Difference between pages "Living conditions and volunteer lifestyles in Uganda" and "South Africa"

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{{Living_conditions_and_volunteer_lifestyles_by_country}}
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{{CountryboxAlternative
 +
|Countryname= South Africa
 +
|CountryCode = sf
 +
|status = [[ACTIVE]]
 +
|Flag= Flag_of_South_Africa.svg
 +
|Welcomebooklink = http://www.peacecorps.gov/welcomebooks/zawb674.pdf
 +
|Region= [[Africa]]
 +
|CountryDirector= [[McGrath Thomas]]
 +
|Sectors= [[Education]]<br> ([[APCD]]: [[Morgan Mthembu]] , [[Lydia Webber]])<br> [[NGO development|NGO Development]] and [[Health|HIV/AIDS]] <br>([[APCD]]: [[Hendrik Matseke]], [[Kori Lelaka]])
 +
|ProgramDates= [[1997]] - [[Present]]
 +
|CurrentlyServing= 171
 +
|TotalVolunteers= 703
 +
|Languages= [[Afrikaans]], [[English]], [[Zulu]], [[Xhosa]], [[Swazi]], [[Ndebele]], [[Southern Sotho]], [[Northern Sotho]], [[Tsonga]], [[Tswana]], [[Venda]]
 +
|Map= Sf-map.gif
 +
|stagingdate= Jan 24 2010
 +
|stagingcity= Washington, DC
 +
}}
  
 +
Since the end of apartheid in 1994, South Africa has made progress in the educational,
 +
health, and governmental systems. However, gaps in the opportunities remain for the
 +
historically disadvantaged population. The official unemployment rate is 31%. Sources
 +
estimate that over 50% of the population lives below the poverty line. Poverty and the lack of education are particularly high in the rural areas of South Africa where the
 +
government of South Africa is working to transform the educational system.
  
===Communications ===
+
The first group of Peace Corps Volunteers arrived in South Africa in February 1997.
 +
Currently, PC/South Africa has two projects: education and NGO capacity building.
  
===Mail ===
+
South African Peace Corps Volunteers maintain an in-country wiki found [http://pc-sa.wikispaces.com/ Here]
  
Few countries in the world offer the level of service considered normal in the United States. If you expect U.S. standards for mail service, you will be in for some frustration. Letters take a minimum of three weeks to arrive in Uganda if sent by airmail, packages even longer. Packages sent by surface mail can take six months or even longer. Some mail may simply not arrive (fortunately this is not a <span class="plainlinks">[http://goo.gl/LRCVw<span style="color:black;font-weight:normal; text-decoration:none!important;  background:none!important; text-decoration:none;">century 21 broker properti jual beli sewa rumah Indonesia</span>] frequent occurrence, but it does happen). Advise your friends and family to number their letters for tracking purposes and to write “Airmail” and “Par Avion” on their envelopes. If someone sends you a package, it is best to keep it small and use a padded envelope so it will be treated as a letter. Valuables should not be sent through the mail.
+
==Peace Corps History==
  
Despite the delays, we encourage you to write to your family regularly and to number your letters. Family members typically become worried when they do not hear from you, so it is a good idea to advise them that mail service is sporadic and that they should not be concerned if they <span class="plainlinks">[http://www.peacecorpswiki.org/Business_Plan_Development_Seminars<span style="color:black;font-weight:normal; text-decoration:none!important;  background:none!important; text-decoration:none;">century 21 broker properti jual beli sewa rumah Indonesia</span>] do not receive letters from you regularly. This is especially true at the beginning, when you will be involved in an intense training program.
+
''Main article: [[History of the Peace Corps in South Africa]]''
  
