Youth in Development Volunteer
Youth in Development (YD) Volunteers serve primarily in non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and community-based partners, such as schools, special education programs and informal youth groups, in cities and towns outside of Yerevan. Working directly with youth ages 10-17, Volunteers help young people build the knowledge and skills necessary to become healthy, productive, and civically engaged members of society. Volunteers organize and lead youth clubs and camps, teach life skills in formal and informal settings, and coach and mentor young people on job readiness and career and employment opportunities.
In addition, they help build the capacity of host country service stakeholders to support positive youth development. The youth Volunteers work with are both a beneficiary and a partner in realizing their own social, economic, and civic potential. Underlying the positive youth development approach is the foundational belief that youth are assets in their communities and central to solving problems in their lives.
Community integration is an indispensable part of Volunteer work. In order to be successful in service, Volunteers must be accepted by their communities. The responsibility of integration rests on Volunteers and host communities, which is facilitated by continually learning the Armenian language. During Pre-Service Training, Peace Corps Armenia provides tools and strategies for Volunteers to enhance their community integration and language acquisition. By devoting attention to community integration and language learning, Volunteers lay the groundwork for their future community work.
COVID-19 Volunteer Activities
In the past year, the world has been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. 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.
• Bachelor of Arts/Bachelor of Science degree in any field
• 5 years' professional work experience
• Recent experience working or volunteering with youth in camps, clubs, sports, volunteerism, service-learning, community service project planning and implementation, or other areas of non-formal education
• Experience working in, or a strong understanding of, the non-profit/NGO sector
• Experience with community-based program development, including knowledge in needs assessment, strategic planning, project planning, and/or community outreach
• Bachelor’s degree in Social Work
Required Language Skills
Armenia has a diverse climate as the winter months (November to March) come with heavy snowfall and freezing temperatures followed by a beautiful spring. The summer months (June to September) can range from 100-degree temperatures every day in the south, to more mild weather in the central and northern parts of the country.
Volunteers are required to stay with host families during Pre-Service Training (PST) and for the first three months at site. The host family experience is a unique opportunity for Volunteers to fully immerse themselves in the Armenian language and culture and form important relationships in the community. Many Volunteers choose to live with their host families for the entirety of their service although they may move to independent housing, if available, after the mandatory host family stay. Please note that independent housing is not available in all communities, and all Volunteers should be prepared to stay with a host family during their full two years of service, if necessary.
Armenia is, in many ways, a traditional and homogenous society. Despite limited exposure to foreigners, host families and counterparts are accepting of diversity among Volunteers. Peace Corps Volunteers often form life-long relationships with members of their local community. However, Volunteers who do not resemble the Armenian profile, particularly African Americans, Asian Americans, Native Americans, Hispanics, and other people of color may receive additional unwanted and sometimes negative attention from strangers in the larger community. Many Volunteers have been able to turn these encounters into learning experiences, sharing American values, and deepening local community members’ understanding of Americans. The majority of Armenians are not accepting of members of the LGBTQ+ community so it is safest not to share this information with Armenian colleagues, family, and friends. Peace Corps Armenia’s pre-departure materials and Pre-Service Training will address these types of concerns to prepare Volunteers for service. The Peace Corps office serves as a safe space for Volunteers to share their experiences with staff and fellow Volunteers.
Learn more about the Volunteer experience in Armenia: Get detailed information on culture, communications, housing, and safety — including crime statistics [PDF] — in order to make a well-informed decision about serving.
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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