PROGRAM UNIT PDO 20, Introduction to Predeparture Orientation Training


PROGRAM UNIT PDO 20, Introduction to Predeparture Orientation Training

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2 Weeks
PDO 201


Kahuura esther
PROGRAM UNIT PDO 201: Introduction to Predeparture Orientation Training


Plot 2632,Princess Road -Kimbejja Namugongo Division, Kira Municipality   View map


PDO Training

PROGRAM UNIT PDO 201: Introduction to Predeparture Orientation Training

Session 1: Introduction Engagement /Icebreaking
Session 2: Introduction to Labour Migration
Session 3: Importance of Predeparture Orientation
Session 4: Benefits and Challenges of Migration

Suggested Total Duration: 4 Hrs.

Suggested Duration



1 hr Session 1: Introduction Engagement /Icebreaking
30 min Session 2: Introduction to Labour Migration
30 min Session 3: Importance of Predeparture Orientation

1 hr

Session 4: Benefits and Challenges of Migration

1 hr

Session 5: Family Support and Involvement


Module Aim and Objectives:

By the end of this module, participants should be able to:

  1. Explain why they are attending the training.
  2. Discuss the importance of pre-departure training and how much it contributes to their successful or unsuccessful stay in the country of destination.
  3. Explain the challenges and benefits of migration so as to make a more informed decision on their choices to migrate or stay.
  4. Discuss the importance of family support and the role of the next of kin, as well as how this support system can be used to the migrant’s advantage.



Session 1: Introduction Engagement /Icebreaking

Session Objectives

By the end of this session, participants should be able to:

  1. Appreciate the reason they are attending the training.
  2. Get acclimatized with the new environment and tutors.
  3. Have an idea of what they are going to learn and how long they are going to take to prepare for their migration journey.
Suggested Duration 1 Hr
30 min     Collect participants’ expectations/ Opening explanations

30 min     Icebreaker exercises

Methodology:                 Presentations, brainstorming, and discussions.
Facilitator Materials:       Flip charts, markers, and video clips.
Participants Materials:      Copies of the slides or takeaway notes.


Opening explanation (30 min)

  • Introduce yourself and all fellow
  • Explain any logistical matters, including start and end times for sessions, location of meals and coffee, location of toilets, instructions for fire drills, etc.
  • Stress that the key aim of the training course is to provide attendees with the chance to participate in discussions, to ask questions and also to learn from each other (not just from the trainers).
  • Explain various training methods and materials that will be used: presentations, group work, individual exercises, videos, etc.


Icebreaker exercises (30 min)

  • Separate the participants into
  • Ask them to explain to each other the following:
    • Reasons for which they are attending this
    • Key issues that they want to cover during the
    • Materials that they do not want the course to
    • Opinions on what rules are needed to ensure the course’s success – e.g., a ban on mobile phone usage, respect for different points of view,
  • After ten minutes of discussion, bring everyone back into a group and ask each person to report what their partner said to them.
  • Record the key points that each person raises on a flip chart, suggesting where possible how issues of concern will be addressed by the course content.
  • Review the list, asking whether any issues should be added or


Summary of the programme (5 min)

  • In light of the above discussion, briefly run through the programme for the entire training, explaining the key elements of the training course. Emphasize that, while it is important to keep to time, the programme can be altered to focus on some areas and deemphasize others, as the participants
  • Ask the group for any comments or questions about the programme or logistical




Session 2: Introduction to Labour Migration

Session Objectives 

By the end of this unit, participants should be able to:

  • Develop awareness of the importance of labour migration as a source of employment and livelihood.
  • Explain the general information regarding migration.
  • Explain important terminologies in labour migration.
  • Discuss the driving forces in labour migration.
Suggested Duration 30 min
5 min     Types of Labor Migration

5 min     Terminologies in Labour Migration

20 min    Driving Forces of Labour Migration

Methodology:                 Presentations, brainstorming, and discussions.
Facilitator Materials:       Flip charts, markers, and video clips.
Participants Materials:      Copies of the slides or takeaway notes.


Session Activities

  1. Deliver a presentation on the description of migration and its forms using basic notes in “Introduction to Migration.”
  2. Make a presentation on the forms of migration.
  3. Request that participants brainstorm on reasons they want to migrate.
  4. Discuss with participants the reasons for migration.
  5. Ask participants if they have any questions.