Your address during training will be:
+
The Peace Corps arrived in South Africa at a historic and critical juncture in the country’s history. At a White House ceremony in October 1994, former Presidents Bill Clinton and Nelson Mandela met to seal a bond of friendship and a promise to work together to transform South Africa from a divided nation to one united by its commitment to build a democratic, nonracially based society. The Peace Corps was a small but important part of that agreement. The first group of 35 Volunteers arrived in January 1997 to work in the education sector. Since that time, more than 200 Volunteers have served or are serving in South Africa. In 2001, Peace Corps/South Africa responded to the government’s request to join in a partnership against HIV/AIDS. In addition to serving as resources for primary school educators, Volunteers now assist local nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) in building their capacity to meet the demands of the HIV/AIDS pandemic. Currently, about 85 Volunteers work in education and with NGOs.
  
  
 +
==Living Conditions and Volunteer Lifestyle==
  
“Your Name,” PCT
+
''Main article: [[Living conditions and volunteer lifestyles in South Africa]]''
  
P.O. Box 29348
+
All Volunteers live with a host family at a site located anywhere from one hour to nine hours from Pretoria, the capital. Proximity to another Volunteer varies from site to site.
  
Kampala, Uganda
+
Your host agency will provide safe and adequate housing—in accordance with the Peace Corps’ site selection criteria—that is likely to consist of a private room inside a family’s house or a room in an outside building within a family compound. Housing varies from mud houses with either thatch or tin roofs to brick homes with tin roofs. You need to be very flexible in your housing expectations because there is no guarantee that you will have running water or electricity. If you do not, you will collect your water from a well or borehole and spend your evenings reading by candlelight or lantern.
  
+
The sponsoring agency or host family will provide you with basic items (i.e., a bed, mattress, desk/table, straight chair, and cupboard for hanging clothing or storage). Each Volunteer will receive an allowance in local currency to purchase needed settling-in items, as well as a water filter provided by the Peace Corps.
  
Volunteers in Uganda are allowed to receive packages containing work-related clothing and household items without paying customs fees for six months after arrival. Duty may be charged on food, cosmetics, electronics, and other items not explicitly for work purposes. After training, you will be extpected to establish a mailing address in the community where you are posted. Let family know that the address listed above will be a temporary one used during your first few months in Uganda.
 
  
===Telephones ===
+
==Training==
  
You are unlikely to have access to e-mail or international telephone service during training. International calls can be made in some of the rural regional centers, but connections are unreliable and the cost can be high. Uganda has mobile phone services, and most Volunteers purchase cellular phones here. However, even with a cellphone, having to charge the battery, pay for airtime, and find an area with quality network coverage makes phoning home problematic. It is advisable to make clear to your family and friends that it is not easy to call the United States from Uganda. They should not expect regular communications from you, at least not initially.  
+
''Main article: [[Training in South Africa]]''
 +
 +
Training is an essential and ongoing part of your Peace Corps service. Pre-service training will give you enough skills and information to begin your adjustment to and service in South Africa. It is the first “reality test” of your life as a Volunteer, which will help you make an informed commitment when you swear in as a Peace Corps Volunteer.
  
===Computer, Internet, and E-mail Access ===
+
The 8- to 10-week pre-service training in South Africa is community based, meaning that the bulk of the training takes place in a community similar to where you will be placed as a Volunteer. The training staff will design a learning environment with experiences and meetings designed to allow you to develop the knowledge and skills needed for your work as a Volunteer. There will be sessions on language, community integration, cross-cultural communication, development issues, health and personal safety, and technical skills appropriate to your assignment. Throughout your training, you will live with a South African family and work in villages and schools.
  
The Peace Corps does not recommend that you bring a personal computer, since few Volunteers have housing with electricity. If you choose to bring one, it will be at your own expense and risk. Securing it from theft may be a challenge.  
+
At the onset of training, the training staff will outline the training goals and assessment criteria that each trainee has to reach before becoming a Volunteer. Evaluation of your performance during training will be based on a continual dialogue between you and the training staff. The training manager, along with other training staff, will work with you to achieve the training goals by providing you feedback throughout trainin
  
Access to e-mail and the Internet is available at Internet cafes in Kampala, the capital, and in a growing number of towns outside Kampala. You are likely to have access to these occasionally, unless there is an Internet cafe near your site, which is rare. You probably will not have access during pre-service training.
 
