Sustainable Agriculture Educator

Project Description

The Promoting Agricultural Education for Sustainability (PAGES) program was co-designed to support the Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Husbandry and Rural Development and its partners to strengthen sustainable agricultural and household nutritional practices. Volunteers serve alongside host community and partner organizations as co-educators, co-facilitators and/or co-trainers.

A Sustainable Agriculture Educator Volunteer will collaborate with host community counterparts and/or partnered organizations to co-promote locally prioritized small-scale bio-intensive farming techniques, diversification of household dietary needs and sustainable livelihoods.

Sustainable Agriculture Educators will collaborate with the following entities at the community and district levels:
• Partner Organizations
• Community Counterparts
• Local Public Agricultural Extension workers
• District Public Agricultural Extension Chiefs
• Partner NGO extension workers.

PAGES Program Goal: Smallholder farm households achieve food and nutrition security, sustainable livelihood, and increased resilience through the following:
• Increasing farmers’ capacity to improve diversity, productivity, and/or sustainability of smallholder farmer agricultural production.
• Increasing the capacity of women and/or key household decision-makers to increase dietary diversity of household meals.

Based on the above objectives, the following are activities which all Sustainable Agriculture Educators will co-implement alongside host community partners.
• Co-facilitate field-based instruction/demonstration (training) for community farmers, women of reproductive age and household decision makers on improved technologies and management practices and nutrition and dietary diversification.
• Co-teach agriculture to students at the middle school level.

Peace Corps Togo is grateful for the strong monitoring, reporting, and evaluation culture it has developed in recent years, which enables Volunteers, their host communities, and our partners to measure the impact of Peace Corps interventions and inform decisions that influence the direction of future work. Volunteers report activities conducted within their sector and that of cross-sector activities. To that end, Sustainable Agriculture Educator Volunteers also work on cross-sector activities.

Promoting Gender Equity and Women’s Empowerment:
Volunteers receive training on gender-equity challenges in their communities and co-implement activities like “gender race”, training on flexible gender roles, and female role model shadowing. Volunteers are also trained on Student Friendly Schools principles to foster inclusivity, belonging and integration amongst host communities.

Climate Change and Food Security:
The impact of climate change on different sectors of society are interrelated. Drought and flooding can harm food production and human health, causing an increase in mortality and shortage of food availability. You will be equipped with the necessary information to facilitate awareness raising activities on the impact of climate change and food security in your respective community.

Endemic, Epidemic, and Pandemic Diseases Preventive Measures:
Endemic, epidemic, and pandemic (Malaria, Lassa Fever, Cholera, HIV, COVID-19 etc.) diseases such, and other infectious diseases remains a national threat to the Togolese health infrastructure and national population. You will receive training on the various infectious diseases in Togo to better quipped your awareness raising engagement and activities with community members to facilitate prevention and mitigation measures.

Climate Change Activities

As the impacts of climate change become ever more evident, the social, economic, and environmental context within which smallholder farmers seek to maintain and improve their livelihood and support their families will continue to change. This will add significantly to the challenges of smallholder farming, particularly for the most disadvantaged communities. As a Peace Corps Volunteer, you will be trained to use a participatory approach and tools to identify locally determined priorities and conditions, including those related to the impacts of climate change. As an Agriculture Volunteer, you will be trained to use this local knowledge in engaging smallholder farmers in a climate-smart approach that:

• Promotes the adoption of improved, appropriate, and adaptive agricultural practices and technologies that sustainably increase productivity;
• Builds and strengthens household resilience by integrating and diversifying existing and new agriculture-related income-generating opportunities; and
• Reduces greenhouse gas emissions attributable to ineffective and carbon intensive farming practices and encourages adoption of agricultural practices and activities that sequester carbon.

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

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 of relevant work experience

Desired Skills

The qualified candidates will have the following desirable skills:
• Experience working or volunteering alongside agricultural/farming business organizations and/or community counterparts/members.
• Knowledge of farming practices such as crop cultivation, small animal husbandry, soil and water conservation and management, agroforestry, post-harvest management, and/or basic farm management.
• Willingness to work with women to increase dietary diversity of nutrient-rich foods.
• Expressed interest in co-teaching agriculture subjects to middle school students.
• Knowledge of Monitoring, Reporting and Evaluation (MRE) tools.

