Thais generally emphasize their commonalities and the strengths that diversity contributes to their country. When differences are expressed, it is generally in subtle ways that require linguistic and cultural understanding to grasp. Thais’ emphasis on tolerance, maintaining smooth relationships, and a sense of order creates a generally welcome environment for Volunteers.  
+
The change of government in 1994 opened up the possibility of re-placing Volunteers in rural villages (under the prior regime, foreigners had been suspended from living at the village level). With the increased flexibility in programming, the Peace Corps began working with counterpart ministries to focus programming efforts and identify more appropriate areas for collaboration at the community level. Currently, there are approximately 150 Volunteers working in the health, education, and environment sectors.  
  
Despite the ideal of social harmony, there are some conflicts, which are readily apparent in the tabloid press. Thailand’s social structure includes an inherent hierarchy, with competing beliefs about who is entitled to what. Thais often attempt to hide conflict from guests, something you may experience with your colleagues. Nevertheless, Thais manage to find extraordinarily beautiful ways to maintain harmony in the face of diversity, many of which you will no doubt find intriguing.
 
  
The Peace Corps staff in Thailand recognizes the adjustment issues that come with diversity and will endeavor to provide support and guidance. During pre-service training, several sessions will be held to discuss diversity and coping mechanisms. We look forward to having male and female Volunteers from a variety of races, ethnic groups, ages, religions, and sexual orientations, and hope that you will become part of a diverse group of Americans who take pride in supporting one another and demonstrating the richness of American culture.
+
==Living Conditions and Volunteer Lifestyles==
  
===What Might a Volunteer Face? ===
+
''Main article: [[Living Conditions and Volunteer Lifestyles in Malawi]]''
  
Thai hospitality is legendary. You are unlikely to experience direct confrontation if you practice the basic do’s and don’ts introduced in pre-service training and balance your needs with those of your Thai co-workers and community members. Of course, the Peace Corps cannot control every host country national’s treatment of you, nor would you want such intrusion. You should be able to handle most situations on your own. Some Volunteers may experience blatant bigotry, but subtle discrimination is more common. Part of your role as a Volunteer is to promote, through your actions and behavior, a more thorough understanding of the United States and Americans among the people in your community.  
+
Volunteers in Malawi are posted from the far north in Chitipa to the far south in Nsanje. Volunteers are almost exclusively posted to rural areas—at health centers, community secondary schools, or in communities surrounding forest or game reserves. Site placement is made during the training period after the staff has had an opportunity to evaluate individual capabilities and strengths. Site placements are determined primarily by work-related needs.
  
Thai people are very direct in regards to physical appearance in a manner that may be considered rude by American standards. Volunteers should expect to hear comments about their height, weight, hair, etc.  
+
Housing can vary from mud houses with either thatch or tin roofs to fired-brick houses with tin roofs. Most likely, a Volunteer’s house will be comparable to their co-worker’s dwelling. Housing will include basics such as a bed, table, and chairs, but possibly not much more. Each Volunteer will receive an allowance to purchase needed settling-in items. Housing is organized and provided by the hosting site, either by the school, health center, or community. Volunteers do not generally live with families during their two years of service following training, though this is a possibility.
  
The following information is provided to help you prepare for challenges you may encounter in Thailand based on your gender, ethnic or racial background, age, sexual orientation, religious beliefs, or disabilities.  
+
Volunteers might be located anywhere from a half hour to three days from the capital city. Closeness to another Volunteer varies from site to site. Your nearest Volunteer neighbor may be a VSO (British) or JICA (Japanese) Volunteer.
  
====Possible Issues for Female Volunteers ====
+
Most Volunteers do not have electricity or running water. Water will likely come from a well, and your evenings will be spent reading by lantern and candlelight. Your flexibility and adaptability will be important as you adjust to these new conditions.
  
