Difference between pages "Health care and safety in Botswana" and "History of the Peace Corps in Macedonia"

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The Peace Corps received an invitation from the government of Macedonia in March 1996 to initiate and develop a program. By the beginning of June 1996, the first group of seven trainees arrived. They completed training in August and were assigned to the Ministry of Education’s secondary school English education program. Over the next three years, Peace Corps/Macedonia grew to include programs in business, environmental education, and municipal development.
  
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 Botswana 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 Botswana at local hospitals that have been evaluated by the medical officer. If you become seriously ill, you will be transported either to a American-standard medical facility in the region or to the United States.  
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Because of the political unrest in neighboring Kosovo, the Peace Corps program in Macedonia was suspended in 1999. The confusion and tension resulting from the sudden influx of hundreds of thousands of refugees in Macedonia were simply too great to safely continue Peace Corps operations. The surprisingly quick return of these refugees to Kosovo meant that the Peace Corps was able to resume operations after only a six-month suspension.  
  
===Health Issues in Botswana===
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Long-standing ethnic tensions, however, began to flare up in the spring of 2001. Grievances between ethnic Albanians and the Macedonian majority led to armed rebellion in several ethnic Albanian-majority communities. The conflict, which was isolated primarily to regions in the north and northwest of the country, became progressively more intense over the next several months. Finally, on July 5, 2001, events on the ground forced the Peace Corps to evacuate its Volunteers and suspend its program. Once again, further development of the Peace Corps program in Macedonia was cut short by political instability in the region.
  
Health conditions in Botswana are quite good. The most common health problems are related to the climate, which at times is very hot and dry. Preventive measures such as a good diet, adequate hydration, and being alert to changes in your body are more important here than at home. Most villages have health posts or clinics, with hospitals in the larger villages and towns. Hospitals in the capital have excellent facilities. HIV/AIDS is a major health and development problem in the region, as Botswana’s HIV infection rate is the highest in the world. Infection with HIV is preventable, however, if one avoids risky behavior.  
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As the conflict in Macedonia continued, the parties involved conducted extensive negotiations and after several months signed the Lake Ohrid Peace Framework Agreement (Framework Agreement) on August 13, 2001. At the request of both parties, a NATO task force performed disarmament of the ethnic Albanian National Liberation Army.  
  
===Helping You Stay Healthy===
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The Framework Agreement was confirmed by the Macedonian Parliament on September 26, 2001, and continues to be implemented. The constitution has been amended and laws on local government and amnesty have been passed. Ethnically mixed police forces are working to reintegrate the territory of Macedonia, a task that was monitored by the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE). National elections took place in September 2002, further confirming the future stability of Macedonia.
  
The Peace Corps will provide you with all the necessary inoculations, medications, and information to stay healthy.  
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After a rigorous safety and security assessment of the situation in Macedonia, the Peace Corps determined that enough stability had been achieved to support the return of the Peace Corps. In November 2002, Peace Corps/Macedonia welcomed the seventh group of Volunteers to continue the contributions of previous Volunteers and their partners to the development of Macedonian communities.  
  
Upon your arrival in Botswana, you will receive a medical handbook. During training, you will receive a medical kit with supplies to take care of mild illnesses and first-aid needs. The contents of the kit are listed later in this chapter.  
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The security situation has improved so much that in January 2004, the European Union’s (EU) military force, Operation Concordia, was replaced by an EU police mission, Proxima, composed of only 200 mostly unarmed EU police. Proxima, in cooperation with the OSCE, completed training and deploying the newly integrated and ethnically mixed Macedonian police force. Proxima officially ended its activities on December 15, 2005. The international community has assessed that Macedonia now has capable security forces that can solve the issues of the country on its own.  
  
During pre-service training, you will have access to basic medical supplies through the medical officer. However, you must bring a three-month supply of any prescription drugs and other specific medical supplies you need, as we will not order these items during training. They may not be available here, and it may take several months for shipments to arrive.  
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Decentralization reforms, especially the Law on Territorial Division that reduced the number of municipalities from the current 124 to 84, were passed in 2005. These reforms decentralized authority to local government for education, healthcare, infrastructure, and other services. Financing these now local-level responsibilities will be critical to the success of this reform.  
  
You will have physicals during midservice and at the end of your service. If you develop a serious medical problem during your service, the medical officer in Botswana will consult with the Office of Medical Services in Washington, D.C. If it is determined that your condition cannot be treated in Botswana, you may be sent out of the country for further evaluation and care.  
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The peaceful municipal elections of 2005 and the parliamentary elections of 2006 took the country a step closer to membership in NATO and the EU. These memberships eventually will increase regional and international trade ties and political cooperation.  
  
