Facilitate English Club Sessions for Local Government Officials


Open to all RPCVs

Activity/project background

Partner: Vasylivka Community Development Agency (Government)

Before the full-scale Russian invasion of Ukraine in February 2022, there were 15,000 residents living in the town of Vasylivka, Zaporizhzhia region, south of Ukraine. Many of them fled as the Russian forces approached. Currently, the town is occupied by the Russians. The town council along with the executive branch of municipal government moved to the regional capital of Zaporizhzhia, a few miles north. They continue to provide services to the communities that are suffering from the enemy’s daily shelling, and, at the same time, prepare for the eventual return to the de-occupied Vasylivka once conditions allow.

The Vasylivka Community Development Agency is currently developing connections with various humanitarian relief agencies, as well as other international donors, who could potentially assist with the rebuilding of their hometown. To do this effectively, the agency’s staff hope to improve their conversational English skills with the help of a Virtual Service Pilot Participant (VSPP).

The audience consists of 7-10 government officials who have novice level English. The VSPP is expected to co-facilitate two English club meetings per week: 1 hour of conversational English for beginners, and 1 hour of business English for those with slightly advanced English. Additionally, depending on the time and skillset of the VSPP, the NGO hopes that a VSPP will assist with the development and translation of content for the English version of their website (1 hour per week).

The NGO has not previously worked with a Peace Corps Community Development Volunteer. However, 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 their Host Country Partners:
• Co-assess current English language proficiency
• Co-develop a learning strategy and session plans for beginners and advanced English learners
• Co-facilitate two conversational English club sessions per week (one for beginners and one for more advanced English speakers) for up to 10 local government officials
• If time allows, assist with the translation of content for the agency’s website

This engagement is expected to be approximately 12 weeks. The VSPP is expected to engage on the tasks listed above for an estimated 5-15 hours per week.

Ideal times for virtual engagement are between 3:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m. Ukraine standard time. Specific times for planning sessions between the VSPP and Host Partner will be determined during orientation. The Host Partner will provide interpretation.

The Host Country Counterpart will have access to email, Zoom, Messenger, Telegram, and WhatsApp 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

Language: Basic Ukrainian

• At least 6 months of experience of tutoring in English
• At least 3 months of experience of facilitating English club sessions

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 in education OR a TESOL certificate

Technical Skills: Familiarity with virtual engagement and communication

Language: Intermediate Ukrainian

• Virtual Service experience in Ukraine
• Any experience translating from Ukrainian into English and vice versa

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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