Difference between pages "Russia" and "History of the Peace Corps in Nigeria"

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There are two Peace Corps/Russia administrative units: [[Russia West]] and [[Russia East]].
The Russia West office is located in Moscow and supervises the Volunteers located from
the western borders of Russia to the oblast of Krasnoyarsk in the east. The Russia East
office, located in Vladivostok, supervises Volunteers from the Irkust oblast to the eastern
shoreline including Sakhalin Island. The country director is located in Moscow and a
deputy director manages the Vladivostok office.
See also: [[Nigeria]]
'''Status:''' Presently Inactive<br>
'''Program Dates:''' 1992-2003<br>
'''Volunteers Served:''' 729
Russia is the largest country in the world measuring 6.5 million square miles. It is 1.8
times the size of the United States. After perestroika and the collapse of the former
Soviet Union in 1990, the Russian Government implemented a series of major reforms
including the introduction of free-market policies, the elimination of most price controls,
the reduction of budget subsidies to promote privatization of state-owned enterprises, and
the delegation of more responsibilities to local governments. This painful political,
social, and economic transformation continues today.
The Peace Corps entered Russia in 1992, bringing Volunteers to assist the development
of business in Russia. The Peace Corps programs in Russia were administered out of
three offices: one in Saratov, one in Moscow (which did not have Volunteers), and the
third in Vladivostok—each with independent operating budgets and staff. In 1995, TEFL
Volunteers came to assist university English programs. Also in 1995, the Saratov office
closed, and the staff and budget for Saratov and Moscow consolidated in Moscow. There
are two Peace Corps/Russia administrative units: Russia West and Russia East. The
Russia West office is located in Moscow and the staff supervises the Volunteers located
from the western borders of Russia to the Krasnoyarsk oblast in the east. The Russia East
staff with an office located in Vladivostok supervises Volunteers from the Irkust oblast
near Lake Baikal to the eastern shoreline including Sakhalin Island. The country director
is located in Moscow and a deputy director manages the Vladivostok office.
After the market collapse of 1998, the value of the ruble dropped. In August 1998, the
exchange rate was 6.5 rubles to the dollar. It fell to 25 rubles to the dollar in 1999.
During our visit, the exchange rate averaged 30 rubles to the dollar. As the government
removes subsidies to services such as transportation, increased costs are affecting Peace
Corps operations in Russia.
The Russia programs were interrupted in 1998 when no Trainees entered Russia, because
visas were not granted. However, the Volunteers already in country were allowed to
complete their service, and the Peace Corps staff remained intact. In 1999, the
governmental sponsorship of the Peace Corps moved from the Ministry of Foreign
Affairs to the Ministry of Education.
Russians are highly educated; the official literacy rate is 98%. The Russian education
system ranks among the best in the world. It is a highly regulated system with
examinations for students and strict credentialing requirements for teachers. Education is
free and compulsory until the age of seventeen.
Increasingly, Russians identify English language proficiency as an important step to
regaining footholds in international trade, technology, information sharing, and study
abroad. This has led to a demand for English language and business English instruction
reflected in the fact that 75% of all students choose it as their first foreign language.
Because of this extraordinary demand, and because Russian teachers of English have
been isolated from native speakers, there is a need for assistance in teaching English.
Volunteers who do not have teaching credentials or teaching experience feel at a
disadvantage among their host country teaching colleagues. Russia training strains to
overcome the discrepancy between the training and experience of Russian teachers of
English and the training and experience of TEFL Volunteers.
Currently, 81% of the Volunteers in both Russia program assignments concentrate on
Teaching English as a Foreign Language (TEFL). See Table 1. The Russia West
Volunteers are assigned to TEFL projects and business education. In the Russia East program, Volunteers are assigned to TEFL—two Volunteers remain in an environment
project and two in business education. Both the business education and the environment
projects in the Russia East program have had their last Volunteer input.
Russia TEFL Volunteers teach at several levels of the Russian educational system.
Volunteers with credentials are assigned to pedagogical institutes for teacher training,
Volunteers with advanced degrees go to universities, and most Volunteers go to
secondary schools or to “colleges” or technical schools. A few Volunteers work in
primary schools in order to have a full teaching schedule. Most of the teacher training,
university, and secondary school assignments are in urban centers, but Volunteers who
teach at some secondary schools and the primary level may be assigned to more rural
settings. In the Russia West program, Volunteers with a business background are
assigned to teach business English at universities or at the technical colleges.
Providing support is logistically difficult in Russia. In the 1998 PPA Worldwide Survey,
53% of the Russia East Volunteers and 69% of the Russia West Volunteers reported that
