Difference between pages "Living conditions and volunteer lifestyles in the Eastern Caribbean" and "Mali"

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{{Living_conditions_and_volunteer_lifestyles_by_country}}
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{{CountryboxAlternative
 +
|Countryname = Mali
 +
|CountryCode = ml
 +
|status = [[ACTIVE: Staging MAY 31 2012]]
 +
|Map = Ml-map.gif
 +
|Welcomebooklink = http://www.peacecorps.gov/welcomebooks/mlwb688.pdf
 +
|Region = [[Africa]]
 +
|CountryDirector = [[Michael Simsik]]
 +
|Sectors =  [[Health Education]]<br> ([[APCD]]: [[Claudine Adou-Lath]])<br> [[Agriculture]] <br>([[APCD]]: [[Oumar Cisse]])<br> [[Small Enterprise Development]] <br>([[APCD]]: [[Seydou Coulibaly]])<br>[[Natural Resource Management]] <br>([[APCD]]: [[Kristine Hoffer]])<br>[[Water and Sanitation]] <br>([[APCD]]: [[Haoua Traore]])<br>
 +
|ProgramDates = [[1971]] - [[Present]]
 +
|CurrentlyServing = 161
 +
|TotalVolunteers = 1024
 +
|Languages = [[Bambara]], [[Dogon]], [[French]], [[Fulfulde]], [[Malinke]], [[Soninke]], [[Sonrai]], [[Khassonke]]
 +
|Flag = Flag_of_Mali.svg
 +
|stagingdate= May 31 2012
 +
|stagingcity= Philadelphia
 +
}}
  
 +
Peace Corps Volunteers assist the government of Mali in an effort to address multiple development challenges. Currently, the Peace Corps places its emphasis on sustainable capacity-building projects in the areas of food production, water availability, environmental conservation, micro-enterprise development, and preventive health care, including water sanitation work and HIV/AIDS awareness.
  
===Communications ===
 
  
 +
==Peace Corps History==
  
 +
''Main article: [[History of the Peace Corps in Mali]]''
  
===Mail ===
+
In August 1969, Mali made a formal request for the Peace Corps’ assistance. That same year, a Peace Corps representative arrived in Bamako, the capital of Mali, to assist the government in planning Volunteers’ activities, primarily in the area of agricultural development. The first Volunteers arrived in April 1971 to help allay the hardships caused by a severe drought. Twenty-five Volunteers developed projects in poultry raising, vegetable production, water resources managemen and agricultural extension.Since that time, some 2,000 Volunteers have served in Mali.
  
Few countries in the world offer the level of mail service we consider normal in the United States. If you expect U.S.  standards for mail service, you will be disappointed. Mail takes anywhere from one to three weeks to travel in either direction. At times, some mail may get lost in transit. Some letters may arrive damaged or opened. Since communication with friends and family is a very sensitive issue for most Volunteers, we want to forewarn you about the reality of international mail service. Advise your family and friends to number their letters and to write “Air Mail” on the envelope.
 
  
We strongly discourage having family or friends send you packages during the first phase of training in St. Lucia (which is your first three weeks in-country). If any packages sent to St. Lucia don’t arrive within that time, we will forward your mail to your island of assignment, but at your cost. You will be notified of the charges prior to any packages being sent by airmail to your island of assignment and will be asked to reimburse Peace Corps for the cost.
+
==Living Conditions and Volunteer Lifestyle==
  
If you absolutely need to receive mail during the initial three weeks of training, your address during training will be:  
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''Main article: [[Living conditions and volunteer lifestyles in Mali]]''
  
“Your name,” PCT
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The community to which you are assigned will provide safe and adequate housing in accordance with the Peace Corps’ site selection criteria. Housing is typically a small house made of mud or cement bricks with a thatch roof. Some Volunteers in urban sites live in cement houses with two or three rooms. Most Volunteers do not have running water or electricity; water comes from a pump or a well, and light is provided by kerosene lanterns or candles. Nearly all Volunteers are within one hour of another Volunteer and most are within 10 hours of the Peace Corps office in Bamako via public transportation.
  