  
===Housing and Site Location ===
+
==Health Care and Safety==
  
During your service, you will most likely live in a rural area in very modest accommodations provided by your host organization, which will try to provide you with at least a bedroom and a sitting room. You might live in part of a Ugandan family’s house or in part of a house built for staff of a school or a community organization. It is unlikely that you will share your accommodations with anyone else unless you choose to do so.
+
''Main article: [[Health care and safety in South Africa]]''
  
Living conditions vary according to the resources of the community or organization in which you are placed. Most houses do not have running water or electricity. You should expect to use a pit latrine and a kerosene lantern and stove. Most Volunteers hire someone to carry water to their house. The community may provide some basic furnishings, and you can supplement these with your modest settling-in allowance provided by the Peace Corps. At nearly all sites, the kind of privacy that most Americans are used to will be extremely limited.  
+
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. The Peace Corps in South Africa maintains a clinic with a full-time medical officer, who takes care of Volunteers’ primary healthcare needs. Additional medical services, such as testing and basic treatment, are also available in South Africa at local, American-standard hospitals. If you become seriously ill, you will be transported either to an American-standard medical facility in the region or to the United States.
  
Children may be around constantly, demonstrating their curiosity about you. You will have to adapt to a more public life.
 
  
As most communities and organizations have extremely limited resources, providing housing and furnishing is provided at a great sacrifcie. Sometimes there are delays in obtaining housing or furnishings. You might have to stay in temporary accommodations while your permanent housing is being set up.
 
  
Although the Peace Corps staff makes every effort to collaborate with communities to see that housing is ready for Volunteers when they arrive at their site, you should be prepared to gratefully accept whatever the community provides, no matter how basic.
+
==Diversity and Cross-Cultural Issues==
  
===Living Allowance and Money Management ===
+
''Main article: [[Diversity and cross-cultural issues in South Africa]]''
  
As a Volunteer, you will receive a modest living allowance, paid in local currency, that will allow you to live on a par with your colleagues and co-workers. The amount of this allowance is based on regular surveys of Volunteers and the cost of living in Uganda. The allowance is paid quarterly into Volunteer bank accounts, so the ability to manage funds wisely is important. The current living allowance is equivalent to approximately $200 per month and is meant to cover the cost of food, utilities, household supplies, clothing, recreation and entertainment, reading materials, and other incidentals. You may find that you receive more remuneration than your counterpart or supervisor.  
+
In South Africa, 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.
  
You will also receive a leave allowance of $24 per month (standard in all Peace Corps countries), which is paid in local currency along with your living allowance.  
+
Outside of South Africa’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 South Africa 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.  
  
Current Volunteers suggest that you bring cash and credit cards if you plan to travel during your vacations. Only a few establishments in Uganda accept credit cards, so they are mainly useful for travel to other countries. The amount of cash you will need depends on the amount of traveling you plan to do while serving in Uganda (Volunteers earn two days of leave per month of service, excluding training). Some local banks offer ATM cards for local accounts. The exchange rate is approximately 1,800 Ugandan shillings to the U.S. dollar.
+
* Possible Issues for Female Volunteers
 +
* Possible Issues for Volunteers of Color
 +
* Possible Issues for Senior Volunteers
  
===Food and Diet ===
+
* Possible Issues for Gay, Lesbian, or Bisexual Volunteers
  
