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Program and Training Specialist – Education
Applications are invited from suitably qualified persons to fill the position of Program and Training Specialist for an international agency. Position will be filled as soon as a suitable candidate has been identified.
- Works closely with the Program and Training Staff to design, coordinate, implement, and evaluate a professional training sequence for international volunteers to work effectively in the Basic Education Project.
- Works to establish a productive and dynamic relationship international volunteers and local Guyanese education service providers. Provides a thorough orientation to local Guyanese education service providers, as well as ongoing guidance and support to international volunteers.
- Provides technical and non-technical logistical support to Program and Training Staff.
- Bachelor’s degree in education, project management, community development or related field.
- Three years progressively responsible experience in primary, literacy and/or life skills education.
- Experience in information technology programs and community development is preferred.
- Experience working within the varying levels of the Ministry of Education’s System in Guyana is preferred.
- Experience training adults is required.
- Ability to communicate effectively (reading, writing, speaking) in English.
- Ability to work efficiently and effectively.
This position will require up to 70% in-country travel.
A letter of interest and a copy of resume/curriculum vitae should be sent as soon as possible to the following postal address or hand-delivered to the following street address:
Post to: Hand-deliver to:
PM – Education
P.O. Box 101192
U.S. Peace Corps
33A Barrack Street
Alternatively, applications may be sent electronically to: firstname.lastname@example.org.
From February 23 to March 2, 2009, thousands among the 195,000 Peace Corps Volunteers who have served over the years in more than 139 countries will share their overseas experiences with schools and community groups throughout the United States.
Designated as Peace Corps Week, this weeklong celebration marks the 48th anniversary of the Peace Corps, founded on March 1, 1961, when President John F. Kennedy signed an executive order establishing it as a new government agency.
By giving presentations during Peace Corps Week, Peace Corps Volunteers help Americans better understand the people and cultures they’ve experienced, and the many benefits of service. Additionally, by making presentations in classrooms, Volunteers help create greater global awareness among students. For more of this article, click here.
For a complete list of Peace Corps Week activities across the United States, click here.
The Peace Corps is proud to announce the top colleges and universities on their annual list of “Peace Corps Top Colleges and Universities” for 2009.
For the third consecutive year, the University of Washington is No. 1 on the undergraduate list in the large schools category, with 104 alumni serving as Peace Corps Volunteers. The University of Colorado-Boulder has risen dramatically from sixth place last year to claim the No. 2 in the large schools category, with 102 Volunteers. Michigan State University has also risen up two spots from fifth place last year to take the No. 3 rank among the country’s large schools, with 89 currently-serving Volunteers.
The complete list can be found here.
An RPCV that served in Guyana represented at a Peace Corps Fair in Arizona, she has this to day about the event:
The PC fair was a smashing success!Â I printed some of the photos out for the poster and had the rest of the pics with captions in a slideshow running on the laptop…I only took a few photos at the PC fair because I was so busy the whole time answering all kind of questions about the Peace Corps in Guyana…Well, here’s a picture of me and the table… sorry the photo is a little dark.
As we slowed to a crawl from well above 100km/h I looked up from my work to see what had caused this interruption of incessant swerving back and forth. A half a dozen young boys were aggressively urging their 50 or so cattle and sheep across a narrow bridge, as this road was the only way across the now high waters of the small creek. I took the opportunity to glance around and absorb the beauty of the Ethiopian Rift Valley. Here, about a hundred kilometers south of Addis Ababa, a passerby can get a quick glimpse of some of the most beautiful nature that Earth has to offer. A group of ten storks stood proud and tall atop a lush, flat-topped acacia tree, a small bird with the brightest red color I have ever seen rose up from the grass near the road side, and the green stretched for miles, and obvious sign that there has been adequate rainfall this year.
Further south we go, the green grass and twisted acacia trees begin to be accompanied by small shrubs and fields of corn as the dry season climate here is a little kinder than just a 100km to the north. Different types of trees appear on the roadside, some even with flowers. People walk this way and that carrying goods to or from the markets. Sheep and cows eager for the grass that is always greener on the other side daringly try to cross the road â€“ one of the nicest and busiest roads in Ethiopia running over 800km from Addis to the Kenyan border at a town called Moyale. Small villages and decent sized towns occasionally force vehicles to slow down, but the accelerator promptly hits the floor as the last of the homes are passed and the long stretch of smooth asphalt runs endlessly in front of us with mountains in the distance on every horizon that just never seem to get any closer.
Even further south now the small shrubs give way to bigger ones and the acacia trees begin to give way to warca trees which stand with the elegance of an old oak. Fences begin appearing around the houses as lumber is more readily available with the much larger number of trees. The leaves of false banana trees reach over top of the fences, a tell tale sign that we are now in the land of Ethiopiaâ€™s number one crop â€“ coffee. Pictures of legendary reggae star Bob Marley begin appearing on the roadside as well as the associated colors of red, yellow, green and black surrounding the Lion of Judah, the proud symbol of the Rastafarians. This means we are also fast approaching Sashemene, the once large, but now small, plot of land given to the Rastas by Emperor Haile Selaisse I, the man worshiped as a God by the Rastafarian religion. And then it is behind us.
