Boot Camp V, Day 1: Introduction to Stomp, Building the PMI-Peace Corps Partnership

The fifth Stomping Out Malaria in Africa Boot Camp kicked off today at 2:30 p.m. at the Peace Corps Training Center in Thiès, Senegal. Twenty-seven Peace Corps Staff and Volunteers from ten different countries congregated in Thiès, Senegal to participate in a ten-day intense malaria training. The training will bring in international experts to share in-depth malaria knowledge and discuss the most recent malaria issues. Participants will also partake in various field visits and build upon their own local experience.

George Greer, Senior Advisor in Child Survival and Infectious Diseases at USAID/PMI, kicked off the boot camp with a presentation and discussion about the current activities of the President’s Malaria Initiative (PMI). Launched in 2005, the President’s Malaria Initiative (PMI) is a $1.2 billion expansion of U.S. Government resources to reduce the intolerable burden of malaria and help relieve poverty on the African continent. Greer explained how country resident advisors (RAs) steer each country’s PMI program. He discussed ways for Peace Corps Volunteers to partner with PMI in order complement each other’s malaria prevention efforts. Greer encouraged volunteers to build good relationships with their country’s resident advisors.

After a short break, Stomp Program Coordinator, Chris Hedrick, and Stomp Program Manager, Matt McLaughlin, provided an overview of the Stomping Out Malaria in Africa initiative, its history, and its vision. They impressed upon volunteers’ instrumental role to fight malaria in all Peace Corps communities, to build sustainable partnerships, and to create an international professional malaria prevention community. They highlighted the core values of the initiative: knowledge, collaboration, experimentation, documentation/measurement, and sharing.

Matt McLaughlin wrapped up the day with a session introducing the project cycle management. Participants learned about the multiple influences that go into various project frameworks and tools for implementation. The evening concluded with an outing for participants to gain a chance to get to know each other.

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