Difference between pages "Botswana" and "Diversity and cross-cultural issues in Rwanda"

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{{CountryboxAlternative
+
{{Diversity_and_cross-cultural_issues_by_country}}
|Countryname= Botswana
 
|CountryCode= bc
 
|status= [[ACTIVE]]
 
|Flag= Flag_of_Botswana.svg
 
|Welcomebooklink = http://www.peacecorps.gov/welcomebooks/bwwb637.pdf
 
|Region= [[Africa]]
 
|CountryDirector= [[Peggy McClure]]
 
|Sectors=
 
|ProgramDates= [[1966]] - [[1997]]<br>[[2003]] - [[Present]]
 
|CurrentlyServing= 95
 
|TotalVolunteers= 1976
 
|Languages= [[English]], [[Setswana]]
 
|Map= Bc-map.gif
 
|stagingdate= Apr 1, 2011
 
|stagingcity= Philadelphia
 
}}
 
  
From 1966 to 1997, Peace Corps projects touched nearly all aspects of Botswana's development, including assignments as diverse as teacher trainers, nursing tutors, entomologists, game wardens, and small business advisors. Peace Corps Volunteers filled significant gaps in manpower and, in many cases, made singular contributions to Botswana's progress. There are many leading figures in Botswana today who had a Peace Corps teacher or counterpart in their past.
+
In fulfilling the Peace Corps’ mandate to share the 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.
  
Due to Botswana's economic success, the Peace Corps program closed in 1997.
+
Our diversity helps us accomplish that goal. In other ways,
 +
however, it poses challenges. In Rwanda, 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 commonly accepted in the United States may
 +
be quite uncommon, unacceptable, or even repressed.
  
However, in 1998, the government declared HIV/AIDS a national crisis, and President Mogae dedicated his first five years in office to fighting HIV/AIDS, poverty, and unemployment. The government of Botswana has enlisted the aid of civil society, international agencies, governments, and volunteer organizations to help the Botswana people address the HIV/AIDS pandemic. In 2003, the Peace Corps returned to Botswana.
+
Outside of Rwanda’s capital, residents of rural communities
 +
have had relatively little direct exposure to other cultures,
 +
races, religions, and lifestyles. What is viewed as “typical”
 +
cultural behavior or norms may 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 Rwanda 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.
  
 +
To ease the transition and adapt to life in Rwanda, you may
 +
need to make some temporary, yet fundamental compromises
 +
in how you present yourself 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 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
 +
limitations. The Peace Corps staff and the Peace Corps/
 +
Rwanda Diversity and Peer Support group 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 Rwanda===
  
==Peace Corps History==
+
The Peace Corps staff in Rwanda 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 one other and
 +
demonstrating the richness of American culture. Our approach
 +
to diversity is to:
  
''Main article: [[History of the Peace Corps in Botswana]]''
+
* Prepare our staff for working with a diverse population of trainees and Volunteers
 +
* Prepare trainees and Volunteers for adjusting to issues related to diversity
 +
* Prepare communities for working and living with Americans from diverse populations
  
The Peace Corps entered the Republic of Botswana, formally known as Bechuanaland, in December 1966, only two months after the country gained independence from the United Kingdom. Botswana’s emergence as an independent nation heightened the need for a skilled labor force. This need provided a unique opportunity for the Peace Corps, which initiated a program aimed at helping the Batswana strengthen their ability to tackle their multiple development challenges. Over the next 31 years, more than 2,100 Peace Corps Volunteers served in Botswana. From 1966 to 1997, Peace Corps projects contributed to nearly every sector of Botswana’s development plan. Volunteers worked in education, health, the environment, urban planning, and economics. The largest group of Volunteers served as teachers in secondary schools. Volunteers filled significant gaps in the labor force and, in many cases, made singular contributions to the development of Botswana. There are scores of leading figures in Botswana who have a Peace Corps connection, be it as a co-worker, teacher, or friend.
+
===What Might a Volunteer Face?===
  
