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2 years, 3 months
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Up to 12 months
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Virtual Service Pilot
3-6 months
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Virtual Service Pilot

Co-mentor Climate Change Youth Activists in Vanuatu

Activity/project background

Partner: Vanuatu Climate Action Network (VCAN) (Local NGO)

Established in 2013, the Vanuatu Climate Action Network (VCAN) is a national umbrella network of civil society organizations working on various aspects of climate change, disaster risk reduction and response, and sustainable development. VCAN’s mission is to increase collaboration and information sharing amongst partners leading to more effective and efficient climate change adaptation projects, approaches, and events in Vanuatu.

VCAN is currently partnering with Peace Corps to co-design and implement the Blue Pacific Youth Champions program. Funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), the Blue Pacific Youth Champions is a one-year leadership program that seeks to empower 16 Pacific youth from Vanuatu, Tonga, Fiji, and Samoa to bolster their climate literacy, guide their communities toward climate resilience, and safeguard their heritage. Following initial exchange visits in Vanuatu and Fiji in May 2024, youth participants will return to their communities where they will proceed to design and lead climate adaptation and resilience activities and workshops.

A Virtual Service Pilot Participant (VSPP) is being requested to provide ongoing coaching and mentorship to the four Blue Pacific Youth Champions from Vanuatu as they design and lead these climate adaptation and resilience activities in their communities.

The organization has not previously collaborated with Peace Corps. They understand that the role of a VSPP is very different than a two-year Volunteer.

Engagement and tasks

The VSPP will engage in the following tasks, in collaboration with their Host Country Partners:

• Gather and review relevant data around climate change impacts and adaptation strategies in Vanuatu
• Co-facilitate weekly mentoring / coaching sessions for Blue Pacific Youth Champions participants as they work to design and lead climate adaptation and resilience activities in their communities
• Co-lead educational capacity building sessions for the Blue Pacific Youth Champions on topics such as project proposal writing, project design, project implementation and management, and project monitoring and evaluation

VSPPs are expected to engage on the tasks listed above for an estimated 5-15 hours per week. This engagement is estimated to be 5-6 hours per week.

Online collaboration will generally occur between 8:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m. Vanuatu time. Specific times will be determined during orientation.

The Host Country Counterpart will have access to WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, Zoom, and email for regular communication and collaboration.

Per the Child Protection Code of Conduct, when engaging online with minors (0-18), two adults must be present.

Optional additional activities

The Peace Corps mission is to promote world peace and friendship by fulfilling three goals:

  1. To help the people of interested countries in meeting their need for trained men and women.
  2. To help promote a better understanding of Americans on the part of the peoples served.
  3. To help promote a better understanding of other peoples on the part of Americans.

Goal 1 will be achieved through the VSPP's engagement and completion of the above tasks. The counterpart and VSPP may also choose to identify an activity that aligns with Goal 2. Additionally, the VSPP may identify a Goal 3 activity to implement during their engagement. See recommendations and tools for Goal 3 activities.

Essential qualifications

Education: Bachelor’s degree in environmental science, conservation, sustainable agriculture, forestry, horticulture, coastal resource management, or related field

• 3 years of experience in community-based climate change adaptation, resilience, or environment programming, or related field
• 2 years of experience providing coaching, mentoring, or capacity building support

Intercultural skills and motivation: Flexible, strong cross-cultural agility, high tolerance for ambiguity, able to work independently, resourceful, creative, and genuinely motivated and capable to serve virtually

Desired qualifications

Education: Master’s degree in environmental science, conservation, sustainable agriculture, forestry, horticulture, coastal resource management, or related field

Language: Basic Bislama

• Experience with virtual engagement and communication
• Experience working in the Pacific

Terms and conditions of engagement

VSPPs will be engaging with the host country partner, in coordination with Peace Corps post staff, remotely from the US. They should have access to a computer, internet, and telephone in order to enable direct engagement with the Peace Corps overseas office and the Host Country Counterpart assigned by the host country partner.

Orientation with the host country partner will be provided, within the designated virtual service hours, during the first week of virtual service via an online presentation and discussion. The host country partner will provide an overview of its organization, the local context, and how they envision collaborating with the VSPP.

The VSPP will have regular check-ins with their counterpart and bi-weekly check-ins with Peace Corps staff. Spending unstructured time with counterparts can be critical to relationship-building and is encouraged through activities such as coffee chats and informal calls within the weekly 5-15 hours.

Engagement safety and security

The VSPP will receive an orientation on Peace Corps’ Child Protection Policy and how it relates to online engagement along with IT security best practices. The VSPP will be expected to follow safety and security guidelines for online engagement to ensure their safety and that of the Host Country Partner and their counterpart, and any beneficiaries of the engagement.

Supervision requirements

The VSPP will report to a designated Peace Corps staff member. The VSPP will be expected to abide by the Virtual Service Pilot Participant and Donation Agreement and Participant Principles of Engagement. The VSPP will also be expected to check in with the designated host country counterpart as assigned by the host county partner.

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