Chapter 4.

What You Expect
Staging
Facilitator’s Guide

Revised 2.18.2011

Revised 2.18.2011

Introduction
This session gives trainees an opportunity to share their anxieties and aspirations for service with each other. They will also have the opportunity to examine their anxieties in terms of threats to their health and safety, and brainstorm ways to mitigate those threats. This session is divided into four parts: Motivation (explain why we discuss their aspirations and anxieties for service), Practice (draw aspirations and anxieties), Application (discuss relationship between anxieties and threats, and brainstorm methods to manage threats), and Reflection (explain why we discuss threats during staging). It will take about 60 minutes to complete this session. Activities in this session include: • Working in small groups • Reporting out on results

Rationale
This session addresses trainees’ anxieties and aspirations for service and will bring forth the common challenges and goals trainees share in their upcoming service. This session will also tie trainees’ anxieties to threats to health and safety. Peace Corps approach to Safety and Security will be addressed.

Objectives
During this session, trainees will: • Discuss as a group their anxieties and aspirations for Peace Corps service. • Understand the correlation between some of their anxieties and the threats involved with their Peace Corps service. • Apply the Peace Corps Integration Security Model to commonly identified threats. • Tie key messages from the Volunteer Safety Booklet and the sexual assault prevention pre-departure online training, Student Success, into the discussion.

Materials
• • • • • • Staging Workbooks Flipchart 8: Anxieties and Aspirations Two pieces of flipchart paper per table, distributed to tables at separate times Multi-colored markers at each table Masking tape List of threats you will be discussing (see Facilitator Overview)

Revised 2.18.2011

Description of Activities
Motivation
Time: 5 minutes Transition into this session by saying something like: Before the break we were talking about the importance of your aspirations for Peace Corps service outweighing the challenges of Peace Corps service. Now, we’re going to look a little more closely at both your aspirations and anxieties for your Peace Corps service. We’ll also talk about your safety and security and the important role both you and the Peace Corps play in keeping you safe. Explain : We expect everyone to be nervous- we’d be worried if you weren’t! Before we talk about all the things you’re nervous about and looking forward to, I want to ask you a question: when you told people you were joining the Peace Corps and going to XXX, what sort of reactions did you get from people? Solicit answers from the trainees. Generally, reactions range from positive: “you’re such a great person” and “I’ve always wanted to do that,” to negative: “is it safe?” and “don’t die.” After the trainees have shared some of the reactions they’ve received, explain: So, it sounds like you all received some mixed reactions, positive and negative. The reason we talk about your anxieties and aspirations here at staging is because this is probably the first time you are in a group of people and you don’t need to justify or validate your decision to join Peace Corps. No one here is going to listen to your anxieties and say, “Wow, if you’re scared of that, why are you joining Peace Corps?” You’ve all acknowledged that you’re a little nervous, and yet you’re all still here, so your aspirations for your service outweigh your anxieties. Right now, I want to take some time to discuss both your anxieties and aspirations for Peace Corps service.

Practice
Time : 35 minutes Pose these questions to the trainees (flipchart 8). Instruct the trainees to take 2-3 minutes to write down their responses in the Staging Workbook on page 8. What are you most excited about or most looking forward to? What are you most concerned about or frightened of? Revised 2.18.2011

After 2-3 minutes, explain that each table will have 8-10 minutes to draw their anxieties and aspirations using only pictures. After 8-10 minutes of drawing, provide tape for each of the groups, have each group select two presenters, and ask the groups tape their flipcharts to a wall around the room. Ask each small group to report on the results of their work by having the presenters from each group start with either the anxieties or aspirations and explain their pictures. Process/debrief the exercise with the training class using the following questions: When you look at these sketches collectively, what do you notice? Anything up there surprise you? Anything not up there that you expected to see? The trainees will mention that they share a lot of anxieties for their Peace Corps service. Ask them to mention some of the most common anxieties drawn on the flipcharts. When the trainees share some of the common concerns, ask questions to get them talking about the concerns. For example: • • • • What have you heard about learning a language in Peace Corps? What expectations do you have for your physical health during your Peace Corps service? What expectations do you have for how you’ll be able communicate with family and friends back home? What have you read about gender roles in XXX?

Share information with the trainees from the Bridge and Welcome Book, and share some of your own experiences with them. Key points that should be conveyed during the debrief: • Pre-Service Training (PST) is designed to address many of the trainees’ anxieties. PST is designed around five components: language, technical, safety, health, and crossing cultures. • Peace Corps has some of the best training in the world. • The anxieties and aspirations they drew were most likely the same as the ones drawn by the training class before them, and the training class before that. Volunteers have been serving in XXX under all of these conditions for years. Currently serving Volunteers will be made available to the trainees during and after PST. They will be more than willing to share with the trainees some of their experiences and coping strategies. *NOTE: Approach trainees’ anxieties and aspirations broadly and convey to them that this exercise is to help allay their major concerns and show them that they are not alone in feeling them, and that the Peace Corps has support systems in place to help. Where possible, address specific concerns but try not to get bogged down in minutia.

Revised 2.18.2011

*NOTE: Do not trivialize trainees’ fears. Peace Corps service does involve risks. Robberies, harassment, sexual assaults, injuries, and illnesses do occur. During Pre-Service Training, however, they will learn and practice ways to reduce their risk. Wrap-up this portion of the session by first reiterating why we do this activity at staging. Explain that they should take away from this activity some confidence that they can turn to one another and discuss what they’re struggling with, and that they can also celebrate their successes with one another. Second, acknowledge and support the diversity in the training class by saying something like: Everything you are concerned about may not have made it on to these charts. Maybe some of your concerns are just a little too personal to share right now. Some of you may be concerned about being an African American, or Asian American, or Hispanic American in XXX. Some of you may be concerned about being a Jewish Volunteer, or Christian Volunteer, or an Atheist in XXX. Some of you may be concerned about being a gay Volunteer in XXX. These are all very valid concerns as well, and we hope that this activity forms the foundation for you knowing your fellow Volunteers are here to support and listen to you. There are also Volunteers in country who are coping with these challenges and look forward to sharing with you some of the strategies they’ve developed. Finally, Peace Corps staff are there to support you so you can be happy and effective Volunteers.