===Maintaining Your Health===
 
  
As a Volunteer, you must accept a certain amount of responsibility for your own health. Proper precautions will significantly reduce your risk of serious illness or injury. The old adage “An ounce of prevention ...” becomes extremely important in areas where diagnostic and treatment facilities are limited and are not always up to the standards of the United States. The most important of your responsibilities in Botswana is to take preventive measures for malaria, digestive disorders, sunburn, dehydration, and stress.
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===History and Future of Peace Corps Programming in Macedonia ===
  
Many diseases that afflict Volunteers worldwide are entirely preventable if proper food and water precautions are taken.  
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Macedonia’s objectives are to develop a multiethnic democracy; to provide economic opportunities for its citizens; and to move toward NATO and EU integration.  Since the country gained its independence from Yugoslavia in 1991, it has made this integration a top foreign policy goal. A part of this strategy has been to encourage partnerships and cooperation with a wide range of international development organizations. The Peace Corps has worked closely with various government ministries in Macedonia to develop programs that will facilitate the attainment of this goal in several key areas. Since Peace Corps/Macedonia began in 1996, its program comprises two major sectors: English education development, and community development. The latter includes organizational development for nongovernmental organizations (NGOs), municipal government, educational institutions, or other local organizations; business development; environmental improvement; youth development; and assistance to vulnerable and disadvantaged group.  
  
These diseases include food poisoning, parasitic infections, hepatitis A, dysentery, Guinea worm, tapeworms, and typhoid fever. Your medical officer will discuss specific standards for water and food preparation in Botswana during pre-service training.  at your hotel, you may ask for a safe to secure your goods in case you will go outside. An hotel safe in rooms ( [http://www.infosafe.fr/CoffresSecurite/coffre-fort-securite-sg160.htm coffre agréé infosafe] ) is perfect to store papers and few values, but not for big amounts of money.
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The objectives for each of these sectors are outlined in documents called project plans, which have been translated into Macedonian and are used as the basis for discussions with potential sponsors that have requested the assistance of a Peace Corps Volunteer. As in all Peace Corps programs, work is done in collaboration with counterparts to ensure the Peace Corps’ goal of assisting countries to meet their need for trained men and women.  
  
Abstinence is the only certain choice for preventing infection with HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases. You are taking risks if you choose to be sexually active. To lessen risk, use a condom every time you have sex. Whether your partner is a host country citizen, a fellow Volunteer, or anyone else, do not assume this person is free of HIV or other STDs. You will receive more information from the medical officer about this important issue.  
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A number of different tasks are listed in each project plan, and you are likely to become involved with several of these tasks in addition to activities in the community. Information provided in the Volunteer Assignment Description (VAD) can be matched with specific tasks of the project plan for your sector. Both the project plan and the VAD explain how you can work with both your hosting organization’s program and the local community.  It is up to you, however, to take the first steps to become acquainted with, and involved in, the program.  
  
Volunteers are expected to adhere to an effective means of birth control to prevent an unplanned pregnancy. Your medical officer can help you decide on the most appropriate method to suit your individual needs. Contraceptive methods are available without charge from the medical officer.  
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English language teaching was the original Peace Corps program in Macedonia. There is a need for qualified English teachers at both the primary and secondary school levels, especially in small towns. Until 2005, it was illegal for a foreign national teacher to teach in Macedonian public schools. The law has changed, but the custom continues.  As a “resource teacher,” you will be paired with Macedonian teachers to work collaboratively. It would be very rare for you to have your own classroom. Volunteers work with their Macedonian counterparts to promote applicable and current teaching methods and approaches, especially interactive and communicative techniques. Many of the schools where the Peace Corps places Volunteers have limited resources for materials. Volunteers work with Macedonian colleagues and others in the community to develop strategies to improve the educational resources in their schools and communities.  
  
It is critical to your health that you promptly report to the medical office or other designated facility for scheduled immunizations, and that you let your medical officer know immediately of significant illness and injuries.  
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Overall, Volunteers focus on assisting students to improve English writing, reading, and overall communication skills through creative and participatory language learning activities.  Volunteers and their Macedonian colleagues have collaborated in many areas. These have included developing supplemental materials to support English language instruction and forming clubs at schools that encourage the use of the English language (writing clubs, drama clubs, an English or American film club, a debate club, and even a music club). Volunteers have also helped develop links among schools, communities, and the world through pen-pal exchanges and by creatively using computer labs and the Internet to enhance the use of information technology (IT). Volunteers are also encouraged to help the community at large, and they have assisted their communities to develop and implement a variety of projects that seek solutions to environmental, health, gender, and other social issues.  
  
===Women’s Health Information===
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Peace Corps Volunteers in the community development program facilitate community development efforts in collaboration with local organizations. The program combines the knowledge and skills of Volunteers and their community partners in identifying common objectives, setting realistic expectations, and reaching informed decisions to address local needs. Volunteers are working with NGOs representing environmental, youth development, disadvantaged groups, women’s groups, and other grassroots organizations at the local level as well as educational institutions and departments of local government. Volunteers help these local organizations develop internally to become sustainable and capable of delivering needed services through organizational and managerial development, increasing project management skills, increasing grant writing and fund raising skills, and increasing networking skills.
  