In recent years, the proportion of female Volunteers in Thailand has reached close to 75 percent, including those who are married. Most female Volunteers experience a high degree of security in their communities and when they travel within the country. Physical harassment is not common, but precautions still need to be taken. The higher status of men compared with women can manifest in both subtle and not-sosubtle ways. For example, women are often expected to take on more work than men are, and they often do so. This can be frustrating for both female and male Volunteers. Additionally, young females may face an uphill battle to gain the respect of their male Thai counterparts as age and experience is often valued over youth and enthusiasm—especially for women.  
+
During the training period, trainees stay with a host family and share most meals with their host family. Homestay is considered one of the most important aspects of the training program and is required for this period. Generally, trainees will be placed in a village with three to four other trainees and one to two staff members.  
  
====Possible Issues for Volunteers of Color ====
 
  
Many Thais are not well-informed about the ethnic and racial diversity of the United States, and they therefore expect Volunteers to be Caucasian. In addition, many Thais view lighter skin as more beautiful, a perception based more on an aesthetic bias than any racial prejudice and one that existed long before encounters between Thailand and the West. African-American Volunteers, in particular, should not take Thais’ views of skin color personally and should try to see them within this context. In addition, people in villages may have a difficult time seeing some people of color as Americans.
+
==Training==
  
Unfortunately, in recent years, heroin smugglers have used West-African nationals to smuggle drugs out of Thailand, which has led to a belief among some Thais that American blacks are Africans who smuggle drugs. Fortunately, professional and personal relationships between African-American Volunteers and their Thai counterparts have broken down these stereotypes.
+
''Main article: [[Training in Malawi]]''
  
It is common for Asian Americans to be mistaken for Thais, which can have both benefits and drawbacks. One advantage is that Asian Americans blend better into the community and thus may not receive as much unwanted attention in public. A disadvantage is that Thais may initially expect you to have the language skills of a native speaker. Thai friends told one Asian-American Volunteer that they were disappointed they did not get a “real American” as they had requested. This Volunteer also felt that her Thai co-workers initially valued her less than they valued Caucasian Volunteers because they thought an Asian American was not very different from a Thai.  But once people know you are not Thai, you are likely receive the same celebrity treatment that most foreigners receive in Thailand.  
+
Pre-service training will provide you with the essential skills needed to successfully carry out your service in Malawi. The skills focus on integrating into your community and developing and implementing an appropriate work plan with your community and counterparts. Training includes five major components: technical training, cross-cultural training, language instruction, personal health and safety training, and the role of the Volunteer in development.
  
If you are an Asian American, Thais may ask you about your ethnic origin, wanting to know the country of your ancestors. Thailand is home to many Asian minority groups related to contemporary Chinese, Burmese, Khmer, and Lao peoples, many of whom lived in the area before there was a distinct country known as Siam (later Thailand). The small Vietnamese population arrived primarily in the 1950s, and most have remained in the northeastern Thai towns and cities where they took refuge.  
+
Pre-service training in Malawi is conducted as a community-based training, meaning that the bulk of the training takes place in the community as opposed to in a training center. Community-based training is a more difficult training model in some respects, as the learning environment is real, not artificial. During community-based training, most of your time will be spent in villages and communities similar to where you will be placed as a Volunteer. Your instructors create a learning environment with experiences and meetings designed to allow you to develop the knowledge and skills needed for your work as a Volunteer. Throughout your training, you will live with a Malawian family and work in villages and schools.  
  
