| Forestry training manual for the Africa region |
Total time 2 hours
- To recognize our own value system,
- To determine what we have learned about the host country cultural values,
- To explore commonalities and differences,
- To find ways of accepting cultural differences.
In this session, the trainees will be asked to fiat their own cultural values. The purpose is to determine how many of their own values can be identified and to examine host country cultural values. The trainees begin to recognize commonalities and differences between the two cultures. Finally, the trainees will try to begin accepting the differences.
1. Cultural Values: An Exploration - Mine, Ours, Theirs, Acceptance
Flip charts, marker pens, tape.
Exercise 1 Cultural Values: An Exploration - Mine, Ours, Theirs, Acceptance
Total time 2 hours
In this session the trainees will explore different cultural systems and find ways to accept the differences discovered.
1. The trainer posts on newsprint the following diagram:
The trainer briefly lectures that values are not good or bad; they just are. The unique lifestyles of a
particular group of people is a learned behavior that is communicable. We are able to see two very key concepts of culture. Since cultural values are communicable, you can learn something about it. If it were not communicable, you would have nothing to do today or for the rest of your Volunteer service. To learn about the behavior of others is also very meaningful, not only in a social sense, but in a management sense. It is important for people to understand the influence that the environment has upon you and that culture. Understand that you are not "born" with a culture; you can be born into a culture but you are not born cultured. Another positive aspect of learned behavior is that not only can we broaden our appreciation of other cultures but also broaden our ability to participate in other cultures.
Prior to integration into a new culture, one should reflect upon his/her cultural background and then move forward in the process of understanding that new culture.
2. The trainer asks the trainees to list their own cultural values. You may have done this before so it will be easy.
3. The trainer asks the participants to form groups of four, share their lists of cultural values and look for similarities and differences in their lists.
4. The trainer asks the groups to share their differences and write them on newsprint. He/she asks for ways in which we accept differences in our own culture.
5. The trainer asks the groups to list as many cultural values of the host country as they can. He/she asks that after they have completed this list, they once again check for commonalities
6. The trainer asks the groups to make a list on newsprint of ideas they may have for accepting these differences.
Trainer’s Note: The list generated from the pilot program is included as a guide.
7. The trainer requests that the small groups share with the large group their ideas. The trainer leads a discussion of how these ideas can be used in the volunteer experience.
List of Ways of Accepting Differences
- Adjust to the environment,
- Have respect for the culture and customs,
- Be cultural sensitive,
- Have patience,
- Be outgoing,
- Display empathy,
- Be introspective,
- Be flexible enough to (tolerate, accept) values different from our own,
- Educate ourselves to explain the motives for cultural values,
- Realize our values are as different to them as theirs are to us,
- Be willing to conform/compromise,
- Understand that the differences are deep-rooted and cultural,
- Be able to modify our behavior without modifying inner values,
- Keep an open mind, culturally and personally,
- Maintain a good sense of humor (be able to laugh at self).