Training in Liberia

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Training in [[{{#explode:Training in Liberia| |2}} {{#explode:Training in Liberia| |3}} {{#explode:Training in Liberia| |4}}]]
Pre-service training will probably be the most intense period of your Peace Corps service, as you will need to gain the knowledge and experience necessary to successfully serve as a Volunteer in just 10 weeks. While the training period will be extremely busy, it should also be a time of excitement, discovery, and self-fulfillment. The effort and challenges of adapting to a new culture will draw on your reserves of patience and humor but will be handsomely rewarded with a sense of belonging among new friends.
  • [[Packing list for {{#explode:Training in Liberia| |2}} {{#explode:Training in Liberia| |3}} {{#explode:Training in Liberia| |4}}]]
  • [[Training in {{#explode:Training in Liberia| |2}} {{#explode:Training in Liberia| |3}} {{#explode:Training in Liberia| |4}}]]
  • [[Living conditions and volunteer lifestyles in {{#explode:Training in Liberia| |2}} {{#explode:Training in Liberia| |3}} {{#explode:Training in Liberia| |4}}]]
  • [[Health care and safety in {{#explode:Training in Liberia| |2}} {{#explode:Training in Liberia| |3}} {{#explode:Training in Liberia| |4}}]]
  • [[Diversity and cross-cultural issues in {{#explode:Training in Liberia| |2}} {{#explode:Training in Liberia| |3}} {{#explode:Training in Liberia| |4}}]]
  • [[FAQs about Peace Corps in {{#explode:Training in Liberia| |2}} {{#explode:Training in Liberia| |3}} {{#explode:Training in Liberia| |4}}]]
  • [[History of the Peace Corps in {{#explode:Training in Liberia| |2}} {{#explode:Training in Liberia| |3}} {{#explode:Training in Liberia| |4}}]]
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See also:
Pre-Departure Checklist
Staging Timeline

For information see Welcomebooks

[[Category: {{#explode:Training in Liberia| |2}} {{#explode:Training in Liberia| |3}} {{#explode:Training in Liberia| |4}}]]


Training differs for Peace Corps Volunteers and Peace Corps Response Volunteers. Please see the appropriate section below.

Peace Corps Volunteer (PCV) Training[edit]

Overview of Training[edit]

Pre-service training is the first event within a competencybased training program that continues throughout your 27 months of service in Liberia. Pre-service training ensures that Volunteers are equipped with the knowledge, skills, and attitudes to effectively perform their jobs. On average, nine of 10 trainees are sworn in as Volunteers.

Throughout service, Volunteers strive to achieve performance competencies. Initially, pre-service training affords the opportunity for trainees to develop and test their own resources. As a trainee, you will play an active role in selfeducation. You will be asked to decide how best to set and meet objectives and to find alternative solutions. You will be asked to prepare for an experience in which you will often have to take the initiative and accept responsibility for decisions. The success of your learning will be enhanced by your own effort to take responsibility for your learning and through sharing experiences with others.

Peace Corps provides a training continuum throughout your two years of service to help build and improve your language and cross-cultural skills, develop and adapt your teaching and other technical skills, address issues concerning health and personal safety, and share experiences and lessons learned with other Peace Corps Volunteers, Peace Corps staff members, and Liberian colleagues.

Pre-Service Training[edit]

The most intense part of PC training is Pre-Service Training (PST) that will last for 10 weeks. Training sessions will be held Monday through Friday; some activities may also be scheduled on Saturdays. During your 10-week PST, great emphasis is placed on developing and practicing skills needed for community integration and language acquisition.

Trainees will arrive in Liberia and have a brief orientation to begin PST. Upon arrival at the training site, based in a local community, trainees will be placed with a host family for the duration of PST. The host family will assist you in your crosscultural learning and community integration skills; they will function as one of your greatest resources as you navigate West African culture.

Your progress throughout PST will be assessed based upon predetermined competencies, including language standards. Upon successful completion of the various components of PST and after mastering the necessary competencies, you will be sworn-in as a Peace Corps Volunteer.

Technical Training[edit]

Technical training during PST will focus on teaching English, math, and science in the host country context. You will learn the communicative teaching methodology used by Peace Corps and how to use it in your teaching assignment in a Liberian school. During PST, you will have technical sessions and a teaching practicum experience. Technical topics may include the following: Liberian education system (formal and informal), teaching methodology; classroom management skills, training of trainers/teachers; lesson plan and curriculum development; and practical youth development and community entry skills. You will participate in demo lessons conducted by local teachers and some practice team teaching in classes with local students.

Language Training[edit]

The ability to communicate in the host country language is critical to being an effective Peace Corps Volunteer. So basic is this precept that it is spelled out in the Peace Corps Act: No person shall be assigned to duty as a Volunteer under this act in any foreign country or area unless at the time of such assignment he (or she) possesses such reasonable proficiency as his (or her) assignment requires in speaking the language of the country or area to which he (or she) is assigned.

Language training is the largest component of PST. While English is spoken in Liberia, there are also several local languages. Volunteers will learn a local language based on the location of their site. Language sessions will be held almost every day and, usually, for up to four hours each day. Language training will be provided in small groups of three to five trainees. This might be the most exhausting aspect of PST, but it is the most critical for community integration.

Cross-Cultural Training[edit]

Successful sustainable development work is based on the local trust and confidence Volunteers build by living in, and respectfully integrating into, the Liberia community and culture. Trainees are prepared for this through a “home-stay” experience, which requires trainees to live with host families during pre-service training. Integration into the community not only facilitates good working relationships, but it fosters language learning and cross-cultural acceptance and trust, which help ensure your health, safety, and security.