====Possible Issues for Senior Volunteers ====
 
  
Thai government workers are subject to a mandatory retirement age of 60 (with exceptions for some with specialized skills), so Volunteers over 60 will have Thai coworkers who are younger than they are. Thais give great respect and importance to senior family members, and senior Volunteers often receive similar deference and respect, though this does not necessarily translate to greater respect for their professional competence or technical knowledge.  Your co-workers may smile, nod, and appear to agree with you when the opposite is true, perhaps because they do not want to offend you.
+
==Your Health Care and Safety==
  
Although more seniors are joining the Peace Corps nowadays, most of your fellow trainees are likely to be under age 30, and the Thai training staff is largely composed of recent college graduates. Generally, seniors are warmly accepted by other trainees; still, there may be times when you miss interacting with people of your own age, especially in social situations.
+
''Main article: [[Health Care and Safety in Malawi]]''
  
The Thai language trainers recognize the different learning styles and needs of seniors and will endeavor to provide the most suitable training for older trainees.  
+
The Peace Corps’ highest priority is maintaining the good health and safety of every Volunteer. Peace Corps medical programs emphasize the preventive, rather than the curative approach to disease. The Peace Corps in Malawi maintains a clinic with two full-time medical officers, who take care of Volunteers’ primary healthcare needs. Additional medical services, such as testing and basic treatment, are also available in Malawi at local, U.S.-standard hospitals. If you become seriously ill, you will be transported to either a facility in the region that meets U.S. standards or to the United States.
  
====Possible Issues for Gay, Lesbian, or Bisexual Volunteers ====
 
  
Thais do not usually view bisexuality and homosexuality as sinful or unnatural, nor are there criminal penalties against sexual acts between members of the same sex. However, some bisexual and homosexual Volunteers have found it necessary to adjust their behavior to be effective in their jobs and respected by members of their communities. Most choose to remain “in the closet” to Thai friends and co-workers at their sites.
+
==Diversity and Cross-Cultural Issues==
  
Physical contact in public between members of the same sex (such as linking arms while walking down the street) is a common way for Thais to show affection, and it is important for Volunteers to realize that such displays of affection likely are nonsexual in nature. Volunteers who are accustomed to being part of a large gay community in the United States may not get the support to which they are accustomed. However, gay communities do exist in urban centers such as Bangkok and Chiang Mai, and you will probably find significant support within the Peace Corps community.
+
''Main article: [[Diversity and Cross-Cultural Issues in Malawi]]''
  
All women will have to deal with questions or teasing about boyfriends, marriage, and sex. All men will have to deal with questions about American women and girl watching and may be pressured by co-workers to visit brothels. During pre-service training, trainees are encouraged to think through these issues and plan possible responses.  
+
In Malawi, as in other Peace Corps host countries, Volunteers’ behavior, lifestyles, background, and beliefs will be judged in a cultural context very different from our own. Certain personal perspectives or characteristics considered familiar and commonly accepted in the United States may be quite uncommon, unacceptable, or even repressed.
  
====Possible Religious Issues for Volunteers ====
+
Outside of Malawi’s capital, residents of rural communities have had relatively little direct exposure to other cultures, races, religions, and lifestyles. What is advertised as “typical” cultural behavior or norms may also be a narrow and selective interpretation, such as the perception in some countries that all Americans are rich and have blond hair and blue eyes. The people of Malawi are justly known for their generous hospitality to foreigners; however, members of the community in which you will live may display a range of reactions to differences that you present. We will ask you to be supportive of one another.
  
A high degree of religious tolerance exists in Thailand. It is doubtful that any religious issues will arise, unless one breaks the Peace Corps’ prohibition against proselytizing by Volunteers.
+
* Possible Issues for Female Volunteers
 +
* Possible Issues for Volunteers of Color
 +
* Possible Issues for Senior Volunteers
 +
* Possible Issues for Gay, Lesbian, or Bisexual Volunteers
 +
* Possible Religious Issues for Volunteers
 +
* Possible Issues for Volunteers with Disabilities
  
====Possible Issues for Volunteers With Disabilities ====
 
  
Thais’ respect for others extends to individuals with disabilities, and the country has made efforts to help disabled individuals have productive jobs and lives. One example is the tradition of blind masseuses and masseurs in Thailand.  In addition, schools are beginning to mainstream those with disabilities into regular classrooms.
+
==Frequently Asked questions==
  
