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Author Topic: IT education as secondary project  (Read 1700 times)

Offline Marion

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IT education as secondary project
« on: November 07, 2013, 04:18:17 PM »
When I served in Botswana our primary focus was HIV/AIDS.  We did not cure HIV during our service, and we didn't put much of a dent in the prevalence rate.  Since HIV/AIDS work is such a tough primary project, most Peace Corps Volunteers in Botswana achieve the most personal satisfaction from their secondary projects.

I taught Information Technology skills to a lot of people.  I had friends in several NGO's and I taught one-on-one with them.  I also taught several workshops on Word and Excel in my office.  The biggest part of my IT education was in the local library.  I went twice a week and taught the library employees for an hour before they opened, and then taught the library customers for a few hours. 

Teaching IT is fun and many of my students had to be taught from the most basic level.  "This is a mouse.  This is a monitor...."   Many had never touched a computer before.  Funny thing... no matter how little they knew about computers, when I asked what they wanted to learn they almost always said they wanted a Facebook account.

Remember that as an American who most likely grew up with a computer in your bedroom, your classroom and your office; you know a lot about computers -- even if you don't think that you do -- and you have a lot to offer.  It is an easy project that most will appreciate.  So if you are running a little low on ideas for a secondary project think about teaching IT. 
Marion
RPCV, Botswana (2011-2013)

Offline jlmanzak

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Re: IT education as secondary project
« Reply #1 on: November 07, 2013, 08:44:03 PM »
Thanks for this idea Marion! I've been a little worried about what kinds of things I could do as secondary projects. Most of the things I've seen others doing have been sports related, and I am most definitely not a sports person! I never played any team sports at all. IT classes at a basic level are definitely something I can do though!

Offline Marion

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Re: IT education as secondary project
« Reply #2 on: November 09, 2013, 06:30:59 AM »
There are a lot of easy secondary project ideas that aren't sports related.  One other project my wife and I were active in was showing STEPS films.  There is a training Peace Corps will give you and your counterpart on how to conduct these showings.  The films are conversation starters on whatever the film's subject is (HIV, Abuse, etc).  It is a great secondary project.
Marion
RPCV, Botswana (2011-2013)

Offline cagormley

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Re: IT education as secondary project
« Reply #3 on: January 22, 2014, 12:12:30 PM »
That is such a good idea Marion!  I was wondering, in addition to the difficulty to make an impact on the prevalence rate of HIV/AIDS what are some of the other biggest challenges that make HIV/AIDS work so difficult do you think? I would think cultural barriers and lasting impact of programs would be difficult, but I am sure there are many more difficulties.

Offline Marion

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Re: IT education as secondary project
« Reply #4 on: January 22, 2014, 01:03:00 PM »
Probably the biggest challenge that makes HIV/AIDS work so challenging is that you are trying to change personal (cultural) behaviours.  In Botswana having multiple concurrent partnerships was ingrained in their culture and it made the disease spread rapidly.  Other things that made it difficult was an attitude among many that it is was just another chronic disease treatable by a pill (in Botswana the government proides ARV drugs free) so it was no big deal.

I wrote a blog entry on this subject that explains some of those challenges:  http://mobleyfamily.info/?p=4004
Marion
RPCV, Botswana (2011-2013)