Organizational and Community Development Facilitator

Project Description

Georgia has been in transition politically, socially, and economically since the collapse of the Soviet Union. The country’s community and economic development priorities continue to focus on building a democratically and economically stable state through the development and strengthening of civil society institutions; having educated, motivated, and confident youth; and offering development opportunities for entrepreneurship, business, and other essential skills needed in the 21st century. Despite laudable aspirations in the areas of civil society, youth, and economic development, gaps still exist in achieving these ambitious goals.

Organizational and Community Development Facilitators work under Peace Corps Georgia’s Individual and Organizational Development (IOD) Project to contribute to Georgia’s efforts to build a strong, democratic, and economically-sound society. Volunteers and their assigned regional and local organizations, will support citizens of Georgia—especially youth, women and vulnerable populations—to be civically engaged and to attain economic well-being.

Volunteers are placed in small cities, towns, and villages to work with local non-governmental organizations, community-based organizations, regional youth departments, non-formal educational centers, libraries, departments of local municipalities, or other not-for-profit or governmental organizations/entities. The capacity level of these organizations varies, ranging from well-established and high-functioning to newly-established with limited organizational capacity. You will serve as a co-facilitator, co-planner, co-trainer, and mentor in your organization and community while working closely with local counterparts and community members to design and implement projects and activities to build individual and organizational capacity in project design and management, grant writing, fundraising, information technology, entrepreneurship, civic engagement, networking, and English for work purposes. In collaboration with your counterparts, you will design and deliver professional development trainings or mentorships in the areas of employability skills, entrepreneurship skills, digital literacy, project design and management, organizational management, leadership, youth empowerment, and other civic engagement topics that will support youth and other individuals to become more skilled and civically-engaged members of the society.

Peace Corps Georgia offers high quality technical training and support in the areas of assignment for all Trainees and Volunteers, earning a strong reputation for excellence. Peace Corps Georgia is committed to providing all Volunteers with relevant professional and cultural training for effective service in their communities.

COVID-19 Volunteer Activities

As a Volunteer, you will be trained in how to best protect yourself from COVID-19 exposure and understand the impact of and steps to reduce stigma related to COVID-19. You may also have the opportunity to engage with your community on implementing or enhancing COVID-19 mitigation activities, such as COVID-19 prevention and risk reduction strategies including social distancing, hand washing, mask wearing, addressing myths and misconceptions related to these practices, and vaccine hesitancy. Activities will be tailored to address the COVID-19 circumstances in the communities where you will serve.

Required Skills

Competitive candidates will have meet one or more of the following criteria:
• Bachelor of Arts/Bachelor of Science degree in any discipline and 2 years’ management, or organizational development experience with non-profit or community-based organizations; OR
• Bachelor of Arts/Bachelor of Science degree in any discipline; OR
• Master of Arts/Master of Science degree with an emphasis in non-profit management, public administration, or organizational development; OR
• 5 years’ professional work experience with nonprofit organizations in a management or organizational development capacity

Desired Skills

Competitive candidates will also meet or exceed the following criteria:
• Strong commitment to organizational capacity building and working closely with fledgling organizations;
• Creativity and experience consulting, mentoring, or coaching organizational leaders or workers;
• Experience with youth in the areas of informal education, employability skills development, summer camps, mentoring, teaching conversational English, or volunteerism/community service;
• Experience with one or more of the following: non-profit development, training, human resource development, strategic planning, project development, grant writing, fundraising, event management, marketing, public relations, volunteerism, or public administration;
• Excellent communication, interpersonal, and networking skills;
• Ability to establish strong working relationships with organizational leaders, employees, youth, and community members

Required Language Skills

There are no pre-requisite language requirements for this position. Recommended: Knowledge of Georgia’s unique alphabet upon arrival in country.

Georgian is a Kartvelian language with a unique script, 33 letters, and a few challenging sounds. Volunteers must be motivated and ready to dedicate themselves to learning a complex language that is not spoken widely outside of Georgia. In many schools and communities, there are a limited number of people who speak English. Therefore, Volunteers must commit to learning and practicing Georgian language skills as an essential element of successful service. Volunteers are required to achieve at least an intermediate low level of proficiency by the end of their 11.5-week Pre-Service Training. Peace Corps Georgia also places Volunteers in communities with predominantly ethnic minority populations (Azerbaijani or Armenian). Volunteers placed in these sites will also receive basic training in Azerbaijani or Armenian languages, sessions highlighting the local cultural characteristics, and continued language and cultural support throughout their service.