Introduction to Labour Migration

This session will provide a broad overview of the labour migration phenomenon, including the types of migration listed below:

  1. Voluntary migration: This is migration based on a person’s initiative and free will. Voluntary migration is influenced by a combination of economic, political and social factors. (Note: Give examples of people who have migrated as a result of such factors or situations that include such factors.)
  2. Forced migration: This refers to the movement of refugees and internally displaced people/people displace by conflict, natural hazards, chemical or nuclear disasters, famine and developmental projects (e.g., Lusanje).
  3. Internal migration: The movement of people from one area to another within the same country for the broad range of purposes. This migration may be temporary or permanent.
  4. Temporary migration: The act of going to another place or country to work for a while and return home. Here, skilled, semi-skilled or untrained workers remain in the destination country for a specified period as determined by the work contract. Such people are called migrant workers.
  5. Permanent migration: This is the act of permanently shifting to another country or place to live and/or work. Permanent migrants have legally admitted immigrants who are accepted in the receiving country and include persons who have migrated to be with their families.




Participants discuss their motivations for migrating (this exercise will also help to understand people who are voluntarily migrating or being coerced into migrating). Do not interrupt. Make sure to take notes on issues of interest.



The notion of international migration and various terminologies important in migration are stated in the glossary list. The facilitator can go over the list with the participants to ensure they have a thorough understanding of the various terminologies.

Driving forces of labour migration:

  1. Pull factors – are those which attract migrants to an area. Opportunities for better employment, higher wages, better or more facilities, better working conditions and attractive amenities are pulled factors of an area.
  2. Push factors – are those that force the individual to move voluntarily, and in many cases, they are forced because, the individual risks something if they stay. Push factors may include conflict, drought, famine, or extreme religious activity.

The following three key factors fuel labour migration:

  • Pull factors include labour market needs in destination countries and demographical factors in high-income countries.
  • Push factors include unemployment and wage differentials in countries of origin.
  • Established inter-country networks are based on family, culture and history.
Pull Factors Push Factors
•              Job opportunities

•              Better healthcare

•              Better Education

•              Safety

•             Few jobs

•             Wars

•             Famine

•             Natural disasters

•             Poor systems





  1. Ask participants to identify their individual push factors.
  2. Ask participants to share their understanding of the type of migration they intend to undertake.




Session 3: Importance of Predeparture Orientation

Session Objective

  • To explain the importance of pre-departure training.
  • To make it easier for migrants to understand what their migration journey means.
  • To cover the big questions that the migrants will have during the preparations.
  • To facilitate cultural adaptation and work-life expectations.


Suggested Duration 30 Min
5 min     Definition of Predeparture Orientation

5 min     Importance of Predeparture Training

20 min    Managing Expectations

Methodology:                Roleplay, brainstorming, discussion, case study,            presentations and speakers.
Facilitator Materials:     Flip charts, markers and video clips.
Participants Materials:    Copies of the slides or takeaway notes.



Session Activities

  • Deliver presentations on pre-departure orientation and training.
  • Brainstorm on the importance of pre-departure training.
  • Role play: work-life expectations.






What is pre-departure orientation?

Predeparture orientation (PDO) is the training given to potential migrants before they leave the country to work abroad. Its objective is to prepare the migrant to live and work in another country. It is highly recommended that PDO training be conducted over a long period of time prior to departure, rather than all at once at the last minute. Very serious and comprehensive training should target low-skilled and semi-skilled workers. Consideration should also be made on the language; facilitation of the training should be conducted in the language favourable to the potential migrants.


The PDO training should be carried out during one of the following stages:

  • Pre-decision: it is advisable to conduct pre-employment orientation training once the decision to get a job abroad has been made.
  • Predeparture: while preparing for the journey to the destination country.


Importance of the pre-departure orientation training

  • It supports outgoing migrant workers in preparing for their journey, adjustment period, life, and work in the country of destination.
  • It provides migrants with information on how to access support channels and grievance mechanisms.




Personal expectations are the internal standards you set. Therefore, your personal expectations are how you plan to measure your own success or failure. Examples: I should have a car, build a house, attain a master’s degree, get a well-paying job, etc.


How to Manage Your Expectations

Give Yourself Time

Be mindful of your own timeline as you set goals and objectives, and make sure you have a realistic plan to get you there.

Note: We tend to want things immediately, and this may lead us into being too hard on ourselves, creating internal conflict especially when it comes to personal expectations.

Adapt to Changing Situations

Do not react emotionally when things go wrong, or situations change. Take a breather to consider your options and reframe your initial expectation in light of your new situation.

Separate Yourself from the Outcome

Do not bind yourself to an outcome if you are unsure of its achievement.  This can lead to wrong decisions and mistakes.

