During the recent Reconnect In-Service Training, the 18th group of volunteers to serve in Mozambique (colloquially called “Moz 18”) participated in an invaluable training that enables them to stomp out malaria in Mozambique. 3rd year Volunteers and Stomp Coordinators Kyla Johnson and Scooter “Anata” Walsh presented sessions about malaria in pregnancy, HIV/AIDS and malaria co-infection, and creating community radio spots.
During the overview of malaria in pregnancy and HIV/AIDS and malaria co-infection sessions, the 26 community health Volunteers revisited topics that were briefly presented during Pre-Service Training. The volunteers discussed how these topics related to their work in their respective communities. Volunteers reviewed the pillars to malaria prevention and treatment in Mozambique, and discussed possible project ideas that would be useful to implement at the community level.
Mozambique Stomp Coordinators presented on the use of radio is getting the malaria message out. Participants received a basic how-to guide to using Audacity, an open-source audio editing software, to create radio spots. They demonstrated their creativity and practiced their new skills by dividing into groups and creating malaria-related 30 second spots. Peace Corps staff also got involved, creating their own versions of malaria prevention ads. The participants enjoyed creating and sharing their radio spots. Staff and volunteers left the session enthusiastic about malaria prevention work and with knowledge and skills to integrate malaria prevention into community radio.
Overall, the training was a success. The new Volunteers left with greater understanding of malaria as a disease and the eminent threat it poses in Mozambique. Volunteers also walked away with invaluable tools and ideas to combat malaria in their respective communities.