The Peace Corps Volunteer program is often called life-defining by the more than 235,000 Americans who have served. Get the chance to fully integrate into a host country community, where you will live and work on projects ranging from education to business development. Peace Corps Response sends experienced professionals to undertake short-term, high-impact service assignments in communities around the world. Bring valuable skills and experiences to projects in places where they are needed most.
Community Economic Development Facilitators will serve in rural communities and address the need for improved economic and livelihood opportunities in their communities. Specifically, Volunteers will work with their Timorese counterparts or community members to (1) improve the economic security of individuals in the community and (2) improve an organization’s ability to operate effectively.
Community Economic Development Facilitators' work partners may be cooperatives; farmers, youth, or women’s groups; micro-lending groups; local non-governmental organizations; local government offices; municipality administration; or community based organizations. Volunteers will train and advise the groups in business planning, strategic planning, marketing, financial management, product design, project design and management, organizational development, and quality and consistency. Volunteers will also teach individuals in their assigned organization and the broader community how to manage income and expenses, leading to greater household stability and capacity in entrepreneurship, computers, and employability, including English language skills.
As a post-conflict country with poor infrastructure and public systems, most people have not been exposed to effective systems, so they may lack the vision on how to effectively manage their organization or group. They have not had opportunities to learn or develop management skills. In general the leadership style in many local organizations is traditional and hierarchical with the influence of a patriarchal culture in most parts of Timor-Leste.
Timor-Leste is facing a huge unskilled youth bubble with nearly 70% of the population under the age of 25. Many young people are neither in school nor working. Consequently, Volunteers are encouraged to look for ways to engage youth to build and apply entrepreneurial skills and/or employability skills when working with their assigned organizations and communities.
Volunteers’ work is centered around:
1. Conducting community and / or organization needs assessments
2. Building community member (especially youth) and / or staff capacity in areas such as English, computers, planning, financial literacy, entrepreneurship, employability, and networking
3. Training and / or advising on project planning, design and management
4. Building community and organizational capacity to apply and utilize tools and systems for strategic planning
5. Training and coaching community members or groups in managing a business
It is very common for Volunteers to be asked to teach English by staff, community leaders, school principals, youth groups, or community organizations. English is considered a significant employability skill and staff capacity skill in Timor-Leste and, hence, Community Economic Development Facilitators should expect to teach English or facilitate English language clubs. Teaching English also is an opportunity to establish a relationship and then build trust. English classes or soccer games can be good ways to get to know people and what they do. At the same time, it can also be capitalized on as an opportunity to combine other Community Economic Development related activities, such as financial literacy, entrepreneurship, and personal money management trainings.
Timor-Leste is a young and vibrant democracy. Volunteers will have a rare opportunity to be working among the nation’s heroes and freedom fighters that are still active in leading the nation. Most communities have experience with development projects sponsored by large international donor organizations, yet they are seeking a different kind of partnership with the Peace Corps. Community members expect Peace Corps Volunteers to speak the local language, respect and value the Timorese culture, and find ways to transfer skills. They appreciate when Volunteers work to create change through education, role modeling, demonstration, inspiration, and motivation.
Health coverage, Housing, Living allowance, Non-competitive eligibility (federal jobs), Stipend, Training
Subject to criminal background check