Difference between pages "Uganda" and "Diversity and cross-cultural issues in China"

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{{CountryboxAlternative
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{{Diversity_and_cross-cultural_issues_by_country}}
|Countryname= Uganda
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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.  
|CountryCode = ug
 
|status = [[ACTIVE]]
 
|Flag= Flag_of_Uganda.svg
 
|Welcomebooklink = http://www.peacecorps.gov/welcomebooks/ugwb617.pdf
 
|Region= [[Africa]]
 
|CountryDirector= [[McGrath Jean Thomas]]
 
|Sectors= [[Health]]<br> ([[APCD]]: [[Jolie Dennis]])<br> [[HIV/AIDS]] <br>([[Program Manager]]: [[Shiphah Mutungi]])<br> [[Education]] <br>([[Program Manager]]: [[Mary Olinga]])]<br> [[Peace Corps Response]] <br>([[Program Manager]]: [[Gordon Twesigye]])
 
  
|ProgramDates= [[1964]] - [[1973]] <br> [[1991]] - [[1999]] <br> [[2000]] - [[Present]]
+
Our diversity helps us accomplish that goal. In other ways, however, it poses challenges. In China, 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 in China.  
|CurrentlyServing= 146
 
|TotalVolunteers= 845
 
|Languages= [[Luganda]], [[Lusoga]], [[Lumasaba]], [[Runyankore]]
 
|Map= Ug-map.gif
 
|stagingdate= Feb 9 2011
 
|stagingcity= Philadelphia
 
}}
 
  
The Peace Corps/Uganda program was reestablished in 2000, after its suspension in 1999. Peace Corps has a longstanding commitment to the country's development and has experienced excellent relationships with the people of Uganda throughout the years. Currently, Peace Corps/Uganda has an education project and a Community Health and Economic Development project.
+
Outside of China’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 China 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.  
  
All Peace Corps Volunteers in Uganda are currently engaged in HIV/AIDS activities either as part of their primary or secondary projects. Volunteer activities include youth groups, life skills workshops, workshops for teachers on health education, teaching nutrition for people living with AIDS, peer education training, and developing school assembly messages as part of the Ugandan Presidential Initiative on AIDS Strategy for Communication to Youth.
+
To ease the transition and adapt to life in China, 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 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 China ===
  
==Peace Corps History==
+
The Peace Corps staff in China 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 another and demonstrating the richness of American culture.
  
''Main article: [[History of the Peace Corps in Uganda]]''
+
===What Might a Volunteer Face?===
  
The first group of Peace Corps Volunteers in Uganda were secondary school teachers who arrived on November 16, 1964. A year later, the education project consisted of 35 Volunteers. By 1967, the project had more than doubled in size. A health project was initiated in 1968 with the placement of 15 Volunteers. Once the Peace Corps program in Uganda expanded, the major programming area was education, with Volunteers also working in fisheries, agriculture, computer programming, and surveying. The Peace Corps terminated the program in Uganda in 1972 due to the civil unrest during Idi Amin’s presidency.
+
====Possible Issues for Female Volunteers====
  
Discussions concerning the Peace Corps’ reentry into Uganda began in 1987 and continued in 1989 when President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni and his wife met with the Peace Corps director to discuss a renewed Peace Corps presence in Uganda. Nine months later, the Peace Corps received a formal invitation from the Government of Uganda. The 1964 agreement was then reactivated and Volunteers returned to Uganda in June 1991.
+
Some female Volunteers in China have experienced “body image” issues relative to the Chinese cultural definition of ideal feminine beauty. Few Western women are small or thin enough to achieve that narrow ideal, which may be frustrating for some Volunteers, as is the possibility that their attractiveness may also be defined by this standard.  
  
The projects during this period—primary education, small enterprise development, and natural resource management—aimed to address needs identified by the government in its efforts to rehabilitate and reform Uganda’s educational system, develop the private sector, and effectively manage the country’s vast natural resources.Because of security issues in the capital, Kampala, the program was suspended again in May 1999. In June 2001, Peace Corps/Uganda reopened with a single project in primary teacher training and community school resource teaching. A community well-being and positive-living project was initiated in May 2002. Approximately 140 Volunteers are currently serving in Uganda.
+
Additionally, despite the outward appearance that women are equal to men in China, women still struggle to be considered and treated as true equals in the workplace.  
  