Volunteers with disabilities need to be aware of the rigors of the Peace Corps/Thailand program during both training and service. Trainees and Volunteers are expected to arrange their own transportation to the various training venues and workplaces. Any special accommodations needed during training and when at one’s site, such as an alternative to travel by bicycle, should be made known during the placement process in the United States, prior to arrival in Thailand.  
+
{{Volunteersurvey2008
 +
|H1r=  15
 +
|H1s=  76.8
 +
|H2r=  30
 +
|H2s=  84.7
 +
|H3r=  10
 +
|H3s=  88.8
 +
|H4r=  5
 +
|H4s=  115.5
 +
|H5r=  21
 +
|H5s=  56.5
 +
|H6r=  14
 +
|H6s=  95.3
 +
}}
  
 +
''Main article: [[FAQs about Peace Corps in Malawi]]''
  
[[Category:Thailand]]
+
* How much luggage will I be allowed to bring to Malawi?
 +
* What is the electric current in Malawi?
 +
* How much money should I bring?
 +
* When can I take vacation and have people visit me?
 +
* Will my belongings be covered by insurance?
 +
* Do I need an international driver’s license?
 +
* What should I bring as gifts for Malawian friends and my host family?
 +
* Where will my site assignment be when I finish training and how isolated will I be?
 +
* How can my family contact me in an emergency?
 +
* Can I call home from Malawi?
 +
* Should I bring a cellular phone with me?
 +
* Will there be e-mail and Internet access? Should I bring my computer?
 +
 
 +
 
 +
 
 +
==Packing List==
 +
 
 +
''Main article: [[Packing List for Malawi]]''
 +
 
 +
This list has been compiled by Volunteers serving in Malawi and is based on their experience. Use it as an informal guide in making your own list, bearing in mind that experience is individual. There is no perfect list! You can always have things sent to you later. You obviously cannot bring everything we mention, so consider those items that make the most sense to you personally and professionally. As you decide what to bring, keep in mind that you have an 80pound weight restriction on baggage. And remember, you can get almost everything you need in Malawi.
 +
 
 +
The three key qualities for clothing in Malawi are dark colors, many pockets, and easy to wash and care for. Overall, dress conservatively. Remember that it does get cold so bring warm clothes. Rainy season means just that—you will get wet and splattered with mud. We recommend quick-drying, breathable clothes.
 +
 
 +
* General Clothing
 +
* Shoes
 +
* Personal Hygiene and Toiletry Items
 +
* Kitchen
 +
* Miscellaneous
 +
 
 +
Suggested Additions:
 +
* Quality, Large Backpackers' Pack
 +
* Bicycle Saddlebags
 +
* Solar Shower
 +
* International Travel Stove (ie MSR Whisperlite International)
 +
* Notebook External Hard Drive
 +
 
 +
==Peace Corps News==
 +
 
 +
Current events relating to Peace Corps are also available by [[News | country of service]] or [[News by state|your home state]]
 +
 
 +
''The following is automatic RSS feed of Peace Corps news for this country.''<br><rss title=on desc=off>http://news.google.com/news?hl=en&ned=us&scoring=n&q=%22peace+corps%22+%22malawi%22&output=rss|charset=UTF-8|short|date=M d</rss>
 +
 
 +
<br>'''[http://peacecorpsjournals.com PEACE CORPS JOURNALS]'''<br>''( As of {{CURRENTDAYNAME}} {{CURRENTMONTHNAME}} {{CURRENTDAY}}, {{CURRENTYEAR}} )''<rss title=off desc=off>http://peacecorpsjournals.com/rss/mi/blog/50.xml|charset=UTF-8|short|max=10</rss>
 +
 