Since its independence in 1966, Botswana has gone from one of the world’s poorest countries to one of the few developing nations to reach middle-income status. The country’s per capita income has grown rapidly. Life expectancy at birth increased from 48 years to over 60 years. Formal sector employment grew from 14,000 jobs to 120,000. Moreover, the nation’s infrastructure, including roads, power generation, schools, health facilities, and housing, increased dramatically.
+
====Possible Issues for Female Volunteers====
  
Partly because of Botswana’s remarkable economic transition, the Peace Corps decided to withdraw from the country in 1997. It was with mixed emotions that the Peace Corps closed one of its earliest and most prolific programs. Peace Corps returned to Botswana in 2003 at the request of President Festus Mogae. His request was borne out of a stark recognition that AIDS is poised to erode the prodigious steady development advances realized in Botswana since independence.  
+
Traditional gender roles are very distinct in Rwanda.
 +
Generally, women are expected to show deference to men
 +
and do most of the housework. Sexual harassment (i.e., men
 +
making unwanted comments) is common. As a Volunteer, it is
 +
important to stand up for your rights and beliefs as a person
 +
while still being culturally sensitive. Female Volunteers should
 +
expect curiosity from host country friends regarding their
 +
marital status and whether they have children, and if not,
 +
why.
  
 +
====Possible Issues for Volunteers of Color====
  
==Living Conditions and Volunteer Lifestyles==
+
The average rural Rwandan assumes that all Americans
 +
are white (Caucasian). With this assumption, Volunteers of
 +
color might expect people to react to them differently. White
 +
Volunteers, as well as Volunteers of color, may receive special
 +
attention, both positive and negative, including being harassed
 +
for money, especially in public areas. Non-Africans in Rwanda
 +
are called abazungu (the plural of umuzungu). Volunteers
 +
of Asian descent may be called umushinwa, or Chinese,
 +
because the Chinese have had a presence in Rwanda for many
 +
years. Some Volunteers of African descent have found it easier
 +
to gain acceptance into their communities; however, many
 +
are considered abazungu because they are not Sub-Saharan
 +
African. Over time, however, as communities come to know
 +
the Volunteers, they are referred to by name instead.
  
''Main article: [[Living Conditions and Volunteer Lifestyles in Botswana]]''
+
====Possible Issues for Senior Volunteers====
  
Your housing is contributed by the government of Botswana or other partner organizations. Because of the wide range of housing in Botswana, there is considerable variance in Volunteer living situations. You should come prepared to accept the Peace Corps’ minimum standard for housing— a single room that is clean and can be secured with a lock, with access to clean water and sanitary bathroom and cooking facilities. Electricity and piped-in water are not required by the Peace Corps.
+
The Rwandan culture has great respect for age. As a senior
 +
Volunteer, people may offer to do things for you as a sign of
 +
respect.
  
Volunteers placed at the district level can expect fairly comfortable housing, which typically means a two-bedroom cement house with a kitchen, indoor plumbing, and electricity. Volunteers based at the village can expect housing to be more rustic, perhaps a room in a family dwelling in which services are limited to nonexistent. The government or partner organization is responsible for providing limited furnishings (a bed, a table, a chair, and some sort of closet space) and covering the cost of utilities (cooking gas, electricity, water, etc.).
+
====Possible Issues for Gay, Lesbian, or Bisexual Volunteers====
  
 +
Homosexuality is illegal in Rwanda and is punishable by
 +
imprisonment or deportation. Many Rwandans have beliefs
 +
about homosexuality similar to those of many Americans
 +
in the 1940s and 1950s. It is important for gay, lesbian,
 +
or bisexual Volunteers to know about these conservative
 +
attitudes to be able to live and work productively in Rwandan
 +
communities. Past Volunteers in Rwanda have reported that
 +
they could not publicly acknowledge their sexuality for fear
 +
of negative repercussions. We suggest that anyone wishing to
 +
discuss this subject do so in confidence with a Peace Corps
 +
staff member. The medical office can provide confidential
 +
counseling and help connect you with the gay and lesbian
 +
support group for returned Volunteers.
  
