Youth Development Facilitator

Project Description

The CYF (Children, Youth, and Family) project works closely with the Philippine Government’s Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) in implementing youth and community services. CYF Volunteers will have an extraordinary opportunity to partner with stakeholders in contributing to the holistic development of the CYF communities. CYF Volunteers will collaborate with young people and serve as a support in the youth’s quest to becoming responsible and productive members of the community.

Communities will utilize the support of CYF Volunteers to collaborate on locally-prioritized projects designed to build transferable skills among Filipino youth and other populations served by DSWD. This is done through youth empowerment projects and building transferable skills among youth service providers. Youth Development professionals and youth leaders will work alongside CYF Volunteers to co-facilitate sessions on life skills, financial literacy and employability. They will also work with youth to conduct community assessments and create volunteering and unique community engagement opportunities for the youth in their schools and villages. Additionally, local service providers will be supported by CYF Volunteers in co-facilitating gender sensitivity trainings, support the organization of gender advocacy youth groups, and mentor youth in the design and implementation of gender advocacy projects. CYF Volunteers will work with various Peace Corps network in the communities like the Non-Government Organization (NGO); Local Government Unit (LGU); DSWD-managed Regional Shelter for children, women and youth; or other organizations depending on their strengths, skills and experience. CYF Volunteers may also work with high school and college aged youth by co-facilitating life skills/Youth Development Sessions (YDS) and other developmental activities.

Community activities that CYF Volunteers can assist may include: facilitating workshops and seminars for young people, Filipino youth development professionals, and community members; developing and leading youth associations/groups in facilitating youth camps and other community projects; assisting in event planning, strategic planning, project and grant development, writing, and monitoring and evaluation; and assisting organizations in co-implementing health and wellness activities for children such as handwashing and co-promoting healthy lifestyles. Volunteers in this assignment must also expect to work directly with youth in student councils, youth councils and other formal or informal youth groups. CYF Volunteers are expected to co-facilitate discussion and planning of community-driven activities related to community’s interests and needs. Additionally, the youth can utilize the CYF Volunteers support to cope with the impact of the pandemic in programs such as psycho-social services, remedial classes, digital learning and innovative ideas on blended learning. Youth service providers will work closely with CYF Volunteers in strategizing creative approaches in supporting children and youth in the communities. There is also a unique opportunity for the CYF Volunteers to support locally- prioritized projects related to economic recovery programs for youth.

Community integration is an indispensable part of Volunteer work. To be successful in service, Volunteers must be accepted by their communities and invest in relationship building. The responsibility for integration rests on Volunteers and host communities, and that includes learning the local language. During Pre-Service Training, Peace Corps Philippines provides tools and strategies for Volunteers to enhance their community integration and language acquisition. The Volunteers’ main assignment during the first three months is community integration. By devoting attention to community integration at site and to language learning, Volunteers lay the groundwork for their future community work.

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 one or more of the following criteria:

• Bachelor of Arts/Bachelor of Science degree in any field.
• 5 years' professional work experience.

Due to Philippines government visa requirements and the government’s current strong stance and action on combatting drug production, distribution/trafficking, and use, applicants will not be considered for Peace Corps positions in the Philippines at this time if they have ever been convicted of any major crime, drug and/or alcohol related, even if it was expunged or sealed, and even if they otherwise would meet the standards for legal clearance to serve as a Peace Corps Volunteer more generally.

Desired Skills

Highly desired skills for this position include:

• Bachelor of Arts/Bachelor of Science in Social Work, Sociology, Human Development, Psychology, Counseling, or Community Development.
• Background in mental health support for children and youth, as well as their service provider.
• Coaching and mentoring skills.
• Passion for addressing the needs of the most marginalized at-risk youth populations including those who have been sexually and/or physically abused, juvenile offenders, homeless children, out-of-school youth, and those in need of special protection, etc.
• Strong interpersonal, and social skills especially in establishing rapport with youth populations.
• An interest in Filipino culture and willingness to integrate into a Filipino community.
• Experience in community development, youth empowerment, team building and leadership development
• Strong facilitation skills.

Required Language Skills

There are no pre-requisite language requirements for this position.

Filipino (a dialect of Tagalog) is the national language of the Philippines. Volunteers must demonstrate an intermediate level in Tagalog by week 6 of Pre-Service Training. Starting the last 2 weeks of Pre-Service Training, most Volunteers will start to learn a secondary local language associated with their assigned site. A Volunteer’s dedication to learning language will set them up for success during their service. Having this skill will help Volunteers better integrate into their community. Additional language resources to improve Volunteers’ local language skills will be offered at Peace Corps training events and through independent tutoring during service.

Living Conditions

Housing

Housing conditions for Volunteers vary widely depending upon their community and can range from heavily urban to very rural. In underdeveloped areas, housing typically is a hollow concrete block or a mix of concrete, wood and bamboo structure. In more developed areas, housing can be either the same or built with full concrete and modern design. Most houses have running water and electricity.

Host Family Situation

Typically, Volunteers live with host families for the first four months in their permanent communities. After this period, Volunteers may choose to continue living with a host family or move into their own rented accommodations. Volunteers are strongly encouraged to continue living with host families to strengthen their language fluency and integration into the community.

Intercultural Challenges

Volunteers will encounter very different social and cultural norms that require patience, and flexibility. For example, the American sense of privacy in terms of information sharing or physical space does not exist in many Philippine communities Questions that Americans may deem private such as questions about one’s religion and marital status are considered conversation starters in the local communities. Some American women may experience challenges in adjusting to the limitations on women that are imposed by the culture. For example, views and attitudes about what is proper for girls and women can be very traditional such as being home by sunset and having a host family member or relative accompany them when going out with male friends or community members.

Diversity Challenges

Volunteers of an American racial, ethnic, or national minority or whose religious or spiritual beliefs differ from the majority of the local community members may experience a high degree of curiosity or unwanted attention. For example, an American who does not have a religious affiliation might receive an unusual amount of curious questions about why the Volunteer does not have a religious affiliation and invitations to attend religious activities for exposure. These experiences can be uncomfortable, but Volunteers are encouraged to use these moments as opportunities to deepen local community members’ understanding of U.S. diversity through conversations and authentic engagement in building relationship and intercultural integration. Staff will address identity related concerns during Pre-Service Training and consultations.

Transportation

There may be limitations for taking public transportation, due the COVID-19 pandemic. Volunteers will need to demonstrate added flexibility and understanding, as evolving COVID-19 mitigation policies may limit available modes of transportation. Volunteers should feel comfortable walking up to 30 minutes to reach their work site, and may be required to bike up to 6 miles a day in the heat. Typically, the most common means of transportation are jeepneys, buses and minibuses.

Climate

The climate of the Philippines is tropical and characterized by relatively high temperatures and high humidity. Generally, the country experiences two major seasons: a rainy season from June through November and a dry season from December to May.

Dress

Philippine culture is traditional with strict norms related to appearance. Therefore, Volunteers must be prepared to abide by these guidelines to ensure a successful service. Volunteers with visible body piercings or tattoos will need strategies to conceal them, especially when they are teaching. Volunteers are looked upon as role models in the community and are therefore expected to be neat, clean and well-groomed even in informal occasions. Men should be clean-shaven and may not have visible piercing especially if they are working in schools.

Serving in Philippines

Learn more about the Volunteer experience in Philippines: 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.

Medical Considerations

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


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