|Peer Education for a Viable Future - A Manual for Young People (GEEP - UNESCO, 1999, 40 p.)|
1. Identifying an EPD problem. How to help a peer identify and EPD problem? Illustrate the steps with specific examples
After some years of absence, Modou returns to Dakar to visit his friend Malicoumba. From the moment of his arrival, he is astonished by several things: the rapid population growth, the pace of commercial activity, the number of cars. the explosion in the number of houses, etc. He draws Malicoumba's attention to these things.
Modou: I notice that the City of Dakar has changed a lot, all of these changes no doubt indicate that the city has developed.
Malicoumba: Don't believe it, my friend! All that you see are appearances. In reality, these changes that you see are accompanied by a lot of problems which affect the quality of life.
Modou: What are these problems"?
Malicoumba: In the City of Dakar, one comes across problems such as:
· the growth of slanty towns with all their violence and poor sanitary conditions.
· unemployment and underemployment
· inadequacy of medical, social and education services, etc.
Modou: And what are the causes of all of these things you have just mentioned?
Malicoumba: All of them have their origin in uncontrolled urbanisation.
Modou: And how can one properly understand the problem?
2. What questions should one ask his/her interlocutor in order to analyse a problem?
Malicoumba: In order to properly understand a problem, one should ask oneself some basic questions. I should start with the most important, the causes of the problem, that is the things that brought about the problem. In this case, one should try to ask oneself:
· what is the cause of this urban unbalance
· How have things reached this point?
Modou: Very good, what about its consequences?
Malicoumba: For this last bit. you should ask yourself the following questions the most important of which being to ask oneself about the impact of this problem on the quality of life of people. In our particular example you can ask yourself the following questions:
· Are the inhabitants sticking to approved plans in putting up their buildings?
· Are the rate of population and the rate of the growth of settlements proportional to the availability of infrastructure. In other words, is the city able to receive and integrate these new settlements?
Malicoumba: No, that is not all, but it enables you to understand the consequences of the problems. But you must not overlook the links that this problem may have with other problems.
Modou: But, what are these possible links?
Malicoumba: In the present case these could be:
· Uncontrolled urbanisation and environmental degradation (poor sanitary conditions, slanty towns);
· Uncontrolled urbanisation and shortage of vital social services (education, health, housing, etc.);
· Uncontrolled urbanisation and Rural exodus, etc.
3. How to propose a solution? How to assist a peer to choose (a) solution(s)?
Malicoumba: You notice that these problems are numerous and should be solved. What solutions would you propose?
Modou: It is no use proposing solutions if they are not applied.
Malicoumba: You are right. In addition to Finding solutions one needs to be committed to implement these solutions. Your commitment depends on:
· your level of understanding of the problem;
· your participation in activities meant to improve the situation:
· you values and your convictions;
· the cultural and traditional aspects of the environment.
Having defined and explained the importance of EPD. it is necessary to consider the approach to adopt to execute an EPD programme.
The approach consists of identifying a problem analysing it to bring out its causes and its affects proposing solutions and then choosing the most suitable one on the basis of certain criteria. Let us use coastal erosion as an example.
Abdoul: Hey, I have just noticed that the size of your village has reduced. What is happening?
Binta: It is the result of sea and coastal erosion which has brought about the disappearance of the mangrove swamp and the loss of agricultural land.
Abdoul: But what is the cause of all this?
Binta: You see. in the village, inhabitants need sand and wood for building. They also use the wood for cooking. Because of this, they are obliged to dig up sand from the beach and to cut down trees for wood.
Abdoul: I follow your drift. I also think that we must recognise the fact of global warming which leads to melting of glaciers which in turn increases the volumes of the ocean which then contributes to more coastal erosion?
Binta: If this continues, we shall be forced in this village to relocate once again.
Abdoul: you guys are becoming regular nomads!
Binta: Yes, I am afraid you are right. At this rate, one day we should get to Kaolack2 or the other towns in the interior!
2 Kaolack is a town in the central part of Senegal some one hundred kilometres from Palmarin
Abdoul: What are the other effects of this coastal erosion?
Binta: Well, as other effects there is soil salinisation, deforestation, the advance of tans emigration, increase in poverty and a decline in production.
Abdoul: Faced with all these problems, what do you hope to do?
Binta: We are actually considering mounting public awareness campaigns on reforestation and tree planting along the sea shores, the construction of barrages and dams and a total ban on sand extraction from all our beaches.
Abdoul: But in your opinion which of these would be the most effective solution the problem?
Binta: I am inclined to think that it is reforestation/tree planting.
Binta: I consider it the most effective because it is not very expensive it is fast and it involves the participation of the public. We don't exclude to ask for donations to be able to build a dam.
Abdoul: Now, I understand. For any problem that one is confronted with, one will do well to analyse its causes and effects and then to choose a solution on the basis of well chosen criteria.
Part 2. Exercises
Questions to gauge the level of understand of a peer.
Significance and importance of EPD
1. What is the general idea of the dialogue?
Exercise n° 2
Scope of EPD
1. What is an EPD theme?
Exercise n° 3
1. How does one solve a problem using the EPD approach?