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

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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 its Volunteers. 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 thoroughly American despite our many differences.  
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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.  
  
Our diversity helps us accomplish that goal. In other ways, however, it poses challenges. In Jamaica, 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 Jamaica.  
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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.  
  
Outside of Jamaica’s capital and tourist towns, 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 Jamaica 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.  
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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.  
  
To ease the transition and adapt to life in Jamaica, 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 pre-service training and will be on call to provide support, but the challenge ultimately will be your own.  
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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.  
  
===Overview of Diversity in Jamaica ===
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===Overview of Diversity in Ghana===
  
The Peace Corps staff in Jamaica recognizes the adjustment issues that come with diversity and will 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 races, ethnic groups, ages, religions, and sexual orientations, and hope that you will become part of a diverse group of Americans who take pride in supporting one another and demonstrating the richness of American culture.  
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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.  
  
===What Might a Volunteer Face? ===
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===What Might A Volunteer Face?===
  
The comments below are intended to stimulate thought and discussion. They come from Volunteers serving in many countries, so not all of the issues discussed may have an impact on your Volunteer experience. Rather, they are included here to make all Volunteers aware of issues that one particular group or another may face. As you read them, you might ask yourself, “How would I feel if that happened to me?”
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====Possible Issues for Female Volunteers====
  
====Possible Issues for Female 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.
  
Female Volunteers find that women’s equality and independence are defined differently in Jamaica than in the United States, with different expectations for women’s roles.  In Jamaica, female Volunteers may be expected to have a husband, children, a boyfriend, or some combination of the three. They may be expected to “stay at home.” They may be proposed to on a daily basis or subjected to sexual advances or touching. Verbal harassment can be extremely crude.
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====Possible Issues for Volunteers of Color====
  
====Possible Issues for Volunteers of Color ====
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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
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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
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But it is true that most Ghanaians will get confused with chinese,Koreans Japanese and whites.
  
A person of color may be the only minority trainee or Volunteer within a particular project, and may work and live with individuals with no experience or understanding of his or her culture. They may not receive necessary personal support from white Volunteers or be questioned about socializing exclusively with other minority Volunteers. Assumed to be Jamaicans, African-American Volunteers may be accepted more readily into the culture than other Volunteers and treated according to local social norms. They may also be categorized according to local stereotypes concerning skin pigmentation, such as the view that those with lighter skin are smarter or more dependable. Another stereotype Jamaicans make is calling fair-skinned blacks “red” or “white” Jamaicans.
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====Possible Issues for Senior Volunteers====
  
====Possible Issues for Senior Volunteers ====
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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. 
  
Seniors may find themselves treated with more respect than younger Volunteers and thus have different interactions with Jamaicans. They may find that younger Volunteers look to them for advice and support; some seniors find this a very enjoyable part of their Volunteer experience, while others choose not to fill this role.
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====Possible Issues for Gay, Lesbian, or Bisexual Volunteers====
  
====Possible Issues for Gay, Lesbian, or Bisexual Volunteers ====
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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.
  
Homosexuality is generally not accepted in Jamaica’s culture, and local laws prohibit homosexual behavior. Revealing one’s sexual orientation could result in a violent verbal or physical attack, so it is safer to be discreet outside the Peace Corps family. Gay men may be referred to derogatively as “Batty Man,” “Batty Boy,” or “Chi-Chi Man.
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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
  
See also the recent NYT article, [http://www.nytimes.com/2008/02/24/world/americas/24jamaica.html?ex=1204520400&en=0efb2859ff93f162&ei=5070&emc=eta1 Attacks Show Easygoing Jamaica Is Dire Place for Gays]:
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====Possible Religious Issues for Volunteers====
  
<blockquote>One night last month, Andre and some friends were finishing dinner when a mob showed up at the front gate. Yelling antigay slurs and waving machetes, sticks and knives, 15 to 20 men kicked in the front door of the home he and his friends had rented and set upon them. [...] "One time may be an isolated incident," said Rebecca Schleifer, a researcher for Human Rights Watch who has studied the issue and regularly gets calls from the island from gays under attack. "When they happen on a repeated basis across the country, it is an urgent problem that deserves attention at the highest levels."</blockquote>
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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.  
  
====Possible Religious Issues for Volunteers ====
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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.
  
Volunteers in Jamaica, a predominantly Christian nation, can expect many meetings to begin with a prayer. They should also be prepared to be criticized for not attending church.
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====Possible Issues for Volunteers with Disabilities====
  
====Possible Issues for Volunteers With Disabilities ====
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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.
  
Volunteers with disabilities may not find many facilities that allow easy access. They should be prepared for encountering unsolicited attention, fear or lack of knowledge regarding persons with disabilities, or lack of empathy or support.
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[[Category:Niger]]
 
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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 Jamaica without unreasonable risk to yourself or interruption of your service. The Peace Corps/ Jamaica staff will work with disabled Volunteers to make reasonable accommodations in training, housing, job sites, and other areas to enable them to serve safely and effectively.rasdafd=-jokah-t0jkd-safo-kt-syodjfp-sdghfsghi-bjo0-vfbs-gh0adkof-sdhokvf[pshod[vp-skdgvfopsoivsopadohih
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====Possible Issues for Married Volunteers ====
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There may be differences in job satisfaction and/or different needs. Younger Volunteers may look to couples for advice and support. Married couples are likely to be treated with more respect because the community sees marriage as a responsibility; and you may be asked why you do not have children.
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[[Category:Jamaica]]
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Latest revision as of 06:56, 21 May 2014

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[edit]

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?[edit]

Possible Issues for Female Volunteers[edit]

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[edit]

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[edit]

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[edit]

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[edit]

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[edit]

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.