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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 Local NGO in Beekeeping Techniques

Activity/project background

Partner: Wolaitta Development Association (Local NGO)

Wolaitta Development Association (WODA) focuses on three thematic areas namely, Human Capital Development, Sustainable Livelihood Security and Integrated Health Services. The proposed project with VSPP will focus on Sustainable Livelihood Security. Wolaitta Development Association has been implementing sustainable livelihood security projects for several years and an estimated 1 million people have benefitted from the intervention.

WODA has established a youth group to implement apiculture that aims mainly to secure income from the project and at the same time to reduce unemployment rate in the area and use the apiary as a demonstration site for other beekeepers. The project is one of the focusing areas for WODA in that the association striving to change the livelihood of individual farmers who have traditional skills on beekeeping by equipping them with more productive bee keeping management. Therefore, the association has taken initiatives to use untapped traditional farmers experiences, vegetation coverage and suitable agroecology for beekeeping activities. Though the efforts made by the association, due to lack skilled experts with modern beekeeping techniques, the association and its target beneficiaries couldn’t utilize the resource effectively, which in turn, ended with low productivity. The youth group and individual farmers lack awareness and skills on colony multiplication, feeding/foraging, harvesting, post-harvest handling. The association is looking for collaboration with VSSP to fill skill gaps mentioned above and to improve the overall beekeeping development through improving capacities of experts working in beekeeping sector.

WODA has not previously worked with a Peace Corps Volunteer or a Virtual Service Pilot Participant. 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:

• Conduct a literature review of available beekeeping and bee product care and marketing.
• Co-develop a beekeeper practical handguide or manual that can be used by staff and beekeepers to respond to the following needs: improve bee product quality, post-harvest handling, processing, storage, and packaging; enhance business management skills and limited entrepreneurial practices; strengthening the coordination with crop production activities such as weed and pest control measures; creation of sustainable market linkage for bee products; and that document best practices for beekeeping and bee products
• Provide training of trainers to staff members using the handguide or manual

This engagement is expected to be approximately 25 weeks. VSPPs are expected to engage on the tasks listed above for an estimated 5-15 hours per week.

Meetings between VSPPs and Host Country Counterparts will take place during normal office hours. Specific times will be determined during orientation.

The Host Country Counterpart will have access Zoom, WhatsApp, 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 any field

Experience: Experience in beekeeping and honeybee product management

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 agriculture, horticulture, agronomy, agricultural economics or related field

Technical Skills: Familiarity with virtual engagement and communication

Experience: 2 years’ experience in beekeeping and honeybee product management

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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