The beginning of the #globalhealthsp swearing in by White House Deputy National Security Advisor for Strategic Communications Ben Rhodes #Africa #globalhealth
It’s my One Year anniversary in Malawi!
I’m studying this photo of my group that was taken right when we got off the plane. These fresh young faces you see here have really transformed over the past year. And it’s not just that we’ve lost weight, gained a tan, and grown our hair out… the experience itself has aged us. We’ve grown stronger, wiser, more patient… and there’s a visible difference. These people who were strangers to me at the time this photo was taken have become my family, and there’s no way I could have made it this far without them.
It’s amazing how much has happened in a year, how much I’ve learned. I’m eager and optimistic for what the next year of service will bring.
Peace Corps Volunteers in Senegal joyfully shake hands with President Obama during his trip to Africa
A Girls’ Empowerment Conference in Tanzania where participants learned about life skills, gender issues, sex positivity, and women’s health.
In her first two years while living in Amparafaravola which is located in the Lac Alaotra region of Madagascar, Peace Corps Volunteer Teena Curry worked with a youth group to paint a mural depicting the malaria transmission cycle and the importance of sustained LLIN use. By the end of the event, 15 members of the youth group were trained in explaining the importance of LLIN use and how to properly care for mosquito nets and one or two performed sensitizations to community members while the others painted. The painting of the mural was combined with other community education events during the week of World Malaria Day including two neem cream demonstrations and wall of fame project that featured photos of families who hung their net correctly and self-reported having slept under it every night. Other secondary projects during her first two years of service included preparing the curriculum for a behavior change communication training for 16 community health workers which included techniques for behavior change messages related to malaria prevention activities.
That’s just a few things that Teena did as a PCV from 2010 – 2012, she extended her service until October 2013. Read more about her here!
I taught my Form One’s their first geography lesson today. I’m not sure if they learned geography in primary school, so maybe it was their first geography lesson ever.
To start, I had them draw a map of the world in their exercise books. The results were… interesting. Haha. I mean, they don’t see images constantly like kids growing up in America do… they don’t watch TV, they have limited textbooks, etc. So most of them didn’t really know what it was supposed to look like. Some of them just drew a map of Malawi, which I thought was interesting.
Anyway, one popular Peace Corps activity undertaken by volunteers is the World Map Project. I am definitely going to try and do this at my school with my new geography students. By the end of this term these kids will KNOW that America is not in Europe.
Peace Corps Burkina Faso’s Gender and Development Committee (GAD) recently held its first annual Women’s Health and Leadership Conference. The conference focused on gender empowerment, leadership, and common health issues faced by women in Burkina Faso.
Not too long ago, Margaret Banda’s daughter had a dangerous rendezvous with malaria. Her newborn twins waited at home for her as she was rushed to the hospital with a high fever. Since then, Margaret has completed ANAMED (Action for Natural Medicine) training. Here, she is pounding morgina leaves into a powder for cooking which is essential when battling disease and infection.
In honor of Malaria Month, 20 Peace Corps Volunteers from Sierra Leone rode their bicycles 55 miles, from Kamakwie to Panlap, as part of the Stomp Out Malaria Initiative. They stopped at villages along the way and did activities aimed at improving the villagers’ knowledge of malaria transmission, prevention, and treatment. To help spread the message, the volunteers wrote malaria-related slogans on white t-shirts.
Check out this video for the facts about malaria in Africa and the grassroots efforts of Peace Corps Volunteers to save lives in the communities where they serve.
Angelina comes running up after school yelling ‘Sister Johanna, Sister Johanna!’. I smile and can’t help laugh as she looks up at me in her faded school dress. She smiles the biggest smile you’ve ever seen and grabs a stack of nets to carry on her head to help. We’re in the middle of a net distribution as part of Ghana Health Service’s ‘Roll Out Campaign’.
As we distribute and hang net in every household, one per married couple and one for every two children, Angelina runs back and forth from where we store the nets, making the process go a little quicker. She’s one of my most favorite people in my village but her name can be deceiving. Asking for a coin to buy a water sachet because she’s thirsty, she comes back smacking on a piece of bubble gum. My counterpart George Atoanan and I try to scold her but end up laughing instead! Even though she’s devious, she our little helper for the day and puts a smile on our face.
I’ve visited with her family since the campaign and see that the treated mosquito nets are still hung and I can rest assured she’s sleeping safe every night. Because she’s healthy and malaria-free, she can continue to smile her mischievous smile every day.
- Peace Corps Health Volunteer Johanna Twiford
Peace Corps Health Volunteer Danielle Dunlap and Peace Corps Agriculture Volunteer Katie Woodruff team up while making neem cream during a demonstration in Cape Coast, Ghana.
Neem cream is a natural mosquito repellent made from inexpensive local resources, including leaves of the neem tree, shea butter and soap, that helps prevent mosquito bites which can transmit malaria.