Working in a program that serves a diverse population of young people offers many opportunities for learning about cultural differences. Different backgrounds, cultures, races, and ethnicities have different customs and beliefs that youth workers must recognize and honor. You have to understand where they are coming from before you can relate to them and help. That’s where Intercultural training comes in and it’s a necessary part of the training process.
Intercultural Training Will Expand How You Interact and React
Too many young adults and older adults have made mistakes where young people from other cultures are concerned. Often it’s a lack of knowledge or understanding. For example, the practice of “coining” is very common among the Hmong community but to the untrained eye it could look like a form of child abuse.
Heated metal coins are placed on a child’s chest, shoulders and back to remove negative energies and reduce fever. It leaves obvious marks that the untrained person might report as child abuse, when it is not. Many concepts, practices, and beliefs may seem foreign to you. Intercultural training will raise your awareness and help avoid mistakes.
Relate Through Learning
This training prepares you for many cultural aspects of working diverse youth. There are a lot of beliefs and superstitions out there that you may have grown up with that may be a bias you are not even aware of yet. Intercultural Engagement trainings will help uncover hidden bias and cultivate respect for all cultures.