Adolescent Health Promoter

Project Description

Known as the Land of Many Waters, Guyana has diverse culture and is rich in biodiversity.
Peace Corps Guyana’s Health project aims to support Guyana’s National Adolescent Health Programme to improve adolescent health and well-being. The project dovetails with the Ministry of Health’s vision that “All people of Guyana are among the healthiest in the Caribbean and the Americas”. It further aligns with the Ministry’s strategy to build health literacy as well as positive attitudes and behaviors that will lead to healthy life choices and sustain a healthy lifestyle.
Adolescent Health Promoters work in a secondary/Junior High school 5 days per week during their first year. During their second year, they work 4 days per week at the secondary school and 1 day per week at a local healthcare facility.
At the secondary school, they:
• Collaborate with teachers to co-plan lessons and co-deliver the Ministry of Education’s Health and Family Life Education (HFLE) curriculum to adolescents 10 – 14 years old
• Work with school staff and other work partners to co-develop and co-lead activities for youth in afterschool clubs and summer camps
• Partner with teachers, the Parent Teacher Association (PTA) and/or healthcare workers to co-facilitate sessions with parents on strategies for communicating with youth

At the healthcare facility, they:
• Enhance the ability of healthcare workers to provide youth-friendly health services
• Work with healthcare counterparts to increase awareness and access to services for Guyanese youth

In implementing the Health project, Adolescent Health Promoters will likely collaborate with staff from a variety of agencies and organizations throughout their service. These may include:
• Ministry of Education’s Health and Family Life Education Coordinator, Parent Teacher Association Coordinator, and Regional Education Department
• Ministry of Health’s Adolescent Health Unit, National AIDS Programme Secretariat, and Regional Health Departments
• Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports Regional Youth Officers
• Non-governmental organizations supporting youth

With the impact of COVID-19 on the Education sector in Guyana, Adolescent Health Promoters will be exposed to a larger number of students whose learning skills may be below the expected grade level. These students may have suffered learning loss due to limited access to technology and the internet as well as the inconsistent supply of learning materials.

COVID-19 Volunteer Activities

As a Volunteer, you will be trained in how to best protect yourself from COVID-19 exposure and understand the impact of and steps to reduce stigma related to COVID-19. You may also have the opportunity to engage with your community on implementing or enhancing COVID-19 mitigation activities, such as COVID-19 prevention and risk reduction strategies including social distancing, hand washing, mask wearing, addressing myths and misconceptions related to these practices, and vaccine hesitancy. Activities will be tailored to address the COVID-19 circumstances in the communities where you will serve.

Required Skills

Qualified candidates will have an expressed interest in working in the health sector and one or more of the following criteria:
• Bachelor of Arts/Bachelor of Science degree in any field
• 5 years' professional work experience

Desired Skills

Competitive candidates for the position will have:
• Bachelor of Arts/Bachelor of Science degree, or higher, in Public Health, Social Work, Anthropology, Biology or any other mental or physical health-related discipline
• Work or volunteer experience working with adolescents
• Secondary school classroom teaching experience
• Strong youth and adult facilitation skills
• Experience working with adolescents in clubs and/or camps
• Experience working in resource-limited environments

Required Language Skills

There are no pre-requisite language requirements for this position.

English is the official language, spoken by nearly all Guyanese including indigenous people in remote communities. Other languages include Guyanese Creolese (widely spoken), and nine indigenous languages including Macushi, Wapishana, and Patomona. Adolescent Health Promoters receive training in Guyanese Creolese language and culture during Pre-Service Training, as well as a very limited introduction to the language spoken in their community. Emphasis is placed on self-directed, immersive language learning techniques to enhance Volunteers' ability to learn a local indigenous language in their community.