Pregnancy is treated in the same manner as other Volunteer health conditions that require medical attention but also have programmatic ramifications. The Peace Corps is responsible for determining the medical risk and the availability of appropriate medical care if the Volunteer remains in-country. Given the circumstances under which Volunteers live and work, it is rare that the Peace Corps’ medical and programmatic standards for continued service during pregnancy can be met.  
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In organizations focused on local business development, Volunteers and their local partners conduct market research, prepare business and marketing plans, build networks with the business community, apply better use of information technology, and provide information and advice for local businesses and associations.  
  
If feminine hygiene products are not available for you to purchase on the local market, the Peace Corps medical officer in Botswana will provide them. If you require a specific product, please bring a three-month supply with you.  
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In organizations focused on environmental activities, Volunteers and their local partners identify and distribute environmental education materials to schools, youth groups, and NGOS; develop environmental education programs for local organizations; develop and promote environmentally-sustainable practices in forestry, agricultural organizations, and local farmers’ associations; teach environmental classes in the public school system; work with eco-clubs to develop their capacity and improve their activities; participate in community beautification activities; organize community clean-ups; initiate programs for the collection, sorting, and/or recycling of waste; and organize community-oriented environmental awareness projects.  
  
===Your Peace Corps Medical Kit===
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In organizations focused on youth development, Volunteers and their local partners provide information to youth via workshops and printed materials on topics related to social issues and physical and mental well-being, such as fitness, nutrition, prevention of violence, recognizing and handling substance abuse, self-esteem, gender equality, ethnic tolerance, and human rights. Volunteers and their local partners also organize activities that promote tolerance and equal opportunities for underrepresented groups, including those with special needs, the economically disadvantaged, and those from ethnic minorities; promote volunteer community service; and motivate youth to develop strategies and activities for the constructive use of free time.
  
The Peace Corps medical officer provides Volunteers with a medical kit that contains basic items necessary to prevent and treat illnesses that may occur during service. Kit items can be periodically restocked through the medical office.
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===Assignment History===
  
====Medical Kit Contents====
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{| border="1" cellpadding="5" cellspacing="0"
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|-
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| align="center" | '''[[Sector]]''' || '''[[Assignment]]''' || '''[[Beg. Yr]]''' || '''[[End. Yr]]'''
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|-
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| rowspan="1" align="center"| '''[[Agriculture]]'''
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| [[Ag Extension]]
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| [[2005]]
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| [[2005]]
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|-
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| rowspan="4" align="center"| '''[[Business]]'''
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| [[Business Advising]]
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| [[1997]]
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| [[2000]]
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|-
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| [[Business Development]]
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| [[1996]]
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| [[2007]]
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|-
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| [[NGO Advising]]
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| [[1997]]
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| [[2007]]
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|-
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| [[Urban and Regional Planning]]
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| [[2002]]
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| [[2004]]
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|-
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| rowspan="3" align="center"| '''[[Education]]'''
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| [[English Teacher]]
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| [[1996]]
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| [[2007]]
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|-
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| [[English Teacher Trainer]]
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| [[1998]]
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| [[2000]]
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|-
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| [[Prim-Ed/Teach Trn]]
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| [[1998]]
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| [[2007]]
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|-
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| rowspan="2" align="center"| '''[[Environment]]'''
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| [[Environmental Ed.]]
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| [[1998]]
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| [[2005]]
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|-
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| [[Protected Areas Management]]
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| [[2004]]
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| [[2004]]
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|-
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| rowspan="1" align="center"| '''[[Health]]'''
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| [[Envir. and Water Resource]]
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| [[2004]]
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| [[2004]]
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|-
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| rowspan="1" align="center"| '''[[Youth and Community Development]]'''
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| [[Youth Development]]
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| [[2004]]
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| [[2007]]
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|-
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|}
  
