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.