Peace Corps Dominican Republic’s Community Economic Development (CED) project is uniquely positioned to improve the economic security and upward economic mobility of some of the country’s most economically marginalized households, with a specific focus on contributing to the economic prosperity of women and youth. CED Volunteers serve as facilitators, trainers, and mentors to develop the capacity of individuals to secure employment; create their own self-employment opportunities; and successfully manage job income and enterprise profits for the benefit of their households. Furthermore, the project aims to facilitate linkages between national economic development initiatives and the daily reality of individuals in communities where Volunteers live and serve, thereby improving economic opportunities at both the person-to-person and community levels. Here are two examples of how Volunteers do this:
1) CED Volunteers promote entrepreneurship amongst youth, facilitating workshops that help youth understand how to design and run a small business. This activity directly supports one of the Dominican government initiatives which is to promote business development in young people, especially in regions and communities where there is little employment, and where most people generate income based on their own ingenuity and creativity within small businesses.
2) Some CED Volunteers also support business cooperatives or associations providing technical support on business skills and practices. This directly supports the Small, Medium Enterprise Center initiative by the Dominican government to provide technical assistance to associations to improve their chances of economic success in their communities.
The CED project seeks to empower youth and community-based business groups and entrepreneurs with the tools to determine and manage their economic destiny at the grassroots level in rural and semi-urban communities. Broadly speaking, CED Volunteers work with individuals, both students and adults, to build and improve their business skills.
The CED project targets four areas of Community Economic Development:
• Increase youth’s capacity to pursue and achieve economically productive livelihoods.
• Increase individuals’—especially women’s—capacity to implement small-scale economic activities and manage profits.
• Strengthen the organizational capacity of community-formed groups (associations, cooperatives, women’s groups, etc.).
• Increase individuals’ capacity for personal money management.
The goal of the program is to help Dominican households achieve economic security and upward economic mobility. Volunteers are generally placed in communities with a high school or an entrepreneurship youth group, and in most cases, a community-based business group. Volunteers activities include:
• Teaching financial literacy and entrepreneurship classes to high school students. This may happen during school hours in the high school, or during non-class hours.
• Facilitating workshops with community members to improve income generation.
• Consulting with small business owners to improve business practices.
• Consulting with small business cooperatives to improve their overall organizational structure and business activity. Examples include: working with an association of beekeepers for honey production, working with a fish cooperative that provides fish to the local market, supporting a burgeoning ecotourism group to give guided tours of a local nature reserve, working with a group of women in a chocolate processing facility.
• Developing and delivering trainings on money management, such as savings and budgeting for either adults or youth.
Health coverage, Housing, Living allowance, Non-competitive eligibility (federal jobs), Stipend, Training
Subject to criminal background check