Terminology

Close of Service (COS) – The end of a PCV’s service.

COS Conference – Held about three months before the end of an intake’s service. This marks the beginning of the wrapping up process of one’s service and is when staff talks to COS’ing PCVs bout readjusting back to American life, culturally, financially, etc.

Contact Person – An individual sent from the community a volunteer will be placed, who acts as the volunteer’s chaperone to and during site visit. This person also acts as PC’s  initial emergency contact. Often times the Contact Person becomes the volunteer’s Counterpart, but it is not obligatory.

Compound – Traditional houses are one story and are completely enclosed with a courtyard in the middle or several buildings facing inward to an open courtyard.

Counterpart – The person(s) the volunteer works with in any project undertaken in the community. A volunteer may have one or more counterparts. A Counterpart is the volunteer’s equal and link to the community in whatever project. They are as equally involved, if not more, in the project as the volunteer.

Description of Service – A required document every PCV must write at the end of their service, which describes what their service consisted of. There is a page limit, so it is not supposed to be some endless, rambling document. I believe this document is used by staff members if recommendations are requested.

Farmer Based Organization (FBO) -a group of farmers with a common interest that meet regularly, exchange information and knowledge. In Ghana, the benefits of being part of an FBO are to register with the government to be recognized as an official group, which then allows the FBO to open a bank account and apply for loans.

In-Service Training (IST) – Targeted training workshops for both PCVs and Counterparts that are geared to achieving sector goals as well as PC goals (Goal 1, capacity building!).

Market town – Central towns which many villages have access to. There is normally a market cycle, where vendors travel to different towns to sell their goods.

Market day – The days the market is ‘open’ in a particular market town.

Medical evacuation – When a PCV is sent back to the USA or another country to seek further medical treatment. To be medically evacuated does not mean the PCV has ended his/her service. From evacuation date, the PCV has 45 days to recuperate or be medically cleared to return.

Mid-service medical – as it suggests, it is the required medical check up every PCV must do at the one year mark of arriving in country, which is only 3 months short of actually being half-way through service.

Obibini – southern term used to refer to a black-skinned person. Also used on fellow Ghanaians who are not from that particular village or town.

Peace Corps Volunteer Leader – A PCV who, in Ghana, is stationed at our sub-offices (not all posts have this). They work alongside staff to develop sites and assist other PCVs in projects and any other problems that may arise. In other countries, some PCVLs serve in other development roles within their PC office, like in communications.

Re-Connect – a conference every group has after the first three months at site. It is an opportunity to check in with each other and our APCD on how things are going at site, learn about grant writing through PC and brainstorm project ideas within our agriculture framework and beyond, with each other and our CPs.

Return Peace Corps Volunteer – A volunteer who has completed their service.

Silimiŋa – northern term used for ‘foreigner.’ Modern day translation, ‘white person’ regardless of being white or not.

Site – generic term used in reference to the community / location a PCV has been assigned

Site Integration (aka Site restriction) – The first three months of service where PCVs are not allowed to leave their community to stay elsewhere overnight. The purpose is to spend this time getting to know your community, practicing the language and learning the culture.

Site visit – The first time the volunteer visits their assigned site. This happens during PST.

Sub-office – Peace Corps office located in other central points across the country.

Trotro – one of, if not the, most common forms of public transportation in Ghana. They are generally old vans but can also be mini trucks that can fit 20 people. They are used for short and long journeys. They never run on a schedule. They simply do their run as soon as they are filled.

Village Savings and Loans Association – is a group of people who save together and take small loans from those savings. The activities of the group run in cycles of one year, after which the accumulated savings and the loan profits are distributed back to members.The purpose of a VSLA is to provide simple savings and loan facilities in a community that does not have easy access to formal financial services. –VSL Associates

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