|Aquaculture - Training Manual (Peace Corps, 1990, 350 p.)|
|Chapter eighteen: Program design - week nine|
Time frame: Approximately I hour 30 minutes
· Provide opportunity for trainees to ask questions or discuss issues about volunteer life that they may be more comfortable discussing among others of their own sex.
Overview: As the time draws near for trainees to depart for their countries of assignment, they often have concerns or are curious about various aspects of daily life as a volunteer. In some cases, these issues include topics that they are more comfortable discussing in smaller groups with trainees and staff members of their own gender. This is not a designed session, but is an informal meeting meant to provide a setting in which these issues can be addressed. Since there is no set format, the following is simply a set of trainer notes.
1. These meetings are generally held in the evening, when trainees are fairly relaxed. Be careful not to schedule them for the evening before trainees have a major assignment due. In fact, explain what the meetings are about and let the trainees choose the time and place.
2. These are very informal and can take place in a trainee or staff member's room, a restaurant or some other comfortable location that is conducive to privacy and conversation.
3. The group is divided, with male trainees meeting with male staff members (and possibly visiting RPCV's, if appropriate), and female trainees meeting with female staff (and RPCV's).
4. There is no set agenda for these meetings. Trainees may bring up whatever they wish to discuss. Sometimes the meetings are very short, other times trainees have a lot on their minds. Examples of issues that have come up at past meetings include:
· What personal items are available and how they may be obtained in country (and what should be brought to the country with them);
· Mores and social customs regarding use of alcohol;
· Appropriate dress and/or how different types of appearances and dress may be interpreted;
· Specific aspects of social behavior (how various actions or behaviors may be interpreted, pressures that may be exerted or expectations that host country nationals may have of Volunteers;
· Dating between Volunteers and/or between a Volunteer and a host country national;
· Frequency with which volunteers socialize or meet;
· Various health issues (these topics are best left for the medical orientation portion of incountry training);
· Credibility of women in their role as extensionists;
· Roles of men and women in the host country society;
· Women in development issues;
· Host country health and child care conditions.
5. Staff members should not use this as an opportunity to preach, nor should they feel that they have to share more of their private lives than they care to. They should, however, be honest, open and sensitive in their reactions to questions or comments that may arise and in their willingness to discuss whatever topics concern the trainees.
6. Staff members should make it clear that they speak based on their own experiences observations and opinions, and that they are not speaking as official representatives of Peace Corps or as medical experts. If they are aware of Peace Corps policies regarding particular issues, they should inform the trainees of them, but in any case they should encourage trainees to obtain further information regarding Peace Corps Policies and/or medical information in the appropriate areas of interest.