Ace bandages <br>
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[[Category:Macedonia]]
Adhesive tape  <br>
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American Red Cross First Aid & Safety Handbook  <br>
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Antacid tablets (Tums)  <br>
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Antibiotic ointment (Bacitracin/Neomycin/Polymycin B)  <br>
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Antiseptic antimicrobial skin cleaner (Hibiclens)  <br>
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Band-Aids  <br>
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Butterfly closures  <br>
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Calamine lotion  <br>
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Cepacol lozenges  <br>
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Condoms  <br>
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Dental floss  <br>
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Diphenhydramine HCL 25&nbsp;mg (Benadryl)  <br>
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Insect repellent stick (Cutter’s)  <br>
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Iodine tablets (for water purification)  <br>
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Lip balm (Chapstick)  <br>
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Oral rehydration salts and Gatorade  <br>
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Oral thermometer (Fahrenheit)  <br>
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Pseudoephedrine HCL 30&nbsp;mg (Sudafed)  <br>
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Robitussin-DM lozenges (for cough)  <br>
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Scissors  <br>
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Sterile gauze pads  <br>
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Tetrahydrozaline eyedrops (Visine)  <br>
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Tinactin (antifungal cream)  <br>
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Tweezers  <br>
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===Before You Leave: A Medical Checklist===
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If there has been any change in your health—physical, mental, or dental—since you submitted your examination reports to the Peace Corps, you must immediately notify the Office of Medical Services. Failure to disclose new illnesses, injuries, allergies, or pregnancy can endanger your health and may jeopardize your eligibility to serve.
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If your dental exam was done more than a year ago, or if your physical exam is more than two years old, contact the Office of Medical Services to find out whether you need to update your records. If your dentist or Peace Corps dental consultant has recommended that you undergo dental treatment or repair, you must complete that work and make sure your dentist sends requested confirmation reports or X-rays to the Office of Medical Services.
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If you wish to avoid having duplicate vaccinations, you should contact your physician’s office, obtain a copy of your immunization record, and bring it to your pre-departure orientation. If you have any immunizations prior to Peace Corps service, the Peace Corps cannot reimburse you for the cost. The Peace Corps will provide all the immunizations necessary for your overseas assignment, either at your predeparture orientation or shortly after you arrive in Botswana.  You do not need to begin taking malaria medication prior to departure.
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Bring a three-month supply of any prescription or over-thecounter medication you use on a regular basis, including birth control pills. Although the Peace Corps cannot reimburse you for this three-month supply, it will order refills during your service. While awaiting shipment—which can take several months—you will be dependent on your own medication supply. The Peace Corps will not pay for herbal or nonprescribed medications, such as St. John’s wort, glucosamine, selenium, or antioxidant supplements.
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You are encouraged to bring copies of medical prescriptions signed by your physician. This is not a requirement, but they might come in handy if you are questioned in transit about carrying a three-month supply of prescription drugs.
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If you wear eyeglasses, bring two pairs with you—a pair and a spare. If a pair breaks, the Peace Corps will replace it, using the information your doctor in the United States provided on the eyeglasses form during your examination. We discourage you from using contact lenses during your Peace Corps service to reduce your risk of developing a serious infection or other eye disease. Most Peace Corps countries do not have appropriate water and sanitation to support eye care with the use of contact lenses. The Peace Corps will not supply or replace contact lenses or associated solutions unless an ophthalmologist has recommended their use for a specific medical condition and the Peace Corps’ Office of Medical Services has given approval.
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If you are eligible for Medicare, are over 50 years of age, or have a health condition that may restrict your future participation in healthcare plans, you may wish to consult an insurance specialist about unique coverage needs before your departure. The Peace Corps will provide all necessary healthcare from the time you leave for your pre-departure orientation until you complete your service. When you finish, you will be entitled to the post-service healthcare benefits described in the Peace Corps Volunteer Handbook. You may wish to consider keeping an existing health plan in effect during your service if you think age or preexisting conditions might prevent you from reenrolling in your current plan when you return home.
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===Safety and Security—Our Partnership===
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Serving as a Volunteer overseas entails certain safety and security risks. Living and traveling in an unfamiliar environment, a limited understanding of the local language and culture, and the perception of being a wealthy American are some of the factors that can put a Volunteer at risk.  Property thefts and burglaries are not uncommon. Incidents of physical and sexual assault do occur, although almost all Volunteers complete their two years of service without serious personal safety problems. In addition, more than 84 percent of Volunteers surveyed in the 2004 Peace Corps Volunteer Survey say they would join the Peace Corps again.
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The Peace Corps approaches safety and security as a partnership with you. This Welcome Book contains sections on: Living Conditions and Volunteer Lifestyle; Peace Corps Training; and Your Health Care and Safety. All of these sections include important safety and security information.
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The Peace Corps makes every effort to give Volunteers the tools they need to function in the safest and most secure way possible, because working to maximize the safety and security of Volunteers is our highest priority. Not only do we provide you with training and tools to prepare for the unexpected, but we teach you to identify and manage the risks you may encounter.
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===Factors that Contribute to Volunteer Risk===
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There are several factors that can heighten a Volunteer’s risk, many of which are within the Volunteer’s control.  Based on information gathered from incident reports worldwide in 2004, the following factors stand out as risk characteristics for assaults. Assaults consist of personal crimes committed against Volunteers, and do not include property crimes (such as vandalism or theft).
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* Location: Most crimes occurred when Volunteers were in public areas (e.g., street, park, beach, public buildings). Specifically, 43 percent of assaults took place when Volunteers were away from their sites.