==Training==
+
====Possible Religious Issues for Volunteers====
  
''Main article: [[Training in Botswana]]''
+
There are a number of religious groups, the most numerous
 +
of whom are the Roman Catholics (56 percent), Protestants
 +
(26 percent), and Adventists (11 percent). Other groups
 +
include Muslims, who account for about 5 percent of the total
 +
population, and about 2 percent who profess no religion at all.
 +
A very small number of people practice indigenous religions
 +
exclusively, but it is believed that some adherents of other
 +
faiths incorporate traditional elements into their own practice.
  
The nine-week training program will provide you the opportunity to learn new skills and practice them as they apply to Botswana. You will receive training and orientation in language, cross-cultural communication, development issues, health and personal safety, and technical skills pertinent to your specific assignment. The skills you learn will serve as the foundation upon which you build your experience as a Volunteer in Botswana.
+
====Possible Issues for Volunteers With Disabilities====
  
At the beginning of training, the training staff will outline the training goals and assessment criteria that each trainee has to reach before becoming a Volunteer. Evaluation of your performance during training is a continual process that is based on a dialogue between you and the training staff. The training director, along with the language, technical, and cross-cultural trainers, will work with you toward the highest possible achievement of training goals by providing you feedback throughout training. After successfully completing the pre-service training—as the majority of trainees do—you will be sworn-in as a Volunteer and make the final preparations for departure to your site.  
+
Rwandans who are physically challenged are generally
 +
not accorded the same human dignity as other Rwandans.
 +
Regardless of the nature of the physical challenge, social
 +
services are generally lacking for these Rwandans. Peace
 +
Corps/Rwanda complies with the Americans With Disabilities
 +
Act to ensure productive Peace Corps service by physically
 +
challenged Volunteers.
  
  
==Your Health Care and Safety==
 
  
''Main article: [[Health Care and Safety in Botswana]]''
 
  
The Peace Corps’ highest priority is maintaining the good health and safety of every Volunteer. Peace Corps medical programs emphasize the preventive, rather than the curative, approach to disease. The Peace Corps in Botswana maintains a clinic with a full-time medical officer who takes care of Volunteers’ primary healthcare needs. Additional medical services, such as testing and basic treatment, are also available in Botswana at local hospitals that have been evaluated by the medical officer. If you become seriously ill, you will be transported either to a American-standard medical facility in the region or to the United States.
+
See also: [[Rwanda]]
 
 
 
 
==Diversity and Cross-Cultural Issues==
 
 
 
''Main article: [[Diversity and Cross-Cultural Issues in Botswana]]''
 
 
 
In Botswana, as in other Peace Corps host countries, Volunteers’ behavior, lifestyle, background, and beliefs will be judged in a cultural context very different from our own. Certain personal perspectives or characteristics commonly accepted in the United States may be quite uncommon, unacceptable, or even repressed in Botswana.
 
 
 
Outside larger cities and towns in Botswana, residents of rural communities may have had relatively little direct exposure to other cultures, races, religions, and lifestyles. What people view as typical American behavior or norms may be a misconception, such as the belief that all Americans are rich and have blond hair and blue eyes. The people of Botswana 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 cultural differences that you present.
 
 
 
* Possible Issues for Female Volunteers
 
* Possible Issues for Volunteers of Color
 
* Possible Issues for Senior Volunteers
 
* Possible Issues for Gay, Lesbian, or Bisexual Volunteers
 
* Possible Religious Issues for Volunteers
 
* Possible Issues for Volunteers With Disabilities
 
 
 
 
 
==Frequently Asked questions==
 
 
 
{{Volunteersurvey2008
 
|H1r=  13
 
|H1s=  77.2
 
|H2r=  43
 
|H2s=  81.5
 
|H3r=  44
 
|H3s=  82.8
 
|H4r=  24
 
|H4s=  107.1
 
|H5r=  26
 
|H5s=  54.8
 
|H6r=  51
 
|H6s=  75
 
}}
 
 
 
''Main article: [[FAQs about Peace Corps in Botswana]]''
 
 
 
* How much luggage am I allowed to bring to Botswana?
 