 +
==Country Fund==
 +
 
 +
The Country Fund will support many varied Volunteer projects in Malawi. Malawi is one of the poorest countries in the world. Apart from poverty, Malawi is also heavily hit by HIV/AIDS. Typical projects include water and sanitation, agricultural development, Income Generation Activities, youth and HIV/AIDS related programs. Many such projects fail to materialise or be implemented better due to lack of resources or the time/effort it takes to get them. You can make a big difference for both the work of the volunteers and people of Malawi by contributions to the [https://www.peacecorps.gov/index.cfm?shell=resources.donors.contribute.projDetail&projdesc=614-CFD Malawi Country Fund], which is designed for faster response to the Volunteers and their communities. An example of country fund use was funding a local mini-camp for a Volunteer's community, using resources and people that were trained at one of the national camps, like Camp GLOW or Camp Sky. These can happen frequently as $300 - $800 is above easy Volunteer fund raising, but it goes a long way in developing motivation/skills of a local group of 30 young women or youth.
 +
 
 +
 
 +
==See also==
 +
* [[Volunteers who served in Malawi]]
 +
* [[Friends of Malawi]]
 +
* [[List of resources for Malawi]]
 +
* [[Pre-Departure Checklist]]
 +
* [[Inspector General Reports]]
 +
 
 +
==External links==
 +
* [http://www.peacecorpsjournals.com/mi.html Peace Corps Journals - Malawi]
 +
 
 +
[[Category:Malawi]] [[Category:Africa]]
 +
[[Category:Country]]

Revision as of 19:25, 26 December 2011


US Peace Corps
Country name is::Malawi


Status: ACTIVE
Staging: {{#ask:Country staging date::+country name is::Malawi[[Staging date::>2016-08-25]]

mainlabel=- ?staging date= ?staging city= format=list sort=Staging date

}}


American Overseas Staff (FY2010): {{#ask:2010_pcstaff_salary::+country name is::Malawi

mainlabel=- ?Grade_staff= ?Lastname_staff= ?Firstname_staff= ?Middlename_staff= ?Initial_staff= ?Salary_staff=$ format=list sort=Grade_staff

}}


Latest Early Termination Rates (FOIA 11-058): {{#ask:Country_early_termination_rate::+country name is::Malawi

mainlabel=- ?2005_early_termination=2005 ?2006_early_termination=2006 ?2007_early_termination=2007 ?2008_early_termination=2008 format=list

}}


Peace Corps Journals - Malawi File:Feedicon.gif

250px
Peace Corps Welcome Book
Region:

Africa

Country Director:

Kevin

Sectors:

Health and HIV/AIDS
(APCD: Cornelius Msanyama)
Environment
(APCD: Lu Munthali)
Education
(APCD: Dora Mwalwenje)

Program Dates:

1963 - 1969
1973 - 1976
1978 - Present

Current Volunteers:

128

Total Volunteers:

2263

Languages Spoken:

English, Chichewa, Chitonga, Chitumbuka

Flag:

150px

__SHOWFACTBOX__

The first Peace Corps Volunteers arrived in Malawi just before its independence in 1963. Since then, nearly 2000 Peace Corps Volunteers have served here, with the majority working in the education and health sectors.


Peace Corps History

Main article: History of the Peace Corps in Malawi

The first Peace Corps Volunteers arrived in Malawi just prior to independence in 1963. Most Volunteers worked on education and health projects, and numbers quickly grew to more than 350 Volunteers. In total, more than 2,300 Americans have served as Peace Corps Volunteers in Malawi. Under the very conservative Banda regime, the program was suspended for several years due to the “non-conformist” role of some Volunteers, but the program was restored in 1978. Since that time, the program has developed a close working relationship with the government of Malawi.

The change of government in 1994 opened up the possibility of re-placing Volunteers in rural villages (under the prior regime, foreigners had been suspended from living at the village level). With the increased flexibility in programming, the Peace Corps began working with counterpart ministries to focus programming efforts and identify more appropriate areas for collaboration at the community level. Currently, there are approximately 150 Volunteers working in the health, education, and environment sectors.