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* Time of day: Assaults usually took place on the weekend during the evening between 5:00 p.m. and 2:00 a.m.— with most assaults occurring around 1:00 a.m.
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* Absence of others: Assaults ususally occurred when the Volunteer was unaccompanied. In 82 percent of the sexual assaults the Volunteer was unaccompannied and in 55 percent of physical assaults the Volunteer was unaccompanied.
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* Relationship to assailant: In most assaults, the Volunteer did not know the assailant.
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* Consumption of alcohol: Forty percent of all assaults involved alcohol consumption by Volunteers and/or assailants.
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===Summary Strategies to Reduce Risk===
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Before and during service, your training will address these areas of concern so that you can reduce the risks you face.
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For example, here are some strategies Volunteers employ:
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<u>Strategies to reduce the risk/impact of theft: </u>
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* Know the environment and choose safe routes/times for travel
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* Avoid high-crime areas per Peace Corps guidance
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* Know the vocabulary to get help in an emergency
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* Carry valuables in different pockets/places
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* Carry a “dummy” wallet as a decoy Strategies to reduce the risk/impact of burglary:
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* Live with a local family or on a family compound
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* Put strong locks on doors and keep valuables in a lock box or trunk
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* Leave irreplaceable objects at home in the U.S.
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* Follow Peace Corps guidelines on maintaining home security Strategies to reduce the risk/impact of assault:
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* Make local friends
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* Make sure your appearance is respectful of local customs; don’t draw negative attention to yourself by wearing inappropriate clothing
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* Get to know local officials, police, and neighbors
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* Travel with someone whenever possible
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* Avoid known high crime areas
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* Limit alcohol consumption
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===Support from Staff===
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In March 2003, the Peace Corps created the Office of Safety and Security with its mission to “foster improved communication, coordination, oversight, and accountability of all Peace Corps’ safety and security efforts.” The new office is led by an Associate Director for Safety and Security who reports to the Peace Corps Director and includes the following divisions: Volunteer Safety and Overseas Security; Information and Personnel Security; Emergency Preparedness, Plans, Training and Exercise; and Crime Statistics and Analysis.
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The major responsibilities of the Volunteer Safety and Overseas Security Division are to coordinate the office’s overseas operations and direct the Peace Corps’ safety and security officers who are located in various regions around the world that have Peace Corps programs. The safety and security officers conduct security assessments; review safety trainings; train trainers and managers; train Volunteer safety wardens, local guards, and staff; develop security incident response procedures; and provide crisis management support.
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If a trainee or Volunteer is the victim of a safety incident, Peace Corps staff is prepared to provide support. All Peace Corps posts have procedures in place to respond to incidents of crime committed against Volunteers. The first priority for all posts in the aftermath of an incident is to ensure that the Volunteer is safe and receiving medical treatment as needed.  After assuring the safety of the Volunteer, Peace Corps staff provide support by reassessing the Volunteer’s work site and housing arrangements and making any adjustments, as needed. In some cases, the nature of the incident may necessitate a site or housing transfer. Peace Corps staff will also assist Volunteers with preserving their rights to pursue legal sanctions against the perpetrators of the crime. It is very important that Volunteers report incidents as they occur, not only to protect their peer Volunteers, but also to preserve the future right to prosecute. Should Volunteers decide later in the process that they want to proceed with the prosecution of their assailant, this option may no longer exist if the evidence of the event has not been preserved at the time of the incident.
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The country-specific data chart below shows the incidence rates and the average number of incidents of the major types of safety incidents reported by Peace Corps Volunteers/ trainees in Botswana as compared to all other Africa region programs as a whole, from 2001–2005. It is presented to you in a somewhat technical manner for statistical accuracy.
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To fully appreciate the collected data below, an explanation of the graph is provided as follows:
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The incidence rate for each type of crime is the number of crime events relative to the Volunteer/trainee population.  It is expressed on the chart as a ratio of crime to Volunteer and trainee years (or V/T years, which is a measure of 12 full months of V/T service) to allow for a statistically valid way to compare crime data across countries. An “incident” is a specific offense, per Peace Corps’ classification of offenses, and may involve one or more Volunteer/trainee victims. For example, if two Volunteers are robbed at the same time and place, this is classified as one robbery incident.
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The chart is separated into eight crime categories. These include vandalism (malicious defacement or damage of property); theft (taking without force or illegal entry); burglary (forcible entry of a residence); robbery (taking something by force); minor physical assault (attacking without a weapon with minor injuries); minor sexual assault (fondling, groping, etc.); aggravated assault (attacking with a weapon, and/or without a weapon when serious injury results); and rape (sexual intercourse without consent).
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When anticipating Peace Corps Volunteer service, you should review all of the safety and security information provided to you, including the strategies to reduce risk. Throughout your training and Volunteer service, you will be expected to successfully complete all training competencies in a variety of areas including safety and security. Once in-country, use the tools and information shared with you to remain as safe and secure as possible.
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===What If You Become a Victim of a Violent Crime?===
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Few Peace Corps Volunteers are victims of violent crimes.  The Peace Corps will give you information and training in how to be safe. But, just as in the U.S., crime happens, and Volunteers can become victims. When this happens, the investigative team of the Office of Inspector General (OIG) is charged with helping pursue prosecution of those who perpetrate a violent crime against a Volunteer. If you become a victim of a violent crime, the decision to prosecute or not to prosecute is entirely yours, and one of the tasks of the OIG is to make sure that you are fully informed of your options and help you through the process and procedures involved in going forward with prosecution should you wish to do so.  If you decide to prosecute, we are here to assist you in every way we can.
