Community Economic Development Facilitator

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Project Description

The Community Economic Development (CED) Program has been working in Peru since 2002. The CED program seeks to enhance the capacity of the most vulnerable populations, especially women and youth in rural communities, to expand their economic opportunities in income generation, entrepreneurship and financial education so that they can achieve economic security and improve their quality of life.

CED Facilitators will have the opportunity to collaborate with a variety of community leaders, including Economic and Social Development Government offices, women’s groups, teachers, and community-based organizations.

This work may include teaching basic personal money management skills such as budgeting, saving, separating business from personal accounts and other related topics to women’s groups, small business owners, and students. They will also create and support community savings groups which provide savings and lending services to one another.

Additionally, CED Facilitators train youth in entrepreneurship and basic business skills at high schools and technical institutions. This will also include training community high school teachers in planning and facilitating entrepreneurship courses for their students.

There will also be numerous opportunities to participate in secondary activities. These might include (but are not limited to) teaching computer classes, organizing environmental awareness workshops, developing a school gardening project, coaching sports, teaching English classes, or even organizing community-wide recycling projects.

Required Skills

Qualified candidates will have one or more of the following criteria:
• Bachelor of Arts/Bachelor of Science degree in any business discipline
• 5 years professional experience in business management

Desired Skills

Competitive candidates will have one or more of the following criteria:
• Masters of Business Administration degree or a Masters of Arts/Masters of Science degree in Business Administration, Public Administration, Management, Accounting, Banking, or Finance
• Experience working with entrepreneurship, especially with youth and women
• Knowledge in Financial Education/Literacy and micro-finance
• Business advising/coaching experience
• Teaching/facilitation skills
• Experience delivering training/facilitating workshops
• At least 1 year of experience working with cooperatives, small business, or credit unions involving management or administration, sales and marketing, cost analysis, financial planning, inventory control and/or bookkeeping
• Experience working with teachers/school personnel and/or with youth (16-24 years old)
• Experience working with community based organizations and/or in community development projects.

Required Language Skills

Candidates must meet one or more of the language requirements below in order to be considered for this position.

A. Completed 4 years of high school Spanish coursework within the past 8 years
B. Completed minimum 2 semesters of Spanish college‐level coursework within the past 6 years
C. Native/fluent speaker of Spanish

Candidates who do not meet the language proficiency levels above can take the language placement exams to demonstrate their level of proficiency. Competitive applicants typically attain a score of 50 on the Spanish College Level Examination Program CLEP exam or a score of Novice‐High on the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL OPI).

All Volunteers learn and work in Spanish. Trainees must demonstrate an intermediate-mid level of proficiency in Spanish after 11 weeks of Pre-Service Training in order to swear-in as a Volunteer. Some Volunteers may be placed in Quechua speaking communities. To be considered for placement in one of these communities, Trainees must arrive to Post with a Spanish proficiency level of intermediate high or higher. While continuing to learn Spanish, these Trainees will receive 7 weeks of basic Quechua language training (equivalent to 40 hours of Quechua). Trainees studying Quechua should demonstrate novice-mid proficiency in Quechua after 11 weeks of Pre-Service training.

Living Conditions

Geography and Climate:
Peru has three primary geographic regions: Pacific Coast, Andean mountains, and Amazon rainforest. The climatic conditions in each of these 3 regions are vastly different depending on the time of year. Pacific coastal sites can experience hotter, drier climates year round with little to no rainfall. The Andean Mountain areas are often high altitude sites with cold weather, experiencing a wet and dry season. Amazon rainforest sites experience more rain throughout the year and sometimes hotter climates.

CED Facilitators are assigned to all 3 geographic regions and often live and work in small to mid-sized towns, usually provincial or district capitals, which will facilitate access to organizations and small businesses with whom they will work. The smallest sized community would be comprised of approximately 2,000 people. If placed in a district town, it will also be important for Volunteers to engage smaller rural communities surrounding the area (called caserios or annexes), to which Volunteers will walk or ride a bike to visit.

Host Family:
All Volunteers are required to live with a host family during the 11 weeks of Pre-Service Training and the first 6 months of service. Couples will live together with the same host family. If appropriate housing is available, a Volunteer may request to live independently after the first 6 months of service. However, the home stay experience is often the most memorable and rewarding experience in a Volunteer’s service and for this reason most Volunteers continue to live with their host family for the entirety of service. Sometimes independent living is not available in the volunteer’s community so the Volunteer may end up living with a family for the duration of their service.

Peruvian diet varies based on geographic location, but in general will include a high-starch diet (potatoes, rice, or cassava) and potentially include an option of meat, chicken, or fish. Host families will prepare meals based on what’s available in their area and Volunteers should be prepared to eat with host families to show respect for their hospitality and culture.

All Volunteers will have access to regular/daily transportation options in their communities, however some may be required to walk up to an hour to gain access. For interregional travel, Volunteers typically take large, double-decker buses which provide a comfortable experience on long journeys. Most volunteer communities are located 7 to 20 hours away from the capital of Lima by bus.

Internet cafés are common in Peru, especially in urban and semi-urban areas. However, once a Volunteer is placed in their permanent community, they may or may not have access to internet. International telephone service to and from Peru is relatively good and there are various international phone cards and service plans available in the country. More information about communication options is provided during Pre-Service Training. A Volunteer’s ability to adapt to infrequent and inaccessible communication options is the key to a successful service.

Learn more about the Volunteer experience in Peru: 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

Peru cannot accommodate couples within the same sector. Therefore, your partner must qualify and apply for: Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene Facilitator.

Couples will live together with a host family during Pre-Service Training but may be separated for certain field-based activities because they will be in different project sectors. During service, couples will also live together with a host family, but will be separated for workshops and conferences for up to two weeks at a time due to in-service training events.

Medical Considerations

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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