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Cultural Sensitivity Travel, Behavior, Anthropology:

Cultural Sensitivity Travel, Behavior, Anthropology Tips/Tools Provided by EBZEF and Kelsey Edwardsen May, 2010

Peace Corps Values:

Peace Corps Values Capacity-Building Teach a man to fish… Knowledge and tools Economic sustainability, small-business/trade Do No Harm Consequences of all changes Careful implementation, close monitoring Live at the same standard of living as those in the village

Peace Corps Values cont.:

Peace Corps Values cont. Don’t impose western cultural values Includes not discussing what you have at home or in your country, unless specifically asked Realize that your home culture isn’t perfect… learn MDG are values for the planet (not western)

Peace Corps Values cont.:

Peace Corps Values cont. Viewpoints Look for similarities Notice differences, but be open to them ( Anthropological Lens) Avoid speaking your viewpoint, but rather work to make it their idea where possible. Example: fuel for stoves

Lunda cultural insights:

Lunda cultural insights Standard of living: below poverty; subsistence farmers (can only eat if crops yield) English is official language, but most only speak Lunda Egalitarian (focus on family/community, not the individual) Patriarchial society. Beth’s girls are now respected, but weren’t initially. New perspective, girls no longer must marry at 12.


Assessment Listen to those in the village Learn as much as possible about Lunda values This will help EWB awareness of their needs Respect hierarchy (to be further discussed) Although we aim to define metrics for discrete data, recognize the value of soft information from observation Narrative storytelling Participant-observer

Village Leadership:

Village Leadership Respect the leaders, avoid having ‘favorites’ Each village family has a headman Don’t go around leaders to find information, keep elders in the loop Headmen elect the high chief of the Lunda tribe Mr. Njolomba is highly respected within the community, respect his priorities & 5-yr plan Reinforce his role in the village High Chief Sai’lunga


Tips/Tools Don’t call the people ‘villagers’, they find it demeaning Journal, both personal and technical Sketch layouts, ideas, dimensions Write observations, thoughts, ideas Personal debrief is as important as group debriefs You will be safe and treated with respect in the village; please return the courtesy Involve Beth’s Girls when possible, they know English and can help (with translation and with questions relating to cultural taboos, etc.)

Travel Tips:

Travel Tips Bring enough food for the full stay, the women will cook it for you Bring blanket/sleeping bag, soap, towels, flashlight, etc. Malaria prevention medication Wear money belt (don’t leave personal items around) If you wish to bring small gifts, consider something for the school No electricity, not in cell phone range

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