* What is the electric current in Botswana?
 
* 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 Batswana 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 Botswana?
 
* Should I bring a cellular phone with me?
 
 
 
 
 
==Packing List==
 
 
 
''Main article: [[Packing List for Botswana]]''
 
 
 
Use this packing list as an informal guide in making your own list. You obviously cannot bring everything we mention, so consider those items that make the most sense to you personally and professionally. You can always have things sent to you later. As you decide what to bring, keep in mind that you have an 80-pound weight restriction on baggage. And remember, because of Botswana’s proximity to South Africa, you can get almost everything you need here.
 
 
 
Note that while the climate is comfortable for the greater part of the year, houses do not have heat, making the winters colder than you might expect. Do not bring any camouflage or military-style clothing to wear—your time is much too valuable to spend detained at a police checkpoint.
 
 
 
* General Clothing
 
* For Men
 
* For Women
 
* Shoes
 
* Personal Hygiene and Toiletry Items
 
* Miscellaneous
 
 
 
 
 
==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+%22botswana%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/bc/blog/50.xml|charset=UTF-8|short|max=10</rss>
 
 
 
==Country Fund==
 
 
 
Contributions to the [https://www.peacecorps.gov/index.cfm?shell=resources.donors.contribute.projDetail&projdesc=637-CFD Botswana Country Fund] will support Volunteer and community projects that will take place in Botswana. These projects support reducing transmission of HIV and minimizing the impact of HIV and AIDS on individuals and communities.
 
 
 
==See also==
 
* [[Volunteers who served in Botswana]]
 
* [[Botswana sites|Sites where volunteers have served in Botswana]]
 
* [[Inspector General Reports]]
 
* [[Pre-Departure Checklist]]
 
* [[List of resources for Botswana]]
 
 
 
==External links==
 
* [http://www.peacecorpsjournals.com/bc.html Peace Corps Journals - Botswana]
 
 
 
 
 
[[Category:Botswana]] [[Category:Africa]]
 
[[Category:Country]]
 

Revision as of 10:46, 25 July 2010

Diversity and cross-cultural issues in [[{{#explode:Diversity and cross-cultural issues in Rwanda| |5}} {{#explode:Diversity and cross-cultural issues in Rwanda| |6}} {{#explode:Diversity and cross-cultural issues in Rwanda| |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 Rwanda| |5}} {{#explode:Diversity and cross-cultural issues in Rwanda| |6}} {{#explode:Diversity and cross-cultural issues in Rwanda| |7}}]]
  • [[Training in {{#explode:Diversity and cross-cultural issues in Rwanda| |5}} {{#explode:Diversity and cross-cultural issues in Rwanda| |6}} {{#explode:Diversity and cross-cultural issues in Rwanda| |7}}]]
  • [[Living conditions and volunteer lifestyles in {{#explode:Diversity and cross-cultural issues in Rwanda| |5}} {{#explode:Diversity and cross-cultural issues in Rwanda| |6}} {{#explode:Diversity and cross-cultural issues in Rwanda| |7}}]]
  • [[Health care and safety in {{#explode:Diversity and cross-cultural issues in Rwanda| |5}} {{#explode:Diversity and cross-cultural issues in Rwanda| |6}} {{#explode:Diversity and cross-cultural issues in Rwanda| |7}}]]
  • [[Diversity and cross-cultural issues in {{#explode:Diversity and cross-cultural issues in Rwanda| |5}} {{#explode:Diversity and cross-cultural issues in Rwanda| |6}} {{#explode:Diversity and cross-cultural issues in Rwanda| |7}}]]
  • [[FAQs about Peace Corps in {{#explode:Diversity and cross-cultural issues in Rwanda| |5}} {{#explode:Diversity and cross-cultural issues in Rwanda| |6}} {{#explode:Diversity and cross-cultural issues in Rwanda| |7}}]]
  • [[History of the Peace Corps in {{#explode:Diversity and cross-cultural issues in Rwanda| |5}} {{#explode:Diversity and cross-cultural issues in Rwanda| |6}} {{#explode:Diversity and cross-cultural issues in Rwanda| |7}}]]
See also:
[[Category:{{#explode:Diversity and cross-cultural issues in Rwanda| |5}} {{#explode:Diversity and cross-cultural issues in Rwanda| |6}} {{#explode:Diversity and cross-cultural issues in Rwanda| |7}}]]

In fulfilling the Peace Corps’ mandate to share the 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, it poses challenges. In Rwanda, 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 commonly accepted in the United States may be quite uncommon, unacceptable, or even repressed.