Living Conditions

Guyana is the only English-speaking country in South America. It lies five degrees north of the Equator, and its climate is warm and tropical throughout the year. December to January and May to June are the rainy seasons. Guyana combines a Caribbean-flavored culture on the coast, featuring a mixture of Afro- and Indo-Guyanese influences, and a variety of indigenous cultures in the vast, forested hinterland of the interior.
Most of the population lives in a long narrow strip along the Atlantic Ocean stretching from Venezuela to Suriname. The open savannah and forests of the interior are dotted with small indigenous communities, some of whom still preserve their own language. The country is crisscrossed by myriad rivers, and transportation to and from the Volunteer’s community may involve a mix of a minibus, hired car, small plane, motorboat, and canoe.
Adolescent Health Promoters live and work in villages and towns along the coast, and rural and remote communities in the inner hinterlands of Guyana. Large towns have power lines, communication infrastructure and running water, while many rural villages rely on solar panels, latrines, and community wells. Cell phone and internet service is sporadic throughout the country.
Living conditions vary, but Adolescent Health Promoters in all locations should have the ability to:
• Endure long rides on public transportation and over water
• Adjust to the high heat and humidity of a tropical climate
• Use a latrine
• Wash clothes by hand in a bucket
• Live with limited or sporadic access to electricity, communication and internet
• Adapt to a diet with limited availability and seasonal variety of fresh fruits and vegetables
• Walk or ride a bicycle long distances (1-6 miles, roughly 2-10 kilometers ) over uneven terrain
Professional dress and behavior are extremely important in Guyana, especially in schools. School administration expects all teachers, including Volunteers, to adhere to the Ministry of Education’s Code of Conduct which includes being well-groomed, dressing professionally (slacks, belt and button-down dress shirts for men, dresses and skirts or nice slacks with blouses for women) and respecting the organizational structure. Guyanese teachers are viewed as role models in the community and are cautioned by the Ministry to display publicly acceptable behaviors when not in school. Adolescent Health Promoters will also be held to this standard as they live and dwell in the local communities.
While Peace Corps Volunteers of various gender expressions, gender identities and sexual orientations have served successfully in Guyana, it is important to note that Guyana has restrictive laws that target certain sexual acts. Adolescent Health Promoters will need to be mindful of Guyanese law and cultural norms, and use their best judgment to determine how to approach sexual orientation and gender identity in the country and within their host communities. Peace Corps Guyana staff are available to provide support. They will address these topics during Pre-Service Training and identify support mechanisms to help those who may experience a lack of openness and acceptance during their service. Please refer to the Local Laws and Special Circumstances of the U.S. Department of State’s travel page for more information.
Adolescent Health Promoters who serve successfully in Guyana are open-minded, flexible, emotionally mature and very resilient. They deal well with ambiguity and isolation and are proactive in unstructured settings. They are culturally competent and show respect by following cultural norms.

Serving in Guyana

Learn more about the Volunteer experience in Guyana: Get detailed information on culture, communications, housing, health, and safety -- including health and crime statistics -- in order to make a well-informed decision about serving.

Couples Information

Guyana can accept couples serving together. Your partner must qualify and apply for one of the following positions:
Science and Environment Educator
Primary Literacy Promoter
Following training, couples in Guyana will share living arrangements, but will have separate work sites. Couples will work at neighboring sites (not more than 30 minutes apart). Although a couple will live together in service, each individual is expected to work at their own school and encouraged to have their own Peace Corps experience.
During Pre-Service Training (first 10 weeks) couples could be required to live in separate villages/communities with separate host families, depending on their sectors. Following Pre-Service Training, the couple will be reunited and will then live together with a host family during the first five months in the community. During that time, the couple will have their own bedroom in a single- family home and share common living areas with family members, including the living room, kitchen/dining areas and bathroom or latrine. We cannot guarantee a particular type of living arrangement, and expect Adolescent Health Promoters and partners to be flexible and adaptable.
We strongly believe the Homestay program supports Volunteers’ safety and community integration. After the first five months of service, Volunteers may live in independent housing that meets Peace Corps Guyana’s safety and security criteria. Please note that independent housing may not be available in all communities and that some Volunteers may need to live with host families throughout their service.
The Peace Corps works to foster safe and productive assignments for same-sex couples, and same-sex couples are not placed in countries where homosexual acts are criminalized. Because of this, same-sex couple placements are more limited than heterosexual couple placements. During the application process Recruiters and Placement Officers work closely with same-sex couple applicants to understand current placement opportunities. For more information please visit:

Medical Considerations

Before you apply, please review Medical Information for Applicants to learn about the medical clearance process.

Does this sound like the position for you?
Get started on your journey.

Apply Now

What Happens Next?

View Volunteer FAQs
The types of work Volunteers do are ultimately determined by the needs of host countries and the potential of a Volunteer to contribute to these needs and to the Peace Corps’ mission.
Learn about the application process
The most significant accomplishment will be the contribution you make to improve the lives of others. There are also tangible benefits, during and after service of joining in the Peace Corps.
More benefits from service
Our recruiters are here to help you! Whether you have a question about your application, requirements, or anything else, our recruiters have the answer. Chat live with them now!
Find a recruiter