Guidelines - Responsible Exchange and Volunteering 2018
• Is there any way that you could have been even more valuable on the project? • What are the strongest memories you keep close to you from the exchange? • How would you approach another volunteering/exchange experience if you were to go again? • Have you been in touch with the Southern African Alumni Network or any other exchange network? • How will you use your learning and experience to become a change agent multiplier?
Reverse Culture Shock / re-entry shock : just as new cultures they experienced while on project may have presented a unique set of stresses, known as culture shock, so can the re- entry into one’s own country produce a set of stresses. These are often the result of participants having kept positive aspects from their home country as the key memories, but on returning home, the realities against the memories can be in conflict. A second aspect is that returning participants will remember the home country in a specific way, and on return this may have changed which can lead to confusion, discomfort and insecurity. People engage in a way that is not remembered, priorities may seem inconsistent with a bigger/new world view, family and friends are unable to connect with aspects participants have experienced and may feel are very important etc. As a practitioner, this must be understood as a likely scenario for returning participants and therefore the practitioner must avail themselves to support re-integration. • Make sure the participant knows you are contactable to talk • Encourage participant to engage with the alumni network • Capture the alumni’s story in writing, video or other creative format • Be a conduit to allowing a “Change -Action- Project” to be developed by the alumni (the Southern African Alumni Network can be a useful agent in this regard)
Alumni networks: ensure returning participants are introduced to the networks and not just aware of them. Alumni can play a very important role in providing the emotional support and
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