The Community Economic Development Sector's three goals are the following:
Goal 1: Community-Focused - Paraguayan community members will be key actors in their community development.
a. PCVs will strengthen the capacity of community members, especially youth, in leadership skills
b. PCVs will support the formation and/or improved management of local organizations
c. PCVs, along with their counterparts, will train community members in project design and management practices
Goal 2: Workforce Development - Community members, especially youth, will improve key workforce skills to increase employment and economic opportunities and support job retention and career advancement
a. Employability skills: PCVs will support youth in learning and demonstrating marketable job skills and pursuing opportunities in the local, regional or national market
b. Vocational Skills (Information and Communication Technology – ICT): PCVs will strengthen skillsets in Microsoft Office Applications and communication technology that can be used in work or education environments
c. Financial Literacy: PCVs will work to increase financial literacy skills to improve personal or household money management practices
Goal 3: Business Development - Current and future entrepreneurs will cultivate new businesses, expand existing ones, and/or manage successful businesses to support the local community economy.
a. Entrepreneurship: PCVS will co-teach business planning course and entrepreneurial skills to create new businesses or expand existing ones
b. Stronger Business Management: PCVs will reinforce business management practices to increase profitability
The Community Economic Development (CED) sector focuses on holistic development of both institutions and individuals. Your main focus will be working with youth through youth groups and after-school activities to teach about group formation, leadership, community service, youth participation and civic engagement. Volunteers also work with institutions such as: municipalities, cooperatives, schools, non-governmental organizations, neighborhood commissions and other organizations. Besides working in community engagement, Volunteers in the CED sector work to build the capacity of local community members to improve business management, and promote employability and marketable job skills, and improve the money management skills of community members. Candidates proficient in Microsoft Office are encouraged to teach basic computer skills with a local counterpart to community members; including students, teachers and others. In many communities, Volunteers also teach English as a marketable job skill.
In rural Paraguay, a small business can be VERY small, and can be better described as a micro-enterprise. In some cases, Volunteers are working with a single señora selling empanadas, a farmer trying to sell carrots at a local market, or a couple of young adults trying to start a juice business. It usually takes Volunteers several months, if not up to a year, to build-up relationships in order to begin business consulting activities. Typically the businesses are very informal.
Working situations range from institution-based, such as with schools, cooperatives or municipalities, to less structured organizations like neighborhood commissions or youth groups. Occasionally, there may be activities in a compañía (rural outskirts) close to your town. Volunteers may need to visit these areas to plan activities, which can require lots of walking and use of locally available public transportation.
According to the Strategic Plan of the National Youth Secretariat, Paraguay has one of the larger youth populations in the region. 21% of the population age ranges between 18 to 29 years old. These young people are the strategic actors of development and social innovation, and investing in them will play an important role in promoting community economic development in Paraguay. For this reason, the Community Economic Development sector focuses its effort in this stratum of the population, by building the capacity of youth as community leaders, business owners and/or by preparing them to enter the job market. CED Volunteers may work with other age groups, such as women’s groups or farmers.
Many Volunteers also work on secondary activities outside the sector’s framework which may be started/proposed by the community and carried out with the Volunteer’s help. Depending on the community, secondary projects might include community clean-up events, promotion of dental health, art classes, cook stove construction, environmental health, recycling projects or water sanitation.
Health coverage, Housing, Living allowance, Non-competitive eligibility (federal jobs), Stipend, Student loan forbearance, Training
Prohibits paid work outside of the sponsoring agency at any time
Subject to criminal background check