Benin

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Projects in Benin

Agriculture

SUSTAINABLE AGRICULTURAL SYSTEMS
The purpose of the Sustainable Agricultural Systems (SAS) project is to increase food security in Beninese communities, so households have enough nutrient-rich foods to eat throughout the year, sufficient income to access available food, and the economic stability and resilience to achieve long-term food security. Volunteers and their counterparts collaborate to address the following four goals:

Goal 1: Increase productivity and diversity of household food production;
Goal 2: Households increase consumption of nutrient-rich foods;
Goal 3: Increase households’ income through agriculture-based income generating activities (IGAs);
Goal 4: Increase households’ capacity for personal money management.

SAS Volunteers and their counterparts are involved in the following activities:

  • Promoting community and school gardens for food security and potential income generation
  • Promoting best cultivation practices and improved production techniques; 
  • Encouraging conservation and transformation techniques to increase the value added to harvested crops; 
  • Training and coaching students in secondary schools and women’s groups on entrepreneurship and creating clubs at the school level related to food security;
  • Providing training and management advisory services to community groups and individuals on business planning, marketing, added value, product, and service quality, basic financial management and accounting, etc.; 
  • Helping individuals and groups of producers conduct feasibility studies, business plans, project design and management, development of action plans, saving schemes, and yearly budgets;
  • Training groups on small animal husbandry.


Education

EDUCATION
In line with Benin's Ministry of Education’s priorities, the goal of the TEFL project is that Beninese students, teachers and the community gain the English skills needed to access academic and professional opportunities. TEFL Volunteers are middle/high school English teachers, who co-teach English classes with Beninese co-teachers, as well as supporting English learning of community members outside the school.

Objectives related to Teachers.

Objective 1: Increase capacity of English teachers to use English and general teaching skills.

Objective 2: Increase the capacity of teachers to use gender-equitable teaching practices in the classroom.

Objective 3: Increase English proficiency of English teachers (as measured through use of classroom procedural English)

Objective related to Students.

Objective 4: Increase achievement of students in English

Objective related to Learning Environment and Community.

Objective 5: Increase the ability of the community to support students’ access to learning.

TEFL Certificate Program:

TEFL Volunteers in Benin participate in the Peace Corps TEFL Certificate program, an externally validated credential based on 120 hours of training and two years of supervised teaching experience including practice teaching and multiple classroom observations with feedback. Beninese counterparts who co-plan and co-teach with Volunteers are eligible to earn a Certificate in Classroom Practice (CICP) if they complete the requirements.


A TEFL Volunteer's primary duties include:

  • Team teaching 4 or 5 middle or high school English classes of 40-70 students with a Beninese co-teacher, including teaching lessons, grading tests, and supervising students
  • Co-planning lessons that align with the national curriculum
  • Completing TEFL Certificate program requirements (this includes participating in six Online Learning Community discussion sessions and submitting lesson plans in advance of being observed teaching)
  • Motivating students to learn English and introducing creative thinking techniques
  • Integrating important themes such as malaria, food security, and hygiene and sanitation, in classroom lessons, clubs, and other activities
  • Helping students find ways to put their English skills into practice in daily life
  • Developing and introducing new texts, materials, and teaching aids based on locally
    available materials that are affordable to the school and the students
  • Participating in weekly faculty meetings and a teacher community of practice,
  • Creating and facilitating an English club in the secondary school and facilitating extracurricular activities; implementing at least one activity or project in addition to teaching per academic year

Health

RURAL COMMUNITY HEALTH
Volunteers in the Rural Community Health program collaborate with Community Health Workers and work with local health centers or health NGOs to improve community members' health and well-being through disease prevention and health promotion activities. This program focuses on two main goals that are aligned with Ministry of Health priorities:

Goal 1: Maternal, neonatal and child health, with a focus on nutrition;
Goal 2: Disease prevention and healthy practices – specifically hygiene and sanitation, malaria, HIV/AIDS and promotion of reproductive health with adolescents and youth

All Health Volunteers are expected to collaborate with their Beninese counterparts to conduct the following activities during their two years of service:

  • Develop community care groups to address specific community health issues by identifying, training, and following up with leader mothers; and
  • Implement the peer health education curriculum Amour & Vie (Love & Life), develope by Population Services International to promote youth health.                                                                                           

Many Volunteers also conduct the following activities in conjunction with their care groups and Amour & Vie groups:

  • Working with health care professionals to better define and promote balanced nutrition among pregnant and breast feeding mothers and children under the age of five; 
  • Providing malaria education to young people and influential community members so that they will initiate local action aimed at behavior change;
  • Assisting with the organization of village-based immunization events and baby-weighing sessions; 
  • Providing health education focused on nutrition and disease prevention (malaria, diarrhea, and HIV/AIDS);
  • Encouraging healthy water and sanitation practices and promoting behavior change;
  • Working with local groups to plant or improve gardens to provide increased sources of nutrition;
  • Working with NGOs to develop sustainable health projects in the community.


President's Malaria Initiative

BENIN AGAINST MALARIA
Malaria prevention is considered a priority for Volunteers in the health, education, and agriculture sectors in Benin, and all volunteers are encouraged to organize malaria prevention programs in their communities. The Benin Against Malaria (BAM) committee supports Volunteers in the local implementation of national initiatives to reduce the burden of malaria in Benin. The BAM Committee is led by a third-year Volunteer, with the participation of Volunteers in all three sectors. BAM was established in 2013 and falls under the Rural Community Health program framework.

Benin Against Malaria supports Volunteers and the Beninese people in adopting evidence-based practices to reduce the burden of malaria. Community members are mobilized through trainings, workshops and activities related to malaria prevention tools. Such activities include: supplemental bed net distributions, youth outreach and school campaigns, behavior change and media campaigns, social marketing and personal finance activities, intermittent preventative treatment during pregnancy and infancy, assistance to health center professionals related to diagnosis and proper treatment adherence, and the promotion of early and active detection of malaria.

The malaria program receives technical and financial assistance from the President’s Malaria Initiative, and works with Benin's National Malaria Control Program (NMCP) to ensure all activities meet national criteria and policy. BAM is also supported by the Stomping Out Malaria in Africa initiative, which provides critical support and feedback on project planning and implementation. Volunteers and Peace Corps Staff have attended Stomp conferences and trainings, where participants from multiple African countries focus on malaria related interventions and implement those practices in their countries and communities of service.