Outside of Rwanda’s capital, residents of rural communities have had relatively little direct exposure to other cultures, races, religions, and lifestyles. What is viewed as “typical” cultural behavior or norms may 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 Rwanda 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.

To ease the transition and adapt to life in Rwanda, you may need to make some temporary, yet fundamental compromises in how you present yourself 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 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 limitations. The Peace Corps staff and the Peace Corps/ Rwanda Diversity and Peer Support group 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 Rwanda

The Peace Corps staff in Rwanda 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 one other and demonstrating the richness of American culture. Our approach to diversity is to:

  • Prepare our staff for working with a diverse population of trainees and Volunteers
  • Prepare trainees and Volunteers for adjusting to issues related to diversity
  • Prepare communities for working and living with Americans from diverse populations

What Might a Volunteer Face?

Possible Issues for Female Volunteers

Traditional gender roles are very distinct in Rwanda. Generally, women are expected to show deference to men and do most of the housework. Sexual harassment (i.e., men making unwanted comments) is common. As a Volunteer, it is important to stand up for your rights and beliefs as a person while still being culturally sensitive. Female Volunteers should expect curiosity from host country friends regarding their marital status and whether they have children, and if not, why.

Possible Issues for Volunteers of Color

The average rural Rwandan assumes that all Americans are white (Caucasian). With this assumption, Volunteers of color might expect people to react to them differently. White Volunteers, as well as Volunteers of color, may receive special attention, both positive and negative, including being harassed for money, especially in public areas. Non-Africans in Rwanda are called abazungu (the plural of umuzungu). Volunteers of Asian descent may be called umushinwa, or Chinese, because the Chinese have had a presence in Rwanda for many years. Some Volunteers of African descent have found it easier to gain acceptance into their communities; however, many are considered abazungu because they are not Sub-Saharan African. Over time, however, as communities come to know the Volunteers, they are referred to by name instead.

Possible Issues for Senior Volunteers

The Rwandan culture has great respect for age. As a senior Volunteer, people may offer to do things for you as a sign of respect.

Possible Issues for Gay, Lesbian, or Bisexual Volunteers

Homosexuality is illegal in Rwanda and is punishable by imprisonment or deportation. Many Rwandans have beliefs about homosexuality similar to those of many Americans in the 1940s and 1950s. It is important for gay, lesbian, or bisexual Volunteers to know about these conservative attitudes to be able to live and work productively in Rwandan communities. Past Volunteers in Rwanda have reported that they could not publicly acknowledge their sexuality for fear of negative repercussions. We suggest that anyone wishing to discuss this subject do so in confidence with a Peace Corps staff member. The medical office can provide confidential counseling and help connect you with the gay and lesbian support group for returned Volunteers.

Possible Religious Issues for Volunteers

There are a number of religious groups, the most numerous of whom are the Roman Catholics (56 percent), Protestants (26 percent), and Adventists (11 percent). Other groups include Muslims, who account for about 5 percent of the total population, and about 2 percent who profess no religion at all. A very small number of people practice indigenous religions exclusively, but it is believed that some adherents of other faiths incorporate traditional elements into their own practice.

Possible Issues for Volunteers With Disabilities

Rwandans who are physically challenged are generally not accorded the same human dignity as other Rwandans. Regardless of the nature of the physical challenge, social services are generally lacking for these Rwandans. Peace Corps/Rwanda complies with the Americans With Disabilities Act to ensure productive Peace Corps service by physically challenged Volunteers.



See also: Rwanda