Living Conditions and Volunteer Lifestyles

Main article: Living Conditions and Volunteer Lifestyles in Malawi

Volunteers in Malawi are posted from the far north in Chitipa to the far south in Nsanje. Volunteers are almost exclusively posted to rural areas—at health centers, community secondary schools, or in communities surrounding forest or game reserves. Site placement is made during the training period after the staff has had an opportunity to evaluate individual capabilities and strengths. Site placements are determined primarily by work-related needs.

Housing can vary from mud houses with either thatch or tin roofs to fired-brick houses with tin roofs. Most likely, a Volunteer’s house will be comparable to their co-worker’s dwelling. Housing will include basics such as a bed, table, and chairs, but possibly not much more. Each Volunteer will receive an allowance to purchase needed settling-in items. Housing is organized and provided by the hosting site, either by the school, health center, or community. Volunteers do not generally live with families during their two years of service following training, though this is a possibility.

Volunteers might be located anywhere from a half hour to three days from the capital city. Closeness to another Volunteer varies from site to site. Your nearest Volunteer neighbor may be a VSO (British) or JICA (Japanese) Volunteer.

Most Volunteers do not have electricity or running water. Water will likely come from a well, and your evenings will be spent reading by lantern and candlelight. Your flexibility and adaptability will be important as you adjust to these new conditions.

During the training period, trainees stay with a host family and share most meals with their host family. Homestay is considered one of the most important aspects of the training program and is required for this period. Generally, trainees will be placed in a village with three to four other trainees and one to two staff members.


Training

Main article: Training in Malawi

Pre-service training will provide you with the essential skills needed to successfully carry out your service in Malawi. The skills focus on integrating into your community and developing and implementing an appropriate work plan with your community and counterparts. Training includes five major components: technical training, cross-cultural training, language instruction, personal health and safety training, and the role of the Volunteer in development.

Pre-service training in Malawi is conducted as a community-based training, meaning that the bulk of the training takes place in the community as opposed to in a training center. Community-based training is a more difficult training model in some respects, as the learning environment is real, not artificial. During community-based training, most of your time will be spent in villages and communities similar to where you will be placed as a Volunteer. Your instructors create a learning environment with experiences and meetings designed to allow you to develop the knowledge and skills needed for your work as a Volunteer. Throughout your training, you will live with a Malawian family and work in villages and schools.


Your Health Care and Safety

Main article: Health Care and Safety in Malawi

The Peace Corps’ highest priority is maintaining the good health and safety of every Volunteer. Peace Corps medical programs emphasize the preventive, rather than the curative approach to disease. The Peace Corps in Malawi maintains a clinic with two full-time medical officers, who take care of Volunteers’ primary healthcare needs. Additional medical services, such as testing and basic treatment, are also available in Malawi at local, U.S.-standard hospitals. If you become seriously ill, you will be transported to either a facility in the region that meets U.S. standards or to the United States.


Diversity and Cross-Cultural Issues

Main article: Diversity and Cross-Cultural Issues in Malawi

In Malawi, as in other Peace Corps host countries, Volunteers’ behavior, lifestyles, background, and beliefs will be judged in a cultural context very different from our own. Certain personal perspectives or characteristics considered familiar and commonly accepted in the United States may be quite uncommon, unacceptable, or even repressed.

Outside of Malawi’s capital, residents of rural communities have had relatively little direct exposure to other cultures, races, religions, and lifestyles. What is advertised as “typical” cultural behavior or norms may also be a narrow and selective interpretation, such as the perception in some countries that all Americans are rich and have blond hair and blue eyes. The people of Malawi are justly known for their generous hospitality to foreigners; however, members of the community in which you will live may display a range of reactions to differences that you present. We will ask you to be supportive of one another.

