Difference between pages "Sierra Leone" and "Diversity and cross-cultural issues in Ghana"

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{{Diversity_and_cross-cultural_issues_by_country}}
|Countryname = Sierra Leone
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In fulfilling the Peace Corps’ mandate to share the full face of America with our host countries, we are making special efforts to see that all of America’s richness is reflected in the Volunteer corps. More Americans of color are serving in today’s Peace Corps than at any time in recent years. Differences in race, ethnic background, age, religion, and sexual orientation are expected and welcomed among our Volunteers. Part of the Peace Corps’ mission is to help dispel any notion that Americans are all of one origin or race, and to establish that each of us is as thoroughly American as the other, despite our many differences. Our diversity helps us accomplish that goal.
|CountryCode= sl
 
|status = [[ACTIVE]]
 
|Map = Sl-map.gif
 
|Welcomebooklink = http://www.peacecorps.gov/welcomebooks/slwb636.pdf
 
|Region = [[Africa]]
 
|CountryDirector =
 
|Sectors =
 
|ProgramDates = [[1962]]-[[1992]] <br> [[1992]]-[[1994]] <br> [[2010]]-Present
 
|CurrentlyServing = 34
 
|TotalVolunteers = 3,479
 
|Languages = English, Krio, Mende, Temne, Limba, Loko
 
|Flag =
 
|stagingcity=
 
|stagingdate=
 
}}
 
  
The Peace Corps enjoys a rich history in Sierra Leone, having initially arrived in 1962 - just over a year after it had declared independence. Volunteers served the country in consecutive years until 1994, when the program was closed. Until that departure, 3,479 Volunteers had served in agriculture, education, and health.
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In other ways, however, our diversity poses challenges. In Ghana, as in other Peace Corps host countries, Volunteers’ behavior, lifestyles, background, and beliefs will be judged in a cultural context very different from our own. Certain personal perspectives or characteristics considered familiar and commonly accepted in the United States may be quite uncommon, unacceptable, or even repressed.  
  
Sierra Leone will welcome a new group of Volunteers in 2010. Education has been identified by the government as the most pressing need and Volunteers will provide English, math, and science teachers to help fill a shortage of qualified individuals. Peace Corps Response will also have a presence. Having already served as Volunteers, these contributors will arrive at their posts already in possession of the appropriate technical and cross-cultural skills needed to make an immediate impact.
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Outside of Accra, Ghana’s capital, residents of rural communities have had relatively little direct exposure to other cultures, races, religions, and lifestyles. What is advertised as “typical” cultural behavior or norms may also be a narrow and selective interpretation, such as the perception in some countries that all Americans are rich and have blond hair and blue eyes. The people of Ghana are justly known for their generous hospitality to foreigners; however, members of the community in which you will live may display a range of reactions to differences that you present. We will ask you to be supportive of one another.  
  
==Peace Corps History==
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In order to ease the transition and adapt to life in Ghana, you may need to make some temporary, yet fundamental compromises with who you are as an American and as an individual. For example, female trainees and Volunteers may not be able to exercise the independence available to them in the United States; political discussions will need to be handled with great care; and some of your personal beliefs may best remain undisclosed. You will need to develop techniques and personal strategies for coping with these and other limits. The Peace Corps staff will lead diversity and sensitivity discussions during your pre-service training and will be on call to provide support, but the challenge ultimately will be your own.
  
''Main article: [[History of the Peace Corps in Sierra Leone]]''
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===Overview of Diversity in Ghana===
  
The Peace Corps program in Sierra Leone began in January 1962 as one of the first countries entered after Peace Corps’ launch in March 1961. In fact, Peace Corps signed an agreement with the new government of Sierra Leone just nine months after the country became independent from the United Kingdom.
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The Peace Corps staff in Ghana recognizes adjustment issues that come with diversity and will endeavor to provide support and guidance. During pre-service training, several sessions will be held to discuss diversity and coping mechanisms. We look forward to having male and female Volunteers from a variety of cultures, backgrounds, religions, ethnic groups, and ages and hope that you will become part of a diverse group of Americans who will take pride in supporting each other and demonstrating the richness of American culture.  
  