It becomes apparent at about this point that we are now in the mountains that not so long ago appeared unreachable. Tree species too numerous to mention intermix with the coffee that is endemic to the highlands of Ethiopia. Even in the vehicle the air has a different feel, lighter, cooler, damper. The tall eucalyptus trees, given as a gift to Ethiopia by Australia in the late 1800â€™s and now everywhere, give off a strong scent as a light mist begins to fall. Up a slight incline and now fully encased in clouds we are again forced to a crawl as visibility is next to nothing. Another few minutes and its clear as if there hadnâ€™t been a cloud in the sky all day.
As we begin our descent down the mountains the sprawling, red savanna which is Borena extends as far as the eye can see. Weâ€™re not going all the way there on this trip, but I can picture the familiar scenery in my head â€“ short, twisted acacia trees intermixed with giant termite mounds which take on the red hue of the surrounding soil. Cattle by the thousands herded from one pasture to the next wherever there happens to be water at this given time.
At this point you may be asking yourself what this has to do with Peace Corps or Guyana, and I asked myself that very same question when I decided to post this here. Well, there isnâ€™t really a huge connection other than that Ethiopia, like Guyana is an incredibly diverse place and everyone should try there best to get out and visit as many places as you can and meet as many people as possible. In doing this you may understand where the passion that Peace Corps Volunteers have comes from.
Four days in New York were not nearly enough. Four days in a three-room apartment with seven other souls â€“ six of us sharing a bedroom, all of us sharing the bath. At any given point, a dozen of us wandered the city, annoyed people on trains and talked of anything and everything.
“Do you know what I love most about your friends? Your Peace Corps friends?” I asked on the drive home, long after the sun had set and in the last leg or two of the journey.
“They’re all flawed.”
I caught his look out of the corner of my eye and continued.
“I mean, we’re all flawed but you all know each other so well that you know the flaws and like each other anyways. That’s pretty awesome.”
“I think that’s the glue that holds us together,” he said. “None of us had anything like that before we went and we haven’t found it since.”
I was not part of it, not the Peace Corps, but they knew me tangentially and welcomed me with open arms. Literally.
“You’ve met before, why no hug?” one girl berated her boyfriend and he leaned in for a hug, all 6 foot, 7 inches of him. I spent much of the weekend in their company. More hugs followed.
Promises would flow â€“ to meet again soon, to write, to call. Many would be broken but the intentions were true. These people knew each other, inside and out, and honestly liked each other. They would come together again and again as they had over the past couple years, their ties growing stronger with coupling and real world friendships and the formation of
their non-profit. Overlapping stories and overlapping lives.
I heard tales from their days in Guyana and their lives since. About drunkenness, defecation, and falling in love – in one couple, all three combined. I heard about falling down and rising up. I knew the characters and most of the places.
I scanned through pictures and asked for names, settings, stories, when he came back for Christmas. I visited twice. I listened. Talked. Shared.
Some of the volunteers are part of my life now, my neighbors, my friends. Others have visited and stayed with my brother. Stayed with me.
I questioned my brother on the way home about jobs and plans and stories half heard. I reviewed the faces and names in my mind.
“It’s not like it matters,” I said. “I just want to know. I like your friends.”
For four days, I wished that I had joined the Peace Corps. I knew that I still could and would create my own stories, my own group, if I did, but I wanted this one: Flawed, funny, accepting and great.
Some of the boys might move upstairs. A man from Chicago and a couple from New York plan to visit before summer’s end, and I have invited myself to Argentina. With each visit, we will move farther from Guyana. The stories will grow. They will include me. Some already do.
For four days, I stopped waiting. Waiting for my car. Waiting to find out if I’m sick. Waiting for the Metro and on the Metro. Waiting for meetings to start and meetings to end and for somebody, anybody, to get to the point. Waiting for doctors and movies and lecturers. Waiting to go home and do it all again. A life on hold.
For four days, hours on the subway melted into nothingness as we were together and the journeys eclipsed the destinations. I had nowhere to go. Nothing to do. I could wake up at noon and nobody cared. I slept better in a room with five guys than I did at home upon my return.
For four days, I simply existed. I was me: flawed, human, accepted and loved. That is just the way they are.
Return Peace Corps Volunteers (RPCVs), upon successful completion of their service, are told that they have â€œnon-competitive eligibilityâ€? for federal jobs. Yet when they apply for these federal jobs, this eligibility is often not recognized. So what is this non-competitive eligibility, and how do RPCVs take advantage of it?