Volunteers are encouraged to take advantage of local language tutoring support throughout their service.

Volunteers with Russian language skills may find this to be an asset in some parts of Georgia and with some segments of the population. However, use of Russian language in recent years has also become sensitive with some groups, so Volunteers are advised to use cultural and situational awareness when using Russian.

Living Conditions

Georgia is a small country with a rich history, culture, and cuisine. While some aspects of the cultural and physical environment may be challenging, Volunteers who are flexible, enthusiastic to integrate into their communities, and motivated to contribute to the development of others will be able to form meaningful relationships and find satisfaction in their work.

HOUSING
Trainees and Volunteers are required to live with host families during Pre-Service Training and three months after swearing-in. After this initial period, Volunteers may consider moving into independent housing where it is available, although most Volunteers will be placed in villages and towns that have no independent housing options. Roughly 85 percent of Volunteers live with host families throughout their service. Both host family and the Volunteer are expected and encouraged to integrate, learn more about each other’s cultures and assist each other in everyday life throughout their time together. The experience of living with a host family in Georgia is often one of the most rewarding aspects of Volunteer service. Families offer Volunteers a deeper understanding of local culture and customs and help them become an integral part of the community. Peace Corps Georgia host families represent the regional, religious, language, and ethnic diversity of Georgia. In every host family setting, Volunteers have a private room with a functioning lock on the door. Every household is equipped with a kitchen, bathroom, and at least one room with a heating source for cold weather periods.

TRADITIONS INVOLVING ALCOHOL CONSUMPTION
Alcohol is prevalent in Georgian society. Georgian men may consume large quantities of alcohol at supras (traditional Georgia meals led by a toast master) - mostly homemade wine or vodka - and drink full glasses in one gulp. Georgian women generally consume less alcohol and do so mainly at gatherings of women. In mixed-gender settings, women participate in the toasting but generally consume moderate amounts of alcohol. To maintain a professional image and adhere to policy, Volunteers should consume alcohol in moderation and never appear obviously intoxicated in public. Volunteers will be taught strategies for how to say no and avoid excessive alcohol consumption while remaining culturally sensitive and will be introduced to Peace Corps alcohol policies during PST. All Volunteers are advised to follow guidelines of minimal drinking.

DIVERSITY, EQUITY, AND INCLUSION
Georgia has strictly defined and conservative gender roles, especially for women. Georgia is seeing increasing numbers of international visitors but, as foreigners, Volunteers may still experience unwanted attention in their communities. Ethnically diverse Volunteers may face additional unwanted attention. While same-sex relationships are not considered a crime, sexual orientation and gender identities are typically considered taboo topics. As a general practice in the past, LGBTQ+ Volunteers have chosen to be discreet about their sexual orientation and/or gender identity. Peace Corps is committed to creating a supportive and inclusive environment for Volunteers of all backgrounds to ensure that Volunteers can discuss diversity-related concerns with peers and staff confidentially throughout service.

Please view the Georgia Country page to learn more about living conditions in Georgia: https://www.peacecorps.gov/georgia/preparing-to-volunteer/living-conditions/

Get detailed information on culture, communications, housing, and safety (including crime statistics) to make a well-informed decision about serving: https://www.peacecorps.gov/georgia/preparing-to-volunteer/safety-and-security/

Serving in Georgia

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

Couples Information

Peace Corps Georgia can accommodate couples that serve together in the same or different sector. Due to cultural expectations, couples in a domestic partnership are highly encouraged to present themselves as a married couple to their host community due to local cultural expectations.

Couples are placed together in one host family's home for the duration of Pre-Service Training. After swearing-in as Volunteers, couples will also be placed together at their permanent site.

The Peace Corps works to foster safe and productive assignments for same-sex couples, and same-sex couples are not placed in countries where homosexual acts are criminalized. Because of this, same-sex couple placements are more limited than heterosexual couple placements. During the application process, recruiters and placement officers work closely with same-sex couple applicants to understand current placement opportunities. For more information please visit: https://www.peacecorps.gov/faqs/lgbtq/.

Medical Considerations

Before you apply, please review Medical Information for Applicants to learn about the medical clearance process.


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