Training in Philippines
The goal of pre-service training is to provide you with the language, cross-cultural, community entry, safety and security, and personal and health management skills necessary to work effectively and live successfully at your site.
As management changes in all Peace Corps posts at least once every 5 years, it should be noted that Pre-Service Training changes methods and policies to better suit the percieved needs of the trainees. Batch 265 (Official swear-in date, June 1, 2006) used the training model shown below:
Pre-service training has three phases. Phase 1 is a one-week orientation, in which you will learn about the Peace Corps’ role in the Philippines, receive administrative and medical information, and be introduced to Peace Corps policies. Phase 2, which lasts nine weeks, includes community entry/technical skills, language, cross-cultural, safety and security, and personal and health management sessions and activities. This phase takes place both at the hub site and cluster sites in the community. Phase 3 is held three months after you have been at your site. This training focuses on enhancing your capacity to carry out the technical aspects of your role based on your assigned sector and the goals and objectives of your project plan.
The training for Batch 266 (Official swear-in August 2007) is similar to that stated above, but Phases 2 and 3 have been merged into one 3 month training.
Community entry/technical training will help facilitate your entry into your community and serve as a Volunteer in the Philippines. You will be engaged in a variety of community entry activities such as peer and community interviewing, community walks, field observations, mapping, shadowing, and conducting community meetings. You will also visit your site of assignment to get an idea what it is really like to be a Volunteer there. Your training in this component will culminate with your application of community entry tools in planning, implementing, and evaluating a small community activity or project. You will be supported and evaluated by the training staff throughout training to build the confidence and skills you need to undertake your project activities and to be a productive member of your community.
As a Peace Corps Volunteer, you will find that language skills are the key to personal and professional satisfaction during your service. These skills are critical to your job performance, they help you integrate into your community, and they can ease your personal adaptation to the new surroundings. You must successfully meet minimum language requirements to complete training and become a Volunteer. Experienced Filipino language/cultural facilitators teach formal language classes six days a week in small groups of three to four people.
Your language training will incorporate a community-based approach. In addition to classroom time, you will be given assignments to work on outside of the classroom and with your host family. The goal is to get you to a point of basic social communication skills so that you can practice and develop language skills further once you are at your site. Prior to being sworn in as a Volunteer, you will work on strategies to continue language studies during service.
As part of your pre-service training, you will live with a Filipino host family. This experience is designed to ease your transition to life at your site. Families go through an orientation conducted by Peace Corps staff to explain the purpose of pre-service training and to assist them in helping you adapt to living in the Philippines. Many Volunteers form strong and lasting friendships with their host families.
Cross-cultural training will help you improve your communication skills and understand your role as a facilitator of development. You will be exposed to topics such as community mobilization, conflict resolution, gender and development, nonformal and adult education strategies, and political structures.
During pre-service training, you will be given basic medical training and information. You are expected to practice preventive healthcare and to take responsibility for your own health by adhering to all medical policies. Trainees are required to attend all medical sessions. The topics include preventive health measures and minor and major medical issues that you might encounter while in the Philippines. Nutrition, mental health, safety and security, setting up a safe living compound, and how to avoid HIV/AIDS and other sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) are also covered.
During the safety and security training sessions, you will learn how to develop a personal safety and security plan for yourself. Information will also be provided to help you adopt a lifestyle that reduces risk in your home, at work, and during your travels. You will learn appropriate, effective strategies for coping with unwanted attention and about your individual responsibility for promoting safety throughout your Peace Corps service. There will be special sessions and training on the post’s emergency action plan so that you become familiar with the various standard operating procedures that have been put in place to help ensure your personal safety and security.
Additional Trainings During Volunteer Service
In its commitment to institutionalize quality training, the Peace Corps has implemented a training system that provides Volunteers with continual opportunities to examine their commitment to Peace Corps service while increasing their technical, language, and cross-cultural skills. During service, there are usually three training events. The titles and objectives for those events are as follows:
- In-service training: Provides an opportunity for Volunteers to upgrade their technical, language, and project development and management skills while sharing their experiences and reaffirming their commitment after having served for a few months.
- Mid-service training: Provides an opportunity for Volunteers to review the successes and challenges of their service and the project plan, and provides additional skills training and support.
- Close of service conference: Prepares Volunteers for the future after Peace Corps service and reviews their respective projects and personal experiences. The number, length, and design of these trainings are adapted to country-specific needs and conditions. The key to the training system is that training events are integrated and interrelated, from the pre-departure orientation through the end of your service, and are planned, implemented, and evaluated cooperatively by the training staff, Peace Corps staff, and Volunteers.