Peace Corps
 
  
PO Box 123
+
==Training==
  
Castries, St. Lucia
+
''Main article: [[Training in Mali]]''
  
West Indies
+
Training is an essential part of Peace Corps service. The goal of the eleven-week program is to give you the skills and information you need to live and work effectively in Mali. In doing that, we build upon the experiences and expertise you bring to the Peace Corps. The program also gives you the opportunity to practice new skills as they apply to your work in Mali. We anticipate that you will approach training with an open mind, a desire to learn, and a willingness to become involved. Trainees officially become Volunteers only after successful completion of training.
  
+
You will receive training and orientation in components of language, cross-cultural communication, development issues, health and personal safety, and technical skills pertinent to your specific assignment. The skills you learn will serve as the foundation upon which you build your experience as a Peace Corps Volunteer.
  
This address will only be valid for your first three weeks in the Eastern Caribbean. After that, you will be on your island of assignment.  
+
Upon arrival in Mali, you will go to Toubaniso, the Peace Corps training center about half an hour outside of Bamako. After a brief orientation period, you will move into a host village within an hour of the training center. In the host village, you and other trainees (about 15 to a village) will live with a Malian host family for the majority of your training period, allowing you to gain hands-on experience in some of the new skills you are expected to acquire.  
  
We strongly urge that mail be sent directly to your site once you have sworn-in as a Volunteer. Packages from family and friends are the responsibility of the individual Volunteer. The local post office will inform you that a package has arrived, and you will need to appear in person to collect it. Post office officials will open it in front of you. You may have to pay hefty customs duties. Due to the risk of packages getting lost in transit, don’t have valuable items sent to you.
 
  
===Telephones ===
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==Health Care and Safety==
  
Generally, long-distance communication via telephone is available, but expensive. Most Volunteers find that they can easily make or receive calls from the United States.  Please note that “1-800” numbers are not accessible from the Caribbean. All other numbers can be dialed directly.  Calls to the United States from the islands range widely in cost depending upon locality and time of day. United States phone cards do not work here, so do not bring them. You can purchase the local “smart-phone” cards to call home or to make local calls. While a number of Volunteers have home telephones, recent competition in the cellular phone market has resulted in improved service and lower prices, making cellular phones a more favorable approach to phone service for many Volunteers. The Eastern Caribbean uses both the Global System for Mobile Communications (GSM) and Time Division Multiple Access (TDMA)..
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''Main article: [[Health care and safety in Mali]]''
  
===Computer, Internet, and E-mail Access ===
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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 Mali maintains a clinic with three full-time medical officers, who take care of Volunteers’ primary healthcare needs. Additional medical services, such as testing and basic treatment, are also available in Mali at local hospitals and clinics. If you become seriously ill, you will be transported to a medical facility in the region or to the United States.
  
The Caribbean enjoys the latest technological advances, and computer technology is common. Each Peace Corps office has a computer that is dedicated for use by Volunteers and offers Internet access. If you currently use e-mail, you should bring important addresses with you. Use of the Internet and e-mail at the Peace Corps office will be difficult during your pre-service training, but Internet cafés are available in the capital as well as in some towns and villages.
 
  
Some Volunteers have e-mail and full Internet access in their home or work via providers in the Caribbean. The access is approximately $1.75 (U.S.) per hour. The service is fair and runs at 28.8 BPS, sometimes higher. Bringing a laptop computer and paying for Internet access may enhance your Peace Corps experience. The heat and humid weather may be extreme, but should not damage equipment. Power surges may be avoided with a good surge protector. Theft may also be an issue. As with all valuable personal property, bring a computer at your own risk and get it insured.
+
==Diversity and Cross-Cultural Issues==
  
===Housing and Site Location ===
+
''Main article: [[Diversity and cross-cultural issues in Mali]]''
  
During this time, you will begin to integrate and establish links with your host community. Your associate Peace Corps director will identify proper housing for you. It is very likely that all homes will have running water and electricity. The houses will also be fully furnished and a few may include a television set with cable service. Volunteer sites can be as close as 15 minutes and as far as 90 minutes from the capital and the Peace Corps office.  
+
In Mali, as in other Peace Corps host countries, Volunteers’ behavior, lifestyle, background, and beliefs are judged in a cultural context very different from their own. Certain personal perspectives or characteristics commonly accepted in the United States may be quite uncommon, unacceptable, or even repressed in Mali.
  
