Welcome to Stomping Out Malaria in Africa, a Peace Corps initiative to bring focus to and improve the quality of Peace Corps malaria prevention work across Africa. I’m simply amazed by the progress we’ve made over the last three years and am very much looking forward to joining a new group of malaria Volunteers at our fourteenth Malaria Boot Camp from August 25-September 5 in Thies, Senegal. We have an exciting agenda with presenters from the CDC, USAID, Against Malaria, Medic Mobile and, Grass Roots Soccer training in their “Skillz Malaria” curriculum. I can’t wait to meet you all and begin working to make the end of malaria a reality in our lifetime.
Stomping Out Malaria in Africa
To Do List for Participants
- Take the Pre-Test
- Join the Facebook Group
- Join the Google Group
- Read up on Malaria
- Do Some Homework
- Prepare a Country Presentation
- Prepare your country’s Best Practice Presentation
- Pack for a professional experience
- Review the transportation logistics
- Biography and Cultural Marketplace
- Review the Agenda
Take the Pre-Test
We would like to get an idea of what your malaria knowledge level is coming in to the training, both to help set the agenda for the Boot Camp itself, but also as a baseline that we can compare with your post-training knowledge and see if we’ve done a good job as trainers.
The test is a Google Form available here: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1Xkefh2IXFpBo1kk5IjZGYsqfxM53ys1kUtx2oGqL9gE/viewform It should take about an hour to complete and (in theory) should work in any browser. If you have technical difficulties with the test, please email me at email@example.com
Stomp maintains an internal Malaria Team Facebook Group used for peer to peer communication. Find out what other volunteers all over Africa are doing in malaria prevention. Ask questions about upcoming projects. Share links to interesting resources. You’ll be receiving your invitations soon. If you have not yet been invited to the Malaria Team Facebook Group go to https://www.facebook.com/groups/malariateam and request an invite – we’ll take care of that right away.
While Facebook is great for informal “water cooler” conversations among the Malaria Team members, we also need an outlet for mission critical communication. That’s Google Groups. We will be using Google Groups for all vital information for the Malaria Team. So what is it? Google Groups is a simple listserve and email alias setup that allows us to send a single email to “firstname.lastname@example.org” and have it appear in all your email inboxes. Unlike the Facebook page, we use this sparingly and only for important information.
As with the Facebook Group, I’ll be sending you invitations to our Google Group soon. If you have not yet received an invitation to the Google Group, please email email@example.com. Once you have responded to that invitation, please follow these instructions to get our Malaria Initiative folder loaded into your Google Drive: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1I7zlomxOOqbPPMHdUa3PGDD0bGZuWwo7MnFnkk4sQoo/edit#
The more knowledge you come to the training with, the faster you and the whole group will be able to learn. We chosen just a few high level documents that should give you a good overview of what’s going on in your country. Not all documents are available for all countries – some of you come from non-PMI focus countries that don’t have a MOP for example, and the RBM Progress and Impact Series is just getting started so currently only Senegal, Zambia and Tanzania are covered. Not to worry. Read what is available to you. But please do respect your fellow participants by doing all of the assigned reading that are available to you so we can all hit the ground running. You’re not going to be tested on the minute details, but you will be expected to incorporate what you’ve read into a short presentation for the entire training group (see below).
- Your National Malaria Control Program’s latest strategic plan (these may be difficult to find depending on your Ministry of Health’s web presence).
