I'm heading home, baby!!!
That's right kids, things are getting wrapped up here and I'm heading back to the Ol U.S. of A. My flight leaves tomorrow and i'll be getting into Springfield, Il. Sept 1st, at around 549pm. woo woo!
I'm sorry I haven'e blogged much this last month, but it's been busy with wrapping up work in village, dodging my house falling again, getting rid of my stuff, saying goodbye my village, and to other volunteers. The paperwork to leave is typically obnoxious and overly complicated, but I just got my last signature on my check out form and all I need to do now is get tickets this afternoon handed to me. It's just starting to hit me that I'm leaving. So, tonight, I'm packing and gettin ready for a flight at around 1pm, tomorrow. I'm supposed to fly through Senegal, then Wash D.C. then Springfield. Wish me luck, good weather, and speedy custom officers.
I'm hoping to visit people as soon as I'm settled in the U.S. So, I can update people on recent events both i and out of village. I've been really remiss on some of the updates, lately, but I've just assumed, I would be talking to you all soon enough, i've left alot of posts out.
Hopefully, when I get back and have regular access to internet, I'll type up some more stories/events, and maybe add some old letters I never go around to to sending. Hope all is well, where you are at, and I hope to see and visit you all soon!
Once again, I want to thank you guys for helping me keep up this blog and sending wonderful packages and being the great friends/family, that has helped me do the work I've been able to do. Speaking of work, I'll add to this my DOS(description of Service) and you can get an official look at what I've been doing the last two years. :-)
Here it is:
Ms. Curvey began her training on August 2, 2005 in which she actively participated in an intensive 11-week program in Gourcy, Burkina Faso. During the intensive training, Ms. Curvey lived with a Burkinabé host family in order to enhance her cultural understanding and to facilitate her ability to successfully integrate into Burkinabé society.
The contents of the training program included:
• 165.45 hours of formal instruction in French and Moore (a local language found in her region);
• 122 hours of technical instruction in public health and community health development;
• 33 hours of training in cross-cultural adaptation and integration strategies; and,
• 35 hours of personal health care.
• 5 hours of safety and security and
• 6 hours of administration and policy
Ms. Curvey swore in as a Peace Corps volunteer on October 21, 2005 and was assigned to the village of Tô in the southern part of Burkina Faso. She worked at the local health clinic (the Center for Health and Social Promotion of Tô), which served 5 satellite villages and an overall population of approximately 17,000 people. Ms. Curvey collaborated with the health staff and management committee to increase their effectiveness in health promotion and disease prevention and to improve the organization and administration of preventative services. She worked under the Ministry of Health and reported directly to the Chief District Physician of Leo.
• Performed a 3 month public needs assessment of 6 villages, roughly 1700 people. The information gained was used as basis for future health activities.
• Participated in national vaccination campaigns against Elephantitis and Polio, and promotion outreaches for vitamin A.
• Participated in community based health activities(such as baby weighing and vaccination outreach)
• Created and collaborated with local theater group to perform health based sketches on subjects ranging from Elephantitis, HIV/AIDS, and Malaria to Pre-Natal Consultations. They performed for over 3500 people throughout the local health region within a period of 4 months.
• Initiated, organized, and supervised a region-wide campaign on HIV/AIDS in partnership with a 16 member theater group and 5 local contractors. Plays were performed in 8 villages reaching over 2200 people. Videos discussing HIV/AIDS were shown and discussed to over 1260 people.
• Coordinated local a Bike-a-thon with counterparts and neighboring volunteers. Trained 9 non-health volunteers on how to do AIDS educational discussions. These volunteers, in turn, trained 20 local counterparts of Tô on the same subject matter. All in order to reach over 1160 people in 6 villages during the campaign.
• Lead and gave discussions with over 950 villagers, 2 corn groups, and ten garden groups in 6 villages on the use of the Moringa tree as a valuable source of maintaining a nutritious diet in children, family, and as a source of income. Over 100 trees were distributed and planted with villagers, along with distributing 6000 seeds. The tree owners were monitored and received additional training.
• Took part in a precedent setting workshop, (Peace Corps wide) called, “Measuring Success”, that helped set up local level protocol in quantitatively measuring the impact of information briefings on health related topics.
• As a result of applying the above protocol, performed a 3 month survey and campaign towards fighting Malaria, there was a 13% increase in knowledge level on preventing Malaria and 23% increase in prevention for children in the region of Tô.
• Applying the same methods for HIV/AIDS, found a 10% increase in knowledge of prevention methods, and 33% decrease in negative stigmatized responses in follow up surveys.
• Taught discussions for 12 hours in classrooms along with video media on HIV/AIDS at both the primary and secondary school levels, reaching over 800 school kids.
• Coordinated with 2 local primary schools to conduct an art contest, with over 300 children participants, focusing on hygienic practices in the home.
• Painted 3 health related murals at her health clinic on the subject of consultations and vaccinations
• Trained 65 Peace Corps volunteers and 18 Peace Corps staff members on the use and benefits of the Moringa tree in their homes and villages. Demonstrated planting and then distributed 5200 seeds and 80 trees.
• Represented the interest of fellow volunteers as a member of the Volunteer Advisory Committee(VAC) which served as a liaison between the Administrative staff and volunteers
• As a leading member of the AIDS Task Force team, collected and interpreted data of the HIV/AIDS related activities performed by 19 fellow volunteers during FY2006. For presentation to both the Burkina Faso government and Peace Corps Washington.
• Taught English for a total of 20hrs to 10 students, once a week for 4 months
• Taught a course to a classroom of 30 high school senior girls on writing grants and action plans for use in obtaining funding for through local and governmental partners.
• Conceived, coordinated and implemented a Cross Sector Conference. Trained 14 non-health specific volunteers on various health issues such as AIDS, nutrition (including Moringa), the Burkina Faso health care system, and the means of using the health information in one’s village.
Helped and coordinated in developing 2 new health sites from visiting 9 villages, and possibly 2 small enterprise sites, for incoming volunteers.
Volunteer Transit House Transition
As a member of VAC, coordinated the cleaning and organizing of volunteer possessions for transfer from old to new transit house locations.