===Living Allowance and Money Management ===
+
Outside of Mali’s capital, residents of rural communities have had relatively little direct exposure to other cultures, races, religions, and lifestyles. What people view as typical American behavior or norms may be a misconception, such as the belief that all Americans are rich and Caucasian. The people of Mali 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 cultural differences that you present.
  
The local currency is the Eastern Caribbean dollar, and it is the same currency used on all islands where Volunteers live and work. The exchange rate in July 2006 was approximately $2.70 (EC) to one U.S. dollar. Travelers’ checks can be cashed at any bank. Credit cards are widely accepted. Personal checks from U.S. banks can be cashed, but it may take several weeks for the check to be cleared and for the funds to become available to you. All the banks have ATMs, so you can access cash most of the time.
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* Possible Issues for Female Volunteers
 +
* Possible Issues for Volunteers of Color
 +
* Possible Issues for Gay, Lesbian, or Bisexual Volunteers
 +
* Possible Issues for Senior Volunteers
 +
* Possible Religious Issues for Volunteers
 +
* Possible Issues for Volunteers With Disabilities
  
Your Peace Corps living allowance is paid in Eastern Caribbean currency and is electronically deposited on/or about the 25th of every month to the account that you open at a local bank. Both checking and savings accounts are available. You will receive more information about banking facilities on your island of assignment during training. The living allowance will cover all regular expenses such as rent, food, utilities, and other essentials.  The amount is enough to allow you to live at the level of other host country nationals; however, volunteers need to budget and there is not much room for "extras". The amount paid varies according to the cost of living on the island nation where you reside.
 
  
===Food and Diet ===
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==Frequently Asked Questions==
  
There is a wide range of food choices available in the islandsThe Eastern Caribbean offers a wealth of fresh fruit and vegetables, most of which can be purchased daily from fruit stalls and grocery stores. Many Volunteers have been pleasantly surprised to find one or more fruit trees in their back yards, and many have used yard space to grow such vegetables as tomatoes, lettuce, sweet peppers, peas, and beans. All of the vegetables available in the United States are also grown here, and while a few are seasonal, one can find several different vegetables all year-round.  
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{{Volunteersurvey2008
 +
|H1r=  29
 +
|H1s=  73.8
 +
|H2r=  34
 +
|H2s= 83.8
 +
|H3r=  25
 +
|H3s=  86.5
 +
|H4r=  19
 +
|H4s=  108
 +
|H5r=  6
 +
|H5s=  61
 +
|H6r=  17
 +
|H6s=  92.7
 +
}}
  
Locally baked breads are available in bakeries, supermarkets, and home delivery vans. The local bakeries also supply a wide choice of cakes, scones, biscuits, cookies, and pastry.
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''Main article: [[FAQs about Peace Corps in Mali]]''
  
Volunteers who are vegetarians can buy produce and other items from the local markets, as well as from a number of vegetarian stores and shops that stock specialty foods.
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* How much luggage am I allowed to bring to Mali?
 +
* What is the electric current in Mali?
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* How much money should I bring?
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* When can I take vacation and have people visit me?
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* Will my belongings be covered by insurance?
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* Do I need an international driver’s license?
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* What should I bring as gifts for Malian friends and my host family?
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* Where will my site assignment be when I finish training and how isolated will I be?
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* How can my family contact me in an emergency?
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* Can I call home from Mali?
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* Should I bring a cellular phone with me?
  
Fresh fish is always plentiful as is fresh meat and locally grown chicken. All Volunteers are given books on local foods that provide information on nutrition, preparation, and safety.
 
  
===Transportation ===
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==Packing List==
  
Mini buses make travel from one place to another very easy and inexpensive (depending on the island). Volunteer homes and work sites are no more than half an hour to two hours away from the capital. The buses run up to about 8:00 p.m., although a few areas have service up to midnight. Volunteers are not allowed to drive automobiles or ride motorcycles because of the type of roads that exist and the number of fatal accidents related to these forms of transportation.
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''Main article: [[Packing list for Mali]]''
  
Most Volunteers rely on public transportation to get around. Some Volunteers can request assistance from the Peace Corps in arranging alternative means of local transportation. Volunteers on some islands can apply for and recieve limited funds to purchase a bicycle in the Eastern Caribbean . Peace Corps will also provide you with a helmet, which must be worn at all times while riding a bicycle. Failure to abide by this policy may result in termination of your Peace Corps service.
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This list has been compiled by Volunteers serving in Mali 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 80-pound weight restriction on baggage. Do not bring valuables or cherished items that could be lost, stolen, or ruined by the harsh climate. And remember, you can get almost everything you need in Mali.
  
