Difference between pages "Training in Burkina Faso" and "FAQs about Peace Corps in Ghana"

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{{Training_by_country}}Training is an essential part of Peace Corps service. The goal of the training program is to give you the skills and information you need to live and work effectively in Burkina Faso. In doing that, we build upon the experiences and expertise you bring to the Peace Corps. We anticipate that you will approach training with an open mind, a desire to learn, and a willingness to become involved. Trainees officially become Volunteers only after successful completion of training.
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{{FAQs by country}}
  
You will receive training and orientation in components of language, cross-culture, development issues, health, safety and safety, and technical skills pertinent to your specific assignment. Training combines some structured classroom study, independent study, and hands-on experiences. The skills you learn will serve as the foundation upon which you build your experience as a Peace Corps Volunteer.
 
  
During the first several days of training, you will stay at a training center or hotel in the capital. After this orientation period, you will move to Ouahigouya, a regional capital north of Ouagadougou. Trainees will be placed in clusters of four to five people along with a language and cross-culture facilitator.  Health and girls’ education clusters will be located in villages a short distance from Ouahigouya. Clusters of small enterprise development and secondary education trainees will most likely be based in Ouahigouya.
 
  
Trainees will be assigned to a host family where they will live for the duration of pre-service training. The host family experience, which Volunteers in Burkina Faso consider one of the most critical elements of training, allows you to gain hands-on experience in some of the new skills you are expected to acquire. Most Volunteers remain in close contact with their host families throughout their service.
 
  
At the beginning of training, the training staff will outline the goals that each trainee has to achieve before becoming a Volunteer and the criteria that will be used to assess progress toward those goals. The training director, along with the language, technical, and cross-cultural trainers, will work with you toward the highest possible achievement of training goals by providing you with feedback throughout training.  After successful completion of pre-service training, you will be sworn-in as a Volunteer and make final preparations to depart for your site.
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===How much luggage will I be allowed to bring to Ghana?===
  
Depending on your sector, your initial period of training will be either 9 or 11 weeks. Those with the shorter period of pre-service training will have specific assignments to do during their first few months at site and then will attend a longer in-service training.  
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The authorized baggage allowance is two checked pieces of luggage with combined dimensions of both pieces not to exceed 107 inches (length + width + height) and a carry-on bag with dimensions of no more than 45 inches. Checked baggage should not exceed 80 pounds total with a maximum weight allowance of 50 pounds for any one bag.  
  
====Technical Training====
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Peace Corps Volunteers are not allowed to take pets, weapons, explosives, radio transmitters (short-wave radios are permitted), automobiles, or motorcycles to their overseas assignments. Do not pack flammable materials or liquids such as lighter fluid, cleaning solvents, hair spray, or aerosol containers. This is an important safety precaution. Please check the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) website for a detailed list of permitted and prohibited items at http://www.tsa.gov/travelers/airtravel/prohibited/permittedprohibited-items.shtm.
  
Technical training will prepare you to work in Burkina Faso by building on the skills you already have and by helping you develop new skills in a manner appropriate to the needs of the country. Peace Corps staff, Burkinabé experts, and current Volunteers will conduct the training program. Training places great emphasis on learning how to transfer the skills you have to the community in which you will serve as a Volunteer.
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===What is the electric current in Ghana?===
  
Technical training will include sessions on the general economic, social, and political environment in Burkina Faso and strategies for working within such a framework. You will review your technical sector’s goals and will meet with the Burkinabé agencies and organizations that invited the Peace Corps to assist them. You will be supported and evaluated throughout the training to build the confidence and skills you need to undertake your project activities and be a productive member of your community.  
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If you have electricity, the current is 50 cycles, 220 volts.  There are surges and cuts, which put a strain on voltage converters and appliances, so bring good-quality items. We recommend CD players that use “D” batteries since “C” batteries are a little harder to find. “AA,” as well as watch and calculator batteries, are easy to find. Highly recommend rechargeable batteries.  
  
