Community Development Associate

Before You Apply

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Project Description

The Community Development Associate (CDA) will focus on supporting local communities and organizations to effectively manage sustainable community development. CDAs could be working at a local NGO, a government municipality, or a combination of a few organizations, and will be working on the following two objectives:

1) Improve the contribution of organizations and community groups to identified community needs
2) Increase community engagement and develop skills of community members, especially youth

Volunteers in this project participate in a range of activities that include, but are not limited to, the following:

• Assisting organizations in assessing community needs
• Assisting organizations in developing and implementing community programs and building partnerships to meet the identified needs
• Supporting organizations’ staff capacity development by providing ongoing training and skills transfer
• Supporting organizations and community groups with planning, grant writing, fundraising, use of information technology, volunteer management, and day to day tasks
• Providing non-formal education activities for community members, especially youth, aimed at developing their life skills
• Planning and organizing activities for increasing intercultural awareness for community members, especially youth
• Assisting with planning and implementing community engagement and service learning activities with community members, especially youth, aimed at their development as active social citizens
• Supporting youth councils, youth organizations and informal groups of young people to increase youth participation and civic engagement
• Supporting community members in the areas of employability and entrepreneurship

Required Skills

Qualified candidates will have an expressed interest in working with Youth in Development and one or more of the following criteria:
• Bachelor of Arts/Bachelor of Science degree in any field
• 5 years' professional work experience
• BA/BS in any field and 2 years professional work experience with nonprofit organizations in a management or organizational development capacity

Desired Skills

• BA in Psychology, Social Work, Sociology, Business or another related field, with 1 year youth experience working on following areas: youth development, leadership, development of life skills, youth camps, non - formal education, and youth participation
• Master of Arts/Master of Science degree with an emphasis in nonprofit management, public administration, or organizational development
• Experience in AmeriCorps
• Experience as a trainer or facilitator of educational activities
• Coaching or mentoring experience with youth
• Education or experience in community development, program design and delivery,
active citizenship, networking, promotion and knowledge of project, and grant development/management
• Fundraising/grant writing experience

Required Language Skills

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

Due to the diverse nature of North Macedonia, multiple languages are spoken throughout the country. During Pre-service Training, Peace Corps trains Community Development Associates primarily in the official language of Macedonian. Some candidates are trained in both Macedonian and/or Albanian as Albanian is the second most widely spoken language in North Macedonia, and because Peace Corps North Macedonia places Volunteers in sites where Albanian is the primary language spoken.

Post will be looking for Community Development Associates interested in learning multiple languages as some placements will be in sites and homes where another language is spoken. Other languages Community Development Associates may find spoken in their communities include, but are not limited to: Roma, Turkish, Bosnian, and Serbian. Those who need support to learn an additional language are able to work with Peace Corps staff on a learning plan.

Living Conditions

• All Community Development Associates (CDAs) will be placed with host families during Pre-Service training (the first three months in country). After training, Community Development Associates will move to their permanent communities, where they will live with another host family for at least the first six months. In many rural communities, the host family arrangement may be the only housing option. Typical host family accommodation provides a room with basic furniture and shared bathroom and shared kitchen facilities. Community Development Associates should come prepared to live as their hosts do, frugal in their use of utilities because of the high cost for electricity. The housing will be modest, yet functional, healthy, and safe.

• Winter lasts from November to March with some snowfall and cold temperatures, similar to the mid-Atlantic area of the U.S. Many public buildings are not heated or poorly heated. Homes will also likely be colder during winter than in the U.S. Community Development Associates should come prepared with very warm winter clothes and clothes that can be layered.

• Community Development Associates should expect to have much less alone time than they may be used to. North Macedonia is a collectivist society and those who spend ample time with their host families, neighbors, and colleagues will enjoy a higher level of integration.

• Community Development Associates should be aware that it is more common to smoke cigarettes indoors and outdoors in North Macedonia than it is in America, and it may be hard to avoid during service.

• Peace Corps is challenging regardless of where you serve, and in some way or another you may experience unwanted attention. For example, in some communities Volunteers of color or women may initially experience additional unwanted attention. Many LGBTQ Volunteers have served safely and successfully in North Macedonia. However, LGBTQ Volunteers may need to be thoughtful about living openly in their communities and use their best judgment to determine the best way to approach this with their counterparts and community members. Peace Corps North Macedonia’s Pre-Service training will address these types of issues to prepare you for service and post is extremely committed to supporting Community Development Associates of all backgrounds throughout their service. Community Development Associates representing a wide diversity of Americans have served with great success in North Macedonia.

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

Couples Information

Couples will remain together during training and will serve in the same community during their service. They should have combinations of skills such as one in the education sector and the other in the community development sector.

Medical Considerations in North Macedonia

  • North Macedonia may not be able to support Volunteers with the following medical conditions: asthma, including mild or childhood;  mammography; requiring a psychiatrist for psychotropic medications support; 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: gluten.
  • After arrival in North Macedonia, Peace Corps provides and applicants are required to have an annual flu shot and mandatory immunizations.

Before you apply, please 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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