==Living Conditions and Volunteer Lifestyle==
+
====Possible Issues for Volunteers of Color====
  
''Main article: [[Living conditions and volunteer lifestyles in Uganda]]''
+
It is difficult to generalize about how Chinese may perceive Volunteers of color. Americans of Asian descent will have a very different experience than those of African descent, who will have a very different experience than those of Hispanic descent. Still, some Volunteers of color may be evaluated as less professionally competent than white Volunteers and may not be perceived as being North American. Asian Americans may be identified more by their cultural heritage than by their American citizenship. Current or historical Chinese relations with other Asian countries, such as Korea or Japan, may have an impact on how Asian-American Volunteers are perceived.  Additionally, Asian Americans may have to deal with people's higher expectations of their language-learning ability or cross-cultural adaptability.
  
During your service, you will most likely live in a rural area in very modest accommodations provided by your host organization, which will try to provide you with at least a bedroom and a sitting room. You might live in part of a Ugandan family’s house or in part of a house built for staff of a school or a community organization. It is unlikely that you will share your accommodations with anyone else unless you choose to do so.
+
A Volunteer of color may be the only minority trainee or Volunteer in his or her group or may be working and living with individuals with no experience or understanding of their background.
  
Living conditions vary according to the resources of the community or organization in which you are placed. Many houses do not have running water or electricity. You should expect to use a pit latrine and a kerosene lantern and stove. Many Volunteers hire someone to carry water to their house. The community may provide some basic furnishings, and you can supplement these with your modest settling-in allowance provided by the Peace Corps. At nearly all sites, the kind of privacy that most Americans are used to will be extremely limited.
+
====Possible Issues for Senior Volunteers====
  
Children may be around constantly, demonstrating their curiosity about you. You will have to adapt to a more public life.
+
The Chinese people pay great respect to age. As a senior Volunteer, you may not experience some of the issues that younger Volunteers face because of the appreciation for seniors in Chinese culture. However, senior Volunteers may not receive adequate personal support from younger Volunteers and may feel inclined not to participate fully in order to “give the young folks their turn.” Additionally, senior Volunteers may be more reluctant to share personal, sexual, or health concerns with other Volunteers. Learning Chinese has historically proved to be extremely difficult for senior Volunteers and so are encouraged to develop an effective individual approach to language learning.
  
As most communities and organizations have extremely limited resources, providing housing and furnishing is provided at a great sacrifcie. Sometimes there are delays in obtaining housing or furnishings. You might have to stay in temporary accommodations while your permanent housing is being set up.
+
====Possible Issues for Gay, Lesbian, or Bisexual Volunteers====
  
Although the Peace Corps staff makes every effort to collaborate with communities to see that housing is ready for Volunteers when they arrive at their site, you should be prepared to gratefully accept whatever the community provides, no matter how basic.
+
Generally speaking, the Chinese culture does not accept or understand homosexuality or bisexuality and can be extremely prejudicial. Gay Volunteers grapple with the question of whether they can confide host country friends, but usually do not. There may or may not be sufficient support for a homosexual or bisexual lifestyle within Peace Corps/China.  Gay Volunteers might serve for two years without meeting another gay Volunteer or staff member. Lesbians will have to deal with constant questions about boyfriends, marriage, and sex (as do all women). Most Volunteers are posted in cities that are less open than the large cities along the coast of China.  Relationships with homosexual host country nationals can happen, but as with all cross-cultural relationships, they are not likely to be easy. AIDS has only recently become an issue in the local news and is terribly misunderstood as a disease widely contagious among homosexual or bisexual people.  
  
==Training==
+
====Possible Religious Issues for Volunteers====
 +
Although all religions suffered enormous setbacks during the Cultural Revolution, the majority of religious Chinese are Buddhists. There is a Muslim minority, mostly in northwest China, and Sichuan does have a number of Islamic mosques. There are also practicing Christians, and although there are some churches in China most services are in Chinese.
  
''Main article: [[Training in Uganda]]''
+
Peace Corps Volunteers in China are free to practice their religion but not to proselytize to the Chinese, as it is against Chinese law and Peace Corps policy. Previous Volunteers have advised active believers to bring their own holy books and religious readings and to be prepared to worship alone. Most members of the Chinese younger generation (under 50) are non-believers, and you should not be surprised if the students tell you that all religions are superstition and they want no part of it. Conversely, do not be surprised if you are assumed to be a Christian, asked curious questions by students regarding the religious significance of major holidays or questions about the Bible.
  
