Health Education Teacher

Before You Apply

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Project Description

Peace Corps Moldova seeks Health Education Teachers to work with children and adolescents throughout the country. There is a significant need to develop life skills and knowledge for healthy lifestyles, including basic hygiene, prevention methods of communicable diseases (such as tuberculosis, viruses, gastrointestinal diseases, STIs, HIV), behavioral disorders (like emotional health, stress management, and violence prevention) as well as the prevention of substance abuse and non-communicable diseases (such as diabetes, cancer, cardiovascular disease, and chronic respiratory difficulties). Health Education Volunteers will not engage in clinical work.

Schools are often the strongest community institution in Moldovan villages, making students in these settings an ideal audience for needed instruction. The majority of Health Educators’ time will be spent co-planning with rural school partners to perform formal and non-formal health education activities using student-centered techniques. It will also involve co-teaching with local teachers and other partners in Romanian language to increase youth knowledge and skills so they will lead healthy lives and help them transition effectively into healthy, productive, and engaged adults.

In addition to their teaching responsibilities, Health Education Volunteers will support the research and development of evidence-based, supplementary teaching materials for health lessons, campaigns and clubs through close collaboration with their school staff and community professionals. Volunteers will also organize and conduct after-school activities, including health clubs, health and life skills day camps for school-aged youth, and health campaigns for youth and adults with the involvement of school youth leaders. Activities are generally developed in collaboration with local professionals and parents as well.

When school is not in session (including during the summer), Volunteers will continue with extra-curricular activities, providing youth and community members with opportunities to gain new healthy life skills through local summer camps and activities for adults; conducted by school youth leaders and in collaboration with community professionals.

Peace Corps Moldova Volunteers promote gender awareness and girls’ education and empowerment through their activities. All Volunteers in this program will receive in-depth training on ways to incorporate methods of gender analysis into community assessment and development efforts and will be encouraged to find culturally appropriate ways to incorporate gender awareness, especially girls’ education, into daily work as appropriate.

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

More competitive candidates will demonstrate any of the following desired skills:
• Teaching experience
• Bachelor of Arts/Bachelor of Science degree Nutrition, Health, Health Education or Nursing, Physical Education, Behavior Change, Community Health
• Health-related work or volunteer experience and/or work experience in the social work field
• Knowledge of human and child development
• Knowledge of community organization and needs assessment techniques
• Understanding of building, implementing, and evaluating health awareness campaigns
• Experience working with diverse segments of community population such as youth, including at–risk youth, special needs children, parents, teachers, public administrators, and community health professionals.

Required Language Skills

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

This position has no language prerequisite but since Volunteers co-plan and co-teach health education classes in the Romanian language, Romanian language skills are critical. Trainees must demonstrate Intermediate Low oral proficiency in Romanian Language at the end of the 10-week Pre-Service Training period and continue to develop this ability through service.

Experience with Romance languages is beneficial for learning Romanian, which will be the primary language taught by Peace Corps Language Facilitators and used throughout service.

Living Conditions

Host family accommodations provide a safe private room, food, access to laundry, land-line telephone, access to transportation and sometimes internet (for an additional fee). Host family stays are required during the 10-week Pre-Service Training period and for an additional 7.5 months in your community after training. A majority of Volunteers live with a host family for the full duration of their service but they may also seek private accommodations after the required 10months, if alternate lodging arrangements are available (unlikely, given rural sites). Regardless of housing options, Volunteers usually form close relationships with their host families.

Communications & Travel:
Some Volunteers will be placed in isolated sites where transportation is limited, or may not run regularly, or where they may be a significant distance away from other Volunteers and from the Peace Corps office in Chisinau. Internet access is generally available in all communities.

Professional Appearance:
Moldovan cultural expectations around professionalism include conservative attire and neat appearance. Long, untrimmed beards and mustaches, some hairstyles, visible tattoos and earrings for men are not accepted in Moldovan culture.

The climate in Moldova is similar to New England, with four distinct seasons. Winter lasts from November to March and can be challenging. This period is characterized by heavy snowfall and frigid temperatures. High temperatures during the summer (sometimes above 90 degrees) can also be challenging, given the lack of air conditioning in most buildings.

Special Considerations:
Peace Corps is challenging regardless of where one might serve and, in some way or another, all Volunteers will be a minority. Volunteers who are members of ethnic minorities may face additional unwanted attention. Peace Corps Moldova’s Pre-Service Training will address these types of concerns to prepare Volunteers for service. Despite limited exposure to minorities, host families and counterparts are generally very accepting of diversity among Volunteers and close relationships are forged without any regard to ethnicity.

The Social Security Administration (SSA) has indicated that it will not continue Social Security payments to recipients who live in certain countries where Peace Corps serves (including Moldova) except under very specific procedures that require them to appear personally before a US Consular Officer each month. The Peace Corps program in each of these countries will work to find practical ways to help individual Volunteers who are SSA recipients to fulfill the SSA’s in-person requirements. However, due to the varied geography and Peace Corps’ commitment to site placement based on matching the skills of the Volunteer to the needs of the community, fulfilling SSA requirements will not always be feasible and cannot be guaranteed.

Learn more about the Volunteer experience in Moldova: 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 can currently only be considered for service in Moldova if each member applies for different programs. Both members of a couple therefore cannot be considered for any single program (i.e. both English Education, both Health Education, or both Community Development). It is also not possible to consider a couple in an English Education-Health Education pairing.

While they must work in different sectors, couples will serve in the same community after their 10-week Pre-Service Training period. During their Pre-Service Training, however, couples will be separated to be hosted by different host families in different locations.

Once Volunteers move to their site of assignment, couples must be prepared to stay with a host family for the duration of their service. An independent living arrangement may exist, but the likelihood of this is quite limited (given rural sites). Volunteers serving as a couple will need to be particularly flexible and will be expected to accommodate to local living standards.

For the duration of the 10 week pre-service training, couples will be trained and live in separate host family households in neighboring villages. Once Volunteers move to their site of assignment, couples will have to be prepared to stay with a host family for the duration of their service. An option to find individual lodging arrangements may exist, but is extremely limited. Volunteers serving as a couple will need to be flexible and will be expected to accommodate to the local living standards.

Medical Considerations in Moldova

  • Moldova may not be able to support Volunteers with the following medical conditions: insulin-dependent diabetes; requiring a psychiatrist for psychotropic medications 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 Moldova, 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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