You will buy your food from outdoor markets or small shops, and you will generally cook for yourself. The local diet is basic but healthy, including a variety of fruits, vegetables, starches, and meats. There are likely to be some restaurants at or near your site, and imported food items can be found that, though expensive, provide an occasional treat. During training, there will be sessions on safe food preparation and proper nutrition.  It is relatively easy to follow a vegetarian diet in Uganda after one becomes familiar with the local food. Most Ugandans will not be prepared to serve a vegetarian meal if you are a guest in their home, but will generally accept a sensitive explanation of your dietary preferences.  
+
While Gays and Lesbians do exist and are out in the more urban and metropolitan areas of South Africa, there is still a very high level of intolerance towards same-sex relationships among many South Africans. You may have to remain closeted or be very discreet about your sexual preference and lifestyle, especially at your site and in your village. Many black South Africans see homosexuality as evil and an abomination and are very vocal about this. Exercise restraint and caution should you choose to be open as a Gay or Lesbian PCV.
  
===Transportation ===
+
* Possible Religious Issues for Volunteers
  
Volunteers travel primarily by foot, bicycle, or public transport. Public transportation to and from the nearest urban or trading center is available near every site, in most cases several times a day. Public transport is likely to be crowded, uncomfortable, and unreliable. To facilitate fieldwork,
+
South Africans come from a wide variety of faiths, with the largest religious group being Christians (70%) followed by Atheists, Hindus, Jews, and traditional beliefs. It is quite common for schools and other organizations (NGOs, clinics, government bodies) to have public Christian prayer. Reading from the Bible during gatherings is not unheard of. Volunteers who are not religious should note this, but be up front with your co-workers and host family if you are uncomfortable. You will usually not be pressured to go if you explain respectfully about your religious preferences.
  
Volunteers are either provided with a bicycle or given an allowance to purchase one. Still, many of the communities and job sites Volunteers visit may entail a long and challenging ride particularly on the single-geared bicycles most common in Uganda. Volunteers in the Education must be able to ride a bicycle in order to do their job. Please come to Uganda with this as an expectation of your work.
+
* Possible Issues for Volunteers With Disabilities
  
Peace Corps/Uganda prohibits the use of motorcycles by Volunteers because of the extreme safety risks that they pose. When using a bicycle, Volunteers must wear helmets (provided by Peace Corps).
+
==Frequently Asked Questions==
  
===Geography and Climate ===
+
{{Volunteersurvey2008
 +
|H1r= 35
 +
|H1s= 72.5
 +
|H2r= 33
 +
|H2s= 84.3
 +
|H3r= 51
 +
|H3s= 81
 +
|H4r=  19
 +
|H4s=  108
 +
|H5r=  51
 +
|H5s=  46.8
 +
|H6r=  57
 +
|H6s=  70.6
 +
}}
  
Uganda straddles the equator, which means that the seasons are quite different from those in the United States. Rather than a hot season and a cold one, there are rainy seasons and dry seasons. Rainy periods generally occur in November and December and in April and May. The climate around Lake Victoria is greatly influenced by the lake. As a result, rain can occur there at any time. Midday temperatures are in the 70s and 80s (depending upon the part of the country) in all seasons, but evenings are cooler and may require wearing a sweater or light jacket.
+
''Main article: [[FAQs about Peace Corps in South Africa]]''
  
===Social Activities ===
+
* How much luggage am I allowed to bring to South Africa?
 +
* What is the electric current in South Africa?
 +
* 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 South African 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 South Africa?
 +
* Should I bring a cellular phone with me?
 +
* Will there be e-mail and Internet access? Should I bring my computer?
  
