Improve English Language Proficiency of HIV NGO Staff


Open to all RPCVs

Activity/project background

Partner: PACT Ukraine (Local NGO)

To sustain an efficient HIV-response in Ukraine, several non-governmental organizations (NGOs) are forming connections with both international donor organizations and Western partner NGOs. Senior staff in some of these NGOs and HIV-program implementing partners (IP) have identified the need to support their top and middle management staff with conversational and business English, particularly by working with a native English speaker. This support will enable them to build and maintain stronger relationships with international donor organizations and Western partners to exchange experiences and best practices related to HIV-service provision. During a country level operations planning event, senior staff contacted the Peace Corps PEPFAR Representative to request cooperation and support through the Virtual Service Pilot.

PACT Ukraine – an organization focusing on ensuring access of HIV/AIDS key populations to health care and treatment and strengthening the capacity of community-based organizations - offered to coordinate English sessions that would be open to their implementing partners, i.e., local HIV-service organizations. The Virtual Service Pilot Participants (VSPPs) will be cooperating with PACT Ukraine to teach English to the HIV-service NGO staff. The VSPP will be working weekly with several groups with different levels of English, with up to 10 participants in each group.

PACT Ukraine has not previously worked with a VSPP. 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:
• Facilitate an online survey for participants and develop a schedule, and list of topics for the session’s discussion based on participants’ interests
• Co-develop priority learning objectives and curriculum for English sessions
• Co-develop session plans and implement weekly English sessions
• Co-develop creative ways of interacting with participants to deliver sessions activities, placing emphasis on English speaking and listening (communicative) activities
• Create supplemental conversations, activities, and/or presentations on U.S.
culture to advance English speaking, listening, and cross-cultural understanding
• Discuss with the Ukrainian partners the results of their learning progress on regular basis
• Modify plans based on participants’ feedback and program progress
• Write a short report on the successes, challenges, and lessons learned

This engagement is expected to be approximately 22 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 be determined during orientation.

The Host Country Counterpart will have access to Zoom, Microsoft Teams, email, WhatsApp, and/or 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

Experience: 1 year ESL/TEFL teaching experience in the U.S.A. or abroad

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

• Masters degree in education, teaching, or related field
• TEFL or TESOL Certificate

Technical Skills:
• Familiarity with virtual engagement and communication
• Proficient in using Zoom and/or other online teaching platforms to facilitate events

• 1 year experience teaching English to adults
• Experience working with refugees, IDPs, or people affected by conflict
• English club experience in a foreign country, with TEFL students, or adults abroad

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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