Pre-service training will provide you with the knowledge and skills you need to integrate into your community and begin to work with your Ugandan counterparts in formal and informal settings. Training provides a friendly and safe environment in which to ask questions and learn about life in Uganda. The 10-week program covers a variety of topics, including language, cross-cultural communication, area studies, development issues, health and personal safety, and technical skills pertinent to your specific assignment. The pre-service training in Uganda is community-based, which means that most of the training sessions take place in a community as similar as possible to actual Volunteer sites.
+
====Possible Issues for Volunteers with Disabilities====
  
After your arrival in Uganda, you will spend a few days at a central training facility to recover from jet lag and learn a few basics before moving in with a Ugandan host family in the community chosen to host training. You will live with this family throughout training. This gives you the opportunity to observe and participate in Ugandan culture and to practice your language skills.  
+
As a disabled Volunteer in China, you may face a special set of challenges. In China, as in other parts of the world, some people hold prejudicial attitudes about individuals with disabilities and may discriminate against them. Very little support exists within Chinese culture for anyone with disabilities, and Volunteers with nonvisible disabilities may encounter a lack of understanding, and therefore support, concerning their disability.  
  
 +
Nevertheless, the Peace Corps Office of Medical Services, as part of the medical clearance process, determined that you were physically and emotionally capable, with or without reasonable accommodations, of performing a full tour of Volunteer service in China without unreasonable risk to yourself or interruption of your service. Peace Corps/China staff work with disabled Volunteers to make reasonable accommodations in training, housing, job sites, and other areas to enable them to serve safely and effectively.
  
==Health Care and Safety==
+
[[Category:China]]
 
 
''Main article: [[Health care and safety in Uganda]]''
 
 
 
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 Uganda maintains a clinic with two part-time medical officers, who take care of Volunteers’ primary healthcare needs. Additional medical services, such as testing and basic treatment, are also available in Uganda. If you become seriously ill, you will be transported either to a medical facility in the region or to the United States.
 
 
 
 
 
==Diversity and Cross-Cultural Issues==
 
 
 
''Main article: [[Diversity and cross-cultural issues in Uganda]]''
 
 
 
In Uganda, as in other Peace Corps host countries, Volunteers’ behavior, lifestyle, background, and beliefs are judged in a cultural context very different from their own. Certain personal perspectives or characteristics commonly accepted in the United States may be quite uncommon, unacceptable, or even repressed in Uganda. Outside of Uganda’s capital, residents of rural communities 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 Uganda 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=  45
 
|H1s=  70.5
 
|H2r=  36
 
|H2s=  83.5
 
|H3r=  41
 
|H3s=  83.3
 
|H4r=  41
 
|H4s=  103.5
 
|H5r=  44
 
|H5s=  51
 
|H6r=  39
 
|H6s=  80.7
 
}}
 
 
 
''Main article: [[FAQs about Peace Corps in Uganda]]''
 
 
 
* How much luggage am I allowed to bring to Uganda?
 
* What is the electric current in Uganda?
 
* 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 Ugandan 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 Uganda?
 
* Should I bring a cellular phone with me?
 
* Will there be e-mail and Internet access? Should I bring my computer?
 
 
 
 
 
==Packing List==
 
 
 
''Main article: [[Packing list for Uganda]]''
 
 
 
This list has been compiled by Volunteers serving in Uganda and is based on their experience. Use it as an informal guide in making your own list, bearing in mind that an essential item to one person is a waste of space and money to another. There is no perfect list! You obviously cannot bring everything mentioned below, so consider each of the suggestion below and make certain bringing it makes sense to you personally and professionally. If you can’t imagine why you would use an item on this list, you probably never will. As you decide what to bring, keep in mind that you have a 80-pound weight limit on baggage. And remember, you can get almost everything you need in Uganda, including made-to-order clothes. Also note that you will be responsible for carrying all of these items through airports, on crowded buses, and through large cities. Luggage should be lightweight but sturdy, lockable, and easy to carry. As mentioned earlier, Ugandans place great emphasis on being well-groomed and appropriately dressed. When it comes to dress, it is best to err on the conservative side. Tight, torn, revealing, and skimpy clothing is unacceptable. Women’s skirts should be below the knee, and slips are a must. Most Ugandan women do not wear sleeveless garments or trousers in the workplace. For men, button-down shirts are a must for work; T-shirts are not appropriate as professional wear. Do not bring military- or camouflage-style clothing.
 
 
 
* General Clothing
 
* For Women
 
* For Men
 
* Shoes
 
* Kitchen
 
* 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+%22uganda%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/ug/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=617-CFD Uganda Country Fund] will support Volunteer and community projects that will take place in Uganda. These projects include water and sanitation, agricultural development, and youth programs.
 