it took 10 or more hours to travel to their Peace Corps office; 35% of Volunteers in the
EMA region and 26% of Volunteers worldwide reported 10 or more hours to reach their
Peace Corps offices. In some instances, communication is unavailable, difficult, or
requires travel to a larger urban center. Email capabilities are available to most of the
Volunteers assigned to urban or regional centers, but not to Volunteers in the smaller
rural or village sites. Both posts plan to place more Volunteer in smaller cities and rural
areas, so the staff must adjust the site selection and development process and Volunteer
support accordingly.
==Volunteer Work==
{| border="1" cellpadding="5" cellspacing="0"
| align="center" | '''[[Sector]]''' || '''[[Assignment]]''' || '''[[Beg. Yr]]''' || '''[[End. Yr]]'''
| rowspan="3" align="center"| '''[[Business]]'''
| [[Business Advising]]
| [[1997]]
| [[2001]]
| [[Business Development]]
| [[1997]]
| [[2001]]
| [[NGO Advising]]
| [[1999]]
| [[1999]]
| rowspan="3" align="center"| '''[[Education]]'''
| [[English Teacher]]
| [[1996]]
| [[2001]]
| [[English Teacher Trainer]]
| [[1996]]
| [[2001]]
| [[Univ. English Teaching]]
| [[1997]]
| [[2001]]
===Business Development===
Peace Corps Volunteers work to nurture business development by providing business education, consulting, and support to government officials, entrepreneurs, business institutes, schools, and NGOs. One Volunteer collaborated with Russian business owners, business professors, U.S. technical assistance providers, and fellow Volunteers to produce a series of marketing videos based on Russian case studies. These videos will be used in seminars and workshops for Russian entrepreneurs.
Volunteers have also created the University of Alaska's Russian-American Business Center, which works to develop the business skills of female entrepreneurs as well as offering workshops on business planning over the Internet. Business Volunteers provide a wide range of seminars and workshops for the management and staff of Russian NGOs. A Volunteer-developed NGO training course is being incorporated into the course offerings of the Volga-Vyatka Academy of Public Service, which trains government officials in the Volga region.
Volunteers were able to work in elementary, secondary, and higher-education schools.  As Russian English teachers continue to leave local schools to take higher paying positions in the private sector, the Peace Corps is focusing its efforts on training the next generation of Russian English teachers. Russia's economic problems have made it difficult for the Ministry of Education to provide modern textbooks to schools, many of which are still using Soviet textbooks containing anti-American propaganda. In Western Russia, Volunteers authored five textbooks that were published regionally at low cost.
Volunteers also work with students at the high school level. Volunteers in Western Russia conducted a two-week summer immersion program called "Camp America" for over 100 teenagers. In the Russian Far East village of Arsneniev, a Volunteer founded the first English-language newspaper for teens. This for-profit newspaper is written by advanced students from different schools, who are learning layout design, marketing and editing. The profits from the paper provide revenue for new English materials.
In the Russian Far East, university TEFL volunteers participated in regional conferences for language learning often working with the Russian FEELTA (Far Eastern English Language Teaching Association) and the American ELF (English Language Fellows) programs.
The Environment program is located in the Russian Far East, an area similar to the Pacific Northwest of the United States. The incredible natural beauty of this area provides motivation for increasing environmental awareness. Environmental Education Volunteers contribute to the growing environmental preservation movement through their work in schools, extra-curricular environmental centers, NGOs, and nature preserves. One Volunteer organized the youth in his village to construct solar dehydrators, which were used by local farmers to dry herbs and mushrooms for the winter.
Volunteers are assisting NGOs with grant proposal writing, organizational development, and fundraising techniques. A Volunteer in Vladivostok helped the Resource Center for Environmental Education, a local NGO, successfully implement a proposal to send several Center members and a film technician to the United States to make a documentary about outdoor education. The film will be shown on Russian television and used in seminars with other environmental NGOs.
==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+%22russia%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/rs/blog/50.xml|charset=UTF-8|short|max=10</rss>
==External Links==
[http://www.peacecorps.gov/kids/world/europemed/rus_business.html Peace Corps Kids World: Russia]<br>
[http://archives.cnn.com/2002/WORLD/europe/12/28/peace.corps/index.html CNN.com: Russia kicks out U.S. Peace Corps (12/28/2002)]
==See also==
* [[Volunteers who served in Russia]]
* [[Inspector General Reports]]
==External links==
* [http://www.peacecorpsjournals.com/rs.html Peace Corps Journals - Russia]
[[Category:Russia]] [[Category:Eastern Europe and Central Asia]]

Revision as of 13:09, 25 May 2009

History of the Peace Corps
Since 1960, when then Senator John F. Kennedy challenged students at the University of Michigan to serve their country in the cause of peace by living and working in developing countries, more than 182,000 Peace Corps Volunteers have served in 138 countries all over the globe.

See also:

See also: Nigeria