===Geography and Climate ===
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* General
 +
* Packing for training
 +
* Clothing
 +
* Personal Hygiene and Toiletry Items
 +
* Kitchen
 +
* Additional Items to Consider Bringing
 +
* Items You Do Not Need to Bring
  
The Eastern Caribbean, including Barbados and the Lesser Antilles, is the island chain that separates the Atlantic Ocean from the Caribbean Sea. The Peace Corps places Volunteers on : (1) Antigua and Barbuda, (2) Dominica, (3) Grenada, Carriacou and Petit Martinique, (4) St Kitts and Nevis, (5) St.  Lucia, and (6) St. Vincent and the Grenadines.
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==Peace Corps News==
  
The islands are geographically divided into “inner and “outer” chains. The inner islands are volcanic in origin and are characterized by rugged, mountainous terrain, heavy rainfall, lush fertile vegetation, and many rivers. Dominica alone has as many as 365 rivers. The inner islands include Grenada and its dependencies of Carriacou and the southern Grenadines, St. Vincent and its dependencies of the northern Grenadines, St. Lucia, and Dominica. The highest points of these islands are generally in the center, except for a few spectacular sheer slopes on some coastlines. Most roads go around rather than over. High points of elevation vary from 1,000 to 5,000 feet above sea level.Antigua and Barbuda and St. Kitts and Nevis have a coral limestone base. They are relatively flat with less vegetation and rain than the inner islands.
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Current events relating to Peace Corps are also available by [[News | country of service]] or [[News by state|your home state]]
  
The tourist brochures do not lie when they describe the islands of the Caribbean as lands of sunshine and beaches.  The first thing you must realize is that you are heading to two years of summer weather. The temperatures make history if they go above 90 degrees Farenheit or below 70 degrees. The day-night range is usually about 10 degrees, from 80 to 90 degrees Farenheit in the summer months and 74 to 84 degrees in the winter. The sun is hot year-round, but gentle sea breezes from the northeast trade winds blow throughout the year and help to cool the air. The high humidity makes it is easy to work up a sweat anytime of the day or night.
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''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+%22mali%22&output=rss|charset=UTF-8|short|date=M d</rss>
  
The rainy season generally lasts from July to December, but the amount of rain varies widely in different locations. In addition, brief showers, sometimes downpours, are common in any month. Additionally, the Eastern Caribbean is prone to hurricanes during the months of June to November. The region can sometimes experience a dry season from March to May. Other environmental concerns, especially in the banana-producing countries, are deforestation, siltation, river pollution, and unplanned and inappropriate land use.
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<br>'''[http://peacecorpsjournals.com PEACE CORPS JOURNALS]'''<br>''( As of {{CURRENTDAYNAME}} {{CURRENTMONTHNAME}} {{CURRENTDAY}}, {{CURRENTYEAR}} )''<rss title=off desc=off>http://peacecorpsjournals.com/rss/ml/blog/50.xml|charset=UTF-8|short|max=10</rss>
  
===Social Activities===
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==Country Fund==
  
There are a variety of ways to enjoy social activities in the Eastern Caribbean. Since you live on islands where people are friendly and hospitable, the more friends you make and the more you join in the local activities, the more you will enjoy your two years here.  
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Contributions to the [https://www.peacecorps.gov/index.cfm?shell=resources.donors.contribute.projDetail&projdesc=688-CFD Mali Country Fund] will support Volunteer and community projects that will take place in Mali. These projects include water and sanitation, agricultural development, and youth programs.
  
All islands have local festivals of which Carnival is the biggest.  There are plenty of shows, house and street parties, and steel band concerts. Also, most islands have a jazz or a Creole-music festival once a year, and these are big cultural treats.
 