The most common form of entertainment is socializing among friends and neighbors. Some Volunteers visit other Volunteers on weekends or holidays. Peace Corps encourages Volunteers to remain at their sites as much as possible to develop relationships with community members, but it also recognizes that they need to make infrequent trips to regional centers and to visit friends. Uganda has several rural radio stations, and many Volunteers bring shortwave radios so that they can listen to international broadcasts by the BBC, Voice of America, and Deutsche Welle. Some larger towns have cinemas as well.  
+
South African Peace Corps Volunteers maintain an in-country wiki found [http://pc-sa.wikispaces.com/ Here]
  
You will find it easy to make friends in your community and to participate in weddings, funerals, birthday celebrations, and other social events. It is impossible to overemphasize the rewards of establishing rapport with one’s supervisors, co-workers, and other community members. A sincere effort to learn the local language will greatly facilitate these interactions.
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==Packing List==
  
===Professionalism, Dress, and Behavior ===
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''Main article: [[Packing list for South Africa]]''
 
+
Norms for dress are much more conservative in Uganda than in the United States, where we view our clothes as an expression of our individuality. Ugandans view dressing appropriately as a sign of respect for others. Wearing clothes that are dirty, have holes in them, or are too revealing sends the message that the people you are interacting with are not worth greater care. Dressing in neat, clean, and conservative clothes, on the other hand, can ease your integration into your new community and enhance your professional credibility and effectiveness in your assignment.  
+
This list has been compiled by Volunteers serving in South Africa 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 an 80pound weight restriction on baggage. And remember, you can get almost everything you need in South Africa.
  
Many Ugandan men wear jackets and ties in professional settings. Blue jeans, T-shirts, and casual sandals are not considered appropriate in the workplace, during training, or during visits to the Peace Corps office. Women wear dresses or skirts with tops in both professional and nonprofessional environments; short skirts and low-cut or sleeveless tops are highly inappropriate, particularly in rural settings. Male Volunteers must wear their hair short and neat. Volunteers doing fieldwork generally should wash up and change their clothes before returning to a public area. When riding bicycles, women wear skirts or split skirts/culottes.  
+
Luggage should be durable, lightweight, lockable, and easy to carry. Wheels are a plus, especially those suitable for wheeling luggage over nonpaved surfaces. Backpacks without frames are very practical. A midsize backpack for weekend and weeklong trips is essential. Also, a regular-size book bag is a good thing to bring. When choosing luggage, remember that you will be hauling it in and out of taxis and buses, and often lugging it around on foot.  
  
If you have reservations about your ability to adapt to
+
* General Clothing
 +
* For Men
 +
* For Women
 +
* Shoes
 +
* Personal Hygiene and Toiletry Items
 +
* Miscellaneous
  
Ugandan norms of dress and appearance, you should reevaluate your decision to become a Volunteer. Working effectively in another culture requires a certain level of sacrifice and flexibility, and the Peace Corps expects Volunteers to behave in a manner that will foster respect within their communities and reflect well on the Peace Corps. Behavior that jeopardizes your safety or the presence of the Peace Corps program in Uganda could lead to administrative separation—a decision by the Peace Corps to terminate your service.
 
  
===Personal Safety ===
+
==Peace Corps News==
  
'''RAWRRR'''As stated in the Volunteer Handbook, becoming a Peace Corps Volunteer entails certain safety risks. Living and traveling in an unfamiliar environment (often alone), having a limited understanding of local language and culture, and being perceived as well-off are some of the factors that can put a Volunteer at risk. Many Volunteers experience varying degrees of unwanted attention and harassment. Petty thefts and burglaries are not uncommon, and incidents of physical and sexual assault do occur, although most Uganda Volunteers complete their two years of service without personal security incidents. The Peace Corps has established procedures and policies designed to help Volunteers reduce their risks and enhance their safety and security. These procedures and policies, in addition to safety training, will be provided once you arrive in Uganda. At the same time, you are expected to take responsibility for your safety and well-being.
+
Current events relating to Peace Corps are also available by [[News | country of service]] or [[News by state|your home state]]
  
===Rewards and Frustrations ===
+
''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+%22south+africa%22&output=rss|charset=UTF-8|short|date=M d</rss>
  