Training will involve a number of practical, “hands-on” experiences. For education Volunteers this includes experience teaching in a model school.
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===How much money should I bring?===
  
====Language Training====
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Volunteers are expected to live at the same level as the people in their community. They are given a settling-in allowance and a monthly living allowance, which should cover their expenses. Often Volunteers wish to bring additional money for vacation travel to other countries. Travelers checks are preferable to cash. If you choose to bring extra money, plan on bringing the amount that suits your own personal travel plans and needs.
  
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.  Therefore, language training is the heart of the training program, and you must successfully meet minimum language requirements to complete training and become a Volunteer.  Experienced Burkinabé language instructors teach formal language classes five to six days a week in small groups of four to five people. Secondary education and SED trainees initially focus on French, studying a local language after they have achieved the required level of French. Health and girls’ education trainees may start local language study even earlier in pre-service training.
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===When can I take vacation and have people visit me?===
  
Your language training will incorporate a community-based approach. In addition to classroom time, you will be given assignments to work on outside of the classroom and with your host family. The goal is to get you to a point of basic social communication skills so that you can practice and develop language skills further on your own. Prior to being sworn in as a Volunteer, you will work on strategies to continue language studies during your service.  
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Each Volunteer accrues two vacation days per month of service (excluding training). Leave may not be taken during training, the first three months of service, or the last three months of service, except in conjunction with an authorized emergency leave. Family and friends are welcome to visit you after pre-service training and after the first three months of service as long as their stay does not interfere with your work.  Long-term visitors are only permitted with the prior approval of the Contry Director. The Peace Corps is not able to provide your visitors with visa or travel assistance. However, if your family or friends plan to visit you in Ghana, they are welcome to contact the Peace Corps/Ghana country desk at Peace Corps headquarters at 202.692.2326/7 for a letter addressed to the Ghanaian Embassy, requesting their assistance to obtain a tourist visa.  
  
====Cross-Cultural Training====
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===Will my belongings be covered by insurance?===
  
As part of your pre-service training, you will live with a Burkinabé host family. This experience is designed to ease your transition to life at your site. 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 Burkina Faso. Many Volunteers form strong and lasting friendships with their host families.  
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The Peace Corps does not provide insurance coverage for personal effects. Such insurance can be purchased before you leave. Ultimately, Volunteers are responsible for the safekeeping of their personal belongings. If you wish, you may contact your own insurance company; additionally, insurance application forms have been enclosed, and we encourage you to consider them carefully. Further information about insurance should be obtained by calling the company directly.  
  
Cross-cultural and community development training will help you improve your communication skills and understand your role as a facilitator of development. You will be exposed to topics such as community mobilization, conflict resolution, gender and development, nonformal and adult education strategies, and political structures.  
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Volunteers should not ship or take valuable items overseas. Jewelry, watches, radios, cameras, iPods, laptop computers, and expensive appliances are subject to loss, theft, and breakage, and in many places, satisfactory maintenance and repair services are not available.  
  
====Health Training====
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===Do I need an international driver’s license?===
  
During pre-service training, you will be given basic medical 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 medical sessions. The topics include preventive health measures and minor and major medical issues that you might encounter while in Burkina Faso.  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.  
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Volunteers in Ghana do not need to get an international driver’s license. Operation of vehicles is prohibited.  
  
====Safety and Security Training====
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===What should I bring as gifts for Ghanaian friends and my host family? ===
  
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.  
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This is not a requirement. A token of friendship is sufficient.  Some gift suggestions include: knickknacks for the house; pictures, books, or calendars of American scenes; souvenirs from your area; hard candies that will not melt or spoil; or photos to give away.
  
===Additional Trainings During Volunteer Service===
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===Where will my site assignment be when I finish training and how isolated will I be? ===
  
In its commitment to institutionalize quality training, the Peace Corps has implemented a training system that provides Volunteers with continual opportunities to reinforce their commitment to Peace Corps service while increasing their technical and cross-cultural skills. The titles and objectives for those trainings are as follows:
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Peace Corps trainees in Ghana are assigned to individual sites during the second week of pre-service training. Most Volunteers will live in small towns or in rural villages, but will usually be within three to four hours from the nearest Volunteer. Some sites will require a two- to three-day drive from the capital.  
  
