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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

Support Capacity of Community Libraries’ Counterparts

Activity/project background

Partner: 1. Messica-Sede Primary School; 2. Messica-Aldeia; 3. Catandica OVC Centre; 4. Espungabera Gungunhana Primary School; 5. Mawanda; 6. Manjangue Primary School; 7. Chicumbane; 8. Manje; 9. Mavudzi Ponte; 10. Bairro 3; 11. Mapinhane Primary School (Government)

The Community Library Project (CLP) is a childhood literacy project that uses afterschool literacy activities and library services to both improve early grade reading outcomes and strengthen parental and community engagement in Mozambique. It is implemented through a partnership between Peace Corps Volunteers (PCVs) and local counterparts, and serves local children of all ages, with primary school students from grades 1-3 as the main target group. The activities undertaken in CLPs include establishing community libraries, creating, and training local CLP teams, stocking and distributing books and other teaching and learning materials, and afterschool reading, tutoring, and mentoring programs.

The CLPs are in rural and semi-rural areas, as well as district towns in nearly every province of Mozambique. Since 2013, approximately 54 community libraries have been established. The impact of COVID-19 was felt intensely by CLPs as all in-person programming at the libraries was paused for two years. 27 community libraries have reopened in 2022 and resumed programming. Peace Corps works to continue supporting these libraries, as well as other CLPs.

Without the presence of PCVs in Mozambique yet, there is an opportunity for Virtual Service Pilot Participants (VSPPs) to provide more targeted support, including the development of tools and resources to assist the local counterparts who volunteer their time and energy to providing CLP programming in the Maputo, Gaza, Inhambane, Manica, and Tete provinces.

Seven out of the 11 CLP teams in this list are currently engaged with the first cohort of VSPPs, while the other 4 CLP teams will be engaging with the VSPPs for the first time. The Community Library Program Leaders understand that the role of the VSPPs is very different from the two-year Volunteers.

Engagement and tasks

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

• Encourage, empower, and support the local CLP leaders and community volunteer facilitators with regular weekly WhatsApp check-ins to build the relationship and continually discern the needs and opportunities
• Assist with the creation of resources, reference materials, and lessons to help local CLP leaders and community volunteer facilitators to be more effective in early grade reading coaching and techniques
• Help CLPs in promoting the exchange of experiences between themselves through group class observations and other possible inclusive learning methods in children who participate in the CLP activities
• Co-develop and support the implementation of a learning assessment tool to determine the learning progress of the participating children
• Mentor CLP leaders through positive feedback of their CLP facilitation skills

This engagement is expected to be approximately 12 weeks. VSPPs are expected to engage on the tasks listed above for an estimated 5-15 hours per week.

Online collaboration will generally occur during normal office hours, 3:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. Mozambique time. Specific times will be determined during orientation.

The Host Country Counterparts will have access to Android cellphones, computers, or tablets for remote regular communication, and collaboration through communication platforms such as WhatsApp, email, and Zoom with WhatsApp being the most preferable.

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

Language: Intermediate Portuguese

Experience: Experience in education settings

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: Bachelor’s degree in education, teaching, or related field

Language: Advanced Portuguese

Experience:
• Experience with virtual engagement and communication
• Experience in training, coaching, or mentoring

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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