The first group of Peace Corps Volunteers to arrive in Sierra Leone were 37 secondary school teachers in January 1962. They were joined by another 70 Volunteers in August 1962. For much of the 1960s, PC/Sierra Leone (SL) concentrated on education, with Volunteers involved in teaching at many levels and throughout the country. From the late 1960s to the early 1990s PC/SL branched out into the sectors of agriculture, community development, design-construction manpower development, and health.
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===What Might A Volunteer Face?===
  
In the early 1990s political turmoil and civil unrest in the region engulfed Sierra Leone and Peace Corps was forced to evacuate its 82 Volunteers as a result of a bloodless coup d’état that took place in Freetown on April 29, 1992. In July 1992 Peace Corps staff returned to reopen the program, with 15 former Volunteers; another 11 new agriculture trainees arrived in August 1992. Projects in Health, Education and Agriculture were re-established in areas not immediately affected by the civil conflict, but growing violence soon made it difficult for Peace Corps to continue. Following the evacuation of the remaining Volunteers, the program was finally closed in October 1994. More than 5,900 Volunteers served in Sierra Leone up until this closure.
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====Possible Issues for Female Volunteers====
  
Peace Corps conducted a partial assessment in 2001, hoping to utilize Peace Corps Response Volunteers. Agency finances did not allow a return, but full assessments were conducted in 2003 and 2007, both recommending that the security situation in-country was conducive to Peace Corps’ return and that there was a tremendous need for, and goodwill toward, the Peace Corps. With the availability of funding in 2009, the agency made the decision to re-enter Sierra Leone with a group of 40 Volunteers.
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Friendships between men and women and ideas about romance are different in Ghana than in the U.S. Ghanaians casually joke about marriage often, and after a while you will appreciate the humor and laugh right along with them. Some Volunteers, however, tire of the constant marriage requests. Wearing a wedding-band does not minimize unappreciated comments.  
  
==Living Conditions and Volunteer Lifestyle==
+
====Possible Issues for Volunteers of Color====
  
''Main article: [[Living conditions and volunteer lifestyles in Sierra Leone]]''
+
MaThe name they give to foreigners, oburoni, actually translates to “someone from over the horizon.” But you will find that this term is used interchangeably with “white person.” People will try to guess at what you are or simply assume and yell something at you like “Indian!” or “Chinese!” or “Black-American!” This is very difficult for some people. To suggest people might
 +
not know the difference between chinese,indian, black American is a bit untrue.Labanese,Indians, half cast and black Americans are the easiet to be indentify by Ghanains
 +
But it is true that most Ghanaians will get confused with chinese,Koreans Japanese and whites.
  
Before Volunteers arrive, Peace Corps/Sierra Leone staff, in collaboration with local partners, identify safe and secureVolunteer housing. Housing is provided by the school and/or community. Housing is in short supply in many regions of Sierra Leone, so be prepared for very basic housing. It is possible that you will share a house with another PCV, have your own house, or live with a host family. Electricity may not be available and water may need to be carried from a neighborhood pump. You must be prepared to accept the living conditions to which you are assigned as you will be living under the same conditions as the people with, and for whom, you work. Peace Corps inspects all potential housing to ensure it meets our standards for health and safety.
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====Possible Issues for Senior Volunteers====
  
Most Volunteers are assigned to work in rural towns or large villages. The workplace will be within walking distance of your home, but it might be a long walk! Dependent on community need, Peace Corps makes every effort to cluster Volunteers within reasonable distances of each other in order to promote collaborative efforts and minimize isolation.
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Age is respected in Ghana, and Volunteers in their early twenties find that they may have to make an extra effort to be accepted as professional colleagues since very often Ghanaians of that age are still pursuing their education.  Younger Volunteers must work for acceptance and respect since respect in traditional Ghanaian society is associated with age. In contrast, every wrinkle and every gray hair earns respect for the experience and wisdom they represent.
  
==Training==
+
====Possible Issues for Gay, Lesbian, or Bisexual Volunteers====
  
''Main article: [[Training in Sierra Leone]]''
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Ghanaians feel that homosexuality is immoral and depraved behavior. Homosexuality is against the law. Being sensible about revealing one’s sexual orientation in one’s home, workplace, and community is advisable. Being “out” can invite harassment and physical attack.
  
