Co-design Interpersonal and Management Skills Trainings for Youth


Open to all RPCVs

Activity/project background

Dale Una Mano a Costa Rica (D1MCR) is a youth-led NGO legally constituted as a non-profit association in Matina, Limon. Since December 2015, Dale Una Mano supports youth to become agents of change through volunteering to transform their lives and communities. D1MCR’s presence in Matina is critical since it is one of the counties with the lowest rates of social development and recreation in Costa Rica. In recent years, D1MCR has worked with a number of Youth Development and English Education Peace Corps Volunteers who have supported the implementation of their projects.

Virtual Service Pilot Participants will support the organization in completing the second the stage of the “D1MCR 2.0”, a program that seeks to maximize the leadership of the participants by strengthening their technical skills in aspects related to NGO management, and soft skills and leadership abilities necessary to become a part of NGO senior leadership. The first stage was implemented by previous Peace Corps Virtual Service participants in 2021. During the first stage, the curriculum's subject areas were identified, half of the curriculum was designed and piloted, and a facilitation manual was started. Stage 2 will build on this work by completing the curriculum design and the facilitation manual in a collaborative and participatory process along with the youth leaders. The curriculum will be used in the future by D1MCR for in-person trainings and should incorporate synchronous and asynchronous learning over several sessions for each subject. This product will help the NGO have a strong leadership program to train youth who are willing to grow as senior leaders with the skills necessary to sustainably run a volunteer-led NGO.

Virtual service engagement and tasks

The VSPPs will support the host country partner’s activity/project and team to complete the design of a training curriculum for youth leaders that have graduated from previous D1MCR leadership programs, and who have an interest in taking on senior leadership roles as members of the committees responsible for the administration and operation of the NGO.

Through collaboration with the team, the VSPPs will :

• Complete the design of "D1MCR 2.0" training curriculum and facilitation manual in Spanish
• Co-develop the curriculum and facilitation manual in a participatory and collaborative process with the counterpart and youth leaders of the NGO. Completing the curriculum design will require reviewing the soft skills and NGO management components that were not developed during the first stage. Some of these components include: communication, responsibility, conflict resolution, and decision making. To do this, the VSPP will collaborate with a youth leader from the NGO and the counterpart.
• VSPPs will prepare an agenda for each working session identifying the topics to be covered and will follow-up on the input and feedback needed from counterparts and youth leaders.
• Monitor and evaluate the progress achieved during the second stage of the virtual engagement with D1MCR and make recommendations for the future.

Since D1MCR is a volunteer organization, its members meet on weekdays from 7:00pm to 9:00pm and/or on Saturdays during the daytime, Costa Rica time. The VSPPs must have the availability to meet with the counterpart and youth leaders at least once a week during their usual meeting times. Additionally, VSPPs should schedule approximately 4 hours each week for independent work time on the curriculum and facilitation manual. It is estimated that the VSPP will spend 6-10 hours per week completing tasks.

• Estimated duration: 90 to 120 minutes.
• Estimated number of training sessions to be designed: 12
• Target audience: youth leaders who have already completed a number of leadership, soft skills and community service trainings.
• Time allowing VSP participants and youth leaders will pilot the workshops using the facilitation manual.

The Host Country Counterpart will have access to Zoom, WhatsApp, and email for regular communication and collaboration.

Per the Child Protection Code of Conduct, when engaging online with minors (0-18), two adults must be present.

Optional additional activities

The Peace Corps mission is to promote world peace and friendship by fulfilling three goals:

  1. To help the people of interested countries in meeting their need for trained men and women.
  2. To help promote a better understanding of Americans on the part of the peoples served.
  3. To help promote a better understanding of other peoples on the part of Americans.

Goal 1 will be achieved through the VSPP's engagement and completion of the above tasks. The counterpart and VSPP may also choose to identify an activity that aligns with Goal 2. Additionally, the VSPP may identify a Goal 3 activity to implement during their engagement. See recommendations and tools for Goal 3 activities.

Essential qualifications

Education: Bachelors or technical degree in social sciences, education, youth development, or related field

Language: Advanced level of Spanish. Meetings with youth and partners will be facilitated in Spanish and the manual will be written in Spanish

• Work, volunteer, or academic experience in Latin America
• 1 year of experience working with youth
• Experience and knowledge in training design and facilitation, including developing guides, manuals, and/or written educational resources.

Intercultural skills and motivation: Flexible, strong cross-cultural agility, high tolerance for ambiguity, able to work independently, resourceful, creative, and genuinely motivated and capable to serve virtually

Desired qualifications

Technical Skills: Familiarity with virtual engagement and communication

Language: Superior Spanish skills

• Experience working on life skill development training or projects
• Experience designing educational programs, service learning and/or soft skill training programs such as: goal setting, decision making, problem solving, negotiation, conflict resolution, positive communication, etc.
• Strong communication skills
• Experience working with Community Based Organizations and/or non-profits
• Work, volunteer, or academic experience in Costa Rica
• Experience with project design and management
• Experience with monitoring and evaluation
• Experience with budget planning and implementation

Partner background

Name: Dale Una Mano a Costa Rica

Type of entity: Local NGO

Mission and goals:

Dale Una Mano a Costa Rica (D1MCR) is a nonprofit organization that serves vulnerable youth and young adults in Matina county, one of the two least socially and economically developed counties in Costa Rica. The NGO is dedicated to the development of youth leadership, strengthening their soft skills, and empowering youth as agents of change to overcome their own obstacles and contribute to the welfare of their communities.

D1MCR main activities are workshops on leadership development facilitated by youth, and community service projects planned and executed by volunteers as an instrument to put their leadership and soft skills into practice.

Terms and conditions of engagement

VSPPs will be engaging with the host country partner, in coordination with Peace Corps post staff, remotely from the US. They should have access to a computer, internet, and telephone in order to enable direct engagement with the Peace Corps overseas office and the Host Country Counterpart assigned by the host country partner.

Orientation with the host country partner will be provided, within the designated virtual service hours, during the first week of virtual service via an online presentation and discussion. The host country partner will provide an overview of its organization, the local context, and how they envision collaborating with the VSPP.

The VSPP will have regular check-ins with their counterpart and bi-weekly check-ins with Peace Corps staff. Spending unstructured time with counterparts can be critical to relationship-building and is encouraged through activities such as coffee chats and informal calls within the weekly 5-15 hours.

Engagement-specific safety and security

The VSPP will receive an orientation on Peace Corps’ Child Protection Policy and how it relates to online engagement along with IT security best practices. The VSPP will be expected to follow safety and security guidelines for online engagement to ensure their safety and that of the Host Country Partner and their counterpart, and any beneficiaries of the engagement.

Supervision requirements

The VSPP will report to a designated Peace Corps staff member. The VSPP will be expected to abide by the Virtual Service Pilot Participant and Donation Agreement and Participant Principles of Engagement. The VSPP will also be expected to check in with the designated host country counterpart as assigned by the host county partner.

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