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Peace Corps Volunteers in Madagascar are teaching English, conducting health education and child survival activities, and working on natural resource management and community development. The Madagascar program was suspended on March 17, 2009 and all volunteers were evacuated due to a continuing political conflict.
Main article: Training in Madagascar
Pre-service training will provide you with the essential skills needed to successfully complete your service in Madagascar. During training, you will learn what you need to know to integrate into your community and to develop and implement an appropriate work plan with your community and counterparts. Training has five major components:
Technical training, cross-cultural training, language instruction, personal health and safety training, and the role of the Volunteer in development.
The training in Madagascar is community-based, which means that the bulk of it takes place in the community instead of at a training center. Community-based training is a more difficult training model in some respects, as the learning environment is real, not artificial. Most of your time will be spent in villages similar to the one in which you will be placed as a Volunteer, living with a Malagasy family and working in village schools. The learning environment is designed to provide you with experiences and meetings that will help you develop the knowledge and skills you need in your work as a Volunteer.
Your Health Care and Safety
Main article: Health Care and Safety in Madagascar
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. Peace Corps/Madagascar maintains its own health unit with two medical officers, who are responsible for the medical care of trainees and Volunteers in Antananarivo as well as at their sites. The Peace Corps has further medical support from the area medical officer based in Kenya and from the Office of Medical Services in Washington. In case of severe illness, you will be evacuated to a nearby country or the United States for medical care.
Diversity and Cross-Cultural Issues
Main article: Diversity and Cross-Cultural Issues in Madagascar
In Madagascar, 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 commonly accepted in the United States may be quite uncommon, unacceptable, or even repressed in Madagascar.
Outside of Madagascar’s capital, residents of rural communities have had relatively little direct exposure to other cultures, races, religions, and lifestyles. What is viewed as “typical” cultural behavior or norms may 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 Madagascar 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.
- 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
Main article: FAQs about Peace Corps in Madagascar
- How much luggage will I be allowed to bring to Madagascar?
- What is the electric current in Madagascar?
- 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 Malagasy 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 Madagascar?
- Should I bring a cellular phone with me?
- Will there be e-mail and Internet access? Should I bring my computer?
Main article: Packing List for Madagascar
This list has been compiled by Volunteers serving in Madagascar 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 obviously cannot bring everything we mention, so consider those items that make the most sense to you personally and professionally. You can always have things sent to you later. As you decide what to bring, keep in mind that you have a 100-pound weight restriction on baggage. (Luggage should be tough, lightweight, lockable, and easy to carry.) And remember, you can get almost everything you need in Madagascar.
- General Clothing
- Personal Hygiene and Toiletry Items
Peace Corps News
- Peace Corps Helps Silk Weavers in Madagascar Expand Business - AllAfrica.com (Apr 08)
- Peace Corps Volunteers Help Local Silk-Weaving Artisans Reach International ... - Insurance News Net (press release) (Apr 07)
- How A Chocolate Company In Madagascar Beat The Odds - AFKInsider (Apr 03)
- University, Peace Corps sign program agreement - The Michigan Daily (Mar 27)
PEACE CORPS JOURNALS
( As of Friday April 18, 2014 )
Contributions to the Madagascar Country Fund will support Volunteer and community projects that will take place in Madagascar. These projects include water and sanitation, agricultural development, and youth programs.
- Volunteers who served in Madagascar
- List of resources for Madagascar
- Pre-Departure Checklist
- Inspector General Reports