* In-service training: Provides opportunities for Volunteers to upgrade their technical, language, and project development skills while sharing their experiences and reaffirming their commitment after having served for three to six months.
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===How can my family contact me in an emergency?===
* Close-of-service conference: Prepares Volunteers for the future after Peace Corps service and reviews their respective projects and personal experiences.
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The number, length, and design of these trainings are adapted to country-specific needs and conditions. The key to the training system 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 the training staff, Peace Corps staff, and Volunteers.  
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The Peace Corps’ Office of Special Services provides assistance in handling emergencies affecting trainees and Volunteers or their families. Before leaving the United States, you should instruct your family to notify the Office of Special Services immediately if an emergency arises, such as a serious illness or death of a family member. During normal business hours, the number for the Office of Special Services is 800.424.8580, extension 1470. After normal business hours and on weekends and holidays, the special services duty officer can be reached at 202.638.2574. For non-emergency questions, your family can get information from your country desk staff at the Peace Corps by calling 800.424.8580, extension 2327/6.  
  
[[Category:Burkina Faso]]
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===Can I call home from Ghana?===
[[Category:Training|Burkina Faso]]
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Yes. The international phone service to and from Ghana is good. The Ghana telephone agency has offices and phone booths located in major cities and some smaller towns. There are direct lines to the United States in regional capitals. You can purchase a phone card locally to make international calls, or see mobile phones, below.
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===Should I bring a cellular phone with me?===
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Peace Corps does not provide money for a mobile phone. Most Ghanians you come in contact with these days have mobile phones (if not the call credit to use them). If you need a cell phone for your job, or for contact with family abroad, there are many available to purchase in Ghana although coverage is not yet available in all parts of the country.
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===Will there be e-mail and Internet access? Should I bring my computer? ===
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There are more and more places (Internet cafés and com centers) springing up around Ghana although most are still in the larger towns and cities. Most Volunteers are able to access such places once a month or, at best, once a week.  There are Peace Corps Volunteers with laptops, and some find them useful in their jobs. Even if you do not bring a laptop, it is recommended that you bring a high density memory stick, sometimes called a pen drive or flash drive. They can hold huge quantities of data. Volunteers like to keep letters, e-mails, photos, and project proposals, lesson plans, etc. They are far more reliable than floppy disks or CDs. They can be purchased for around $30 (U.S.).
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[[Category:Ghana]]

Latest revision as of 07:03, 26 March 2015

FAQs about Peace Corps
  • How much luggage am I allowed to bring?
  • What is the electric current?
  • 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 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?
  • Should I bring a cellular phone with me?
  • Will there be e-mail and Internet access? Should I bring my computer?
...and more...

For information see Welcomebooks



How much luggage will I be allowed to bring to Ghana?[edit]

The authorized baggage allowance is two checked pieces of luggage with combined dimensions of both pieces not to exceed 107 inches (length + width + height) and a carry-on bag with dimensions of no more than 45 inches. Checked baggage should not exceed 80 pounds total with a maximum weight allowance of 50 pounds for any one bag.

Peace Corps Volunteers are not allowed to take pets, weapons, explosives, radio transmitters (short-wave radios are permitted), automobiles, or motorcycles to their overseas assignments. Do not pack flammable materials or liquids such as lighter fluid, cleaning solvents, hair spray, or aerosol containers. This is an important safety precaution. Please check the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) website for a detailed list of permitted and prohibited items at http://www.tsa.gov/travelers/airtravel/prohibited/permittedprohibited-items.shtm.

What is the electric current in Ghana?[edit]

If you have electricity, the current is 50 cycles, 220 volts. There are surges and cuts, which put a strain on voltage converters and appliances, so bring good-quality items. We recommend CD players that use “D” batteries since “C” batteries are a little harder to find. “AA,” as well as watch and calculator batteries, are easy to find. Highly recommend rechargeable batteries.

