“Strangers in new cultures see only what they know.” –Unknown
Congratulations on your decision to become a volunteer with Gundersen Lutheran Global Partners! It is our hope that this toolkit will help you to have a more fulfilling experience personally and professionally. In order to gain the most from your experience with Global Partners, it is important to have a basic understanding of cultural sensitivity, the culture of your host community, and two core principles of Global Partners, sustainability and relationships. This toolkit was designed based on previous volunteers’ feedback for more cultural information prior to departure.
Through four modules, this Volunteer Preparation Toolkit is designed to:
- Provide a set of defined areas of knowledge, skills, and awareness related to each core content area.
- Offer relevant materials, articles, publications, and other multimedia resources for each core content area.
- Assist in understanding these values and concepts through personal accounts written by previous volunteers (Coming soon!)
- To acquire knowledge and skills to work successfully and respectfully in other cultures.
- To promote individual understanding of themselves, others, and the world as it relates to volunteering within another culture.
- To increase communication skills within one’s group and across cultures.
- To understand that small steps must be taken to create lasting change.
- To adopt the attitude that despite our cultural differences, we are all united in a common bond of humanity.
The four modules:
- Cross-Cultural Understanding
- Site-Specific Cultural Information
- Sustainable Development
- Building Relationships
How to use this toolkit: This toolkit is designed to systematically complete each module, starting with module one. All of the topics are interrelated, but it is best to start with module one and proceed through module four. At the end of each module, there are links for additional resources if there is a particular subject that is of interest to you. It is best to have reviewed the toolkit prior to any meetings for your experience so that any questions you may have can be answered by one of the leaders. We suggest that you give yourself adequate time to read through the material and follow up with additional resources that interest you. Each module should take approximately 45 minutes to complete.