30 June 2008

Newness: Education As The Practice of Freedom

“It seems to me essential that in our individual lives, we should day to day live out what we affirm”

-Antonio Faundez, “Learning to Question”

Hello all, welcome to my blog: The Peace Travelings of Verse to Nigérien Beats!

This blog is to serve as a fresh and creative space for ideas about education, volunteerism, service, global citizenship, and Niger to spread and generate conversation and critical reflection. In high schol and in college, I received a very excellent education, yet history of the continent of Africa was lacking terribly. In college, I studied French literature and history, which allowed me to confront so many different cultures and continents in this world. I hope to extend my thirst for knowledge and my love of culture to you through this blog. So why join the Peace Corps? Well, I wanted to give back in my own way- and there are myriad ways in which this can be done. Some people give back to world through philanthropy, through music, through policy work, or through volunteerism. All of these efforts move us towards progress. In a world increasingly affected by globalization and materialism, the reason I wanted to join the Peace Corps was to share resources. I think the sharing of resources is essential! I would like to share the benefits of my education with those that can not afford to attend an expensive private university. Also, I wish to bring the knowledge and the voices of those that I meet in Niger back to the United States- especially to the youtth- so we can change ideas about how the countries and cultures of the continent of Africa are perceived. So here's a little information about what I'll be doing in Niger...

As a community and youth education Volunteer, my primary duties will include assisting in different education programs (formal and non-formal) to promote access and quality education for all youth.

For this purpose, I will be working with the main actors in youth education: the young people themselves, the service providers (e.g. teachers, vocational trainers, and other animators working with youth), the community members and leaders, and education-related organizations.

In line with the Peace Corps capacity-building approach, I will be exposing the education actors above to opportunities that will enhance their skills, knowledge, strategies, and approaches. Such exposure in turn will allow them to better perform their jobs.

Some of my responsibilities will include:

  • Training students and out-of-school youth in personal development and decision-making skills;
  • Organizing tutoring classes for students and vocational trainees;
  • Facilitating training of trainers on different topics (gender awareness in a learning environment, new teaching methodologies, etc.);
  • Continuing activities in existing English clubs and youth centers;
  • Training out-of-school kids in basic business concepts;
  • Creating or continuing activities in other youth groups, for example, girls’ clubs;
  • Increasing awareness of community leaders on importance of education, with a special emphasis on girls’ education; and/or
  • Conducting education campaigns with community leaders to raise awareness about the importance of education, with a special emphasis on girls’ education

My actual supervisor will be the local government head of the Inspection de l’Enseignement Secondaire or the Inspecteur de l’Enseignement de Base.

For more information about Niger, click here

For more information about the United States Peace Corps, click here