Although the potential for job satisfaction in Uganda is quite high, like all Volunteers, you will encounter numerous frustrations. Perceptions of time are very different from those in
+
<br>'''[http://peacecorpsjournals.com PEACE CORPS JOURNALS]'''<br>''( As of {{CURRENTDAYNAME}} {{CURRENTMONTHNAME}} {{CURRENTDAY}}, {{CURRENTYEAR}} )''<rss title=off desc=off>http://peacecorpsjournals.com/rss/sf/blog/50.xml|charset=UTF-8|short|max=10</rss>
  
America. The lack of basic infrastructure can become very tiring, and social demands on your colleagues may mean that their work habits vary greatly from yours. For these reasons, the Peace Corps experience of adapting to a new culture and environment is often described as a series of emotional peaks and valleys.
+
==Country Fund==
  
You will be given a great deal of responsibility and independence in your work—perhaps more than in any other job you have had or will have. You will often need to motivate yourself and others with little guidance from supervisors. You might work for months without seeing any visible impact from, or without receiving feedback on, your work. Development is a slow process. You must possess the self-confidence, patience, and vision—tempered with humility and the resulting respect for others—to continue working toward long-term goals without seeing immediate results. To overcome these difficulties, you will also need maturity, flexibility, open-mindedness, resourcefulness, and, most important, a sense of humor. Most Volunteers manage to exhibit enough of these characteristics to serve successfully. Judging by the experience of former Volunteers, the peaks are well worth the difficult times, and most Volunteers leave Uganda feeling that they have gained much more than they sacrificed during their service. If you are able to make the commitment to integrate into your community and to focus on the community’s interests, your service is likely to be a life-altering experience.  
+
Contributions to the [https://www.peacecorps.gov/index.cfm?shell=resources.donors.contribute.projDetail&projdesc=674-CFD South Africa Country Fund] will support Volunteer and community projects that will take place in South Africa. These projects include water and sanitation, agricultural development, and youth programs.
  
 +
==See Also==
 +
* [[Inspector General Reports]]
 +
* [[Volunteers who served in South Africa]]
 +
* [[South_Africa sites|Sites where volunteers have served in South Africa]]
 +
* [[Pre-Departure Checklist]]
 +
* [[List of resources for South Africa]]
 +
* [http://pc-sa.wikispaces.com/ PCSA Wiki]
  
[[Category:Uganda]]
+
[[Category:South Africa]] [[Category:Africa]]
 +
[[Category:Country]]

Revision as of 14:16, 17 January 2011


US Peace Corps
Country name is::South Africa


Status: ACTIVE
Staging: {{#ask:Country staging date::+country name is::South Africa[[Staging date::>2016-09-26]]

mainlabel=- ?staging date= ?staging city= format=list sort=Staging date

}}


American Overseas Staff (FY2010): {{#ask:2010_pcstaff_salary::+country name is::South Africa

mainlabel=- ?Grade_staff= ?Lastname_staff= ?Firstname_staff= ?Middlename_staff= ?Initial_staff= ?Salary_staff=$ format=list sort=Grade_staff

}}


Latest Early Termination Rates (FOIA 11-058): {{#ask:Country_early_termination_rate::+country name is::South Africa

mainlabel=- ?2005_early_termination=2005 ?2006_early_termination=2006 ?2007_early_termination=2007 ?2008_early_termination=2008 format=list

}}


Peace Corps Journals - South Africa File:Feedicon.gif

250px
Peace Corps Welcome Book
Region:

Africa

Country Director:

McGrath Thomas

Sectors:

Education
(APCD: Morgan Mthembu , Lydia Webber)
NGO Development and HIV/AIDS
(APCD: Hendrik Matseke, Kori Lelaka)

Program Dates:

1997 - Present

Current Volunteers:

171

Total Volunteers:

703

Languages Spoken:

Afrikaans, English, Zulu, Xhosa, Swazi, Ndebele, Southern Sotho, Northern Sotho, Tsonga, Tswana, Venda

Flag:

150px

__SHOWFACTBOX__

Since the end of apartheid in 1994, South Africa has made progress in the educational, health, and governmental systems. However, gaps in the opportunities remain for the historically disadvantaged population. The official unemployment rate is 31%. Sources estimate that over 50% of the population lives below the poverty line. Poverty and the lack of education are particularly high in the rural areas of South Africa where the government of South Africa is working to transform the educational system.