Required Language Skills

There are over 40 local languages spoken in Togo. French is spoken by many but not all Togolese as a second language. Trainees will learn and improve their skills in both French and one of Togo’s local languages throughout their service.

Applicants who know some French or other romance language, as well as other language skills, are encouraged to apply.

Peace Corps Togo places great emphasis on language acquisition and intercultural immersion through-out the continuum of service. Trainees arriving in Togo are expected to be prepared to learn French, a local language of the assigned community, and the diverse cultures of Togo. Togo has dedicated Language and Cultural Facilitators (LCFs) who will work intensively with you during PST. An intermediate mid proficiency in French must be attained before learning a local language. Local language acquisition is essential for community integration and relationship building with host community counterparts. Peace Corps Togo identifies a language tutor at each Volunteer site. Peace Corps Togo Volunteers are strongly encouraged to take advantage of all language acquisition opportunities through-out the service journey to advance professionally and strengthen relationship building with host community members.

Living Conditions

Togolese people are known for their generosity, hospitality, and humble nature. Peace Corps Togo has sustained 60 years of friendship with host governmental representatives, partnered organizations and host communities, whom all regard Volunteers with respect and as co-development partners. In turn, Volunteers live and serve with equal respect and humility in their host communities. Volunteers find the opportunity to adapt and adjust to new ways of living to be both a challenge and rewarding experience. Peace Corps Togo staff provide training and coaching to facilitate Volunteer integration.

During Pre-Service Training (PST), Peace Corps Togo uses a Village Based Training (VBT) model. VBT allows Trainees to live and work in an environment that reflects the conditions of their permanent sites. Opportunities to speak French and local language are greatly enhanced through VBT and Trainees’ interactions with Togolese members of the community is increased. Integration within the host community is also accelerated which better prepares Trainees for their life at site after Swearing-In. In addition to language and cross-cultural skills, Trainees will also learn how to keep themselves healthy, safe and secure during their service as well as learn technical skills necessary for their work.

After swearing-in, Volunteers are assigned to their permanent communities, each having their own private residence (a bedroom and kitchen) within a shared compound. Living in a shared compound enriches Volunteers intercultural experience and facilitates the establishment of collaborative social positions with host communities. Shared compounds provide Volunteers with secure and supportive living environments including continued opportunities for language practice, learning and intercultural exchange.

Many Volunteers do not have electricity in their homes. Water sources in communities could be traditional wells or village pumps. Volunteers will be given a water filter and trained to properly treat drinking water. Diet will consist of locally grown foods or a combination of local and (usually imported) preserved foods. A typical Togolese meal is corn ‘pâte’ (paste), with a spicy/hot sauce. Meat is available throughout Togo, as is dried fish, but fresh fish is only available in larger towns. Fruits and vegetables are seasonal, limiting the diversity of a vegetarian diet at certain times of year. However, tofu (soy) and beans are available throughout the country.

Peace Corps Togo welcomes Volunteers from diverse backgrounds and sexual orientations. However, the government of Togo has restrictive laws that prohibits certain sexual acts/orientations. Volunteers will need to be mindful of cultural norms and country-specific laws and exercise judgment and personal responsibility to protect their health, safety, and well-being and that of host community members. Due to safety and security concerns, LGBTQI+ Volunteers are advised not to serve openly in Togo. We recognize and acknowledge the difficulty of not having the liberty to openly express one’s sexual orientation. Peace Corps Togo staff are committed to support LGBTQI+ Volunteers amidst these challenges. Post has a Peer Support Network made up of current Volunteers to provide support to fellow Volunteers.

During PST and in-service training, Trainees and Volunteers will be trained to work in partnership with counterparts, fellow Volunteers, and host communities to facilitate, mitigate and/or manage potential safety and security and/or health related risks and challenges. These trainings permit Trainees and Volunteers to work alongside community members within the policies and rules of Peace Corps and the local and national laws of the government of Togo.

Serving in Togo

Learn more about the Volunteer experience in Togo: 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

Togo is always eager to accept couples whenever possible. Your partner must qualify and apply for one of the following positions in Togo:
- AA-171 English Teacher or
- AA-155 Community Health Educator

Couples from differing sectors will live at different Pre-Service Training sites and with different home stay families. They can be together on weekends after training activities. Couples will be responsible for their own transportation between sites, which will not exceed 19 miles. Once in service at a permanent site, couples will live in the same accommodation.

Medical Considerations

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

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