Pre-service training is the first event within a competency-based training program that continues throughout your 27 months of service in Sierra Leone. Preservice training ensures that Volunteers are equipped with the knowledge, skills, and attitudes to effectively perform their jobs. On average, nine of 10 trainees are sworn in as Volunteers.
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'''See also:''' Articles about Ghana on the National Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual Peace Corps Alumni Association website at http://www.lgbrpcv.org/articles.htm
  
Pre-service training is conducted in Sierra Leone and directed by the Peace Corps with participation from representatives of Sierra Leone organizations, former Volunteers, and/ or training contractors. The length of pre-service training varies, usually ranging from 8-12 weeks, depending on the competencies required for the assignment. Sierra Leone measures achievement of learning and determines if trainees have successfully achieved competencies, including language standards, for swearing in as a Peace Corps Volunteer. Throughout service, Volunteers strive to achieve performance competencies. Initially, pre-service training affords the opportunity for trainees to develop and test their own resources. As a trainee, you will play an active role in selfeducation.
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====Possible Religious Issues for Volunteers====
  
==Health Care and Safety==
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Volunteers in Ghana may frequently be asked if you believe in God. Because church or the mosque and prayer is a big part of many communities, you may feel under pressure to attend.
  
''Main article: [[Health care and safety in Sierra Leone]]''
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Because Ghana is predominantly a Christian and Muslim country, people may not understand what it means to be Jewish, Buddhist, or Hindu. Unlike the United States, religion and prayer are built into all official ceremonies and meetings.  Interestingly, many educated Ghanaians do not believe in traditional, indigenous beliefs and frown upon others being interested in such topics. If you do not participate in organized religion in the U.S. it is alright to discuss this with Ghanaians. They will be quite intrigued if you do not believe in God. Some people may find this nearly impossible.
  
The Peace Corps’ highest priority is maintaining the good health and safety of each Volunteer. Peace Corps medical programs emphasize the preventive, rather than the curative, approach to disease. The Peace Corps maintains a clinic in Sierra Leone with a full-time medical officer, who takes care of Volunteers’ primary health care needs. Additional medical services, such as testing and basic treatment, are also available in Sierra Leone at local hospitals. If you become seriously ill, you will be transported either to an American standard medical facility in the region or to the United States.
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====Possible Issues for Volunteers with Disabilities====
  
==Diversity and Cross-Cultural Issues==
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Being disabled in Ghana brings about its own complications.  In some cases, people may not feel you can do the job, and others may try to do things for you instead of letting you do them yourself. As for Ghanaians, they are generally very blunt and direct in asking you about your disability. As a disabled Volunteer in Ghana, you will face a special set of challenges.  There is very little infrastructure to accommodate those with disabilities. Peace Corps/Ghana will work with disabled Volunteers to make reasonable accommodations in training, housing, and job sites to enable them to serve safely and effectively.
  
''Main article: [[Diversity and cross-cultural issues in Sierra Leone]]''
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[[Category:Niger]]
 
 
In fulfilling its mandate to share the face of America with host countries, the Peace Corps is making special efforts to see that all of America’s richness is reflected in the Volunteer corps. More Americans of color are serving in today’s Peace Corps than at any time in recent years. Differences in race, ethnic background, age, religion, and sexual orientation are expected and welcomed among our Volunteers. Part of the Peace Corps’ mission is to help dispel any notion that Americans are all of one origin or race and to establish that each of us is as thoroughly American as the other despite our many differences.
 
 
 
* Possible Issues for Female Volunteers
 
* Possible Issues for Volunteers of Color
 
* Possible Issues for Volunteers of Varying Ages
 
* Possible Issues for Gay, Lesbian, or Bisexual Volunteers
 
* Possible Issues for Volunteers With Disabilities
 
* Possible Issues for Married Volunteers
 
 
 
==Frequently Asked Questions==
 
 
 
''Main article: [[FAQs about Peace Corps in Sierra Leone]]''
 
 
 
* How much luggage am I allowed to bring to Sierra Leone?
 
* What is the electric current in Sierra Leone?
 
* How much money should I bring?
 
* When can I take vacation and have people visit me?
 
* Will my belongings be covered by insurance?
 