The first group of Peace Corps Volunteers arrived in South Africa in February 1997. Currently, PC/South Africa has two projects: education and NGO capacity building.

South African Peace Corps Volunteers maintain an in-country wiki found Here

Peace Corps History

Main article: History of the Peace Corps in South Africa

The Peace Corps arrived in South Africa at a historic and critical juncture in the country’s history. At a White House ceremony in October 1994, former Presidents Bill Clinton and Nelson Mandela met to seal a bond of friendship and a promise to work together to transform South Africa from a divided nation to one united by its commitment to build a democratic, nonracially based society. The Peace Corps was a small but important part of that agreement. The first group of 35 Volunteers arrived in January 1997 to work in the education sector. Since that time, more than 200 Volunteers have served or are serving in South Africa. In 2001, Peace Corps/South Africa responded to the government’s request to join in a partnership against HIV/AIDS. In addition to serving as resources for primary school educators, Volunteers now assist local nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) in building their capacity to meet the demands of the HIV/AIDS pandemic. Currently, about 85 Volunteers work in education and with NGOs.


Living Conditions and Volunteer Lifestyle

Main article: Living conditions and volunteer lifestyles in South Africa

All Volunteers live with a host family at a site located anywhere from one hour to nine hours from Pretoria, the capital. Proximity to another Volunteer varies from site to site.

Your host agency will provide safe and adequate housing—in accordance with the Peace Corps’ site selection criteria—that is likely to consist of a private room inside a family’s house or a room in an outside building within a family compound. Housing varies from mud houses with either thatch or tin roofs to brick homes with tin roofs. You need to be very flexible in your housing expectations because there is no guarantee that you will have running water or electricity. If you do not, you will collect your water from a well or borehole and spend your evenings reading by candlelight or lantern.

The sponsoring agency or host family will provide you with basic items (i.e., a bed, mattress, desk/table, straight chair, and cupboard for hanging clothing or storage). Each Volunteer will receive an allowance in local currency to purchase needed settling-in items, as well as a water filter provided by the Peace Corps.


Training

Main article: Training in South Africa

Training is an essential and ongoing part of your Peace Corps service. Pre-service training will give you enough skills and information to begin your adjustment to and service in South Africa. It is the first “reality test” of your life as a Volunteer, which will help you make an informed commitment when you swear in as a Peace Corps Volunteer.

The 8- to 10-week pre-service training in South Africa is community based, meaning that the bulk of the training takes place in a community similar to where you will be placed as a Volunteer. The training staff will design a learning environment with experiences and meetings designed to allow you to develop the knowledge and skills needed for your work as a Volunteer. There will be sessions on language, community integration, cross-cultural communication, development issues, health and personal safety, and technical skills appropriate to your assignment. Throughout your training, you will live with a South African family and work in villages and schools.

At the onset of training, the training staff will outline the training goals and assessment criteria that each trainee has to reach before becoming a Volunteer. Evaluation of your performance during training will be based on a continual dialogue between you and the training staff. The training manager, along with other training staff, will work with you to achieve the training goals by providing you feedback throughout trainin


Health Care and Safety

Main article: Health care and safety in South Africa

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. The Peace Corps in South Africa maintains a clinic with a full-time medical officer, who takes care of Volunteers’ primary healthcare needs. Additional medical services, such as testing and basic treatment, are also available in South Africa at local, American-standard hospitals. If you become seriously ill, you will be transported either to an American-standard medical facility in the region or to the United States.


Diversity and Cross-Cultural Issues

Main article: Diversity and cross-cultural issues in South Africa

In South Africa, 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.