The term â€œnon-competitive eligibilityâ€? is a blanket term for any applicant to the federal service who does not have to â€œcompeteâ€? with other people through the governments two main hiring systems: Delegated Exam (for all people) and the Merit Promotion System (for federal employees). Applying to these two systems involves extensive question and answer sections to assess the applicantâ€™s experience in certain situations that are essential to the open position.
However, RPCVs, depending upon their circumstances, are covered by a special hiring authority (or hiring flexibility) for one to three years after their close of service. This means that they can circumvent the whole competitive process and be eligible to be brought on directly into a position. Unfortunately, many government officials are unaware of this hiring flexibility. While they are not obligated to use it when they fill a position, taking advantage of the flexibility allows the officials more choice in who they hire and can save them a lot of time.
In order for an RPCV to take advantage of this flexibility, he/she should follow the steps below:
Apply for positions of interest
Even though RPCVs are eligible for federal positions under a special hiring authority, they are also eligible for and should apply to positions through Delegated Exam. Doing so will allow them to demonstrate their qualities in the question and answer sections and may also give them an option to show their non-competitive eligibility.
Target the agencies in which to work
The RPCV should speak with a recruiter and attend job fairs held by the government agencies in which he/she would like to work. He/she should make sure to inform recruiters and specialists about the Peace Corps hiring flexibility and how easy it would be to hire someone under it.
Include all necessary information on a resume
In order to develop a government rÃ©sumÃ© complete with all the information selecting officials are looking for, it is best to create it on the USAJOBS website. RPCV job seekers should make sure to include the paragraph from their description of service about the Peace Corps Act and put in a conspicuous place that because of their Peace Corps service, they have non-competitive eligibility through the Peace Corps Act.
Keep a copy of the regulation and site it
When speaking to recruiters, RPCVs should be sure to reference the actual regulation that entitles them to non-competitive eligibility. They should print out a copy to hand to recruiters as well. This can be found in Title 5, Section 315 Subsection 605 of the Code of Federal Regulations (it should be referenced as 5CFR315.605 and can be found here. (pdf)Finally, recruiters and hiring officials should be referred to the Office of Personnel Managementâ€™s (OPM) Guide to Processing Personnel Actions, Chapter 9, Table 9-3, Rule 40-43.
The job seeker need not worry about what all the regulations mean, but just know that they exist so that he/she may aid HR Specialists in their research to expedite the research and hiring time.
RPCVs are very lucky to have a government special hiring authority available to them. Through the proper steps, they can use that authority to their advantage to begin an exciting career with the federal government.
An RPCV from Guyana, now working with MSF (Medical Sans Frontiers), sent me this link, describing a typical day on the job.
9:00 AM: Amina, 15 years old, is waiting patiently among hundreds of people. She proceeds for a few meters but she is stopped by one of the guards. She will be able to proceed as soon as the dozen people ahead of her advance. She has returned from Uganda and heard from her mother that vaccinations were taking place in town. She knows that meningitis kills people and asks whether the needle will hurt. After a 20-minute wait, it only takes a few seconds to finish. She then proceeds to the registration table where she is asked for her age.
11 AM: While the crowd continues to grow in this site, a public-awareness campaign is taking place around town, as cars drive through the different districts of Juba. With the help of a megaphone, they are reading a message in English and Arabic urging people to be vaccinated for free. The day prior, additional information and messages also appeared in the local newspapers and were dispersed over the radio. Owen, one of the drivers, also alerts the public of the cholera treatment center run by MSF that is now open in Juba. In addition to the meningitis epidemic throughout southern Sudan, cholera has also been on the rise in the areas around Juba.
As volunteers finish up work in their respective countries, many continue on a path similar to Peace Corps work. Great job, keep it up!
The United States Peace Corps said another 33 community health and education volunteers will arrive in the country by May 31.
According to a press release, the group, which has 41 volunteers working in eight regions, celebrated 46 years as an institution yesterday. The group works in collaboration with government ministries and non-governmental organisations to address citizens’ needs and to provide health, education and youth development outreach exercises. The volunteers facilitate community involvement, train service provides and introduce new training and teaching methodologies.
The Peace Corps volunteers are also part of the wider President’s Emer-gency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) response in Guyana. The group and supporting agencies develop materials and fund small community projects related to abstinence and being faithful, orphans and vulnerable children and palliative care.
The release said Crisis Corps, a special programme the Peace Corps initiated, was started as a way to use the valuable language, cultural and technical skills of former Peace Corps volunteers to respond to natural disasters or other crises. These volunteer assignments usually last from three to six months and are used to carry out specific duties. The project also falls under the purview of the Peace Corps Guyana PEPFAR initiative.
The release said since 1966 more than 400 Peace Corps volunteers have served in Guyana. The group has 7,810 American volunteers serving in 77 countries and, since its inauguration in 1961, 187,000 volunteers have served in 139 countries. Sometimes, the release said, Peace Corps service continues long after volunteers leave their posts.