Do Not Judge Yourself Harshly

Every day can be a struggle when personal expectations rule our lives. We are harshly critical of ourselves when we fail, and we are disappointed when we do not achieve our goals. Whether you succeed or fail, your overall expectation should simply be to learn as you go on. Think of yourself as an explorer going through life, rather than someone with a path dictated by expectations.

Stay Out of the Drama

Unrealized expectations create anger, disappointment, bitterness, needless drama, and even needless suffering. Emotions run high. Negativity kicks in. A feeling of confusion results. You can avoid the drama by assessing your realistic expectations based on your future goals.


Make No Assumptions

People often get into hot water when they assume a co-worker, vendor, or supervisor knows what they expect or even what they are talking about. My first piece of advice is to make sure you appreciate the context.


Managing Others’Expectations

Communicate About Everything

Communicate about what you like, what you expect in life, and what makes you happy and comfortable.

Note: If you do not communicate your expectations, as well as your own plans and projects, you are essentially preventing others from managing their own expectations of you.

Prepare for Problems

Just as you have to adapt to changing situations in your personal life, you will run headlong into these problems in your social life as well. Always try to imagine the worst-case scenario for your situation and anticipate possible outcomes. Having a plan B (and C) can help ensure that you meet expectations, even when things go wrong.

 Predict Others’ Expectations

Everyone comes to a situation with biases and preconceptions, which are at the root of all expectations. Knowing where others stand in terms of their own personal issues and beliefs can help you understand where their expectations come from.

Try to anticipate what people expect of you, and either work to meet those expectations or communicate about why they should be altered.


  • On a piece of paper, let each participant write down their expectation.
  • Have a discussion with the participants on how and when they plan to achieve each expectation.

Session 4: Benefits and Challenges of Migration

Session Objectives

By the end of this unit, participants should be able to:

  • Weigh the options and make an informed decision on whether their migration abroad for work will be beneficial.
  • Explain the three kinds of costs of working abroad – economic, social and health.
  • Clearly lay out all the costs involved in migrating to work in another country (in terms of money, physical and mental pressure on the migrant and his/her family) as well as the benefits (higher earnings remittances, etc.)
  • Carry out a cost-benefit analysis from his/her perspective, and not go by hearsay.


Suggested Duration 1 Hr
15 min     Economic Costs and Benefits of Migration

15 min     Social Costs and Benefits of Migration

30 min     Health Cost of Migration

Methodology:                 Presentations, small group discussions, case study.
Facilitation Materials:       Flip charts, markers and video clips.
Participants Materials:      Copies of the slides or takeaway notes.



Session Activities

  1. Divide participants into three to five small groups and ask them to discuss the following questions: “What are the benefits of working abroad?” and “What are the challenges to labour migration?” Allow for a 10-minute discussion and ask each group to present their answers to the class (2 to 3 minutes).
  2. Deliver a plenary session on the benefits and challenges of working abroad.
  3. Group discussion on challenges, abuse and exploitation: are male and female migrant workers equally vulnerable? Allow for a 10-minute discussion and 2 to 3 minutes presentation.
  4. You should mention to the participants that both men and women can experience the same problems (For example men can experience sexual abuse as well). In fact, there is evidence of men experiencing sexual abuse onboarding fishing vessels. You should also ask the participants to think about the challenges that are particular to the kind of a workplace they are going to. This section should be modified in accordance with the occupation of the migrant worker being trained.



Economic Costs and Benefits of Migration

This topic explains what migration-related economic costs and benefits are. It gives an idea of how jobs overseas represent an opportunity to earn more than one can earn at home, and how sending money back can help boost a family’s income.


General Benefits of Migration

  1. Working abroad may give you a better salary than you would be able to earn in Uganda for some jobs.
  2. You have an opportunity to earn and save money for your family and invest in your future. You can save money to start up a business, buy land, pay for education, or build a house.
  3. You can improve your skills, including your work and communication skills.
  4. You can broaden your horizon by meeting other people and discovering new things. You can learn about another culture or language.
  5. You can earn status in your community since you would have overcome a significant challenging experience.