  
Outdoor sports are also popular among Volunteers and host country nationals. The islands have good hiking trails, mountains for mountain climbing, and thick rain forests that you can visit, preferably with a certified guide. The islands also offer wonderful snorkeling and a lot of warm sandy beaches, good for swimming or just relaxation. For sporting enthusiasts, there are several cricket, soccer, basketball, volleyball, and running clubs. Many Volunteers have initiated sporting groups or clubs in their host communities.
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==See also==
 +
* [[Volunteers who served in Mali]]
 +
* [[Friends of Mali]]
 +
* [[List of resources for Mali]]
 +
* [[Pre-Departure Checklist]]
 +
* [[Inspector General Reports]]
  
===Professionalism, Dress, and Behavior ===
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==External links==
 +
* [http://www.peacecorpsjournals.com/ml.html Peace Corps Journals - Mali]
  
One of the challenges of being a Peace Corps Volunteer is immersing yourself into the local culture while maintaining your own cultural identity. It is not an easy thing to resolve, but we will guide you through the process.
 
  
The way you dress is important. You may feel inclined to wear shorts and tank tops because they keep you cool. However, as long as you are at any place other than the beach or the privacy of your home, it is imperative that you dress in a manner that does not resemble that of a tourist. It will become more apparent to you later in your service that “setting the tone” early on and dressing with care are very important for your image. You may be working as a representative of a government ministry, and, as such, you would be expected to dress and behave accordingly. A foreigner wearing unmended or informal clothing is more likely to be considered an affront. This topic is extensively addressed during training. Wearing appropriate attire also helps you avoid harassment.  Most women wear suits (hand-tailored on island), or a blouse and slacks or skirt to work.  Dress sandals or dress shoes are appropriate, but sporty sandals are not.  Men wear suits, or dress shirts and slacks.  Dress shoes or dressy leather sandals are work by men to work, but flip flops and other causal sandals are not appropriate. 
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[[Category:Mali]] [[Category:Africa]]
 
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[[Category:Country]]
Integrating into your new community will be hard enough.  A new Volunteer needs as few “distractions” as possible as they establish themselves. For that reason Volunteers are asked not to display body piercings or tattoos during the first months of their service. This includes nose rings, tongue bolts, and navel rings. Men are not allowed to wear earrings or have long hair or ponytails during that same timeframe.  Tattoos should remain covered to the greatest extent possible throughout your service. If you do not remove your body rings and cut your hair before you arrive in the Eastern Caribbean, you will be asked to do so before you move in with a host family during training. If you have reservations about this policy and the degree of sacrifice and flexibility required to be a successful Volunteer, you should reevaluate your decision to accept the invitation to Peace Corps/Eastern Caribbean.
 
 
 
===Personal Safety ===
 
 
 
Your safety is our first priority and it must be yours as well. To this end, we have an emergency action plan that we continuously test and revise. The plan provides you with information on how to respond to a crisis situation.
 
 
 
The section on Health Care and Safety in this Welcome Book provides tips on how to keep safe. Being a stranger in a foreign environment is, in itself, a safety hazard, and Volunteers must take their own safety precautions by being very vigilant and avoiding unsafe places or events. As a foreigner and an American, you may become a target for muggings or other forms of physical and verbal assaults.  Environmental risks such as hurricanes and volcanic eruptions are also a possibility in the Eastern Caribbean. The Peace Corps is cognizant of these risks and has implemented policies and measures to enhance your safety and security.
 
 
 
By joining the Peace Corps, you have become part of a unique organization whose membership is predicated on the belief that every Peace Corps Volunteer will serve successfully and go home safe and sound. Your experience in the Peace Corps takes up only a short period in your life and you should expect to go home enhanced—not diminished; stronger— not weaker; enlightened—not confused, and certainly not physically or emotionally harmed.
 
 
 
The rules are different in the Peace Corps and each of us— trainees, Volunteers, and staff—must take full responsibility for our own behavior, safety, and welfare. We must also look out for the behavior, safety, and welfare of each other. It is our responsibility to do all that we can to encourage the appropriate behavior and ensure the safety of everyone else.  This simple commitment may make the difference between someone who is enhanced by their Peace Corps experience and someone who is harmed.
 
 
 
You must take responsibility for yourself and not depend on others to make decisions for you. It is okay to tell others that you are worried about them. Work with them to avoid or reduce inappropriate and/or potentially dangerous behavior.  Please speak to staff when you feel that additional assistance is needed to have someone stay safe, secure, and productive.
 