* Do I need an international driver’s license?
 
* What should I bring as gifts for Sierra Leone friends and my host family?
 
* Where will my site assignment be when I finish training and how isolated will I be?
 
* How can my family contact me in an emergency?
 
* Can I call home from Sierra Leone?
 
* Should I bring a cellular phone with me?
 
* Will there be email and Internet access? Should I bring my computer?
 
 
 
==Packing List==
 
 
 
''Main article: [[Packing list for Sierra Leone]]''
 
 
 
This list has been compiled by Volunteers and staff and is based on their experience. Use it as an informal guide in making your own list, bearing in mind that each experience is individual. There is no perfect list! You obviously cannot bring everything on the list, so consider those items that make the most sense to you personally and professionally. As you decide what to bring, keep in mind that you have an 80-pound weight limit on baggage.
 
 
 
 
 
Here is an updated list from a current PCV in Sierra Leone serving June 2010-August 2012. These are just reccomendations for making travel easiers and of course this is a minimalist's lists. Most of the contents on the main list are exactly what I came with. Have yet to regret bringing any of these items. Nothing more, nothing less.
 
 
 
1. 70litre pack. (Ideally with a removable “brain” for market trips).
 
I brought my EMS Long Trail 70 liter pack to carry all my gear. The Kelty Lakota 65 is another solid pack. Both feature sleeping bag storage and daisy straps for tent/sleeping pad. For the initial travel to staging/Freetown/PST a 65/70litre pack will make your life and those traveling with you much easier. Imagine the cluster of 50 people plus two to three bags each at check-in. Bummer. It will carry everything necessary for living in-country for the next 27 months. During holiday when you’re looking to travel for longer than two or three days, a pack like this is perfect. 
 
 
 
2. Travel sack/sleeping bag. (REI +55◦f)
 
In-country camp rules. Either a sleeping bag liner or this travel slack will suffice for camping/sleeping. Once acclimatized to the weather, mornings can be rather cold. I usually roll over around 4a.m., and slid into my sleeping back for the last few hours of sleep. 
 
 
 
3. Sleeping pad. (1.75” = sleep like a bump in a log)
 
Going camping? Not necessary, but could be an added perk; especially if staying at a fellow PCV’s site. You should be kind and share the bed though. Head to feet for the uncomfortable ones.
 
 
 
4. Stuff/Compression sacks. (2-3 Medium or 7x15”).
 
You’ll need to put your clothes in something. These are the best option for that and are rather cheap. When staying out on weekends put some clothes in one, take an extra for dirty laundry, and feel clean.
 
 
 
5. Small travels toiletries kit.
 
Small, real small.
 
 
 
6. One pair of khaki pants. (Dickies are tough as nails).
 
Dresses for woman. (Knee length or longer).
 
Take a pair of slacks/or several dresses you’ll be comfortable in for teaching/events. Women will most likely wear lapas, which makes life easier. For the men one pair of rugged slacks is enough for teaching/swear-in.
 
 
 
7. Pair of jeans. (Levi’s recommended. American strong, ‘49 miners tough).
 
During a cold Harmattan night a pair of jeans will feel real nice. As a culture people dress well when heading into the city/market/capital. A pair of jeans will do the trick.
 
 
 
8. Four button-up shirts. (Short or long sleeved).
 
The John K’s (johnks) or dead man’s clothes sellers are everywhere. Finding clothes is easy. Bring a few that are “work” acceptable or one you’d wear to swearing-in.
 
Woman, four teaching appropriate tops.
 
The same is to be said for women. Also, for both sexes, Africana dress is always kosher in work/business environments.
 
 
 
9. Comfortable pair of shoes. (Toms, Vans, Birkenstocks. Dirt cheap and low-maintenance).
 
Shoes can take a beating and get hot. Birkenstocks are light, comfortable and easy to clean up. Running shoes might be nice for travel or, well, running.
 
 
 
10. Five pairs of underwear. (Or, 3-4 exofficio. Wash ‘em with your dishes, dry em’ in the lorry).
 
You can certainly bring ‘em. But, after some time the commando conversion feels good, real good.
 
 
 
11. One pair of shorts.
 
For women: knee length. Knee bearing is not too accepted here, unless around the house.
 
