Single Story- day 1 of VSO Training
on Wendy Margolese (Zambia), 30/Oct/2010 12:33, 34 days ago
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I finally got confirmation of my departure date...November 13th! So I'm in Ottawa on 5 days of training.Day 1 was yesterday and quite honestly it was energizing and inspiring. Firstly there are 17 other people in training with me,1 more interesting than the next.   Most of us live somewhere in Canada and a few live in the US. Between us, we are going to 11 different countries in the next 3 months. Most of the people who are going with VSO are going from between 6 and 24 months. Some have volunteered for organizations simlar to VSO before.. it was just really inspiring to meet so many interesting people in 1 day.So the trainings' purpose is to educate you on the country you are going to, but much more importantly it's to be prepare you to be in a completely different reality and to sensative to the cultural differences between you and your new environment. So yesterday we spoke about learning styles, dominance and marginalization and all that means.. and Single Story Telling. I had never heard that expression before yesterday. Single Story Telling is to tell of your experience from 1 angle only.. so as an example all we hear about Rwanda is of the genocides.. this is their single story... there are plenty of wonderful things happening in Rwanda.. like the Stratford theatre has partnered with a kids Rwandan Theatre to teach them about acting and the theatre, ( one of my co-trainees is going next week to work on this project). So CUSO-VSO wants us to be aware of telling single stories rather than thinking it through and telling multiple stories.The truth of the matter is that the media tells single stories all of the time, and what matters is what information people have access to... and they have access to the media, and the media needs to sell it's product so they'll report on the stuff that sells. Part of the reason I started my blog was to have a record of all that took place on my journey, the other reason was to share my story and the story of the community I'm going to live in and to hopefully get my new community involved in communicating to North America and finally because my colleague Dan Bryson who volunteered with VSO last year did such a great blog that it inspired me to ignore my fears and just leap!