Application
Time : 30 minutes Explain to the trainees that when they listed their anxieties, they identified many of the health and safety threats they may encounter while serving in Peace Corps. Ask: What are the threats to your health and safety while serving in ________? As the trainees begin listing the threats, write them on a flipchart paper. As they're listing them, point out when some of the threats can be lumped together (for example, if the trainees start giving many different diseases or ways they may become sick [diarrhea, food poisoning, bad water, heat stroke, etc], explain that all of those can be grouped together as one threat- getting sick). Then, ask for other threats that don't fall under that category. If some of the threats you identified before the staging began were not drawn as anxieties, you may have to ask for more examples Some of the most common threats to be addressed should be: • Threats to physical and mental health • Sexual harassment and assault • Theft and robbery • Transportation • Natural disasters Revised 2.18.2011

Once all of the threats you want to discuss are listed, ask the trainees, “Are these a surprise to you? Are there any here that you had not thought of?” Because trainees have received country specific safety and security information in their Welcome Books, read the Volunteer Safety booklet and reviewed Student Success, most likely, trainees will confirm that the threats are not new information. To begin drawing out the principles and messaging from those materials ask the trainees, “What materials or resources have you reviewed to prepare you for these threats?” Specifically look for mentions of the materials stated above. Keep in mind that all trainees were expected to review the same information either upon acceptance of invitation or prior to arrival at staging. The purpose of this discussion is to draw the common information out of the trainees by using standard open-ended, questions: • • • • • • What do you remember from reviewing those materials? Tell me more about that. How so? What else? Tell me about the online training you took prior to arrival at Staging. Tell me about the Integrated Security Model

Facilitators must be well-versed in both the online training and the model in order to facilitate this part of the discussion. For quick reference, see Appendix F for the key points from Student Success and a description of the Integrated Security Model. Draw the diagram of the model on a flipchart as trainees describe it to you. Provide greater detail, as needed based on the information provided by the trainees. Focus on these key points: 1. The three key parts to personal safety are protection, risk mitigation and community integration. 2. There are tactics that can be used to reduce risk of crimes including sexual assaults. 3. Cultural factors can cause miscommunication—you cannot assume your beliefs on sexual behavior will be interpreted the same way in country. 4. Alcohol can be used as a weapon by criminals to intentionally lower resistance to crime. 5. All Peace Corps staff at post have safety and security duties written into their job descriptions and they have been trained in safety protocols. There are key people at post whose main responsibilities address safety issues. These include the Country Director, the post’s Safety and Security Coordinator and the sub-regional Peace Corps Safety and Security Officer. Once the key points of the model are addressed, state:

Revised 2.18.2011

“Now that we’ve discussed Peace Corps’ Approach to Safety and Security, let’s go back to the list of threats you identified.” You are now going to look at ways to mitigate (reduce the probability and/or the impact) those threats. Provide an example in order to illustrate what the groups should do. Say: Let's do a quick example together- tell me one thing off the top of your head you know you can do to mitigate the threat of being sexually harassed. They may share strategies such as “wear appropriate dress” or “respect cultural norms”. Then explain that they're going to do the same thing with all of the threats. Divide the training class into groups based on the number of threats and assign each group one of the threats. Distribute a piece of flipchart paper to each group and tell them they have 6-8 minutes to create a list of strategies to mitigate those threats. While they are working in their groups, the Facilitator and Coordinator should circulate to answer any questions the groups may have. After 6-8 minutes, provide each table with tape and ask them to post their flipcharts around the room. Then ask the trainees to take 3-5 minutes to walk around the room to see what strategies they have identified to combat these threats. Tell them that if there's anything they would like to add to a list to take a marker off a table and add it up. After the trainees have finished the gallery walk, ask them what observations or comments they have and solicit their feedback. Listen for or draw out key points: 1. Trainees and Volunteers are expected to lead a culturally appropriate lifestyle. 2. Key risk mitigation strategies include awareness of your surroundings, understanding of how your conduct and actions may be perceived, and sensitivity to the effect your behavior has on your personal safety. 3. Peace Corps has established policies and procedures to help trainees and Volunteers reduce their risks and enhance their safety and security. 4. The trainee’s and Volunteer’s own conduct is the single most important factor in promoting his or her own safety and well being. *NOTE: Many of the messages Post has asked you to convey during the staging can be woven in here. Specifically, most Posts ask that you discuss dress and other appearance issues during staging. One of the strategies trainees always list for combating harassment is "dress appropriately," or something similar to that. So, when debriefing the threats section, explain that Post specifically asked you to address the importance of dressing/appearing appropriate, and then have the trainees discuss what that means in xx country. Remind trainees that the first thing they can do to show that they want to integrate is to dress/appear appropriate.

Revised 2.18.2011

Reflection
Time: 5 minutes After all the groups have presented, wrap-up this session by first asking the trainees why they think they’ve discussed these threats. After soliciting answers, explain : Many of these threats were anxieties you identified for your service, and look at all of the strategies you have for coping with these threats. And all of these strategies are ways you can keep yourselves healthy and safe, because that is your responsibility. Peace Corps will provide you with many of the tools you need, but it is your responsibility to use those tools.

Revised 2.18.2011

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