Participant’s Corner

Hi Everyone,
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 fifteenth Malaria Boot Camp from November 8-19 in Thies, Senegal. We have an exciting agenda with presenters from the CDC, USAID, Against Malaria, Dimagi and, Grass Roots Soccer training in their new “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.
Stomp,
Matt McLaughlin
Program Manager
Peace Corps
Stomping Out Malaria in Africa

To Do List for Participants 

  1. Take the Pre-Test
  2. Join our Social Media Groups
  3. Read up on Malaria
  4. Do Some Homework
  5. Prepare a Country Presentation
  6. Prepare your country’s Best Practice Presentation
  7. Pack for a professional experience
  8. Review the transportation logistics
  9. Biography and Cultural Marketplace
  10. 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 mmclaughlin2@peacecorps.gov

Facebook

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. We also use a Slack instance for knowledge sharing at the Boot Camp. You’ll receive a Slack invite shortly.

Reading List

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).

  1. Your National Malaria Control Program’s latest strategic plan (these may be difficult to find depending on your Ministry of Health’s web presence. Contact your APCD).
  2. Any active Global Fund malaria grants for your country: http://www.theglobalfund.org/en/portfolio/
  3. The President’s Malaria Initiative Malaria Operation Plan for your country (if you are a PMI focus country):  https://www.pmi.gov/resource-library/mops
  4. Roll Back Malaria Country Focus Report (if there is one for your country): http://www.rollbackmalaria.org/resources/progress-impact-series/country-reports

Homework

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: Articles for Boot Camp Discussion

Country Presentations

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.

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!

Please use this template:model-country-presentation

And read and follow these guidelines:country-presentations-guidelines-and-rubric

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 mmclaughlin2@peacecorps.gov 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.

So what does that preparation look like? Your country will:
  • Chose one activity or one element of your malaria prevention program that they think that they do outstandingly and uniquely well
  • Create a roughly 15 minute long presentation of this activity. If your country team choses something that absolutely needs more than 15 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 mmclaughlin2@peacecorps.gov 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.

Packing List

We will be providing materials only in electronic form, so please bring your laptop or iPad. If you do not have a laptop or iPad, please let us know at stompoutmalaria@gmail.com and we will make arrangements to provide you access to a Peace Corps desktop. We will also have the capability of loading documents onto your Kindle, so if you have a Kindle, please bring that as well.

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!

Transportation Logistics

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. When they pick you up you will be given a local cell phone and and enough credit to make emergency calls as necessary. If you would like to make personal calls you are free to purchase and add credit to 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 Biography and Cultural Marketplace

We will be creating a Boot Camp 17 ‘Welcome Book’ for participants in anticipation of your arrival in Senegal.  With over 40 participants from 15 countries, we want to give you a head start on getting familiar with your new peers! Please create a public professional LinkedIN profile for yourself and send a link to it to mmclaughlin2@peacecorps.gov. Be sure to include a photo and a comprehensive resume. Should you have a personal objection to using LinkedIN, feel free to send a photo and bio over email.

We’re trying something new (and completely optional) this boot camp.  Consider bringing a cultural item unique to your country or small units of currency 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?  What about a flash drive with your favorite local music?  We want this to be fun and no pressure, so participation is totally up to you.

Agenda 

NOTE the November Boot Camp schedule is not finalized yet. It should be available shortly and you will receive an email. In the mean time, please consider the below schedule tentative:

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 above schedule is absolutely going to change.