Youth Development Facilitator
Since 2004, the Peace Corps Peru Youth Development project has allowed more than 400 Peace Corps Volunteers to support youth service providers to improve the educational and economic status of Peruvian youth. In Peru, 18% of young Peruvians between the ages of 19 to 25 face challenges that limit education and work opportunities. Peruvian NEET population (“NINIs” in Spanish meaning they don’t work or study) is mainly associated with two factors: the high rates of school dropouts and teen pregnancy.
Youth Development Facilitators work in partnership with youth, school staff, parents, community leaders, public service workers, and government offices. The purpose of working directly with youth service providers and youth is to support them to build leadership, life and employability skills, and enhance their engagement in the community. Life skills education focuses on developing a positive identity, critical thinking, and healthy lifestyle activities. Employability skills focus on mentoring activities, vocational skill career fairs, workshops on mock interviews, and developing a life plan. With the goal of training and empowering youth, Volunteers will have the opportunity to support youth-led community service projects as part of the leadership skills development.
One of the primary roles a Youth Development Facilitator plays is working alongside local high schools supporting the implementation of their classroom youth orientation program. This program has a strong focus on leadership and civic participation, which aligns with a national Peruvian Ministry of Education strategy called “Somos Pares” or “We are Peers.” This curriculum is part of a series of classes that are implemented 12-15 hours a week, depending on the size of the school and the programs it supports. Youth Development Facilitators work with class coordinators and teachers to co-facilitate educational topics focused on life skills, self-esteem, career orientation, and youth peer support. They will also support local municipality summer school classes by promoting and participating in an established youth development committee.
While specific daily work will depend on the work site and the needs of the community, Youth Development Facilitators will work with counterparts to identify strategies to improve the quality of life for Peruvians by introducing new ideas, skills, and practices. Considering gender issues in the design of culturally appropriate project activities will be an important component of the job, including co-promoting equal access to services, training, and other activities.
There will also be numerous opportunities to participate in secondary activities. These might include (but are not limited to), co-facilitating computer classes, organizing environmental awareness workshops, co-developing a school gardening project, coaching sports, or even co-organizing community-wide recycling projects.
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.
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
Competitive candidates will have one or more of the following desired skills:
• Master’s degree in Social Work, Psychology, Education, Youth Development, Applied Behavioral Science or related field.
• Bachelor’s degree in Social Work, Social Studies, Psychology, Education, Youth Development, Applied Behavioral Science or other related field and at least 3 months of experience working with youth and/or families.
• 3 years of professional experience working with disadvantaged youth and/or families
• Experience working with young people (10-24 years old), teachers and parents in a school setting.
• Experience engaging, organizing, and developing relationships between parents, youth, educators, and community members.
• Experience facilitating the development of community service projects.
• Experience facilitating community mobilization strategies to engage youth, teachers, youth service providers, and/or parents
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 11.5 weeks of Pre-Service Training in order to swear-in as a Volunteer.
Some Volunteers may be placed in Quechua speaking communities. To be considered for placement in a Quechua speaking community, Trainees must arrive to Post with a Spanish proficiency level of intermediate high or higher. While continuing to learn Spanish, these Trainees will receive 7 weeks of basic Quechua language training (equivalent to 40 hours of Quechua). Trainees studying Quechua should demonstrate novice-mid proficiency in Quechua after 11.5 weeks of Pre-Service training.
Geography and Climate:
Peru has three primary geographic regions: the Pacific Coast, Andean mountains, and Amazon rainforest. The climatic conditions in each of these three regions are vastly different depending on the time of year. Pacific coastal communities can experience hotter, drier climates year round with little to no rainfall. The Andean mountain areas are often high altitude communities with cold weather, experiencing a wet and dry season. Amazon rainforest communities experience more rain throughout the year and sometimes hotter climates.
Youth Development Facilitators will be assigned to the coastal region and often work in small to mid-sized towns where there is a significant population of underserved youth.
All Volunteers are required to live with a host family during Pre-Service Training and in their assigned community for the full two years of service. Couples will live together with the same host family. The homestay experience supports the Volunteer with establishing safety and security strategies, strengthening language acquisition, and community integration. It is often one of the most memorable and rewarding experiences in a Volunteer’s service.
Peru is known as the gastronomic capital of South America for a reason. Peru is famous for “lomo saltado” (a stir fried steak dish with peppers and onions), as well as many varieties of “aji” (a traditional spicy chili paste that goes great with meat, chicken, fish, and vegetables). While your daily diet may vary depending on your host community, there will be plenty of opportunities to explore traditional Peruvian foods.
The Peruvian diet varies based on geographic location but, in general, it will include a high-starch diet (potatoes, rice, or cassava) and potentially include 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. Host families may not be accustomed to eating as many fruits and vegetables as Volunteers may be, and they are not expected to prepare special meals for you. For the most part, Volunteers will need to adapt to the local diet that is generally carbohydrate heavy.
Post expects that Volunteers will be able to walk or use a bicycle to travel to and from work, for shopping for basic needs (food items, personal care, household essentials, etc.), and for other personal errands in their assigned community. Common methods of transportation include ‘combis’ [small buses], ‘colectivos’ [shared taxis], moto-taxis or ‘tuk-tuks’ [three-wheeled motorcycles].
Wi-Fi availability at restaurants and cafes is common in Peru, especially in bigger cities. However, once a Volunteer is placed in their permanent community, they may or may not have reliable access to the internet. If they do not have reliable access in their communities they will be able to access the internet when visiting a larger city.
Serving in Peru
Learn more about the Volunteer experience in Peru: 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.
Peru cannot accommodate couples within the same sector. Therefore, your partner must qualify and apply for:
Community Health Facilitator.
Couples will live together with a host family during Pre-Service Training but may be separated for certain field-based activities due to working 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.
Going through Peace Corps as a couple allows for ample growth in trust, confidence, and communication. There will be times when you will both need each other’s support. Understand that you will need to put in extra effort to be an ally to your partner. Although you will not be able to completely eradicate many of these challenges, they can be coped with and overcome with time, patience, and, most importantly, a good sense of humor.
The Peace Corps works to foster safe and productive assignments for same-sex couples, and same-sex couples are not placed in countries where homosexual acts are criminalized. Because of this, same-sex couple placements are more limited than heterosexual couple placements. During the application process Recruiters and Placement Officers work closely with same-sex couple applicants to understand current placement opportunities. For more information please visit: https://www.peacecorps.gov/faqs/lgbtq/.
Before you apply, please review Medical Information for Applicants to learn about the medical clearance process.
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