How much money should I bring?[edit]

Volunteers are expected to live at the same level as the people in their community. They are given a settling-in allowance and a monthly living allowance, which should cover their expenses. Often Volunteers wish to bring additional money for vacation travel to other countries. Travelers checks are preferable to cash. If you choose to bring extra money, plan on bringing the amount that suits your own personal travel plans and needs.

When can I take vacation and have people visit me?[edit]

Each Volunteer accrues two vacation days per month of service (excluding training). Leave may not be taken during training, the first three months of service, or the last three months of service, except in conjunction with an authorized emergency leave. Family and friends are welcome to visit you after pre-service training and after the first three months of service as long as their stay does not interfere with your work. Long-term visitors are only permitted with the prior approval of the Contry Director. The Peace Corps is not able to provide your visitors with visa or travel assistance. However, if your family or friends plan to visit you in Ghana, they are welcome to contact the Peace Corps/Ghana country desk at Peace Corps headquarters at 202.692.2326/7 for a letter addressed to the Ghanaian Embassy, requesting their assistance to obtain a tourist visa.

Will my belongings be covered by insurance?[edit]

The Peace Corps does not provide insurance coverage for personal effects. Such insurance can be purchased before you leave. Ultimately, Volunteers are responsible for the safekeeping of their personal belongings. If you wish, you may contact your own insurance company; additionally, insurance application forms have been enclosed, and we encourage you to consider them carefully. Further information about insurance should be obtained by calling the company directly.

Volunteers should not ship or take valuable items overseas. Jewelry, watches, radios, cameras, iPods, laptop computers, and expensive appliances are subject to loss, theft, and breakage, and in many places, satisfactory maintenance and repair services are not available.

Do I need an international driver’s license?[edit]

Volunteers in Ghana do not need to get an international driver’s license. Operation of vehicles is prohibited.

What should I bring as gifts for Ghanaian friends and my host family?[edit]

This is not a requirement. A token of friendship is sufficient. Some gift suggestions include: knickknacks for the house; pictures, books, or calendars of American scenes; souvenirs from your area; hard candies that will not melt or spoil; or photos to give away.

Where will my site assignment be when I finish training and how isolated will I be?[edit]

Peace Corps trainees in Ghana are assigned to individual sites during the second week of pre-service training. Most Volunteers will live in small towns or in rural villages, but will usually be within three to four hours from the nearest Volunteer. Some sites will require a two- to three-day drive from the capital.

How can my family contact me in an emergency?[edit]

The Peace Corps’ Office of Special Services provides assistance in handling emergencies affecting trainees and Volunteers or their families. Before leaving the United States, you should instruct your family to notify the Office of Special Services immediately if an emergency arises, such as a serious illness or death of a family member. During normal business hours, the number for the Office of Special Services is 800.424.8580, extension 1470. After normal business hours and on weekends and holidays, the special services duty officer can be reached at 202.638.2574. For non-emergency questions, your family can get information from your country desk staff at the Peace Corps by calling 800.424.8580, extension 2327/6.

Can I call home from Ghana?[edit]

Yes. The international phone service to and from Ghana is good. The Ghana telephone agency has offices and phone booths located in major cities and some smaller towns. There are direct lines to the United States in regional capitals. You can purchase a phone card locally to make international calls, or see mobile phones, below.

Should I bring a cellular phone with me?[edit]

Peace Corps does not provide money for a mobile phone. Most Ghanians you come in contact with these days have mobile phones (if not the call credit to use them). If you need a cell phone for your job, or for contact with family abroad, there are many available to purchase in Ghana although coverage is not yet available in all parts of the country.

Will there be e-mail and Internet access? Should I bring my computer?[edit]

There are more and more places (Internet cafés and com centers) springing up around Ghana although most are still in the larger towns and cities. Most Volunteers are able to access such places once a month or, at best, once a week. There are Peace Corps Volunteers with laptops, and some find them useful in their jobs. Even if you do not bring a laptop, it is recommended that you bring a high density memory stick, sometimes called a pen drive or flash drive. They can hold huge quantities of data. Volunteers like to keep letters, e-mails, photos, and project proposals, lesson plans, etc. They are far more reliable than floppy disks or CDs. They can be purchased for around $30 (U.S.).