  1. Cost: The economic cost of employment and recruitment
  • Getting a job abroad and going to another country is itself expensive.
  • Nice or well-paying jobs that do not require employment fees are quite a few.
  • Only a few migrants manage to go without financial support from other sources; family and friends usually cover the costs of recruitment and migration.
  • Migrants often have no choice but to borrow money from local moneylenders to afford the high recruitment fees charged by agencies for jobs other than domestic work and jobs in war zones.
  • The debt burden incurred as a result of paying high recruitment fees makes it difficult for employees to leave their employer or report exploitative working conditions. For migrant workers in some urban areas, but more especially in rural areas, a sub-agent may also need to be paid, since recruitment agencies are typically located in urban centres thus increasing the chances of getting into a debt trap.
  • The documents needed to migrate depend on the type of job the worker is going for and the laws of the destination country. They include medical certificates, Interpol clearance, local council clearance etc. Obtaining these documents involves expenditures. Migrants going for more specialized jobs or who have educational certificates will require to have these documents certified before they travel, which also costs money.
  • Other expenses that may not be covered by the employer but are relevant to the migration journey will have to be paid for by the migrant. These expenses include whenever applicable:
  • Cost of medical examination for the visa.
  • Cost of medical examination prescribed by the employer.
  • Visa fees.
  • Airfare from Uganda to the destination country.
  • Initial stay at hotels in the destination country.
  • Any other cost associated with overseas employment (passport processing, certification of documents, local clearances).
  • Therefore, the worker must exercise caution and weigh his/her options carefully.


  1. Benefits: Higher earnings and remittances
  • A higher wage is one of the main motivating factors that drive migrants. Relatively for almost all job categories, whether skilled or semi-skilled, migrant workers would earn a higher salary than what they would normally earn in Uganda. The higher currency exchange value combined with the higher wage makes it a lucrative prospect for migrant workers despite the hardships they may face.
  • The possibility of saving money for the future seems achievable with the prospect of higher earnings.
  • Workers with better skills and/or more years of experience and with internationally recognized certification have the capacity to earn more.
  • It is important to know about the contractual obligation of the employer with regard to the payment of wages. Workers cannot be paid less than what is mandated as per the contract. Workers have rights; the knowledge of these rights will ensure to guard against any kind of exploitation, including payment of lower wages by the employer.


Social Costs to Family Members Left Behind

  • Migration very often leads to spouses and/or children and parents being separated. Previously, wives were left behind since husbands were migrating; however, the trend has reversed with female domestic workers in GCC countries whose husbands and children are left behind. (The GCC member countries are Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates.)
  • When spouses are unable to handle the additional pressure, they get into trouble and develop social and psychological problems, especially if remittances are not received steadily. The major problem includes loneliness, anxiety, added responsibilities and debt from loans if the spouse left the burden behind.
  • Children left behind by a parent who migrates to another country may be more vulnerable to violence and abuse.
  • Children lose the guidance and authority of their parents as well as a source of parental love and care. Parental duties must be carried out by other family members especially sisters, grandmothers, and aunts if the mother migrated.
  • International research, especially in countries that have had a lot of people migrating, shows that most children feel sad even though they understand the reason why their parents or family members have left.
  • If the child is very young, the memory of the parent will fade quickly. However, among children who are a little older when they are left behind, fear, anger and feeling of rejection are common. The children also suffer from psychological problems like high-risk behaviour.
  • Drug and alcohol problems are more prevalent in children of migrant parents. Less attention at school and household tasks can also be an outcome of migrating parents.
  • Children left behind by migrant parents may also drop in their academic performance. Behaviour problems can also crop up at school with exceptional cases where the caretakers take the initiative to enrol children in good schools.
  • Children left behind may also face health problems due to a lack of care from extended family.
  • The elderly may be more exposed to increased vulnerability since they are left alone and/or with dependants.




Health Costs of Migration


Key issues to note in facilitating this topic

In this topic, explain the health risks and problems that migrant workers commonly face, how to avoid them and how to deal with them if they come up. Also, explain that each of these health issues has a direct financial cost and that this section will help them understand how they can minimize these costs. Emphasize the importance of obtaining a medical certificate prior to departure.


Obtaining an authentic medical certificate may not only help you as a migrant to know your health status but also will be beneficial to receive justice in case you are exposed to situations that affect your medical status negatively.


Migrant workers are at risk of catching communicable diseases because of a lack of knowledge and access to health services. They may also face unsafe or unhealthy working and living conditions. Some migrant workers suffer from depression and mental health due to the nature and conditions of their employment problems which lead to other health problems as well.


Physical Problems

It is advisable to get a medical certificate before leaving Uganda. A medical certificate is a proof that you were fit when you started the job, and it serves as a justification for your employer to pay your medical expenses should you fall sick.


