Water, Sanitation and Hygiene Facilitator

Before You Apply

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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 Facilitators to support government WASH priorities at the rural community level, which traditionally has 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 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 centers/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, 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 an expressed interest in working in hygiene education/sanitation 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

• Bachelor of Arts/Bachelor of Science in Civil, Environmental or Sanitary Engineering, or other relevant field
• Certification in water/waste water treatment plant operation or hazardous materials management
• Experience in teaching/facilitation with adults
• Experience in coaching adults in adopting new behaviors
• 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
• Experience working in gender programming

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 trainees may be placed in Quechua speaking communities. Those Trainees will receive 6 weeks of basic Quechua language training (3 Quechua classes a week while continuing to learn Spanish).

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.

WASH Facilitators are primarily assigned to the Andean mountains (Highlands) and the Amazon rainforest areas of Peru. These communities are mostly in rural areas where there is a strong need for improved water quality and accessibility. Volunteers should expect 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, while those placed in smaller communities will work more closely with the local water committee and health center/post.

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.

Diet:
Peruvian diet varies based on geographic location, but in general will include a high-starch diet (potatoes, rice, or cassava) with 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.

Transportation:
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. Volunteers typically take large, double-decker buses which provide a comfortable experience on long journeys.

Communication:
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: Community Economic Development Facilitator

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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