 
 
===Rewards and Frustrations===
 
 
 
Life as a Volunteer has its rewards, particularly as you begin your work. Your projects will start to flourish, and your partners will learn and grow. By the same token, you will feel the frustrations when things take too long to happen or do not turn out as you expect. People may not always show the level of interest and enthusiasm that you anticipate, or they may not be prepared to make the changes that you think are good for them. Therefore, you must approach everything with an open mind, be willing to accept change, and, most of all, be flexible.
 
 
 
Volunteers are expected to observe the same work schedules, reporting procedures, leave-of-absence policies, and access to agency resources as their co-workers. You may feel alone and that no one appreciates your efforts. The way to overcome this is by setting your own personal goals and remaining focused on them, even when progress seems slow and remote.  Peace Corps life has its ups and downs, good times and bad.  Learn to enjoy the gains and look forward to these moments rather than dwell on the losses.
 
 
 
It is also important not to interpret “Volunteer” in the way that some volunteer service is viewed in the United States.  Your assignment will involve being on the job day in and day out, following the same schedules and protocols as your host country colleagues. You will not be able to casually take a few days off to travel to another island or go off on a trip to visit family. There are opportunities for taking annual leave and vacation, but the associated application procedures and scheduling requirements must be observed. Failure to abide by these and other policies and procedures could be cause for disciplinary action.
 
 
 
Being a Volunteer in the Caribbean involves a high degree of commitment. Projects are designed and assignments are made with the idea that Volunteers will honor their commitment and work for two years. Host agencies, sponsoring ministries, and local community members or students are counting on you to remain in your position for a full term. Do not accept this invitation to service if you are not willing to make such a commitment.
 
 
 
Whatever frustrations and limitations may exist, Peace Corps Volunteers who serve in the Eastern Caribbean consistently find the experience to be uniquely rewarding. There is a special kind of satisfaction that comes from learning to live and work effectively in another culture. It soon becomes apparent that the experience effectively contributes to your own personal and professional development, and to the development of the host country.
 
 
 
[[Category:Eastern Caribbean]]
 

Revision as of 18:15, 15 November 2011


US Peace Corps
Country name is::Mali


Status: ACTIVE: Staging MAY 31 2012
Staging: {{#ask:Country staging date::+country name is::Mali[[Staging date::>2016-08-26]]

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

}}


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

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::Mali

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

}}


Peace Corps Journals - Mali File:Feedicon.gif

250px
Peace Corps Welcome Book
Region:

Africa

Country Director:

Michael Simsik

Sectors:

Health Education
(APCD: Claudine Adou-Lath)
Agriculture
(APCD: Oumar Cisse)
Small Enterprise Development
(APCD: Seydou Coulibaly)
Natural Resource Management
(APCD: Kristine Hoffer)
Water and Sanitation
(APCD: Haoua Traore)

Program Dates:

1971 - Present

Current Volunteers:

161

Total Volunteers:

1024

Languages Spoken:

Bambara, Dogon, French, Fulfulde, Malinke, Soninke, Sonrai, Khassonke

Flag:

150px

__SHOWFACTBOX__

Peace Corps Volunteers assist the government of Mali in an effort to address multiple development challenges. Currently, the Peace Corps places its emphasis on sustainable capacity-building projects in the areas of food production, water availability, environmental conservation, micro-enterprise development, and preventive health care, including water sanitation work and HIV/AIDS awareness.


Peace Corps History

Main article: History of the Peace Corps in Mali

In August 1969, Mali made a formal request for the Peace Corps’ assistance. That same year, a Peace Corps representative arrived in Bamako, the capital of Mali, to assist the government in planning Volunteers’ activities, primarily in the area of agricultural development. The first Volunteers arrived in April 1971 to help allay the hardships caused by a severe drought. Twenty-five Volunteers developed projects in poultry raising, vegetable production, water resources managemen and agricultural extension.Since that time, some 2,000 Volunteers have served in Mali.


