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Pictures for training

The use of pictures can be a very helpful aid to training (particularly when embarrassing subjects are discussed!)

1995 Available in French, English, Spanish and Portuguese

Footsteps magazine issues on a wooden desk.

From: Training – Footsteps 22

Different approaches to training and facilitation

by Veronika Scherbaum.

Certain subjects, such as diarrhoea, AIDS and family planning, can cause embarrassment both for trainers and learners. Trainers need to develop a good group atmosphere so that these subjects can be talked about openly and without prejudice. Audience participation is a major goal.

The use of pictures can be a very helpful aid to training (particularly when such embarrassing subjects are discussed!). Working with the Oromo people in Western Ethiopia, we developed a series of pictures for use when teaching about diarrhoea. Each picture has a title for the benefit of the trainer. However, the pictures are not usually explained. Instead, the group are asked to work out the ‘message’ of the picture themselves. The trainer must stress the main points and summarize. In addition, different regions and cultures may raise their own particular concerns. Here are just a few of the pictures we developed for teaching about diarrhoea and rehydration (ORT). They may provide ideas for groups who could develop their own teaching series on a whole variety of subjects.


  • Have you ever seen a child like this?
  • Do you know some signs of this disease?
  • What will happen if lost fluid is not replaced?

Dehydration can easily be prevented by offering drinks or food as soon as the attacks of diarrhoea begin.


  • What is this woman cooking?
  • What kind of flour do you use in your porridge?
  • Have you used fermented flour to prepare porridge?

Any kind of flour can be used – preferably fermented flour.

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