Co-Facilitate “Speak Out” Club for Displaced Youth of Kherson


Open to all RPCVs

Activity/project background

Partner: Kherson Oblast Library for Children (Government)

After Russia's military occupation of Kherson, many of its citizens were forced to flee and seek shelter in other parts of Ukraine and abroad. Recognizing the challenges faced by its displaced youth, the Kherson Oblast Library for Children swiftly adapted by relocating to the west of Ukraine and shifting its activities online. With a renewed focus on supporting vulnerable populations, the library continues to engage with its members, providing resources and learning opportunities specifically tailored to the needs of displaced youth.
The Speak Out Club lies at the heart of this library initiative. This program encompasses English language instruction while also nurturing practical life skills that are directly relevant to the youth’s daily experiences. The Virtual Service Pilot Participant (VSPP) will collaborate with a Ukrainian counterpart to design and deliver a customized curriculum that addresses the unique needs and interests of the club members. The curriculum will cover various topics, including effective communication, problem-solving, time management, decision-making, teamwork, and leadership. These life skills will be taught through engaging activities, discussions, and exercises that promote active participation and collaboration among club members and the VSPP.

To further support the displaced youth, the VSPP will also facilitate an exploration of American history, cultural diversity, and the impact of American values on the global community. The Speak Out Club's activities will extend beyond language learning, featuring virtual cultural celebrations and other events that encourage intercultural dialogue, mutual understanding, and appreciation.

The Kherson Oblast Library for Children has previously worked with a Peace Corps Volunteer. They understand that the role of a VSPP is very different than a two-year Volunteer.

Virtual service engagement and tasks

The VSPP will engage in the following tasks, in collaboration with Host Country Partner:

• Co-assess current English learning and life skills practices and priorities of club members
• Co-develop a curriculum for Speak Out Club. The topics will be focused on life skills (positive communication, leadership, conflict resolution, decision-making, critical thinking)
• Co-host 1-hour online sessions twice a week with a group of approximately 10 participants
• Co-host monthly cultural events devoted to American holidays and historical events
• Attend a weekly meeting with the Ukrainian counterpart for feedback and discussion
This engagement is expected to be approximately 16 weeks. VSPPs are expected to engage on the tasks listed above for an estimated 5-15 hours per week.

Meetings between VSPPs and Host Country Counterparts will take place from 4:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. Kyiv, Ukraine standard time. Specific times will be determined during orientation.

The Host Country Counterpart will have access to Zoom, Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, and Telegram 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: Bachelor’s degree in any field

• 6 months of experience working with youth
• Experience in co-planning and co-facilitating online English non-formal education activities

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

Education: Master’s degree any field

Technical Skills: Familiarity with virtual engagement and communication

• 1 year of experience teaching life skills to youth and adults
• 1 year of experience with curriculum and workshop development
• 1 year of experience developing engaging virtual educational sessions
• Experience with tools for online facilitation/presentation such as Kahoot, Prezi, and Canva

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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