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Crimes that occur overseas, of course, are investigated and prosecuted by local authorities in local courts. Our role is to coordinate the investigation and evidence collection with the regional security officers (RSOs) at the U.S. embassy, local police, and local prosecutors and others to ensure that your rights are protected to the fullest extent possible under the laws of the country. OIG investigative staff has extensive experience in criminal investigation, in working sensitively with victims, and as advocates for victims. We also, may, in certain limited circumstances, arrange for the retention of a local lawyer to assist the local public prosecutor in making the case against the individual who perpetrated the violent crime.
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If you do become a victim of a violent crime, first, make sure you are in a safe place and with people you trust and second, contact the country director or the Peace Corps medical officer. Immediate reporting is important to the preservation of evidence and the chances of apprehending the suspect.
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Country directors and medical officers are required to report all violent crimes to the Inspector General and the RSO. This information is protected from unauthorized further disclosure by the Privacy Act. Reporting the crime also helps prevent your further victimization and protects your fellow Volunteers.
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In conjunction with the RSO, the OIG does a preliminary investigation of all violent crimes against Volunteers regardless of whether the crime has been reported to local authorities or of the decision you may ultimately make to prosecute. If you are a victim of a crime, our staff will work with you through final disposition of the case. OIG staff is available 24 hours-a-day, 7 days-a-week. We may be contacted through our 24-hour violent crime hotline via telephone at 202.692.2911, or by e-mail at violentcrimehotline@peacecorps.gov.
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===Security Issues in Botswana===
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When it comes to your safety and security in the Peace Corps, you have to be willing to adapt your behavior and lifestyle to minimize the potential for being a target of crime. As with anywhere in the world, crime does exist in Botswana. You can reduce your risk by avoiding situations that make you feel uncomfortable and by taking precautions. Crime at the village or town level is less frequent than in the large cities; people know each other and generally will not steal from their neighbors and will watch each other’s house during their absence. Larger population centers present greater opportunities for criminal activity, and tourist attractions are favorite work sites for pickpockets. Houses and rooms left empty during holidays also create tempting opportunities.
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Wherever you are in Botswana, alcohol can fuel unsafe driving, unsafe sex, and sexual assaults. In general, individuals are easier targets than groups and women are easier targets than men. While being aware of these matters may seem like common sense, our altruism oftenoverrides common sense until something bad happens.
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===Staying Safe: Don’t Be a Target for Crime===
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You must be prepared to take responsibility for your own safety. Only you can make yourself less of a target, ensure that your house is secure, and develop relations in your community that will make you an unlikely victim of crime.  In coming to Botswana, do what you would do if you moved to a new city in the United States: Be cautious, check things out, ask questions, learn about your neighborhood, know where the more risky locations are, use common sense, and be aware. You can reduce your vulnerability to crime by integrating into your community, learning the local language, participating in the local activities, acting responsibly, and abiding by Peace Corps policies and procedures. Serving safely and effectively in Botswana may require that you accept some restrictions on your current lifestyle.
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Volunteers attract a lot of attention both in large cities and at their sites, but they are likely to receive more negative attention in highly populated centers than at their sites, where “family,” friends, and colleagues look out for them.  While whistles and exclamations are common on the street, this behavior can be reduced if you dress conservatively, avoid eye contact, and do not respond to unwanted attention. Keep your money out of sight by using an undergarment money pouch, the kind that hangs around your neck and stays hidden under your shirt or inside your coat. Do not keep your money in outside pockets of backpacks, in coat pockets, or in fanny packs. You should always walk with a companion at night.
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===Preparing for the Unexpected: Safety Training and Volunteer Support in Botswana ===
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The Peace Corps’ approach to safety is a five-pronged plan to help you stay safe during your two-year service and includes the following: information sharing, Volunteer training, site selection criteria, a detailed emergency action plan, and protocols for addressing safety and security incidents.  Botswana’s in-country safety program is outlined below.
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The Peace Corps/Botswana office will keep Volunteers informed of any issues that may impact Volunteer safety through information sharing. Regular updates will be provided in Volunteer newsletters and in memorandums from the Country Director. In the event of a critical situation or emergency, Volunteers will be contacted through the emergency communication network.
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Volunteer training will include sessions to prepare you for specific safety and security issues in Botswana. This training will prepare you to adopt a culturally appropriate lifestyle and exercise judgment that promotes safety and reduces risk in your home, at work, and while traveling. Safety training is offered throughout service and is integrated into the language, cross-cultural, health, and other components of training.
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Certain site selection criteria are used to determine safe housing for Volunteers before their arrival. The Peace Corps staff works closely with host communities and counterpart agencies to help prepare them for a Volunteer’s arrival and to establish expectations of their respective roles in supporting the Volunteer. Each site is inspected before the Volunteer’s arrival to ensure placement in appropriate, safe, and secure housing and work sites.
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You will also learn about the country’s detailed emergency action plan, which is implemented in the event of civil or political unrest or a natural disaster. When you arrive at your site, you will complete and submit a site locator form with your address, contact information, and a map to your house. If there is a security threat, Volunteers in Botswana will gather at predetermined locations until the situation is resolved or the Peace Corps decides to evacuate.
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Finally, in order for the Peace Corps to be fully responsive to the needs of Volunteers, it is imperative that Volunteers immediately report any security incident to the safety and security coordinator or the Peace Corps medical officer. The Peace Corps has established protocols for addressing safety and security incidents in a timely and appropriate manner, and it collects and evaluates safety and security data to track trends and develop strategies to minimize risks to future Volunteers.
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[[Category:Botswana]]
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[[Category:Health and Safety]]
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Revision as of 11:06, 8 December 2015

