Water, Sanitation and Hygiene Facilitator

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Project Description

The Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) Project began in 2008 after a major earthquake struck the southern zone of Peru. Water and sanitation is currently one of the six priorities of the Peruvian government. This creates an opportunity for Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) Facilitators to support government WASH priorities at the rural community level which traditionally have the most need and lowest access to government programs. They focus on building the capacity of local government authorities and local water committees to develop Water and Sanitation Safety Plans and stronger management practices of the water and sanitation services.

WASH facilitators work with the water and sanitation Technical Municipal Area (“ATM”) and local Health Centers/Posts. In collaboration with the ATM, WASH Facilitators build strong working relationships with the local water committees and train them to increase their capacity in administration, operation and maintenance of the water and sanitation services. At local health center/posts WASH Facilitators work with the environmental health personnel or the health promotion area to strengthen sanitation education training in households and schools. This work could include maintaining water treatment systems, building latrines, and teaching proper hand washing techniques.

There will also be numerous opportunities to participate in secondary activities. These might include teaching computer classes, organizing environmental awareness workshops, developing a school gardening project, coaching sports, teaching English classes, or even organizing community-wide recycling projects. The possibilities are endless.

Required Skills

• Competitive candidates will have a Bachelor of Arts/Bachelor of Science degree in any discipline with an expressed interest in hygiene education/sanitation, and an interest in hands on skilled work

Desired Skills

• Bachelor of Arts/Bachelor of Science in Civil, Environmental or Sanitary Engineering, or other relevant field
• Experience in teaching/facilitation with adults
• Experience in potable water/sanitation systems and health education
• Experience in construction, masonry, carpentry or plumbing or similar; home repair and remodeling, etc.
• Experience working with Habitat for Humanity
• Experience working with community groups and leaders
• Certification in water/waste water treatment plant operation or hazardous materials management

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 proficiency in Spanish after 12 weeks of pre-service training in order to swear-in as a Volunteer. Some trainees may be placed in the Quechua speaking communities. Those trainees will receive 3 weeks of basic Quechua language training.

Living Conditions

Peru has three primary geographic regions: coast, mountains, and jungle. The climatic conditions in each of these 3 regions are vastly different depending on the time of year. Coastal sites can experience hotter, drier climates year round with little to no rainfall. The mountain areas are often high altitude sites with cold weather, experiencing a wet and dry season. Jungle sites experience more rain throughout the year and sometimes hotter climates.

WASH Facilitators are primarily assigned to the mountains (Andean Highlands) and jungle areas of Peru. These communities are mostly in rural areas where there is a strong need for improved water quality and accessibility. Volunteers should be able to walk long distances on rough terrain on a regular basis.

WASH Facilitators will either be placed at the district capital or in a small, rural community located within 2 hours of the district capital. Volunteers will work in clusters which will include 3 or 4 of them working in the same district area.

WASH Facilitators who are placed in district capital assignments will be involved in more coordination with the Technical Municipal Area (ATM) and several communities. Those placed in the smaller communities will work more closely with the local water committee, health center/post, and school.

All Volunteers are required to live with a host family during the 12 weeks of pre-service training and the first 6 months of service. Married couples will live together with the same host family. After the first year of service, if appropriate housing is available, a Volunteer may request to live independently however, the home stay experience is often the most memorable and rewarding experience in a Volunteer’s 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: Community Economic Development Facilitator

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

Medical Considerations in Peru

  • Peru may not be able to support Volunteers with the following medical conditions: insulin-dependent diabetes; 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: none identified.
  • After arrival in Peru, Peace Corps provides and applicants are required to have an annual flu shot, to take daily or weekly medication to prevent malaria, and to receive 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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