Some of the potential health problems a migrant might face are:

  • Although they can be caused by food poisoning or drinking dirty or contaminated water, stomach problems and diarrhoea are very common since the migrant may not be used to the food in the destination country.
  • Headaches because of long working hours, stress, etc.
  • Muscle pains because of hard labour.
  • Injuries because of unsafe working conditions.
  • Exposure to toxic material or a dusty/smoky work environment causes problems like lung diseases.


Psychological Problems

  • Depression: Poor living and working conditions could lead to depression, which manifests as sadness, loss of interest and decreased energy.
  • Psychosis: The ability to think clearly, talk and communicate effectively and understand reality gets damaged.
  • Homesickness: A deep feeling of missing your home so much that you wish you were back home. When you first migrate to a foreign country, you will find life there very different from what you are used to. This is very common for migrants to miss the comfort of their homes, their families, and their communities. Very often, migrants feel upset, sad, or scared because they are homesick.


  • To deal with homesickness:
  • Try to be positive and focus on living in the new country and on the new things you get to experience.
  • Keep in touch with your family and friends through phone conversations, social media, and chats.
  • Make sure you eat properly and stay healthy. Try to find something interesting to do when you are not working.
  • Take one or two things that remind you of your home when you leave to go to another country.
  • It takes time to get over homesickness. Do not hesitate to talk to people around you and who you feel you can trust and ask for help.


Occupational health and safety

  • The company or your employer cannot make you work in dangerous conditions such as:
  • Small spaces without enough air or light.
  • Machines that are not safe and might injure you.
  • Exposure to toxic chemicals, gases and other substances that harm you.
  • Extremely hot or cold enough spaces to seriously harm your health.
  • Without equipment that will protect you, like hard helmets for construction work.
  • Workers must be given appropriate training in occupational health and safety for their work and be informed of any potential health hazards.
  • If a situation poses a danger to the health and safety of workers, the employer cannot force them to continue working until the problem has been fixed and the workplace is safe.


Exercise: Group activity on the trade-off of migration – 15 min

Trainees are divided into groups, and they list their expectations and potential losses of their migration journey.



Session 5: Family Support and Involvement  


Session Objective(s):

By the end of this session, participants should be able to:

  1. Perceive the importance of family support.
  2. Understand the importance of a proper declaration of the next of kin.
  3. Explain the role and responsibility of the next of kin.


Suggested Duration 1 Hr
30 min    Importance of Family Support

30 min   Next of Kin

Methodology:              Case study, brainstorming, pair work, discussions, presentations, and guest speakers.
Facilitator Materials:        Flip charts, markers, and video clips.
Participants Materials:      Copies of the slides or takeaway notes.


Session Activities

  1. With reference to a practical case, explain the importance of declaring a competent and proper next of kin.
  2. In pairs, participants discuss with each other their next of kin and why they chose that person.
  3. Brainstorm on perceptions of participants’ families in their involvement in their journey.
  4. Discuss the nature of support participants have received (or expect to receive) during the migration journey.





Family Support

Family is usually the fallback place when everything fails. Family is what we return to when we have finished the contract. Family is what supports us during a hard time in a foreign country.

Most people migrate for work to improve the lifestyle of their families and the family is the key driver of this movement.

Importance of Family Support

  • Source of inspiration in the migration journey.
  • Source of comfort during your stay in the COD.
  • In some instances, it provides help when the migrant is in trouble in the destination country.
  • Families help migrants in fulfilling their dreams back at home.

Next of Kin

This term usually means your nearest blood relative. In the case of a married couple or a civil partnership, it usually means their husband or wife. Next of kin is a title that can be given by you to anyone from your partner to blood relatives and even friends.

The next of kin in your migration journey should:

  1. Know all details of your migration journey.
  2. Be trustable and reliable.
  3. Be easily contactable and can respond in case of emergency.
  4. Be one that can make decisions regarding you and your property.
  5. Have your best interests at heart.
  6. Know the goals of your migration journey.


  • Note that the next of kin is a person that has the right to contact your PRA or Government agencies/ Embassy in case of any issue.
  • This person should be of mature age and be able to make decisions on your behalf in your absence.
  • In case of any eventuality/death, this person should able to have the capacity to follow up on your compensation and the eventual return of your remains case of death.
  • The next of kin contact details need to be availed at the PRA office and any other points of registration during your migration journey.

Choosing a Next of Kin

  1. Preferably a blood relative.
  2. Preferably a spouse – if in a good relationship and for the sake of the children if any.
  3. A trustworthy friend in case the two above are not applicable.
  4. A responsible and mature person.



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