| Forestry training manual for the Africa region |
Total time 2 hours
- For the trainees to understand the necessity of possessing coping skills as a Peace Corps Volunteer,
- To discuss with the trainees openly and frankly, the differences in the cultures in which they will be and the possible effects these differences may have upon their personal lives.
This session enables the trainers to introduce sensitive subject matter concerning the possible effects that living in a new culture may have upon the trainees. The mores of the host country are openly discussed so the trainees will understand how to conduct themselves as Peace Corps Volunteers to be effective in their roles. The trainers invite questions and encourage open discussion between themselves and the trainees.
1. Coping Skills
Flip chart, markers.
Trainer's Note: This session requires the trainer to have researched the attitudes, values, mores, and cultural norms of the host country if he/she does not have first hand knowledge of same.
Exercise 1 Coping Skills
Total time 2 hours
The trainers introduce sensitive subject matter concerning the possible effects that living in a new culture may have upon the trainee. The mores of the host country are openly discussed so the trainees will understand how to conduct themselves as Peace Corps Volunteers to be effective in their roles.
1. The trainer lists on newsprint, the following items:
A. Mores of host country,
E. How children are treated,
F. How animals are treated,
G. Women's roles/rights,
J. Personal safety.
2. Men and women are asked to meet with a trainer in separate groups. After presenting the newsprint with the above items, the trainer gives a brief definition/explanation of each as follows.
A. Social customs, eating with hands, special greetings, etc.
B. Corruption that may be evident in host country; the importance of not handling other people's money,
C. Sexuality, the openness in some cultures and the strictness in others, ways of coping with suggestiveness from members of the opposite sex in host country;
D. The drinking practices in host country; ways to cope with not wanting to drink, the appropriateness of women drinking or not drinking drugs reinforcing Peace Corps' policy of "no drugs" even if they are available;
E. How children are treated in some countries, child beating is practiced (but only by the child's parents): how to deal with telling parents that a child is misbehaving if you know that a beating will ensue:
F. How animals are treated the sometimes rough treatment of animals and the advisability of keeping pets;
G. Women's role; long hours of work: how to manage your feelings about women's acceptance of their roles
H. Hospitality in the host country; why your denial of food or drink would be considered rude:
I. Privacy, or lack of privacy:
J. Personal safety; not inviting agressive behavior through your own rudeness (or what could be perceived as rudeness).
It is usually advisable to go down the list one item at a time. Ask the trainees to feel free to ask questions in the areas of concern. The trainer should state that no question is unimportant if it is of concern to the trainee. The trainer should emphasize that these areas will probably be brought up again during in-country training.
Trainer's Note: We have found that trainees have concerns in these areas and are reluctant to ask questions. By having this session early in training, you are able to dispel myths and clear up misinformation that the trainees have either gotten from outside sources or faulty assumptions on their parts that have created concerns.