Difference between pages "Training in Lesotho" and "Chris Collman"

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(Overview of Pre-Service Training)
 
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{{Training_by_country}}
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{{volunteerinfobox
All new Volunteers arriving in Lesotho are provided with a nine- to 10-week pre-service training program prior to their posting. The training provides skills development in Sesotho, cross-cultural communication, and Volunteers’ particular job assignments. Sessions also cover specific medical and security conditions in Lesotho, first-aid instruction, and the historical, economic, political, and development issues facing Lesotho and southern Africa. Sesotho language classes and cultural training make up more than 65 percent of pre-service training.
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|pc= Volunteers
 +
|firstname= Chris 
 +
|middlename=
 +
|lastname= Collman
 +
|country= Somalia
 +
|yearservicestarted= 1967
 +
|yearserviceended= 1968
 +
|site= Hargesia
 +
|site2= Mogidishu
 +
|program= Roadie
 +
}}
 +
{{volunteerinfobox
 +
|pc= Volunteers
 +
|firstname= Chris 
 +
|middlename=
 +
|lastname= Collman
 +
|country= Nigeria
 +
|yearservicestarted= 1965
 +
|yearserviceended= 1967
 +
|site= Ikot Ekpene
 +
|site2= Eastern Region (Akwa Ibom State)
 +
|Group=      XVI
 +
|program= Rural Development Officer
 +
}}
  
Training is a special time that may, at times, seem very intense. During training, the Peace Corps gives you the knowledge and training necessary to become a productive Peace Corps Volunteer. Sometimes the knowledge given to you may not seem relevant to what you think you will be doing as a Volunteer. However, it is usually months after becoming a Volunteer that you realize why the Peace Corps trained you in these areas. Coming to training with an open mind and the ability to be flexible will help you adjust to a new environment and the journey you are about to undertake.  
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==Nigeria==
 +
I served in Nigeria, extended my tour. Ikot Ekpene and I were a good fit. I was a community project facilitator. The main focus was creating cooperative community oil palm farms.  The government's goal was to change land tenure system. My goal was to assist villages with the evaluation and adaptation of new ideas to an existing system.  There was 1 community farm when I got there and 12 when I left. I also helped build a few bridges, worked with the Raffia Cooperative for a bit (asked for another PCV) and had a couple of other projects. The people of Ikot Ekpene told me in a visit in 1972, that my most trouble some project was my best project.
  
New Volunteers recruited to work in Lesotho are brought into the country in two training groups annually. One group, consisting of education Volunteers, arrives in mid October to early November, and a second group of community health and development Volunteers arrives in June.  
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[[Image:RDO Ikot Ekpene3.gif|Thumb|left|150 px]]
 +
That project was the Ekoi Atan Ubom/Mbiabong Mbat Rice Demonstration project. Unlike the community farm projects, this one took a lot of attention. The government put the project right in the middle of a piece of land which was claimed by two villages. It was 30 acres when I was assigned (late 1966) to assist the Ministry of Agriculture with community relations aspects and about 100 acres when I left.  
  
===Overview of Pre-Service Training ===
+
I had trained counterparts in my second year to work with the community farms.  My extention goal was to work with villages and engineers in determining a model for supplying utilities to a village.  Biafra happened and I could not extend my tour.  Ikot Ekpene Division changed hands 3 times in the Civil War.  In my visit in 1972, 8 of 12 community farms were still operating without any government support and the the Rice project was over 700 acres and had served as a model for another 1000 acres of rice.
  
The first two weeks of pre-service training are conducted at a central training center. The next five weeks consist of community-based training, in which trainees live with Basotho host families in rural communities.  The remaining weeks take place at the training center.
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==Somalia==
 +
When Biafra happened, I went to Somalia and worked out of Hargesia on a cooperative market garden. After Ikot Ekpene, I thought it was sort of strange that none of the cooperative members worked on the garden, but the coop had hired people to do the work. After a couple of months, the farm manager got into some dispute with the coop members and ran away with their substantial working capital (ie money) while I was on leave in the USI was not really surprised that some disaster had struck the project.    My question was what do now?  Agriculture extension info shows on the local radio station, Join the Small Pox group or another construction volunteer?  Then "The Many Mushrooms" pulled into town, I fixed a loose connection and got a job for the rest of my tour.  
  
====Technical Training ===
+
The Many Mushrooms was a traveling Peace Corp Rock and Roll band, I became their "Roadie", sometimes their "Best Boy Grip".  The core of the band was made up of 4 volunteers and a young Somali drummer.  They were actually pretty good and took their music seriously. One of the volunteers could fluently croon passionate Somali love songs that the band had learned from the always popular Radio Hargesia Players.  It was standing room only at most of the towns we played in. Understand we generally played in the early evenings, outdoors. My job was to make sure the generator worked and helped with amps, microphones and instrument connections.  The stage was the packing boxes. After the band's equipment was plugged in,  we could only run 2 100 watt light bulbs, period.  We ended up in Mog, played at nightclubs and donated the money the band earned to several community development projects.  Somalia was a tough place for most volunteers.  I was certainly not a typical volunteer in Somalia, but I survived.
  
Technical training refers to the specific job that you have been invited to assist with, such as education, youth development, community development, or health advising. While you should already have some background and interest in the area of your assignment, the training will prepare you to work in Lesotho by building on the skills you already have and helping you develop new skills in a manner appropriate to the needs and issues of the country.
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==Summary==
  
===Language Training ===
+
In under 4 years of service, I experienced the best and the most difficult assignments Peace Corps had to offer. It changed my life and I would like to think I impacted others as well.
 