 
 
==See also==
 
* [[Volunteers who served in Uganda]]
 
* [[Friends of Uganda]]
 
* [[List of resources for Uganda]]
 
* [[Pre-Departure Checklist]]
 
* [[Inspector General Reports]]
 
 
 
==External links==
 
* [http://www.peacecorpsjournals.com/ug.html Peace Corps Journals - Uganda]
 
 
 
[[Category:Uganda]] [[Category:Africa]]
 
[[Category:Country]]
 

Latest revision as of 12:02, 23 August 2016

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

Outside of China’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 China 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.

To ease the transition and adapt to life in China, 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 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 China

The Peace Corps staff in China 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 another and demonstrating the richness of American culture.

What Might a Volunteer Face?

Possible Issues for Female Volunteers

Some female Volunteers in China have experienced “body image” issues relative to the Chinese cultural definition of ideal feminine beauty. Few Western women are small or thin enough to achieve that narrow ideal, which may be frustrating for some Volunteers, as is the possibility that their attractiveness may also be defined by this standard.

Additionally, despite the outward appearance that women are equal to men in China, women still struggle to be considered and treated as true equals in the workplace.

Possible Issues for Volunteers of Color

It is difficult to generalize about how Chinese may perceive Volunteers of color. Americans of Asian descent will have a very different experience than those of African descent, who will have a very different experience than those of Hispanic descent. Still, some Volunteers of color may be evaluated as less professionally competent than white Volunteers and may not be perceived as being North American. Asian Americans may be identified more by their cultural heritage than by their American citizenship. Current or historical Chinese relations with other Asian countries, such as Korea or Japan, may have an impact on how Asian-American Volunteers are perceived. Additionally, Asian Americans may have to deal with people's higher expectations of their language-learning ability or cross-cultural adaptability.

A Volunteer of color may be the only minority trainee or Volunteer in his or her group or may be working and living with individuals with no experience or understanding of their background.

Possible Issues for Senior Volunteers

The Chinese people pay great respect to age. As a senior Volunteer, you may not experience some of the issues that younger Volunteers face because of the appreciation for seniors in Chinese culture. However, senior Volunteers may not receive adequate personal support from younger Volunteers and may feel inclined not to participate fully in order to “give the young folks their turn.” Additionally, senior Volunteers may be more reluctant to share personal, sexual, or health concerns with other Volunteers. Learning Chinese has historically proved to be extremely difficult for senior Volunteers and so are encouraged to develop an effective individual approach to language learning.

Possible Issues for Gay, Lesbian, or Bisexual Volunteers

Generally speaking, the Chinese culture does not accept or understand homosexuality or bisexuality and can be extremely prejudicial. Gay Volunteers grapple with the question of whether they can confide host country friends, but usually do not. There may or may not be sufficient support for a homosexual or bisexual lifestyle within Peace Corps/China. Gay Volunteers might serve for two years without meeting another gay Volunteer or staff member. Lesbians will have to deal with constant questions about boyfriends, marriage, and sex (as do all women). Most Volunteers are posted in cities that are less open than the large cities along the coast of China. Relationships with homosexual host country nationals can happen, but as with all cross-cultural relationships, they are not likely to be easy. AIDS has only recently become an issue in the local news and is terribly misunderstood as a disease widely contagious among homosexual or bisexual people.

Possible Religious Issues for Volunteers

Although all religions suffered enormous setbacks during the Cultural Revolution, the majority of religious Chinese are Buddhists. There is a Muslim minority, mostly in northwest China, and Sichuan does have a number of Islamic mosques. There are also practicing Christians, and although there are some churches in China most services are in Chinese.

Peace Corps Volunteers in China are free to practice their religion but not to proselytize to the Chinese, as it is against Chinese law and Peace Corps policy. Previous Volunteers have advised active believers to bring their own holy books and religious readings and to be prepared to worship alone. Most members of the Chinese younger generation (under 50) are non-believers, and you should not be surprised if the students tell you that all religions are superstition and they want no part of it. Conversely, do not be surprised if you are assumed to be a Christian, asked curious questions by students regarding the religious significance of major holidays or questions about the Bible.

Possible Issues for Volunteers with Disabilities

As a disabled Volunteer in China, you may face a special set of challenges. In China, as in other parts of the world, some people hold prejudicial attitudes about individuals with disabilities and may discriminate against them. Very little support exists within Chinese culture for anyone with disabilities, and Volunteers with nonvisible disabilities may encounter a lack of understanding, and therefore support, concerning their disability.

Nevertheless, the Peace Corps Office of Medical Services, as part of the medical clearance process, determined that you were physically and emotionally capable, with or without reasonable accommodations, of performing a full tour of Volunteer service in China without unreasonable risk to yourself or interruption of your service. Peace Corps/China staff work with disabled Volunteers to make reasonable accommodations in training, housing, job sites, and other areas to enable them to serve safely and effectively.