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Listing

Community Health Promoter

Actively Recruiting

Openings

25 currently recruiting

Service Dates

June 14, 2020 - August 23, 2022

Application Window

May 1, 2019 - October 1, 2019

Location

  • Sierra Leone

Contact Information

Marissa Henderson
mhenderson2@peacecorps.gov

Hosted By

Position Details

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Peace Corps Volunteer

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Listing Details

Description

Peace Corps in Sierra Leone has a rich history and a strong legacy serving the people of Sierra Leone. The program began in January 1962 as one of the first countries entered after Peace Corps' launch in March 1961 so it is a well-known and welcomed agency by generations of Sierra Leoneans.

The health project received the Government of Sierra Leone endorsement in October of 2016. After 23 years without a health project, Peace Corps/Sierra Leone received its first Health input in 2017. The formal health system in Sierra Leone is excited to receive Peace Corps’ support to meet more of Sierra Leoneans health needs, particularly those living in communities with limited access to clinics. Consequently, the Ministry of Health and Sanitation is promoting community health as a way to improve access to basic health care and prevention services for the majority of the population. Volunteers are not expected to be a health expert or trainer, rather their role is to work with local clinics, community health workers, and other implementing partners to strengthen basic primary health care knowledge, practices, and services in rural and marginal areas in order to reduce the impact of malnutrition, and communicable and preventable diseases. Primarily, Volunteers are assigned a community with a clinic and staff, but Volunteers often seek other opportunities to collaborate with local organizations to deliver important messages to men, women, mothers, caregivers, and heads of households in the following priority areas:

1. Maternal and child nutrition
2. Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene (WASH)
3. Malaria prevention and control

Volunteers act as a catalyst for behavior change on a wide range of activities that are aligned with government and community priorities. Volunteer’s main roles are health promoter, facilitator, liaison, educator, mentor, and resource to assist your community. Activities may include:
• Assisting counterparts and community health workers with the quality of their health education and promotion methodologies
• Working with mothers to improve infant and early childhood health through training in the essential nutritional actions and preparation of hygienic and nutritious foods
• Working with communities and households to improve nutritional practices and sustain a healthy diet through small household gardening
• Conducting regular home visits to follow-up with pregnant women and mothers of newborns to ensure their utilization of maternal and child health services and of recommended health behaviors
• Helping health centers and community-based organizations reduce the spread of malaria through education, distribution and proper use of bed nets, and environmental sanitation;
• Working with community members and school partnerships to reduce water-borne illnesses through community-based WASH programs. A few examples of such activities are education on essential hygiene actions, training on correct hand-washing and building hand-washing stations, raising awareness on latrine use and maintenance, and water treatment and storage
• Working in schools to create youth health clubs that train students to be informal community health ambassadors and apply their skills in their community
• Focusing on behavior change through the use of evidence-based methodologies

Sierra Leone promotes gender awareness and girls’ education and empowerment. Volunteers will receive training on gender challenges in country and will have the opportunity to implement gender-related activities that are contextually appropriate. During service, Volunteers will look for ways to work with community members to promote gender-equitable norms and increase girls’ sense of agency. As part of their work, Volunteers will also report on these efforts and their impact.

Peace Corps in Sierra Leone has a rich history and a strong legacy serving the people of Sierra Leone. The program began in January 1962 as one of the first countries entered after Peace Corps' launch in March 1961 so it is a well-known and welcomed agency by generations of Sierra Leoneans.

The health project received the Government of Sierra Leone endorsement in October of 2016. After 23 years without a health project, Peace Corps/Sierra Leone received its first Health input in 2017. The formal health system in Sierra Leone is excited to receive Peace Corps’ support to meet more of Sierra Leoneans health needs, particularly those living in communities with limited access to clinics. Consequently, the Ministry of Health and Sanitation is promoting community health as a way to improve access to basic health care and prevention services for the majority of the population. Volunteers are not expected to be a health expert or trainer, rather their role is to work with local clinics, community health workers, and other implementing partners to strengthen basic primary health care knowledge, practices, and services in rural and marginal areas in order to reduce the impact of malnutrition, and communicable and preventable diseases. Primarily, Volunteers are assigned a community with a clinic and staff, but Volunteers often seek other opportunities to collaborate with local organizations to deliver important messages to men, women, mothers, caregivers, and heads of households in the following priority areas:

1. Maternal and child nutrition
2. Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene (WASH)
3. Malaria prevention and control

Volunteers act as a catalyst for behavior change on a wide range of activities that are aligned with government and community priorities. Volunteer’s main roles are health promoter, facilitator, liaison, educator, mentor, and resource to assist your community. Activities may include:
• Assisting counterparts and community health workers with the quality of their health education and promotion methodologies
• Working with mothers to improve infant and early childhood health through training in the essential nutritional actions and preparation of hygienic and nutritious foods
• Working with communities and households to improve nutritional practices and sustain a healthy diet through small household gardening
• Conducting regular home visits to follow-up with pregnant women and mothers of newborns to ensure their utilization of maternal and child health services and of recommended health behaviors
• Helping health centers and community-based organizations reduce the spread of malaria through education, distribution and proper use of bed nets, and environmental sanitation;
• Working with community members and school partnerships to reduce water-borne illnesses through community-based WASH programs. A few examples of such activities are education on essential hygiene actions, training on correct hand-washing and building hand-washing stations, raising awareness on latrine use and maintenance, and water treatment and storage
• Working in schools to create youth health clubs that train students to be informal community health ambassadors and apply their skills in their community
• Focusing on behavior change through the use of evidence-based methodologies

Sierra Leone promotes gender awareness and girls’ education and empowerment. Volunteers will receive training on gender challenges in country and will have the opportunity to implement gender-related activities that are contextually appropriate. During service, Volunteers will look for ways to work with community members to promote gender-equitable norms and increase girls’ sense of agency. As part of their work, Volunteers will also report on these efforts and their impact.
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Benefits

Health coverage, Housing, Living allowance, Non-competitive eligibility (federal jobs), Stipend, Student loan forbearance, Training

Education Requirements

College Graduate

Desired Languages

English

Other Conditions

Prohibits paid work outside of the sponsoring agency at any time
Subject to criminal background check

Service Details

Focus Areas

Health & Nutrition

Weekly Hours

40

Service Type

Combination of direct and indirect service

Service Environment

Indoor and Outdoor

Placement

Individual Placement

Service Setting

Community-based Nonprofit, Community Development Organization, Early Childhood Program, Elementary School, Health Clinic/Other Health Organization, Higher Education Institution, High School, Hospital, Local Educational Agency, Local Government Agency, Recreation or Youth Center, Social Enterprise (nonprofit)

Activity Types

Hands On Activities, Office Activities, Professional Activities

Contact Information

Marissa Henderson
mhenderson2@peacecorps.gov

Hosted By

Position Details

View the Position

Peace Corps Volunteer

View Position