Despite its small population size, the Kingdom of Eswatini (formally the Kingdom of Swaziland) has the highest HIV/AIDS prevalence in the world. In 2003, Peace Corps reopened the Eswatini program to focus on halting the spread of HIV/AIDS and combating its devastating impact on Swati society. Peace Corps Eswatini launched the Youth Development program in 2011 to strengthen the capacity of young people to live healthier and more productive lives.
With more than 50 percent of Eswatini’s population under the age of 25, Youth Development work is more pressing than ever before. In many areas of the country, traditional family and community systems are unable to meet the changing needs of Swati youth; additionally, schools struggle to equip youth with the critical life skills needed to thrive in today’s rapidly modernizing world. There is tremendous opportunity within Eswatini to actively engage young people in planning for their future and the future of their communities.
Youth Development Volunteers empower Swati youth, ranging in age from 15-24 years old, to become healthy, productive, and civically engaged adults. Volunteers help strengthen school and community institutions by building the capacity of service providers – including teachers, religious leaders, and coaches – to implement youth programming focused on sexual and reproductive health, HIV/AIDS risk mitigation, job skills, healthy relationships, and life skills. Volunteers support the goals of the Ministry of Education and Training’s Life Skills Education curriculum by co-planning and co-teaching life skills classes four days per week to both secondary and high school going youth. They will also form and strengthen already existing clubs, camps, and work with school committees to increase access to welcoming school environments.
Volunteers will be based in rural communities and partner with school colleagues and community partners to achieve the following objectives:
1) Increase the knowledge and skills of youth to improve their sexual and reproductive health and to reduce their risk of HIV/AIDS infection;
2) Increase the knowledge and skills of out-of-school youth to be better prepared for the workforce;
3) Expand opportunities for youth to be civically engaged in non-political activities that benefit their community; and
4) Increase the knowledge and skills of service providers to implement positive youth development activities focused on HIV/AIDS risk mitigation, sexual and reproductive health, job skills, and civic engagement.
Peace Corps Eswatini promotes gender awareness and girls’ empowerment as a cross-cutting part of our work. During service, Volunteers will receive training on gender challenges in Eswatini and will have the opportunity to incorporate gender-related activities into their work, where contextually appropriate. Peace Corps Eswatini also promotes a monitoring and evaluation culture and as part of their work, Volunteers will report on the impact of their activities.
During the first three months in country, Volunteers will undergo a comprehensive training program, which will include local language, cross-cultural sensitivity, diversity and inclusion, safety and security, technical and programmatic, and personal health and resiliency training. Volunteers must successfully complete the training program and fulfill the language requirements in order to proceed with your 24 months of service in Eswatini. Please come prepared to fully commit to the training program.
Health coverage, Housing, Living allowance, Non-competitive eligibility (federal jobs), Stipend, Student loan forbearance, Training
Prohibits paid work outside of the sponsoring agency at any time
Subject to criminal background check