Country Resources

The Peace Corps received an invitation from the government of Macedonia in March 1996 to initiate and develop a program. By the beginning of June 1996, the first group of seven trainees arrived. They completed training in August and were assigned to the Ministry of Education’s secondary school English education program. Over the next three years, Peace Corps/Macedonia grew to include programs in business, environmental education, and municipal development.

Because of the political unrest in neighboring Kosovo, the Peace Corps program in Macedonia was suspended in 1999. The confusion and tension resulting from the sudden influx of hundreds of thousands of refugees in Macedonia were simply too great to safely continue Peace Corps operations. The surprisingly quick return of these refugees to Kosovo meant that the Peace Corps was able to resume operations after only a six-month suspension.

Long-standing ethnic tensions, however, began to flare up in the spring of 2001. Grievances between ethnic Albanians and the Macedonian majority led to armed rebellion in several ethnic Albanian-majority communities. The conflict, which was isolated primarily to regions in the north and northwest of the country, became progressively more intense over the next several months. Finally, on July 5, 2001, events on the ground forced the Peace Corps to evacuate its Volunteers and suspend its program. Once again, further development of the Peace Corps program in Macedonia was cut short by political instability in the region.

As the conflict in Macedonia continued, the parties involved conducted extensive negotiations and after several months signed the Lake Ohrid Peace Framework Agreement (Framework Agreement) on August 13, 2001. At the request of both parties, a NATO task force performed disarmament of the ethnic Albanian National Liberation Army.

The Framework Agreement was confirmed by the Macedonian Parliament on September 26, 2001, and continues to be implemented. The constitution has been amended and laws on local government and amnesty have been passed. Ethnically mixed police forces are working to reintegrate the territory of Macedonia, a task that was monitored by the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE). National elections took place in September 2002, further confirming the future stability of Macedonia.

After a rigorous safety and security assessment of the situation in Macedonia, the Peace Corps determined that enough stability had been achieved to support the return of the Peace Corps. In November 2002, Peace Corps/Macedonia welcomed the seventh group of Volunteers to continue the contributions of previous Volunteers and their partners to the development of Macedonian communities.

The security situation has improved so much that in January 2004, the European Union’s (EU) military force, Operation Concordia, was replaced by an EU police mission, Proxima, composed of only 200 mostly unarmed EU police. Proxima, in cooperation with the OSCE, completed training and deploying the newly integrated and ethnically mixed Macedonian police force. Proxima officially ended its activities on December 15, 2005. The international community has assessed that Macedonia now has capable security forces that can solve the issues of the country on its own.

Decentralization reforms, especially the Law on Territorial Division that reduced the number of municipalities from the current 124 to 84, were passed in 2005. These reforms decentralized authority to local government for education, healthcare, infrastructure, and other services. Financing these now local-level responsibilities will be critical to the success of this reform.

The peaceful municipal elections of 2005 and the parliamentary elections of 2006 took the country a step closer to membership in NATO and the EU. These memberships eventually will increase regional and international trade ties and political cooperation.