  • Possible Issues for Female Volunteers
  • Possible Issues for Volunteers of Color
  • Possible Issues for Senior Volunteers
  • Possible Issues for Gay, Lesbian, or Bisexual Volunteers
  • Possible Religious Issues for Volunteers
  • Possible Issues for Volunteers with Disabilities


Frequently Asked questions

Malawi
2008 Volunteer Survey Results

How personally rewarding is your overall Peace Corps service?|}} Rank:
2008 H1r::15|}}
Score:
2008 H1s::76.8|}}
Today would you make the same decision to join the Peace Corps?|}} Rank:
2008 H2r::30|}}
Score:
2008 H2s::84.7|}}
Would you recommend Peace Corps service to others you think are qualified?|}} Rank:
2008 H3r::10|}}
Score:
2008 H3s::88.8|}}
Do you intend to complete your Peace Corps service?|}} Rank:
2008 H4r::5|}}
Score:
2008 H4s::115.5|}}
How well do your Peace Corps experiences match the expectations you had before you became a Volunteer?|}} Rank:
2008 H5r::21|}}
Score:
2008 H5s::56.5|}}
Would your host country benefit the most if the Peace Corps program were---?|}} Rank:
2008 H6r::14|}}
Score:
2008 H6s::95.3|}}
2008BVS::Malawi


Main article: FAQs about Peace Corps in Malawi

  • How much luggage will I be allowed to bring to Malawi?
  • What is the electric current in Malawi?
  • How much money should I bring?
  • When can I take vacation and have people visit me?
  • Will my belongings be covered by insurance?
  • Do I need an international driver’s license?
  • What should I bring as gifts for Malawian friends and my host family?
  • Where will my site assignment be when I finish training and how isolated will I be?
  • How can my family contact me in an emergency?
  • Can I call home from Malawi?
  • Should I bring a cellular phone with me?
  • Will there be e-mail and Internet access? Should I bring my computer?


Packing List

Main article: Packing List for Malawi

This list has been compiled by Volunteers serving in Malawi and is based on their experience. Use it as an informal guide in making your own list, bearing in mind that experience is individual. There is no perfect list! You can always have things sent to you later. You obviously cannot bring everything we mention, so consider those items that make the most sense to you personally and professionally. As you decide what to bring, keep in mind that you have an 80pound weight restriction on baggage. And remember, you can get almost everything you need in Malawi.

The three key qualities for clothing in Malawi are dark colors, many pockets, and easy to wash and care for. Overall, dress conservatively. Remember that it does get cold so bring warm clothes. Rainy season means just that—you will get wet and splattered with mud. We recommend quick-drying, breathable clothes.

  • General Clothing
  • Shoes
  • Personal Hygiene and Toiletry Items
  • Kitchen
  • Miscellaneous

Suggested Additions:

  • Quality, Large Backpackers' Pack
  • Bicycle Saddlebags
  • Solar Shower
  • International Travel Stove (ie MSR Whisperlite International)
  • Notebook External Hard Drive

Peace Corps News

Current events relating to Peace Corps are also available by country of service or your home state

The following is automatic RSS feed of Peace Corps news for this country.
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Country Fund

The Country Fund will support many varied Volunteer projects in Malawi. Malawi is one of the poorest countries in the world. Apart from poverty, Malawi is also heavily hit by HIV/AIDS. Typical projects include water and sanitation, agricultural development, Income Generation Activities, youth and HIV/AIDS related programs. Many such projects fail to materialise or be implemented better due to lack of resources or the time/effort it takes to get them. You can make a big difference for both the work of the volunteers and people of Malawi by contributions to the Malawi Country Fund, which is designed for faster response to the Volunteers and their communities. An example of country fund use was funding a local mini-camp for a Volunteer's community, using resources and people that were trained at one of the national camps, like Camp GLOW or Camp Sky. These can happen frequently as $300 - $800 is above easy Volunteer fund raising, but it goes a long way in developing motivation/skills of a local group of 30 young women or youth.


See also

External links