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IFESH in Guinea??

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Joined: 08 Feb 2006
Posts: 3
Location: Pittsburgh

PostPosted: Thu Jun 28, 2007 7:24 pm    Post subject: IFESH in Guinea?? Reply with quote

Hello there everyone.

I'm pretty sure I'm going to Guinea (Conakry) with the IFESH program in September. I am a "Teacher for Africa." My French is good enough, I have some experience but not a ton. I was wondering if anyone has any information about either IFESH or Guinea... Smile

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Joined: 07 Dec 2004
Posts: 5
Location: Ankara, Turkey

PostPosted: Fri Jun 29, 2007 4:28 pm    Post subject: IFESH Reply with quote

Hi Starfall18,

I went to Benin with IFESH's TFA program in 2002-2004. Here is a post I had written a couple of years ago on this board:

You might want to check out IFESH (International Foundation for Education and Self-Help). They have a program called Teachers for Africa. I did this program for two school years and just came back to the States at the end of May. Like you, I wanted to go to Africa and I could not afford to pay to volunteer and I wanted an alternative to the Peace Corps. The contract is for one school year, but sometimes volunteers can renew for a second year, as I did.

The TFA program pays a stipend of $800 a month. They also will reimburse you for your vaccinations, up to a certain amount. ($600 I think). Round-trip airfare is provided, as well as a visa. Once you arrive in the country, you receive a $350 settling-in allowance to buy items for your household. Accommodations are luxurious by African standards. You will have electricity and running water. IFESH will provide you with some furniture: bed, couch, table and chairs, small fridge, and a cookstove. They will also provide anti-malarial medication but only Lariam, so if you want to take something else, you must pay for that on your own.

As for French-speaking West African countries, the TFA program is in Benin and Guinea. Just this year they added a program in Djibouti, in case you're interested in French-speaking countries in other parts of Africa.. The non-French speaking countries they have are Ghana, Ethiopia, Namibia, and Malawi. I was in Benin, by the way.

In theory, IFESH is looking for qualified and experienced teachers. They easily find them for the English-speaking countries, but they have a very difficult time finding candidates for the French-speaking countries and sometimes accept people with no background in education but who happen to speak French. My first year in Benin, we were all experienced teachers who spoke French very well, but my second year there were some recent college graduates who did not have teaching experience. I heard that the year before me, there were some volunteers who had very minimal French language skills. It just depends on the applicant pool from year to year.

The program in Benin involves training teachers and it really helps to have a good level of French already. However, I believe the volunteers in Guinea are teaching ESL, so being highly proficient in French may not be as essential. I'm not sure about the new program in Djibouti.

There is a week-long pre-departure orientation in Phoenix at the end of August. IFESH pays yor transportation to that, as well as hotel and meals. You leave for your country around the middle of September.

You can also check out their recently redesigned website at and click on the links to the Teachers for Africa program.

Applications are due by February 28th.

I have to go now but if you have more questions you can send me a message or post them on this board and I'll check back later.

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