Develop Resiliency for Personal Success in Youth from Eastern Ukraine

Activity/project background

Partner: Kryvyi Rih Lyceum “Credo” (Government)

Kryvyi Rih is one of the major hubs in Eastern Ukraine for internally displaced people (IDPs). Kryvyi Rih Lyceum “Credo” has hosted more than 30 young internally displaced people, Ukrainian IDPs, in the past year and keeps its doors open to new incoming IDPs. Due to the conditions of living in a time of war, access to normal and traditional schooling is becoming challenging, but immensely important. Therefore, besides teaching regular lessons, teachers at the Lyceum set a goal of creating an environment where students can nurture their resilience and develop skills needed for personal success. It will allow students to maintain their emotional wellbeing, self-esteem, and develop strategies for self-care and healthy relationships in social life.

To reach this goal, the Lyceum is inviting a Virtual Service Pilot Participant (VSPP) to co-facilitate a “Resilience for Personal Success” club. This club will aim to develop students’ soft skills such as emotional intelligence, healthy relationships, effective communication, active listening, time management, problem-solving and decision-making, sense of teamwork, stress management, and other related topics. It will equip young people with the ability to emotionally strive, learn self-regulation and be successful even in the face of adversity.

The VSPP will collaborate with Ukrainian counterparts to co-facilitate the club. Throughout the club, with the help of the VSPP, Ukrainian students will delve into the art of resilience, cultivating emotional intelligence, fostering a growth mindset, and mastering the ability to bounce back from setbacks. Students will also get an opportunity to learn about America and American culture, which will broaden their outlook.

The Lyceum has previously worked with three Peace Corps Volunteers. 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:

• Coordinate with Lyceum partners to learn about existing club efforts, motivation of students, and align their understanding of resilience in their current context
• Co-design a curriculum for the “Resilience for Personal Success” (which will include such topics as emotional intelligence, healthy relationships, effective communication, active listening, time management, problem-solving and decision-making, sense of teamwork, stress management, mindfulness, etc.)
• Co-facilitate at least 10 club meetings for a group of students once a week for approximately 1 hour (number of students: 15-20)
• 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 during normal office hours, 3:00 p.m. - 7:00 p.m. Kyiv time. Specific times will be determined during orientation.

The Host Country Counterpart will have access to Zoom, Google Meet, 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

• 1 year of experience facilitating emotional support, emotional resiliency, or recreational activities
• 1 year of experience working with youth (aged 14-16) in some capacity, such as a teacher, counselor, mentor, coach, or volunteer

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 any field

Technical Skills:
• Familiarity with virtual engagement and communication
• Understanding of different learning styles and backgrounds: Ukrainian youth are living in war conditions
• Skilled at connecting with students and creating a safe and supportive learning environment
• 3 years of experience working with youth or related experience
• 1 year experience teaching or facilitating group discussions

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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