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Peace Corps Poland Fact Sheet
Peace Corps Poland Fact Sheet
Peace Corps currently provides Volunteers to nearly 80 countries worldwide to work in a variety of fields. The Peace Corps was established in March 1961, with the passage of the Peace Corps Act. The Act is the source of the three goals which define the Peace Corps mission:
» To help the people of interested countries in meeting their needs for trained men and women;
» To help promote a better understanding of American people on the part of the peoples served;
» To help promote a better understanding of other peoples on the part of the American people.
In most cases Peace Corps Volunteers serve a period of two years. In Poland, we trained a new group of approximately 85 Volunteers each year starting in 1990. Peace Corps will graduate from Poland in June 2001.
BACKGROUND AND HISTORY OF PEACE CORPS POLAND
The English teaching program began on 30 September 1990 with the arrival of 37 Volunteers to teach in Secondary Schools and 23 Volunteers to teach in Teacher Training Colleges. As of June 2001, 670 Volunteer English teachers will have completed their service in Poland. During their service they taught English to over 120,000 high school students and over 9,000 teacher training college students.
The Small Business Program started in November 1990 with the arrival of 28 Volunteers. As of September 1, 1997, 152 Small Business Advisor Volunteers had completed their service in Poland - 68 Municipal Advisors, 27 Business Trainers and 57 Privatization Volunteers and the program was closed in 1997.
The Environmental program started with the arrival of 10 Volunteers in November 1991. As of June 2001, 137 Environmental Volunteers will have completed their service working in over 100 national and landscape parks, non-governmental organizations and local government.
Altogether 959 Peace Corps Volunteers in all three sectors will have completed their Peace Corps service in Poland as of March 2001.
63 Peace Corps Volunteers currently serve in two program sectors, until June of 2001:
. 47 in English teaching,
. 16 in Environmental Education.
(47 Volunteers currently serving until June of 2001)
Peace Corps Poland's Education Program concentrates on Teaching English as a Foreign Language (TEFL) at two levels: Secondary Schools and Teacher Training Colleges.
Peace Corps Poland Fact Sheet Page 2
Teaching English as a Foreign Language (TEFL) at the Secondary Level
(39 Volunteers currently serving until June of 2001)
The goal of the Teaching English as a Foreign Language (TEFL) at the Secondary Level is to raise the overall standard of English language ability and cross cultural awareness of Polish secondary school students through four objectives:
. to provide secondary school students with between two to five hours of English instruction by an American teacher,
. to enhance teacher confidence, skills and knowledge,
. to improve learning resources,
. to develop school based community outreach projects.
Teaching English as a Foreign Language (TEFL) at the Teacher Training College Level
(8 Volunteers currently serving until June of 2001)
The goal of the Teaching English as a Foreign Language (TEFL) at the Teacher Training Level is to train students in teacher training colleges to become linguistically and technically competent teachers of English by concentrating on the following objectives:
. to enable students at teacher training colleges to become proficient users of English by providing an American teacher trainer,
. to raise the English language competence of Polish teachers of English,
. to select and implement original relevant teaching materials,
. to increase student's cross cultural awareness through exposure to different cultural values and patterns of behavior.
Peace Corps Poland's entry into English teaching was greatly facilitated by a generous grant of $1,200,000 from Mr. Edward J. Piszek's Polish-American Liberty Bell Foundation. The Polish Government has provided the English teaching Volunteers with an unprecedented amount of support in the form housing and other cash or in-kind contributions.
(16 Volunteers currently serving until June of 2001)
PC Poland's Environment Program focuses on institutional strengthening and capacity enhancement of Polish environmental organizations through human capacity building and operational improvements.
The purpose of the project is to enhance the ability of Polish organizations, and consequently the general public, to appreciate, understand, address and appropriately and effectively intervene in environmental protection and rehabilitation issues.
The Volunteers assist organizations such as: non-governmental agencies, local governments and municipal agencies, landscape and national parks in activities aiming at improving environmental knowledge among the general public and gathering and disseminating information relevant in their operations.
Volunteers in the Environmental Program provide grass roots assistance to Polish agencies in the realms of needs assessment, project conceptualization, proposal writing, funding and financing, planning, implementation, monitoring and evaluation.
As the result of Volunteers and their counterparts cooperation public awareness of the environment and promotion of public participation is being increased.
Secondary activities currently engaged in by serving Volunteers are also varied ranging from co-working with schools on running an English language or an ecological club through to providing trainer and training skills for a local baseball little league team.