 
 
12. Three of your favorite t-shirts.
 
 
 
13. One awesome tie.
 
I.e. an office appropriate tie.
 
 
 
14. One very comfortable hoodie. (Pullover or Zip-up).
 
Camping is chilly.
 
 
 
15. Good belt. Warning: Leather can get beat up and acquire mold rather quickly.
 
 
 
16. Pocket knife. (Winchester or Crkt).
 
Always something to cut.
 
 
 
17. Swiss Army Knife. Multipurpose life saver.
 
Whether you need to cut your hair, trim your nose hairs, open a can of tomato paste, kill a chicken, pluck its feathers, or tweeze out a sliver a Swiss Army knife will be there.
 
 
 
18. Two Nalgenes. (One liter each).
 
 
 
19. S-shape carabineers. (Nite-ize recommended).
 
 
 
20. Day Pack. (30/40litres. Functional…DO NOT SKIMP).
 
Going to the market or the city for a weekend? Bring this. Small enough to be discrete yet large enough to carry necessities for a weekend. Don’t skimp because it will be getting thrown around the roofs of lorries. You’ll want something that can take a beating.
 
 
 
21. Moleskines. (Any durable journals).
 
 
 
22. Headlamp. (Petzl or Black Diamond. 30 Lumens or higher).
 
There is about a zero percent chance you’ll have electricity. Candles and headlamps light the way. Purchase a decent headlamp; it’s worth your vision.
 
 
 
23. TSA locks. (Look for the one that is packed with a cable wire).
 
 
 
24. Mini-medical kit.
 
Good for weekends. Check out army navy stores.
 
 
 
25. Rain shell. (Mountain Hardware, the North Face. DO NOT SKIMP).
 
Rainy season is no joke. Being wet sucks. Bottom line.
 
 
 
26. Swim trunks/bathing suit.
 
Woman a two piece is acceptable.
 
 
 
27. Bandanas.
 
Sweat happens. Six months of dry season and lorry rides will get your mouth all dusty.
 
 
 
28. Towel. (REI or Tech Towel. Fast-drying).
 
A lapa is a solid towel, which you’ll indubitably purchase. Makes for a perfect towel.
 
 
 
29. Tent. (One person or Bivy).
 
 
 
30. Camera. (Digital or film). Film is dirt cheap.
 
Point and shoot, DSLR, or film all work well. Film is rad to have here, you can get photographs developed in about 30 minutes. The quality doesn’t look all that great as they skimp on the chemicals, but they are a killer addition to letters. Also, film cameras are cheap, if it gets stolen no worries.
 
 
 
Extra:
 
 
 
1. Ipod/Walkman. Yes. A Walkman. Cassettes/CDs are at lorrie parks/markets.
 
2. Solio. Electronics charger.
 
3. Hand sanitizer.
 
4. Sunglasses.
 
5. Toothbrush holders.
 
6. Watch.
 
 
 
==Peace Corps News==
 
 
 
Current events relating to Peace Corps are also available by [[News | country of service]] or [[News by state|your home state]]
 
 
 
''The following is automatic RSS feed of Peace Corps news for this country.''<br><rss title=on desc=off>http://news.google.com/news?hl=en&ned=us&scoring=n&q=%22peace+corps%22+%22sierra+leone%22&output=rss|charset=UTF-8|short|date=M d</rss>
 
 
 
<br>'''[http://peacecorpsjournals.com PEACE CORPS JOURNALS]'''<br>''( As of {{CURRENTDAYNAME}} {{CURRENTMONTHNAME}} {{CURRENTDAY}}, {{CURRENTYEAR}} )''<rss title=off desc=off>http://peacecorpsjournals.com/rss/sl/blog/50.xml|charset=UTF-8|short|max=10</rss>
 
 
 
=== Pranala Luar ===
 
* [http://www.difacomsolusindo.com/ Jasa Pembuatan Website]
 
* [http://www.garisbuku.com/ Toko Buku Online]
 
* [http://www.doxapest.co.id/ Anti Rayap]
 
* [http://www.doxapest.co.id/ Pembasmi Rayap]
 
* [http://www.doxapest.co.id/ Pembasmi Hama]
 
 
 