Outside of South Africa’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 South Africa 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

While Gays and Lesbians do exist and are out in the more urban and metropolitan areas of South Africa, there is still a very high level of intolerance towards same-sex relationships among many South Africans. You may have to remain closeted or be very discreet about your sexual preference and lifestyle, especially at your site and in your village. Many black South Africans see homosexuality as evil and an abomination and are very vocal about this. Exercise restraint and caution should you choose to be open as a Gay or Lesbian PCV.

  • Possible Religious Issues for Volunteers

South Africans come from a wide variety of faiths, with the largest religious group being Christians (70%) followed by Atheists, Hindus, Jews, and traditional beliefs. It is quite common for schools and other organizations (NGOs, clinics, government bodies) to have public Christian prayer. Reading from the Bible during gatherings is not unheard of. Volunteers who are not religious should note this, but be up front with your co-workers and host family if you are uncomfortable. You will usually not be pressured to go if you explain respectfully about your religious preferences.

  • Possible Issues for Volunteers With Disabilities

Frequently Asked Questions

South Africa
2008 Volunteer Survey Results

How personally rewarding is your overall Peace Corps service?|}} Rank:
2008 H1r::35|}}
Score:
2008 H1s::72.5|}}
Today would you make the same decision to join the Peace Corps?|}} Rank:
2008 H2r::33|}}
Score:
2008 H2s::84.3|}}
Would you recommend Peace Corps service to others you think are qualified?|}} Rank:
2008 H3r::51|}}
Score:
2008 H3s::81|}}
Do you intend to complete your Peace Corps service?|}} Rank:
2008 H4r::19|}}
Score:
2008 H4s::108|}}
How well do your Peace Corps experiences match the expectations you had before you became a Volunteer?|}} Rank:
2008 H5r::51|}}
Score:
2008 H5s::46.8|}}
Would your host country benefit the most if the Peace Corps program were---?|}} Rank:
2008 H6r::57|}}
Score:
2008 H6s::70.6|}}
2008BVS::South Africa


Main article: FAQs about Peace Corps in South Africa

  • How much luggage am I allowed to bring to South Africa?
  • What is the electric current in South Africa?
  • 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 South African 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 South Africa?
  • Should I bring a cellular phone with me?
  • Will there be e-mail and Internet access? Should I bring my computer?

South African Peace Corps Volunteers maintain an in-country wiki found Here

Packing List

Main article: Packing list for South Africa

This list has been compiled by Volunteers serving in South Africa 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 an 80pound weight restriction on baggage. And remember, you can get almost everything you need in South Africa.

Luggage should be durable, lightweight, lockable, and easy to carry. Wheels are a plus, especially those suitable for wheeling luggage over nonpaved surfaces. Backpacks without frames are very practical. A midsize backpack for weekend and weeklong trips is essential. Also, a regular-size book bag is a good thing to bring. When choosing luggage, remember that you will be hauling it in and out of taxis and buses, and often lugging it around on foot.

  • General Clothing
  • For Men
  • For Women
  • Shoes
  • Personal Hygiene and Toiletry Items
  • Miscellaneous


Peace Corps News

Current events relating to Peace Corps are also available by country of service or your home state

The following is automatic RSS feed of Peace Corps news for this country.
<rss title=on desc=off>http://news.google.com/news?hl=en&ned=us&scoring=n&q=%22peace+corps%22+%22south+africa%22&output=rss%7Ccharset=UTF-8%7Cshort%7Cdate=M d</rss>


PEACE CORPS JOURNALS
( As of Monday September 26, 2016 )<rss title=off desc=off>http://peacecorpsjournals.com/rss/sf/blog/50.xml%7Ccharset=UTF-8%7Cshort%7Cmax=10</rss>

Country Fund

Contributions to the South Africa Country Fund will support Volunteer and community projects that will take place in South Africa. These projects include water and sanitation, agricultural development, and youth programs.

See Also