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Peace Corps Volunteer
2 years, 3 months
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Peace Corps Response
Up to 12 months
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Virtual Service Pilot
3-6 months
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Virtual Service Pilot

Co-teach English Report Writing Sessions for CorpsAfrica Volunteers

Activity/project background

Partner: CorpsAfrica/Ethiopia (International NGO)

CorpsAfrica/Ethiopia (CA/E) was founded in 2023 and it is one of the 10 countries in Africa where CorpsAfrica is in operation. CA/E recognizes that its host country, Ethiopia, needs youth engagement in direct development initiatives working closely with their own communities; currently, Oromia, South Ethiopia, and Sidama regions have national volunteers placed in very rural communities. In an effort to prepare volunteers for service, CorpsAfrica plans to offer expert pre-service and in-service training facilitated by development management professionals.

Developing communication and report writing skills in English are critical skills that CA/E aims to train its volunteers on. Although CA/E volunteers are university graduates with degrees in a range of fields of study, due to lack of practice opportunities, they do not graduate with a strong level of English language proficiency. Through the support of two (2) Virtual Service Pilot Participants (VSPPs), this engagement is meant to support and empower volunteers, while building their English language and technical writing skills. As CA/E volunteers gain a stronger foundation of the English language, they will be able to facilitate the development of new global and local partnerships.

During this engagement, 11 CA/E volunteers will be divided into groups of 5 and engage in practice and writing sessions facilitated by the VSPPs. Volunteers will attend all sessions and participate in each activity by engaging in conversations and writing tasks that the facilitator assigns. In doing so, the volunteers will be introduced to standard technical report writing and opportunities to develop new skills.

CorpsAfrica/Ethiopia has previously collaborated with the 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:

• Meet the group of Corps Africa Volunteers and assess their English writing proficiency
• Determine areas and level of writing instruction to be focused on during this engagement
• Co-plan and design session materials (or activities) that help participants practice writing
• Co-teach one to two 1.5-hour writing sessions each week
• Assign continuous writing tasks to assist participants with their writing skills
• Conduct an exit assessment at the end of the engagement and report changes achieved in volunteers’ skills of writing

VSPPs are expected to engage on the tasks listed above for an estimated 5-15 hours per week. However, this engagement is estimated to be 7 hours per week including preparations.

Online collaboration will generally occur between 2:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m. Ethiopia time. Specific times will be determined during orientation.

The participants will have access to Zoom, WhatsApp, Telegram, and email for regular sessions, 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 any field OR relevant certification: TEFL, TESOL, Cambridge, or similar

• Experience with virtual engagement and communication
• 1 year of experience teaching English as a foreign language to young adults

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 education, TEFL, or related field or certificate in TEFL

• Experience with virtual engagement and communication
• 1 year of experience teaching writing to non-native English speakers
• Experience developing resources for teaching writing to non-native English speakers

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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