Marika's Mozambique Peace Corps Service

Hi Everyone!

My name is Onika Straker-Joseph and I am writing on behalf of my twin sister, Marika Straker, who is about to embark on a life-changing, 27-month adventure with the Peace Corps in Mozambique. She will be serving as a Community Health and Youth Services Promoter. She departs in April 2020.

Her Journey

I cannot express how proud I am of my twin. She has always been dedicated to a life of social justice and service in previous roles as EMS and Homeless Advocate and Outreach Worker, her acceptance as a Peace Corps volunteer is an unsurprising next step. Not only will this grant her the opportunity for personal development, but it will also supply her with invaluable experience for her overall career path in the Public Health sector following her service in the Peace Corps. 

The main three primary focus areas of the Community Health and Youth Service Promoter are to:

To help Mozambicans live long and healthy lives, by encouraging improved health behaviors, training of community health workers and strengthening local health systems.

Build stronger linkages between the youth population and health facilities while also strengthening the capacity of the health center to serve youth.

By establishing (or sustaining) health-focused youth groups and using evidence-based curricula that emphasize behavior change within the technical topics of HIV, youth sexual reproductive health (YSRH), malaria, gender, and nutrition

In addition to her primary duties, Marika will become involved in secondary projects to:

Bring gender awareness and girls' empowerment themes into all of its programs. 

Address gender challenges in the country and have the opportunity to implement gender-related activities that are culturally and contextually appropriate. 

Work with community members to promote gender-equitable norms and increase girls’ sense of agency. 

Use of Funds

The Peace Corps covers the cost of travel to and from Mozambique at the beginning and end of service, they provide basic in-country costs of living. However, there are mitigating expenses that are not covered. As a proud twin of a sister who values her ability to impact societal changes over her wages, I support her as much as I can, but being a newlywed living in NYC on a teacher’s salary, my resources can only extend so far. 

First, Marika will need financial support with medical, and packing preparation. There are a series of medical exams, dental exams, and immunizations required to travel overseas and serve in the Peace Corp. Although the Peace Corp does minimal reimbursement for these medical visits, the majority of the medical bills have come out of pocket and is considerable costly especially since she is uninsured. 

Marika will also need to procure items from the Peace Corp packing list, while the items are essential, the cost of supplying these items is quite costly. There is a hefty list of supplies that she needs to bring with her to secure her well-being such as modest and professional clothing, hygiene and feminine hygiene products, electrical device conversions, survival tools, etc. 

Secondly, Marika will require an emergency fund. Immigrating to another country is always unpredictable when volunteering with the Peace Corps, the risks are amplified. Having an emergency fund in the case of theft, health concerns, and unpredictable circumstances would help guide her through her two-year service safely. And will lessen the stress of scraping together finances if anything goes wrong. 

Thirdly, Marika will need money to cover her travel expenses. At the risk of insulting your intelligence, the Peace Corps is a volunteer position, which means she will not be making any additional money in the next two years, so saving for travel will not be an option while in Mozambique. Therefore, we have to save up for any and all traveling that will take place during her two-year service, before she departs in April. Marika plans to pick up as much overtime as possible during the 4 month period before her departure to Mozambique, I fear that it will not be enough to finance any possible expenses she may face prior or during service.

How You Can Help

I know this was a lot to read. And I appreciate the time you took to read this dissertation. I thank you for your time and consideration, it means the world to me that you clicked on our campaign and read my sister’s story. 

If you feel that supporting my twin’s Peace Corps service is something you want to get involved with, please consider donating and/or sharing this link on any social media platform you use; Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and also with anyone you believe would be interested. 

Anything, even a dollar or sharing this link, is very much appreciated.


Onika Straker-Joseph on behalf of Marika Straker

** Outline was sourced from Jacob Jefferson’s Fundraising Campaign**


  • Rammonn Clarke 
    • $120 
    • 4 mos
  • Ziggy C 
    • $40 
    • 4 mos
  • Anthony Neverson  
    • $10 
    • 6 mos
  • Joenelle I 
    • $30 
    • 6 mos
  • Kenneth Nurse 
    • $10 
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See all


Onika Joseph 
Brooklyn, NY
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