Peace Corps in Sierra Leone has a rich history and a strong legacy serving the people of Sierra Leone. The program began in January 1962 as one of the first countries entered after Peace Corps' launch in March 1961 so it is a well-known and welcomed agency by generations of Sierra Leoneans. The first group of Volunteers included 37 secondary school teachers who taught at many levels throughout the country and you will follow in their footsteps.
The education project in Sierra Leone aims to prepare students, teachers and community youth to become empowered and engaged citizens. The goals of the project are:
1. Increase student success by improving student proficiency, academic success, and participation in math, science, English and life skills classes or extracurricular activities.
2. Promote student-centered teaching and administration, where teachers and administrators will develop positive learning environments by improving teaching and administration techniques respectful of gender equitable practices.
3. Prepare youth, especially girls, with skills for their adult life as healthy, productive, and active community members.
The teaching approach in Sierra Leone is mostly lecture based, call and response, and rote memorization. This is where our Volunteers come in. Peace Corps/Sierra Leone will train you to move English teaching towards a student centered model, where instead of a teacher writing on a blackboard while the students take notes, Volunteers: promote engaging the students through small group activities and the development of study and critical thinking skills; and empower youth with skills to establish goals, make positive decisions, and be active leaders.
Volunteers provide formal and informal instruction in schools with grades similar to US grades 7-10 to:
1. Advance basic reading and numeracy – focusing on reading comprehension and vocabulary
2. library or laboratory practice – working with your school to encourage reading and the importance of libraries
3. Support teachers in large or struggling classrooms – co-facilitating and developing classroom management techniques and lesson planning
4. Work on life skills practices with students – critical thinking skills and healthy lifestyle choices
Volunteers' English classes will focus on improving English communication and composition skills, teaching grammar usage and literature, increasing vocabulary, integrating literacy in content, preparing students for national/international tests, and enhancing positive reading culture, critical thinking and problem-solving skills.
Outside of the classroom Volunteers are empowered to run afterschool programs working with their students in English but also in activities that your students need and want. Your free time will be spent forming bonds with your community members and drinking plenty of tea but also working on community projects such as:
• gardening and nutrition
• youth empowerment camps
• anti-malarial and health education
Sierra Leone promotes gender awareness, girls’ education and empowerment. Volunteers receive training on gender challenges in country and have the opportunity to implement gender-related activities that are contextually appropriate. During service, Volunteers look for ways to work with community members to promote gender-equitable norms and increase girls’ sense of agency. As a part of their work, Volunteers also report on these efforts and their impact.
Health coverage, Housing, Living allowance, Non-competitive eligibility (federal jobs), Stipend, Student loan forbearance, Training
Prohibits paid work outside of the sponsoring agency at any time
Subject to criminal background check