Community Agribusiness Coordinator
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Volunteers will collaborate with community members and their local organizations to identify their community’s needs and implement appropriate interventions. As such, Volunteers will play the role of catalyst for a wide range of activities, limited only by the creativity of the community and the Volunteers, and guided by the project framework.
Activities may include but are not limited to:
• Train community groups on budgeting, bookkeeping, record keeping, financial literacy, and food security
• Support and strengthen village savings and loans associations
• Train youth on entrepreneurship and livelihoods
• Advise farmers on post-harvest handling to reduce waste and increase profitability through value-addition and income generating activities
• Demonstrate and assist community members in preparing household gardens to grow variety of fruits and vegetables
• Train caregivers to identify and incorporate nutritious foods into children’s diet
Agribusiness Volunteers work with an array of host-organizations, including Farmer Groups, Coffee Cooperatives, non-governmental, community-based, and faith-based organizations. Each host-organization is unique in its needs, opportunities, and challenges. One opportunity that will present itself across the board is the need for financial literacy and savings training. Many Ugandans are business owners, yet there is a lack of basic budgeting and recordkeeping skills. Some common challenges Agribusiness Volunteers face include the lack of structure in their work, and the need for great flexibility and adaptability to reach their target audience. Depending on the season, Volunteers will need to adjust their times of interventions to ensure farmers have sufficient time to work their fields.
Your ability to cope with these challenges will depend on your flexibility, patience, humility, and good humor. to the point is not to come to Uganda and “fix” things. Rather, you will be most successful when you work with your community and host organization to collaboratively and creatively find ways to address issues with the limited resources that are locally available.
Agribusiness Volunteers also work with community members to develop community projects. Examples of such projects include: teaching at local primary schools, promoting sports for boys and girls, improving school or health center facilities, or working on local capacity building projects. While much of the work will take place during weekday daytime hours, some activities, particularly in the community, may take place in the evenings or on weekends. Big events such International Malaria Day, World Aids Day, or Drop Everything and Read Day are opportunities for action, and many Volunteers work with their local government to prepare a community wide awareness event. Of great importance in any community development work is the time one takes just being there, developing relationships, and building trust.
Peace Corps Uganda promotes gender awareness and girls’ education and empowerment. Volunteers receive training on gender challenges and have the opportunity to implement gender-related activities that are contextually appropriate. During service, Volunteers look for ways to work with community members to promote gender-equitable norms and increase girls’ sense of agency. As part of their work, Volunteers will also report on these efforts and their impact.
• Bachelor of Arts/Bachelor of Science degree in any field
• 5 years' professional work experience
• Demonstrated interest in business development or planning, entrepreneurship, and supporting startup businesses
• Expressed interest working with small-scale farmers and youth in various capacities
• Flexibility living in another culture and/or working in unstructured environment
Required Language Skills
Additional Language Information
Cell phone service is available across the country especially where Volunteers are placed. Wi-Fi and internet is not common in rural areas and usually unreliable if available. Cyber cafes and internet connectivity are available within urban areas. USB modems and smart phones are available for purchase and can be used for internet access in some places. Mail and post generally take long time, but Volunteers can readily communicate through WhatsApp and other messaging services.
Trainees stay with host families for four weeks during Pre-Service Training (PST). A private, lockable room will be provided within the host family accommodation. Trainees will, however, share common areas with the family. The homestay accommodation provides an opportunity for Volunteers to be familiar with cultural norms within Uganda. In addition, some Volunteers will also live with home stay families during their two years of service at site after PST. Invitees looking for that type of highly integrated and rewarding experience should make that choice known on the Invitee Questionnaire sent a few months prior to departure.
Volunteers could be a 2-3 hours’ drive from another Volunteer in some areas, while others are much closer to each other. The site placement process will enable staff to determine whether Volunteers prefer to be clustered or more distantly placed from other Volunteers. Getting around will be by walking, riding a bicycle, or using local transportation. Public transportation is available near most communities and allows for transit to and from the nearest urban areas or trading centers, though it is likely to be crowded, uncomfortable, and unreliable. Volunteers are provided funds to buy a local bicycle. Many of the community members use this mode of transportation, too. Due to safety risks, Peace Corps Uganda prohibits the use of public motorcycle taxis by Volunteers.
Uganda is a very conservative culture. As outsiders, Volunteers are often heavily scrutinized. Living and working productively in Uganda means being able to adjust to different cultural norms, as that can deeply impact community integration and credibility. Ugandans are interested in visitors and are welcoming and open when they feel mutual respect and understanding.
Peace Corps Uganda provides support to a diverse group of Volunteers of various faiths, identities, and sexual orientations. It is important to note that Uganda has restrictive laws that target certain sexual acts. Volunteers will need to be mindful of cultural norms and country-specific laws, and use their best judgment to determine how to approach topics related to sexual orientation and gender identity in their communities and host country. Staff and currently serving Volunteers will address how to navigate this aspect of identity during pre-service training, and what support mechanisms are available for incoming trainees. Please refer to the Local Laws and Special Circumstances of the U.S. Department of State's travel page for more information (https://travel.state.gov/content/passports/en/country/uganda.html). Prospective Volunteers are encouraged to discuss any questions or concerns during the interview.
Learn more about the Volunteer experience in Uganda: 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 Uganda
- Uganda may not be able to support Volunteers with the following medical conditions: asthma, including mild or childhood; insulin-dependent diabetes; gastroenterology; some types of gynecologic support; seizure disorder; 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: none identified.
- After arrival in Uganda, 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 Important Medical Information for Applicants [PDF] to learn about other health conditions typically not supported in Peace Corps service.
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