A Warden is a private U.S. citizen who volunteers to assist the American Citizen Services section in communicating with Americans in Benin, preparing for disasters and alerting Americans to emergency situations. Warden Systems provide a reliable way to reach American citizens in the event of an emergency as well as facilitate the distribution of routine administrative information. Wardens provide updates on ongoing events to Americans in their district and organizations and assist in the enrollment of newcomers in the Department of State’s Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) program. In emergencies, Wardens may be called upon to help locate missing Americans, or visit an American citizen in a jail or hospital.
Other Warden responsibilities include:
- Preparing, updating and maintaining a list of phone numbers and addresses (including email addresses) of U.S. citizens residing in the Wardens’ area.
- Assisting the American Citizens Services section of the U.S. Embassy in selecting assembly areas and movement routes for use in the event of an evacuation in the Wardens’ area. Share this information with U.S. citizens in the area. In remote areas where Internet access is limited, Wardens can provide instructions and forms for routine consular services. Wardens can also perform some functions on behalf of the Embassy to assist Americans in distress. For example, if the Consular Section receives a report that an American has been injured far from the capital, the Consular Section could ask a Warden in the area to visit the injured person in the hospital and report back on his/her condition.
- As local residents, some Wardens may have useful contacts that they can call on for information and/or assistance in their areas. They can provide advice or information on local conditions to the Consular Office or perform specific services, such as taking possession of a deceased’s American’s belongings.
If you are interested in becoming a Warden, please contact us at ACSCotonou@state.gov.