Support Displaced Vulnerable Youth Through English and Resiliency Club

Activity/project background

Partner: Luhansk region organization (Association of Women, Youth, Families with Disability of Eastern Donbas – East) (Local NGO)

The Luhansk Region Organization, also known as the Association of Women, Youth, and Families with Disabilities of Eastern Donbas – East (hereafter referred to as the Association), runs various programs aimed at supporting the most vulnerable groups from East of Ukraine affected by the war, whether they are displaced domestically or refugees abroad.

The Association is seeking a Virtual Service Participant (VSPP) to co-facilitate an afterschool club aimed to enhance the youths' conversational English skills, broaden their horizons, provide support in coping with stress, and improve their psycho-emotional well-being. The program will encompass English clubs, webinars, and art therapy master classes. The VSPP will collaborate closely with the Association's staff members, who include teachers, program managers, cultural event organizers, and art therapists. Together, they will formulate goals and plans tailored to the specific needs and capabilities of children and youth within this demographic.

The Association 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 their Host Country Partners:

• Learn about existing directions of activities of The Association that are aimed at supporting children and youth of vulnerable groups
• Co-develop the curriculum of an online after-school program aimed at developing conversational English skills, resiliency, and support activities such as art therapy
• Co-develop session plans for at least 10 meetings, focusing on English speaking, resiliency, stress copying mechanisms, art therapy, etc.
• Co-teach a weekly 1-hour online English language conversation club session, which incorporate stress management, art therapy or other techniques relevant to the target group
• Attend a weekly meeting with a Ukrainian counterpart for feedback and discussion

This engagement is expected to be approximately 12 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. - 6:00 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 education, special education, social work, art therapy, or related field

• 6 months experience working with youth with disabilities in some capacity, such as teacher, counselor, mentor, coach, or volunteer
• Facilitation of educational/development activities for people with disabilities

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 or certification in fields related to education, special education, social work, art therapy or related field

Technical Skills: Familiarity with virtual engagement and communication

• Experience teaching English to youth
• 3 years’ experience working with youth or related experience

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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