Agroforestry Volunteer

Before You Apply

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Project Description

Peace Corps has a rich history in Guinea. The first Volunteers arrived in Guinea in 1963 and the first Agriculture project was launched in 1990, when Volunteers piloted a watershed development project. As an Agroforestry Volunteer in Guinea, you will continue this tradition by working with rural communities to sustainably improve their food security, livelihoods and resilience.

Agroforestry Volunteers work with a variety of stakeholders to support this goal, including local cooperatives, individuals, non-governmental organizations (NGO), government field agents, and researchers. Volunteers will form strong collaborative partnerships with community members in order to analyze community needs and increase their counterpart’s capacity to improve food security and natural resource management.

Depending on the needs of your assigned community, you can expect to promote sustainable agroforestry practices through some of the following activities:

• Collaborating with individuals, households, and partner organizations to encourage permaculture and organic methods of gardening

• Improving diversity, yield, and sustainability of crops and multi-purpose agroforestry tree production

• Promoting alternative farming practices, such as beekeeping

• Increasing household incomes by working with community members to identify and develop income generating activities, develop products, and strengthen basic business practices

• Increasing dietary diversity through nutrition education and food preparation

Peace Corps Guinea promotes gender awareness and girls’ education and empowerment. You will receive training on gender challenges in your country and you will have the opportunity to implement gender-related activities that are contextually appropriate. During your service, you will look for ways to work with community members to promote gender-equitable norms and increase girls’ sense of agency. As part of the initiative, you will also report on these efforts and their impact.

Volunteers will also have the opportunity to pursue secondary projects, based on the needs and resources available in their local community. Cross-sector collaboration with Public Health and Education Volunteers is encouraged.

Required Skills

Competitive candidates will have an expressed interest in working in agriculture 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

• Experience in vegetable gardening, nursery work and management, tree planting and care, urban forestry, and/or beekeeping
• Experience in forestry, botany, or field work in greenhouse or farming management or staple crop and/or rice production
• Demonstrated leadership experience or experience in community organizing
• Knowledge of natural resource management
• Knowledge of Food Security and household nutrition education
• French language proficiency or strong willingness to learn French

Required Language Skills

There are no pre-requisite language requirements for this position. Please take a moment to explore the Language Comments section below to find out more on how local language(s) will be utilized during service.

Additional Language Information

Agroforestry Volunteers will be trained to speak a local language based on their assignment and will be provided with an introduction to French to assist them in getting around outside of their community. It is highly recommended that invitees take an intensive French course before departing the USA. Approximately forty hours of French and eighty plus hours of local language will be taught during Pre-Service Training.

Living Conditions

Agroforestry Volunteers are assigned to serve in small villages near their partner organizations; these villages can range in size from several hundred to several thousand inhabitants. The size and style of housing varies depending on the region and resources available. Peace Corps works with communities to prepare housing that is safe and secure, near a source of water, and within walking distance to a market and shops. Houses are typically modest, consisting of two to four room structures or round huts with thatched roofs. Many are situated within a family compound and most houses do not have electricity or running water. Some houses have inside toilet and shower areas but most are equipped with a private pit latrine and enclosed bathing area.

Cell phones work in almost all areas of the country and internet access, while limited, is becoming more common. Three regional offices are equipped with several computers with internet access.

Personal appearance is important to people in Guinea. During pre-service training, the dress code is business casual. Following pre-service training, you will need to dress appropriately for work situations in your community. Dressing appropriately will help you gain respect in your host community, facilitate integration, and increase your credibility and effectiveness. It is advised to take cues from your Guinean colleagues.

Mountain bikes are provided for transport to work sites and for recreation. Almost all work places are within walking distance, so it is NOT required to be able to ride a bike. For long distances, Volunteers rely on public transportation in small passenger vehicles.

Rice or a local grain “fonio” is eaten for most main meals, along with spinach, peanut and/or tomato based sauce with vegetables, meat or fish. Fruits such as mangoes, avocado, pineapples, papaya, oranges, and limes are available seasonally.

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

Medical Considerations in Guinea

  • Guinea may not be able to support Volunteers with the following medical conditions: insulin-dependent diabetes; dermatology; some types of gynecologic support; mammography; requiring a psychiatrist for psychotropic medications support; seizures; ongoing counseling.
  • The following medication(s) are not permitted for legal or cultural reasons: none identified. 
  • Volunteers who should avoid the following food(s) may not be able to serve:  peanuts.  
  • After arrival in Guinea, Peace Corps provides and applicants are required to have an annual flu shot, to take daily or weekly medication to prevent malaria, and to receive mandatory immunizations.

Before you apply, please also review Medical Information for Applicants to learn about the clearance process and other health conditions that are difficult to accommodate in Peace Corps service.

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