 
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, they help you integrate into your host community, and they can ease your personal adaptation to the new surroundings.  You will take part in structured Sesotho lessons given by Basotho instructors. At the completion of pre-service training, you will be tested by a certified language examiner, who will rate your ability in spoken Sesotho. In order for you to be sworn in as a Volunteer, you will need to attain a certain level of language proficiency. This is critical for you to function at the community level.
 
 
 
Volunteers who wish to continue their Sesotho training after pre-service training may hire a tutor. Peace Corps/Lesotho provides financial reimbursement for continuing language lessons.
 
 
 
===Cross-Cultural Training ===
 
 
 
As part of your pre-service training, you will live with a Basotho host family. This experience is designed to ease your transition to life in Lesotho. Families go through an orientation conducted by Peace Corps staff to explain the purpose of pre-service training and to assist them in helping you adapt to living in Lesotho. Many Volunteers form strong and lasting friendships with their host families.
 
 
 
Cross-cultural sessions will include an explanation of Basotho culture, values, norms, and religious practices, including gender roles, workplace behaviors, and daily life in a village setting. Cross-cultural training also compares American norms and values with those of Basotho and discusses circumstances unique to living as a foreigner in Lesotho. A comprehensive study of the sociopolitical and economic evolution of southern Africa in general and Lesotho in particular is also part of training.
 
 
 
===Health Training ===
 
 
 
During pre-service training, you will be given basic health training and information. You will be expected to practice preventive healthcare and to take responsibility for your own health by adhering to all medical policies. Trainees are required to attend all health sessions. The topics include preventive health measures and minor and major health issues that you might encounter while in Lesotho. Nutrition, mental health, safety and security, setting up a safe living compound, and how to avoid HIV/AIDS and other sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) are also covered.
 
 
 
===Safety Training ===
 
 
 
During the safety training sessions, you will learn how to adopt a lifestyle that reduces your risks at 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 ===
 
 
 
Peace Corps/Lesotho also conducts several in-service training workshops for Volunteers each year. Each Volunteer is entitled to 15 in-service training days for the entire term of service. Workshops focus on upgrading Volunteer skills in Sesotho language and culture; technical training and resource identification relevant to Volunteers’ job assignment; procedures for identifying and implementing community development “secondary” projects; and a review of Peace Corps policies, procedures, and initiatives concerning safety, security, health, and programming.
 
 
 
There is also a close-of-service workshop for Volunteers nearing the end of their service to help prepare them for their return to the United States and life after the Peace Corps.
 
 
 
Training is conducted by Basotho trainers who are hired on short-term contracts. Peace Corps/Lesotho also utilizes sector specialist trainers from the United States on an as-needed basis. Lesotho government officials, current Peace Corps Volunteers, and other local resource persons also deliver sessions on particular topics and assist with the overall training program.
 
 
 
No worries - Get some Baker's Lemon Cremes and you'll be just fine.
 
 
 
[[Category:Lesotho]]
 
[[Category:Training|Lesotho]]
 

Latest revision as of 12:16, 23 August 2016



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Nigeria

I served in Nigeria, extended my tour. Ikot Ekpene and I were a good fit. I was a community project facilitator. The main focus was creating cooperative community oil palm farms. The government's goal was to change land tenure system. My goal was to assist villages with the evaluation and adaptation of new ideas to an existing system. There was 1 community farm when I got there and 12 when I left. I also helped build a few bridges, worked with the Raffia Cooperative for a bit (asked for another PCV) and had a couple of other projects. The people of Ikot Ekpene told me in a visit in 1972, that my most trouble some project was my best project.

That project was the Ekoi Atan Ubom/Mbiabong Mbat Rice Demonstration project. Unlike the community farm projects, this one took a lot of attention. The government put the project right in the middle of a piece of land which was claimed by two villages. It was 30 acres when I was assigned (late 1966) to assist the Ministry of Agriculture with community relations aspects and about 100 acres when I left.

I had trained counterparts in my second year to work with the community farms. My extention goal was to work with villages and engineers in determining a model for supplying utilities to a village. Biafra happened and I could not extend my tour. Ikot Ekpene Division changed hands 3 times in the Civil War. In my visit in 1972, 8 of 12 community farms were still operating without any government support and the the Rice project was over 700 acres and had served as a model for another 1000 acres of rice.

Somalia

When Biafra happened, I went to Somalia and worked out of Hargesia on a cooperative market garden. After Ikot Ekpene, I thought it was sort of strange that none of the cooperative members worked on the garden, but the coop had hired people to do the work. After a couple of months, the farm manager got into some dispute with the coop members and ran away with their substantial working capital (ie money) while I was on leave in the US. I was not really surprised that some disaster had struck the project. My question was what do now? Agriculture extension info shows on the local radio station, Join the Small Pox group or another construction volunteer? Then "The Many Mushrooms" pulled into town, I fixed a loose connection and got a job for the rest of my tour.

The Many Mushrooms was a traveling Peace Corp Rock and Roll band, I became their "Roadie", sometimes their "Best Boy Grip". The core of the band was made up of 4 volunteers and a young Somali drummer. They were actually pretty good and took their music seriously. One of the volunteers could fluently croon passionate Somali love songs that the band had learned from the always popular Radio Hargesia Players. It was standing room only at most of the towns we played in. Understand we generally played in the early evenings, outdoors. My job was to make sure the generator worked and helped with amps, microphones and instrument connections. The stage was the packing boxes. After the band's equipment was plugged in, we could only run 2 100 watt light bulbs, period. We ended up in Mog, played at nightclubs and donated the money the band earned to several community development projects. Somalia was a tough place for most volunteers. I was certainly not a typical volunteer in Somalia, but I survived.

Summary

In under 4 years of service, I experienced the best and the most difficult assignments Peace Corps had to offer. It changed my life and I would like to think I impacted others as well.