Each morning you wake up in Benin, you'll find a day full of infinite possibilities. Perhaps you'll finish your coffee surrounded by women in a Village Savings and Loans meeting. For lunch, you might meet your work partner to discuss plans for the rabbit raising training you'll be facilitating, over rice, soy cheese, and pepper sauce. Maybe today is the day of your business club. You'll bike to the high school, passing neighbors who call out greetings in local language as you pass by. If it's cool in the evening, a trail of neighborhood children may follow you to the garden and help water and weed. Endless possibilities await those interested in food security, cultural integration, and adventure. If that's you, apply to be a Sustainable Agricultural Systems (SAS) Volunteer for Peace Corps Benin today!
Volunteers assigned to the Sustainable Agricultural Systems (SAS) program, work with their communities to increase food security by ensuring households have enough nutrient-rich foods to eat throughout the year, have sufficient income to access available food, and the economic stability and resilience to achieve long-term food security.
This will be achieved by the following four objectives:
1: Increase productivity and diversity of household food production;
2: Increase households’ consumption of nutrient-rich foods;
3: Increase households’ income through agriculture-based income generating activities (IGAs);
4: Increase households’ capacity for personal money management.
You will work with a combination of local partners: local associations and producers, women’s groups, secondary schools, and non-governmental organizations. You be assigned a local counterpart and have a supervisor, who may also serve as a local government official, the director of an NGO or association, or a leader from the community. It is important to know that at the rural level, organizations do not always have a well-established structure. Volunteers will also work with their organizations to improve their management. Your cultural sensitivity and resilience will be key to your success!
We will provide training to enable you to work effectively in your community, and will show you how to translate your existing skills to be an effective Volunteer in Benin. This work requires personal motivation, dedication, and resiliency to meet the needs of your community and accomplish your sector’s goals. You will receive training in both business and agricultural extension to make you an effective change agent, no matter your background.
To achieve project goals, SAS Volunteers work with their communities in the following activities:
• Promoting best agricultural practices and improved garden production techniques;
• Encouraging diverse food transformation techniques to increase the value to and income earned from harvested crops;
• Coaching women’s groups on entrepreneurship and creating youth clubs;
• Working with individuals and community groups to conduct feasibility studies, business plans, project design and management, savings and credit schemes (Village Savings & Loan Associations - VSLA), and yearly budgets;
• Organizing cooking demonstrations for women of reproductive age to improve infant nutrition and the merits of a diversified diet;
• Installing community and school gardens.
PC Benin Volunteers promote gender awareness and girls’ education and empowerment in all of their activities. Gender initiatives you might implement will be camps, clubs, and sports teams. You will receive training on gender challenges in Benin and you will have the opportunity to implement gender-related activities. During your service, you will look for ways to work with community members to promote gender-equitable norms and increase girls’ sense of empowerment.
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