Living Conditions and Volunteer Lifestyle

Main article: Living conditions and volunteer lifestyles in Mali

The community to which you are assigned will provide safe and adequate housing in accordance with the Peace Corps’ site selection criteria. Housing is typically a small house made of mud or cement bricks with a thatch roof. Some Volunteers in urban sites live in cement houses with two or three rooms. Most Volunteers do not have running water or electricity; water comes from a pump or a well, and light is provided by kerosene lanterns or candles. Nearly all Volunteers are within one hour of another Volunteer and most are within 10 hours of the Peace Corps office in Bamako via public transportation.


Training

Main article: Training in Mali

Training is an essential part of Peace Corps service. The goal of the eleven-week program is to give you the skills and information you need to live and work effectively in Mali. In doing that, we build upon the experiences and expertise you bring to the Peace Corps. The program also gives you the opportunity to practice new skills as they apply to your work in Mali. We anticipate that you will approach training with an open mind, a desire to learn, and a willingness to become involved. Trainees officially become Volunteers only after successful completion of training.

You will receive training and orientation in components of language, cross-cultural communication, development issues, health and personal safety, and technical skills pertinent to your specific assignment. The skills you learn will serve as the foundation upon which you build your experience as a Peace Corps Volunteer.

Upon arrival in Mali, you will go to Toubaniso, the Peace Corps training center about half an hour outside of Bamako. After a brief orientation period, you will move into a host village within an hour of the training center. In the host village, you and other trainees (about 15 to a village) will live with a Malian host family for the majority of your training period, allowing you to gain hands-on experience in some of the new skills you are expected to acquire.


Health Care and Safety

Main article: Health care and safety in Mali

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 Mali maintains a clinic with three full-time medical officers, who take care of Volunteers’ primary healthcare needs. Additional medical services, such as testing and basic treatment, are also available in Mali at local hospitals and clinics. If you become seriously ill, you will be transported to a medical facility in the region or to the United States.


Diversity and Cross-Cultural Issues

Main article: Diversity and cross-cultural issues in Mali

In Mali, as in other Peace Corps host countries, Volunteers’ behavior, lifestyle, background, and beliefs are judged in a cultural context very different from their own. Certain personal perspectives or characteristics commonly accepted in the United States may be quite uncommon, unacceptable, or even repressed in Mali.

Outside of Mali’s capital, residents of rural communities have had relatively little direct exposure to other cultures, races, religions, and lifestyles. What people view as typical American behavior or norms may be a misconception, such as the belief that all Americans are rich and Caucasian. The people of Mali 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 cultural differences that you present.

  • Possible Issues for Female Volunteers
  • Possible Issues for Volunteers of Color
  • Possible Issues for Gay, Lesbian, or Bisexual Volunteers
  • Possible Issues for Senior Volunteers
  • Possible Religious Issues for Volunteers
  • Possible Issues for Volunteers With Disabilities


Frequently Asked Questions

Mali
2008 Volunteer Survey Results

How personally rewarding is your overall Peace Corps service?|}} Rank:
2008 H1r::29|}}
Score:
2008 H1s::73.8|}}
Today would you make the same decision to join the Peace Corps?|}} Rank:
2008 H2r::34|}}
Score:
2008 H2s::83.8|}}
Would you recommend Peace Corps service to others you think are qualified?|}} Rank:
2008 H3r::25|}}
Score:
2008 H3s::86.5|}}
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::6|}}
Score:
2008 H5s::61|}}
Would your host country benefit the most if the Peace Corps program were---?|}} Rank:
2008 H6r::17|}}
Score:
2008 H6s::92.7|}}
2008BVS::Mali


Main article: FAQs about Peace Corps in Mali

  • How much luggage am I allowed to bring to Mali?
  • What is the electric current in Mali?
  • 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 Malian 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 Mali?
  • Should I bring a cellular phone with me?


Packing List

Main article: Packing list for Mali

This list has been compiled by Volunteers serving in Mali 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 80-pound weight restriction on baggage. Do not bring valuables or cherished items that could be lost, stolen, or ruined by the harsh climate. And remember, you can get almost everything you need in Mali.

  • General
  • Packing for training
  • Clothing
  • Personal Hygiene and Toiletry Items
  • Kitchen
  • Additional Items to Consider Bringing
  • Items You Do Not Need to Bring

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+%22mali%22&output=rss%7Ccharset=UTF-8%7Cshort%7Cdate=M d</rss>


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

Country Fund

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


See also

External links