The PST host family will be invaluable as you learn to navigate within a new culture. Cultural knowledge will be infused into all components of PST, but there will also be stand-alone cultural sessions to help you learn about Liberia, your host country.

Health Training[edit]

Volunteers will be given thorough medical training and information. You will be expected to practice preventive health care and to take responsibility for your own health by adhering to all medical policies. Topics include preventive health measures and minor and major medical issues that you may encounter while in Liberia. Additional training will be provided to help manage your mental health while living in a post-conflict country suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder. Nutrition, setting up a safe living compound, and how to avoid HIV/AIDS and other sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) are also covered.

Safety Training[edit]

During the safety training sessions, you will learn how to adopt a lifestyle that reduces your risks at 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 topics will include transportation options, safe travel, the Emergency Action Plan, and safety and security issues in Monrovia, including mandated curfews and no-go zones and clubs.

Volunteers wishing to ride a bicycle will also receive safety training and helmets, per the bicycle policy.

Evaluating Learning and Qualifying for Service[edit]

The pre-service training experience provides an opportunity not only for the Peace Corps to assess a trainee’s competence, but for trainees to re-evaluate their commitment to serve for 27 months to improve the quality of life of the people with whom Volunteers live and work and, in doing so, develop new knowledge, skills, and attitudes while adapting existing ones.

Progress in one’s own learning is a dialogue between you and the training staff. All of the training staff—including the training manager, and the language, technical, medical, safety and security, and cross-cultural trainers—will work with you toward the highest possible competencies by providing you with feedback on learning objective performance throughout training. After reviewing and observing your performance, the country director is responsible for making the final decision on whether you have qualified to serve as a Volunteer in the host country.

Upon successful completion of training, trainees who qualify for Peace Corps service are required by law to swear or affirm an oath of loyalty to the United States; it cannot be waived under any circumstances. The text of the oath is provided below. If you have any questions about the wording or meaning of the oath, consult a staff member during training.

I, (your name), do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States of America against all enemies, domestic or foreign, that I take this obligation freely, and without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion, and that I will well and faithfully discharge my duties in the Peace Corps (so help me God).

Ongoing Learning[edit]

You are expected to improve your knowledge and skills in the areas of technical, language, cross-cultural, diversity, health, and safety throughout your service as a Volunteer.

Training staff provide learning objectives during the 27-month continuum to help guide Volunteers throughout service. The manner in which you do this may be formal, through tutoring or workshops organized by the host government or in-country staff, or informally, through conversations and reading. Your learning will continue after you become a Volunteer, formally and through in-service training opportunities, specialized language or technical workshops, and a close-of-service workshop to help you evaluate your service and prepare for your return to the United States.

After PST, Volunteers utilize their community integration skills to start becoming part of the community, perform a community and/or workplace study, and start learning how best to do their job. After three to five months at site, Volunteers are invited to the first in-service training (IST).

  • In-service trainings (ISTs): These provide an opportunity for Volunteers to upgrade their technical and language skills while sharing their experiences and reaffirming their commitment to service. The first IST is held after three to five months at site. Ideally, the Volunteer’s counterpart will be able to participate in part of this training event. Additional ISTs might cover specific technical topics or might be held at the midpoint of service to share best practices and make plans for the Volunteer’s second year.
  • Close-of-service (COS) conference: This prepares Volunteers for their future after Peace Corps service and reviews their respective projects and personal experiences.

The number, length, and design of these trainings are adapted to country-specific needs and conditions. The key to the training program is that training events are integrated and interrelated, from the pre-departure orientation through the end of your service, and are planned, implemented, and evaluated cooperatively by Peace Corps staff and Volunteers.

Peace Corps Response Volunteer (PCRV) Training[edit]

Overview of Orientation[edit]

As a Peace Corps Response Volunteer, you will have an orientation upon arrival in Liberia. During the sessions, you will learrn about program information concerning your site, administration, health, safety and security, and reporting. You will be sworn-in during this time and will then travel to the location where you will serve.

Technical Training[edit]

Upon arrival at site, you will receive an orientation from your counterpart. Given the short-term nature of your assignment with Peace Corps Response, you have been recruited for your technical skills, so there will be no additional training. If you find you need some training, please inform your counterpart or the Peace Corps office to discuss it.

Language Training[edit]

You will use English as your working language. There are local languages within Liberia, but English is used throughout. If you need assistance in working with any community group, you should discuss the need for, and availability of, a translator with your counterpart.

Cross-Cultural Training[edit]

There will be a cross-cultural session during your orientation. Should you have additional questions or should new situations arise, your counterpart and colleagues will be the best source of information. The Peace Corps staff is also available to assist you.

Health Training[edit]

During orientation, you will be given abbreviated medical training and information. You will be expected to practice preventive health care and to take responsibility for your own health by adhering to all medical policies. Topics include preventive health measures and minor and major medical issues that you may encounter while in Liberia. Additional training will be provided to help manage your mental health while living in a post-conflict country suffering from posttraumatic stress disorder. Nutrition, setting up a safe living compound, and how to avoid HIV/AIDS and other sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) are also covered.

Safety Training[edit]

During the safety training sessions, you will learn how to adopt a lifestyle that reduces your risks at 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 topics will include transportation options, safe travel, the Emergency Action Plan, and safety and security issues in Monrovia, including mandated curfews and no-go zones and clubs.

Volunteers wishing to ride a bicycle will also receive safety training and helmets, per the bicycle policy.

Additional Trainings During Volunteer Service[edit]

Additional training is not planned for Peace Corps Response Volunteers, given the brief duration of assignments.