Armenia has been in transition politically, socially, and economically since the collapse of the Soviet Union, and is a country with tremendous possibilities. Local community development, particularly youth development, is often overshadowed by investments in infrastructure, economic development, and legislative reforms. Youth organizations throughout Armenia lack the resources to provide continuous services to their communities. Community and Youth Development (CYD) Volunteers work to fill community-identified service gaps and empower young community members to build skills and strong communities and organizations.
In this assignment, CYD Volunteers work with local Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) and community-based partners, such as schools, informal community-based youth groups, and educational institutions, in towns and villages across Armenia. These organizations have diverse missions addressing issues related to children and youth, including: youth with disabilities, at-risk youth, human rights, women’s empowerment, the environment, and other community-specific issues.
CYD Volunteers empower youth to be active citizens through life skills activities, volunteerism and service-learning initiatives, employability skills training, and the development of youth organizations, clubs, and camps that carry out community projects. Volunteers work with youth through a variety of formal and informal avenues, finding creative ways to address topics that are interesting and engaging and foster positive youth development. Depending on the partner and the community’s specific needs, Volunteers may work with youth and NGO staff to build individual and organizational capacity.
Volunteer activities include, but are not limited to: facilitating workshops and seminars for young people, NGO staff, and community members; developing and leading youth clubs and camps and other community projects; and assisting in event planning, strategic planning, project and grant development, writing, and monitoring and evaluation. Volunteers in this assignment must also expect to work directly with youth in student councils, youth clubs and other formal or informal youth groups. Volunteers may also initiate and organize clubs and activities related to other community members’ interests and needs (e.g. clubs developing young parents’ employability skills).
Community integration is an indispensable part of Volunteer work. To be successful in service, Volunteers must be accepted by their communities. The responsibility for integration rests on Volunteers and host communities, and that includes learning the Armenian language. During Pre-Service Training, Peace Corps Armenia provides tools and strategies for Volunteers to enhance their community integration and language acquisition. The Volunteers’ main assignment during the first three months is community integration. By devoting attention to community integration at site and to language learning, Volunteers lay the groundwork for their future community work.
Health coverage, Housing, Living allowance, Non-competitive eligibility (federal jobs), Stipend, Training
Subject to criminal background check