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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 Youth Leadership and Employability Skills Development Club

Activity/project background

Partner: Window on America centers in Kharkiv, Vinnytsia, Poltava (Government)

The Window on America Centers in Ukraine provides resources and learning opportunities for youth who want to improve their English proficiency while also gaining practical life skills that will benefit them in their personal and professional lives.

Libraries are actively developing programs and services that meet diverse needs of youth. Cities like Kharkiv, Vinnytsya, and Poltava are home to a significant number of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) who have lost their homes and jobs due to the ongoing war. Young individuals in these areas are faced with the task of rebuilding their lives, often having to start their careers from scratch and acquire new skills. Amidst the challenges of wartime, both displaced and non-displaced youth are grappling with emotional obstacles, lacking the necessary support to bolster their inner strengths and regain the confidence needed to embark on a new life and secure employment.

To address this pressing issue, Window on America Centers (WOAs) in Kharkiv, Vinnytsya, and Poltava are collaborating to boost youth confidence, support the development of their leadership skills, and provide training for career advancement. WOAs are seeking a Virtual Service Pilot Participant (VSPP) to co-facilitate an afterschool club, providing a platform for youth (ages 12-16) from these cities to rediscover their strengths and cultivate the leadership skills essential for success in the job market. The club will cover a wide range of topics aimed at helping young people pursue their professional aspirations. Through collaboration with the VSPP, students will learn skills as resume writing, interviewing techniques, and networking will be addressed to prepare students for internships or other work-based learning opportunities. Youth will also get an opportunity to learn about America and American culture, which will broaden their outlook about the world.

The organization has previously collaborated with the Peace Corps. They understand that the role of a VSPP is very different than a two-year Volunteer. Peace Corps Ukraine is seeking a VSPP who is empathetic to the lived experiences of displaced students to support WOAs in this engagement.

Engagement and tasks

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

● Co-assess student current knowledge and skill level to establish priority areas for focus in club sessions
● Co-design or co-adapt a resource pack of at least 12 session plans on topics related to leadership and career development
● Co-facilitate a 1-hour online club per week for the group of students
● Attend a weekly meeting with the Ukrainian counterpart for feedback and discussion
● Co-facilitate club meetings and include cultural events on topics, such as American holidays and historical events

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

Online collaboration will generally occur between 4:00 p.m. - 7:00 p.m. Kyiv time. Specific times will be determined during orientation.

The Host Country Counterpart will have access to Zoom, WhatsApp, Telegram, emails 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:
• 1 year of experience working with youth (ages 12-16) in some capacity, such as a teacher, counselor, mentor, coach, or volunteer
• Experience in career consulting

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 any field

Experience:
• Experience with virtual engagement and communication
• Experience working with youth on leadership development
• Experience with curriculum and workshop development
• Experience in coaching, guiding and/or mentoring youth on career planning (e.g. resume, motivation statement writing, job search in LinkedIn, interviews, etc.)

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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