This Life Skills Manual was compiled and adapted from materials created by the fol- lowing organizations: World Health Organization; United Nations Educational, Sci- entific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO); Alice Welbourn and ACTIONAID; the Curriculum Development Unit, Ministry of Education, Zimbabwe; and UNICEF, Harare. We gratefully acknowledge the talent and skill of the authors of those materials.
The Peace Corps also appreciates the work of Kathleen Callahan, who developed the Life Skills Manual, and Ruth Mota, African Health Specialist, the author of the “Facing Facts about HIV/AIDS and STDs” section. Additional thanks are due the development team: Judee Blohm and Lani Havens for editing, and Therese Wingate for illustrations and graphic design. Finally, we appreciate the ideas and photographs shared by Volun- teers, Counterparts, and staff throughout the world, especially Peace Corps/Malawi and Tovwirane Centre, and the efforts of all those who participated in this process.
The Life Skills program is a comprehensive behavior change approach that concentrates on the development of the skills needed for life such as com- munication, decision–making, thinking, managing emotions, assertiveness, self–esteem building, resisting peer pressure, and relationship skills. Addition- ally, it addresses the important related issues of empowering girls and guiding boys towards new values. The program moves beyond providing information. It addresses the development of the whole individual—so that a person will have the skills to make use of all types of information, whether it be related to HIV/AIDS, STDs, reproductive health, safe motherhood, other health issues, and other communication and decision–making situations. The Life Skills approach is completely interactive, using role plays, games, puzzles, group discussions, and a variety of other innovative teaching techniques to keep the participant wholly involved in the sessions.