==See also==
 
* [[Volunteers who served in Sierra Leone]]
 
* [[Friends of Sierra Leone]]
 
 
 
==External links==
 
* [http://www.peacecorpsjournals.com/sl.html Peace Corps Journals - Sierra Leone]
 
 
 
[[Category:Sierra Leone]] [[Category:Africa]]
 
[[Category:Country]]
 

Revision as of 15:25, 27 August 2010

Diversity and cross-cultural issues in [[{{#explode:Diversity and cross-cultural issues in Ghana| |5}} {{#explode:Diversity and cross-cultural issues in Ghana| |6}} {{#explode:Diversity and cross-cultural issues in Ghana| |7}}]]
In fulfilling the Peace Corps’ mandate to share the face of America with their host countries, Peace Corps is making special efforts to see that all of America’s richness is reflected in the Volunteer corps. More Americans of color are serving in today’s Peace Corps than at any time in recent years. Differences in race, ethnic background, age, religion, and sexual orientation are expected and welcomed among our Volunteers. Part of the Peace Corps’ mission is to help dispel any notion that Americans are all of one origin or race and to establish that each of us is as thoroughly American as the other despite our many differences.
  • [[Packing list for {{#explode:Diversity and cross-cultural issues in Ghana| |5}} {{#explode:Diversity and cross-cultural issues in Ghana| |6}} {{#explode:Diversity and cross-cultural issues in Ghana| |7}}]]
  • [[Training in {{#explode:Diversity and cross-cultural issues in Ghana| |5}} {{#explode:Diversity and cross-cultural issues in Ghana| |6}} {{#explode:Diversity and cross-cultural issues in Ghana| |7}}]]
  • [[Living conditions and volunteer lifestyles in {{#explode:Diversity and cross-cultural issues in Ghana| |5}} {{#explode:Diversity and cross-cultural issues in Ghana| |6}} {{#explode:Diversity and cross-cultural issues in Ghana| |7}}]]
  • [[Health care and safety in {{#explode:Diversity and cross-cultural issues in Ghana| |5}} {{#explode:Diversity and cross-cultural issues in Ghana| |6}} {{#explode:Diversity and cross-cultural issues in Ghana| |7}}]]
  • [[Diversity and cross-cultural issues in {{#explode:Diversity and cross-cultural issues in Ghana| |5}} {{#explode:Diversity and cross-cultural issues in Ghana| |6}} {{#explode:Diversity and cross-cultural issues in Ghana| |7}}]]
  • [[FAQs about Peace Corps in {{#explode:Diversity and cross-cultural issues in Ghana| |5}} {{#explode:Diversity and cross-cultural issues in Ghana| |6}} {{#explode:Diversity and cross-cultural issues in Ghana| |7}}]]
  • [[History of the Peace Corps in {{#explode:Diversity and cross-cultural issues in Ghana| |5}} {{#explode:Diversity and cross-cultural issues in Ghana| |6}} {{#explode:Diversity and cross-cultural issues in Ghana| |7}}]]
See also:
[[Category:{{#explode:Diversity and cross-cultural issues in Ghana| |5}} {{#explode:Diversity and cross-cultural issues in Ghana| |6}} {{#explode:Diversity and cross-cultural issues in Ghana| |7}}]]

In fulfilling the Peace Corps’ mandate to share the full face of America with our host countries, we are making special efforts to see that all of America’s richness is reflected in the Volunteer corps. More Americans of color are serving in today’s Peace Corps than at any time in recent years. Differences in race, ethnic background, age, religion, and sexual orientation are expected and welcomed among our Volunteers. Part of the Peace Corps’ mission is to help dispel any notion that Americans are all of one origin or race, and to establish that each of us is as thoroughly American as the other, despite our many differences. Our diversity helps us accomplish that goal.

In other ways, however, our diversity poses challenges. In Ghana, as in other Peace Corps host countries, Volunteers’ behavior, lifestyles, background, and beliefs will be judged in a cultural context very different from our own. Certain personal perspectives or characteristics considered familiar and commonly accepted in the United States may be quite uncommon, unacceptable, or even repressed.