- Any active Global Fund malaria grants for your country: http://portfolio.theglobalfund.org/en/Home/Index
- The President’s Malaria Initiative Malaria Operation Plan for your country (if you are a PMI focus country): http://pmi.gov/countries/mops/fy12/index.html
- Roll Back Malaria Country Focus Report (if there is one for your country): http://www.rbm.who.int/ProgressImpactSeries/index.html
- You will also be expected to have watched the Sanofi Aventis – Impact Malaria program videos at: http://en.impact-malaria.com/web/plasmodium_life-cycle_
Finally, you will be assigned a number of academic papers and case studies. Each evening after dinner, we have an informal discussion group session where we talk about a case study of interest. For each one there will be a set of 3-5 questions or themes you will be expected to write a short response to and be ready to discuss. Please visit the Case Study page here: Case Studies for Boot Camp Discussion
We would like you to work with your country-mates to produce a Powerpoint that will give a brief overview of the malaria prevention activities ongoing in your country. Please follow the template available at: https://docs.google.com/presentation/d/13_mHtnOeqe17zcXpCcUhqT0zlXtaefy_94YmHH9-uzg/edit?usp=sharing
A few pointers:
- Focus on the things that make your country unique and that make this time in your country unique – don’t give us a laundry list
- Round off numbers – we don’t need to know the number of cases of malaria to the 1s digit
- We’re looking for analytical thought, not pure data – be sure to think deeply about what the data means and talk insightfully about it
- Slide 1 – Cover Slide
- Slide 2 – Presenters introduction
- Slide 3 – Country Data – Statistical Trends (Is malaria going up or going down? Are substantial changes in the malaria rate correlated with the introduction of specific interventions? Essentially, ‘where are you now’ and how does that compare to where you were?)
- Slide 4 – Country Data – Map of Regional variations (focus on the unusual or counterintuitive, i.e. “One would think that malaria would be highest in region X because of its high rainfall, but it is actually very low because organization Y has been doing a very successful indoor residual spraying campaign.”)
- Slide 5 – Who’s doing what in Country (again, focus on the most interesting or important work – we don’t need a list of everything)
- Slide 6 – What is Peace Corps up to? (Please do NOT duplicate effort by spending time here on the intervention that you will be highlighting for your Best Practice.)
- Slide 7 – Malaria Team Organization Structure: Some posts have a national coordinator, others have committees. How has your post organized? What are the roles and responsibilities?
- Slide 8 – “Thanks!”
Since we don’t want this get too heavy, please pepper the presentation with as many gorgeous photos of your country as possible. Think of it as a malaria prevention tourist brochure – you want to convince us that you have the most fascinating and gorgeous place to do malaria prevention work in the world!
Also, there will be a time limit. Don’t plan on going over 5 minutes… which may mean you need to talk fast!
NOTE: You must rehearse this presentation to make sure it’s under 5 minutes. This Boot Camp will be very large and we need to stay on schedule. Rehearsing the timing of your presentation is an element of respect for your peers. Also you must email your presentation to firstname.lastname@example.org before you leave for the Boot Camp – this will ensure that we don’t need to waste time getting your presentation onto the projecting computer.
Prepare your country’s Best Practice presentation
Based on feedback from the most recent Boot Camp group we’re going to be adding a “Best Practice Sharing” component to the upcoming Boot Camp where each country will present one activity that they do particularly well in enough depth that the other participants can take it back to their posts. This is a post-level responsibility, so your country team as a group will be responsible for choosing which activity to present and working with you to make sure you are prepared to train your peers on this activity.
- Chose one activity or one element of your malaria prevention program that they think that they do outstandingly and uniquely well
- Create a roughly 10 minute long presentation of this activity. If your country team chooses something that absolutely needs more than 10 minutes to present, the timing is negotiable, but you have to let me know ahead of time!
- If it is something that can be demonstrated hands-on in that amount of time, come up with a list of necessary materials
- If it is not conducive to hands-on, develop a PowerPoint
- Write out a curriculum
- Create a short (1-4 page) How-to/Case Study as a handout (pictures are nice)
NOTE: With 16 countries participating in Boot Camp, these case studies need to be as streamlined as possible. To that end we are requesting that A) Every post submit your Best Practice materials for review to email@example.com at least 2 weeks prior to the Boot Camp. This will allow us to provide feedback that will improve the quality of these presentations and ensure that no two post’s presentations are duplicative, and b) all presenters rehearse their Best Practice sharing session with their peers. Respecting the time limit is exceptionally important with a large group, and there’s no other way to know the timing of a presentation for certain without rehearsing it – your peers will know if it wasn’t rehearsed.