History and Future of Peace Corps Programming in Macedonia

Macedonia’s objectives are to develop a multiethnic democracy; to provide economic opportunities for its citizens; and to move toward NATO and EU integration. Since the country gained its independence from Yugoslavia in 1991, it has made this integration a top foreign policy goal. A part of this strategy has been to encourage partnerships and cooperation with a wide range of international development organizations. The Peace Corps has worked closely with various government ministries in Macedonia to develop programs that will facilitate the attainment of this goal in several key areas. Since Peace Corps/Macedonia began in 1996, its program comprises two major sectors: English education development, and community development. The latter includes organizational development for nongovernmental organizations (NGOs), municipal government, educational institutions, or other local organizations; business development; environmental improvement; youth development; and assistance to vulnerable and disadvantaged group.

The objectives for each of these sectors are outlined in documents called project plans, which have been translated into Macedonian and are used as the basis for discussions with potential sponsors that have requested the assistance of a Peace Corps Volunteer. As in all Peace Corps programs, work is done in collaboration with counterparts to ensure the Peace Corps’ goal of assisting countries to meet their need for trained men and women.

A number of different tasks are listed in each project plan, and you are likely to become involved with several of these tasks in addition to activities in the community. Information provided in the Volunteer Assignment Description (VAD) can be matched with specific tasks of the project plan for your sector. Both the project plan and the VAD explain how you can work with both your hosting organization’s program and the local community. It is up to you, however, to take the first steps to become acquainted with, and involved in, the program.

English language teaching was the original Peace Corps program in Macedonia. There is a need for qualified English teachers at both the primary and secondary school levels, especially in small towns. Until 2005, it was illegal for a foreign national teacher to teach in Macedonian public schools. The law has changed, but the custom continues. As a “resource teacher,” you will be paired with Macedonian teachers to work collaboratively. It would be very rare for you to have your own classroom. Volunteers work with their Macedonian counterparts to promote applicable and current teaching methods and approaches, especially interactive and communicative techniques. Many of the schools where the Peace Corps places Volunteers have limited resources for materials. Volunteers work with Macedonian colleagues and others in the community to develop strategies to improve the educational resources in their schools and communities.

Overall, Volunteers focus on assisting students to improve English writing, reading, and overall communication skills through creative and participatory language learning activities. Volunteers and their Macedonian colleagues have collaborated in many areas. These have included developing supplemental materials to support English language instruction and forming clubs at schools that encourage the use of the English language (writing clubs, drama clubs, an English or American film club, a debate club, and even a music club). Volunteers have also helped develop links among schools, communities, and the world through pen-pal exchanges and by creatively using computer labs and the Internet to enhance the use of information technology (IT). Volunteers are also encouraged to help the community at large, and they have assisted their communities to develop and implement a variety of projects that seek solutions to environmental, health, gender, and other social issues.

Peace Corps Volunteers in the community development program facilitate community development efforts in collaboration with local organizations. The program combines the knowledge and skills of Volunteers and their community partners in identifying common objectives, setting realistic expectations, and reaching informed decisions to address local needs. Volunteers are working with NGOs representing environmental, youth development, disadvantaged groups, women’s groups, and other grassroots organizations at the local level as well as educational institutions and departments of local government. Volunteers help these local organizations develop internally to become sustainable and capable of delivering needed services through organizational and managerial development, increasing project management skills, increasing grant writing and fund raising skills, and increasing networking skills.

In organizations focused on local business development, Volunteers and their local partners conduct market research, prepare business and marketing plans, build networks with the business community, apply better use of information technology, and provide information and advice for local businesses and associations.

In organizations focused on environmental activities, Volunteers and their local partners identify and distribute environmental education materials to schools, youth groups, and NGOS; develop environmental education programs for local organizations; develop and promote environmentally-sustainable practices in forestry, agricultural organizations, and local farmers’ associations; teach environmental classes in the public school system; work with eco-clubs to develop their capacity and improve their activities; participate in community beautification activities; organize community clean-ups; initiate programs for the collection, sorting, and/or recycling of waste; and organize community-oriented environmental awareness projects.

In organizations focused on youth development, Volunteers and their local partners provide information to youth via workshops and printed materials on topics related to social issues and physical and mental well-being, such as fitness, nutrition, prevention of violence, recognizing and handling substance abuse, self-esteem, gender equality, ethnic tolerance, and human rights. Volunteers and their local partners also organize activities that promote tolerance and equal opportunities for underrepresented groups, including those with special needs, the economically disadvantaged, and those from ethnic minorities; promote volunteer community service; and motivate youth to develop strategies and activities for the constructive use of free time.

Assignment History

Sector Assignment Beg. Yr End. Yr
Agriculture Ag Extension 2005 2005
Business Business Advising 1997 2000
Business Development 1996 2007
NGO Advising 1997 2007
Urban and Regional Planning 2002 2004
Education English Teacher 1996 2007
English Teacher Trainer 1998 2000
Prim-Ed/Teach Trn 1998 2007
Environment Environmental Ed. 1998 2005
Protected Areas Management 2004 2004
Health Envir. and Water Resource 2004 2004
Youth and Community Development Youth Development 2004 2007