Develop COVID-19 Radio Programs for Rural Amazonian Population


Open to all RPCVs

Activity/project background

Since 1998, Minga Peru has been working in rural, indigenous communities in the buffer zone of the Pacaya Samaria National Reserve (the Peruvian Amazon), an area of important bio-diversity that has been under increasing attack from many sources. Minga is helping to deepen local understanding and action to conserve local plant species, reconnect with indigenous languages and values, and increase food security while protecting the environment and empowering gender equality. Minga owns its own training center (Tambo Minga Training Center) near the Reserve that holds workshops or presentations and provides lodging and meals for locals or tourists attending the workshops or presentations.

Our intercultural radio program Bienvenida Salud (“Welcome Health”) has been on-air for 20 years. We broadcast an average 3 episodes per week, and each one reaches over 120,000 listeners in hundreds of communities across an extremely remote landscape. Each program is based on listener’s letters, which arrives at Minga’s central office after a several days journey by boat. To date they have received over 40,000 letters and have produced over 3,000 episodes on social issues such as domestic violence, HIV/AIDS, the value of gender equality, human rights, and bio-cultural preservation.

The Virtual Service Pilot Participant (VSPP) would help make a series of radio programs related to COVID-19 prevention and vaccination awareness. Through the program, Minga could reach communities where doctors do not visit due to access difficulty, and where news and information only arrive by radio, since in these communities do not even get a phone signal. The target population is the indigenous community of Loreto, with a special focus on women.

Virtual service engagement and tasks

The VSPP will engage in the following tasks:

• Develop an assessment of MINGA Peru, its radio program “Welcome Health”, its staff, its target population (audience: 120,000 listeners in Loreto), and the reach of its signal
• Assess the impact of Covid-19 in the Amazon area, with Minga’s staff support
• In coordination with MINGA staff, prepare a proposal for a Radio Program Plan: topics, contents, educational objective, and radio resources
• Implement and Co-host one radio program per week (25 min each program) with MINGA staff, approximately 20 base radio programs during the 6 months of VSPP service
• Present and document achievements and metrics related to the programming

This engagement is expected to be approximately 27 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 during normal office hours, 8:00am to 5:00pm Eastern Time. Specific times will be determined during orientation.
The radio shows will take place between 8:00am and 5:00pm Eastern Time.

The Host Country Counterpart will have access to Zoom, Google Meet, 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: Bachelor of Arts/Bachelor of Science in any field

Language: Advanced level of written and spoken Spanish

• Experience with COVID-19 programming, contact tracing, and/or response activities
• Public speaking experience
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

• Experience developing radio programs
• Experience promoting public health in rural areas

Partner background

Name: MINGA Peru

Type of entity: Local NGO

Mission and goals:

Minga Peru is an award-winning non-profit organization focused on serving indigenous communities in the heart of the beautiful and biodiverse Amazon rainforest in the buffer zone of the Pacaya Samiria National Reserve.

Their work empowers women and communities through leadership training, an inter-cultural radio program, and partnerships with grassroots & international organizations, local governments, and educational institutions to ensure that these communities have access to information and services related to human rights, health, conservation, and eco-friendly income generating projects.

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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