Youth Development Facilitator

Before You Apply

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Project Description

Youth Development Volunteers will work directly with youth to help build life skills, enhance their engagement in the community, and develop healthy life choices. Life skills could include developing a positive identity, financial literacy, vocational skills, critical thinking and healthy lifestyle activities. Volunteers work with the community to develop engaging activities such as organizing career fairs, mentoring activities, and workshops on mock interviews and job shadowing. Healthy lifestyle development may include areas of sexual and reproductive health, or alcohol and substance abuse prevention. Additionally, Volunteers may have the opportunity to incorporate arts, sports, music, tutorials, and other exciting after-school programs in their work.

Volunteers often work in small to mid-sized towns where there is a significant population of disadvantaged youth. They work with community leaders, public service workers, school staff, health posts, and government offices to work with parents to increase their participation in youth-led community projects.

While your specific daily work will depend on your work site and the needs of your community, you will be working to improve the quality of life for Peruvians by introducing new ideas, skills, and practices. Considering gender issues in your project activities will be an important component of your job, including promoting equal access to services, training and other activities.

The Youth Development project also has a 6 year development plan, which includes being a first, second, or third generation volunteer. As a Youth Development Volunteer, you could be the first volunteer in a selected community or you could be replacing a previous volunteer.

As an active member of your community, you will also have numerous opportunities to participate in secondary activities. You might teach a computer class to the local mothers' club or organize environmental awareness workshops for local community leaders. You may develop a community or school gardening project, start a running club or coach sports. You might even organize a community clean-up day, community libraries, teach English classes or help a local youth club with a recycling project. The possibilities are endless.

Required Skills

Qualified candidates will have an expressed interest in working with Youth in Development 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

• Experience working with young people (10-24 years old), or teachers and parents in a school setting or structured community based program.

• Experience in engaging, organizing, and developing the relationship between parents, youth, educators, and community members.

• Experience facilitating the development of youth-led community projects.

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).

Additional Language Information

Volunteers in Peru work in the Spanish language, and some in Quechua. Trainees must demonstrate an intermediate level of written and oral 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 language training, instead of Spanish.

Living Conditions

Volunteers are required to live with a host family during 12 weeks of pre-service training and the first 12 months of service in order to develop their cultural competency. After that, if appropriate housing is available in the Volunteer's community to live alone, they may request to live independently. Host families are often traditional Andean families with a typical sierra diet, including potatoes and rice on a daily basis, while coastal families also have repetitive diets. Volunteers can expect to eat with host families, respecting local practices. Many Peruvian families are quite different than the typical US family; including having multiple generations living in one house, living conditions/lack of amenities, different gender dynamics and child-rearing practices.

Due to Peru’s vast geography, there is a great variety in Volunteer communities.

Different communities include:
• High altitude sites with cold weather, especially during the winter months
• Areas with a long rainy season
• Areas with uneven terrain and physically challenging work conditions
• Coastal areas with a hot climate

Volunteers serve in many types of communities in Peru, ranging from very traditional Andean sites in the highlands to coastal areas where they tend to have a more conservative value system.

Peace Corps is challenging regardless of where you serve, and in some way or another you will be a minority and may experience unwanted attention. For example, in some communities Volunteers of color or women may initially experience additional unwanted attention. While Peru is generally tolerant, values and morals concerning sexual orientation and gender identity may be different from those in the U.S. Peace Corps Peru’s Pre-Service training will address these types of issues to prepare you for service and post is also committed to supporting Volunteers of all backgrounds throughout their service. Volunteers representing a wide diversity of Americans have served with great success in Peru.

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.

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 also review Important Medical Information for Applicants [PDF] to learn about other health conditions typically not supported in Peace Corps service.

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