We will be providing materials only in electronic form, so please bring your laptop. If you do not have a laptop, please let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will make arrangements to provide you access to a Peace Corps desktop.
We will be meeting with important Peace Corps partners and receiving training from prominent international experts in the field over video conference so please come prepared to dress accordingly. This means business casual attire. We’re not going to force anyone to dress full-on formally for the majority of sessions, but for men – a tie and dress shoes, and for women – a nice formal skirt, dress or pants, will be appropriate when we do field visits to partner programs and for meetings with the President’s Malaria Initiative. For women, note that Senegal is a strict muslim country, therefore there is a dress code in the training center. Women should have their knees and shoulders covered at all times.
For volunteer participants: Having been a volunteer myself and wearing flip-flops for around 2 years, I appreciate that this may be a significant change from what some of you may be used to but as you move into important positions in malaria prevention a higher standard of professional dress when dealing with partners will be an expectation. – Matt
There is a stadium about 5 minutes from the training center where you can exercise, and despite being a muslim country, athletic dress (shorts) is acceptable but only while you are working out.
We will be taking a day trip to a nearby beach, so don’t forget your swimsuit!
You will be met at the airport (except those of you coming overland) by Relax Travel and depending on your arrival time, will be transported to a hotel or to the Peace Corps office where you will be taken in a Peace Corps vehicle to the Thies training center. Relax agents should meet you where you pick up your luggage and will know your name and have a sign. You will be given a local cell phone once you arrive to the Peace Corps Office. You are responsible for purchasing credit for these phones.
If there is a communication problem or change of flights and you find yourself in Dakar without anyone waiting for you at the airport, please contact one of emergency contacts on this emergency contact sheet: https://docs.google.com/document/d/14L-zMzCtcBRoilFH3aHyEX6MMIEsfeJgHBdC4RzHJUU/edit?usp=sharing
Please print out that sheet and bring it with you!
Upon leaving Senegal you will similarly be driven to the airport by Relax travel.
LinkedIn, WordPress and Cultural Marketplace
All boot camp participants must have a LinkedIn Profile. Boot camp is focused on malaria prevention but also your professional development. Create or edit a LinkedIn Profile to include a summary, your work history (including your Peace Corps service), education, and a professional photo.
WordPress is a platform you will use to highlight the fantastic projects being done at your post once you complete boot camp. To familiarize yourself with the platform you will submit a two-paragraph aspiration statement via WordPress. You will receive your log-in information. Log-on to WordPress and add a new post. In the post include a photo by clicking the add media button and uploading a photo and type two-paragraphs about why you care about malaria and what you hope to get out of boot camp. Submit the post for review. Include your LinkedIn Profile link in this post.
Participate in our cultural gift exchange. Bring an item unique from your country to trade with other participants. Does your country grow phenomenal coffee or make the best dark chocolate? Does your mama’s group design gorgeous bracelets or make heavenly soaps? We will trade items based on the rules of “white elephant”, if you don’t know the rules we’ll explain on the night of the exchange.
NOTE the September Boot Camp schedule is not finalized yet. It should be available shortly and you will receive an email. In the mean time, the below schedule for Boot Camp XIV should give you a good general idea of the flow of the training.
Because we rely heavily on outside presenters, our schedule is subject to change without notice – one of the downsides of getting the world’s foremost experts to present is that we’re at the mercy of their availability. Many have been giving generously of their time for three years now and the way we’ve made that possible is by being flexible. Please put yourself in a “Go with the flow” mindset because some of the below schedule is absolutely going to change.
Staying updated with the changes in schedule
As the schedule is fluid, it will be useful for you to have access to the working schedule rather than printing out a static copy. To do that you can use the subscription functions in Google Calendars or Outlook. To see boot camp calendar events please be sure you are viewing the dates of the boot camp.
If you use Outlook, copy and past this into Tools->Internet Calendars: