Every day as a Rural Community Health (RCH) volunteer in Benin is a mixture of community, adventure, and creative work. During a typical morning, you will most likely go to the local health center, greeting friends and children along the way who call you by your local name. Maybe you will work with health workers to counsel mothers about their children's nutrition. Maybe you and your counterpart will teach a lesson about malaria prevention since the rainy season is coming. At noon, you will quickly head to the market, since the maman with the best peanut sauce always sells out by 12:30. In the evening you may play soccer with your girls' soccer team or have a meeting with some budding female leaders to plan for a gender equality event. The activities you will do as an RCH volunteer will change from day to day. But what you can depend on is the love and kindness of your village. Mamans will invite you to their homes to eat pâte or pounded yams. Groups of old men sitting under mango trees will tell you the village gossip. Kids will try to hold your hand as they speak to you in the village's local language. Your days in the village will be full of new languages, new food, new friends, and new experiences. Your village will feel very different from where you grew up, but your time in village will be full of love, cultural exchange, and impactful health work. It will be your home.
Volunteers will work with their counterparts to achieve the Rural Community Health (RCH) project goal of helping to end preventable child and maternal deaths and improve health and well-being of youth in the community. Your activities will focus on the following four main objectives:
1. Maternal and Newborn Health: Increase the knowledge and skills of women to adopt practices that contribute to a healthy pregnancy, safe delivery, good postpartum health, and a healthy newborn.
2. Child Health: Increase the knowledge and skills of child caregivers to keep children under 5 healthy
3. Youth Health: Increase the knowledge and skills of youth to improve their health and well-being through health and life skills education and linkages to youth-friendly services.
4. Community Health Workers (CHW): Improve Community Health Workers’ (CHWs’) skills to deliver health education and behavior change messages.
Peace Corps Benin promotes gender awareness and girls’ education and empowerment. You will receive training on gender challenges in Benin and you will have the opportunity to implement gender-related activities that are contextually appropriate. This may include summer camps, clubs, sports teams, etc.
Health coverage, Housing, Living allowance, Non-competitive eligibility (federal jobs), Stipend, Student loan forbearance, Training
English, French, Italian, Portuguese, Spanish
Prohibits paid work outside of the sponsoring agency at any time
Subject to criminal background check