Outside of Accra, Ghana’s capital, residents of rural communities have had relatively little direct exposure to other cultures, races, religions, and lifestyles. What is advertised as “typical” cultural behavior or norms may also be a narrow and selective interpretation, such as the perception in some countries that all Americans are rich and have blond hair and blue eyes. The people of Ghana are justly known for their generous hospitality to foreigners; however, members of the community in which you will live may display a range of reactions to differences that you present. We will ask you to be supportive of one another.

In order to ease the transition and adapt to life in Ghana, you may need to make some temporary, yet fundamental compromises with who you are as an American and as an individual. For example, female trainees and Volunteers may not be able to exercise the independence available to them in the United States; political discussions will need to be handled with great care; and some of your personal beliefs may best remain undisclosed. You will need to develop techniques and personal strategies for coping with these and other limits. The Peace Corps staff will lead diversity and sensitivity discussions during your pre-service training and will be on call to provide support, but the challenge ultimately will be your own.

Overview of Diversity in Ghana

The Peace Corps staff in Ghana recognizes adjustment issues that come with diversity and will endeavor to provide support and guidance. During pre-service training, several sessions will be held to discuss diversity and coping mechanisms. We look forward to having male and female Volunteers from a variety of cultures, backgrounds, religions, ethnic groups, and ages and hope that you will become part of a diverse group of Americans who will take pride in supporting each other and demonstrating the richness of American culture.

What Might A Volunteer Face?

Possible Issues for Female Volunteers

Friendships between men and women and ideas about romance are different in Ghana than in the U.S. Ghanaians casually joke about marriage often, and after a while you will appreciate the humor and laugh right along with them. Some Volunteers, however, tire of the constant marriage requests. Wearing a wedding-band does not minimize unappreciated comments.

Possible Issues for Volunteers of Color

MaThe name they give to foreigners, oburoni, actually translates to “someone from over the horizon.” But you will find that this term is used interchangeably with “white person.” People will try to guess at what you are or simply assume and yell something at you like “Indian!” or “Chinese!” or “Black-American!” This is very difficult for some people. To suggest people might not know the difference between chinese,indian, black American is a bit untrue.Labanese,Indians, half cast and black Americans are the easiet to be indentify by Ghanains But it is true that most Ghanaians will get confused with chinese,Koreans Japanese and whites.

Possible Issues for Senior Volunteers

Age is respected in Ghana, and Volunteers in their early twenties find that they may have to make an extra effort to be accepted as professional colleagues since very often Ghanaians of that age are still pursuing their education. Younger Volunteers must work for acceptance and respect since respect in traditional Ghanaian society is associated with age. In contrast, every wrinkle and every gray hair earns respect for the experience and wisdom they represent.

Possible Issues for Gay, Lesbian, or Bisexual Volunteers

Ghanaians feel that homosexuality is immoral and depraved behavior. Homosexuality is against the law. Being sensible about revealing one’s sexual orientation in one’s home, workplace, and community is advisable. Being “out” can invite harassment and physical attack.

See also: Articles about Ghana on the National Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual Peace Corps Alumni Association website at http://www.lgbrpcv.org/articles.htm

Possible Religious Issues for Volunteers

Volunteers in Ghana may frequently be asked if you believe in God. Because church or the mosque and prayer is a big part of many communities, you may feel under pressure to attend.

Because Ghana is predominantly a Christian and Muslim country, people may not understand what it means to be Jewish, Buddhist, or Hindu. Unlike the United States, religion and prayer are built into all official ceremonies and meetings. Interestingly, many educated Ghanaians do not believe in traditional, indigenous beliefs and frown upon others being interested in such topics. If you do not participate in organized religion in the U.S. it is alright to discuss this with Ghanaians. They will be quite intrigued if you do not believe in God. Some people may find this nearly impossible.

Possible Issues for Volunteers with Disabilities

Being disabled in Ghana brings about its own complications. In some cases, people may not feel you can do the job, and others may try to do things for you instead of letting you do them yourself. As for Ghanaians, they are generally very blunt and direct in asking you about your disability. As a disabled Volunteer in Ghana, you will face a special set of challenges. There is very little infrastructure to accommodate those with disabilities. Peace Corps/Ghana will work with disabled Volunteers to make reasonable accommodations in training, housing, and job sites to enable them to serve safely and effectively.