Training in Mozambique
Pre-service training takes place in a community-based setting and at an agricultural institute in a rural village about 15 miles from downtown Maputo, a 45-minute drive. It is a 10-week program designed to help you gain the skills needed to successfully begin your Peace Corps service. These skills will help you integrate into your community and develop an appropriate work plan with your community and co-workers. Because training occurs six days a week, trainees have few opportunities to visit the capital.
The training content consists of five major interrelated components: technical, language, cross-cultural, health, and safety. You must demonstrate specific competencies related to each component to complete training and be sworn in as a Volunteer. You will be expected to take an active role in the process by setting goals for learning and evaluating your progress.
We will help you assess your progress and make recommendations at several points during training. To be sworn-in, you must demonstrate: (1) a working knowledge of Portuguese; (2) knowledge of health and safety risks common in Mozambique and consistent practice of preventive health and safety strategies; (3) interpersonal and cross-cultural skills and knowledge that enable you to communicate, make friends, understand your environment, understand how Mozambicans perceive and interact with you, and work effectively with Mozambicans; (4) the technical skills and knowledge necessary to fulfill your primary responsibilities as a teacher or health educator; and (5) an understanding of the Peace Corps’ philosophy of development and how you fit into your project’s long-term plan.
We will provide you with the information, direction, materials, training opportunities, feedback, coaching, counseling, and moral support you need to prepare yourself for service, as well as generous amounts of encouragement.
Technical training will prepare you to work in Mozambique by building on the skills you already have and helping you develop new skills in a manner appropriate to the needs of the country. The Peace Corps staff, Mozambican 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.
Technical training will include sessions on the general economic and political environment in Mozambique and strategies for working within such a framework. You will review your technical sector’s goals and will meet with the Mozambican 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.
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, Portuguese language training is the heart of the training program, and you must successfully meet minimum language requirements to complete training and become a Volunteer. Mozambican language instructors teach formal language classes five days a week for small groups of trainees.
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 two years of service.
As part of your pre-service training, you will live with a Mozambican host family, an experience designed to ease your transition to life at your site. Families have gone 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 Mozambique. Many Volunteers form strong and lasting friendships with their host families.
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.
During pre-service training, you will be given basic medical training and information. Sessions on preventive health are designed to help you identify health and safety risks, develop strategies for preventing exposure to those risks, and understand guidelines for how to act if problems arise. You will be expected to practice preventive health care 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 Mozambique. Nutrition, mental health, safety and security, setting up a safe living compound, and how to avoid HIV/AIDS and other STDs are also covered.
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 Trainings During Volunteer Service
In its commitment to institutionalize quality training, the Peace Corps has implemented a training system that provides Volunteers with continual opportunities to strengthen their commitment to Peace Corps service while increasing their technical and cross-cultural skills. During your service, there are usually four training events. The titles and objectives for those trainings are as follows:
- In-service training: Provides an opportunity 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.
- Project design and management workshop: Builds the capacity of Volunteers and their Mozambican counterparts to develop small-scale community projects using participatory methodology.
- Midterm conference: Assists Volunteers in reviewing their first year, reassessing their personal and project objectives, and planning for their second year of service.
- Close-of-service conference: Prepares Volunteers for the 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 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.