Health Extension Volunteers support, complement and enhance existing community health services. Volunteers support community mobilization and the training and capacity building of community leaders, community health workers and groups. They promote good health and nutrition for pregnant/lactating mothers, infants and young children. They encourage healthy behaviors among youth, engage men and boys in health, and advocate for disease prevention and control.
Volunteer duties include working with local health clinics, civil society organizations, as well as non-governmental organizations. Project interventions focus on behavior change communication aimed at raising awareness and action for health, including HIV/AIDS, maternal and child nutrition, water, sanitation and hygiene, and malaria. Volunteers also conduct programs in schools and support out-of-school youth.
Peace Corps Tanzania promotes gender awareness and girls’ education and empowerment. During service, Volunteers look for ways to work with community members to promote gender-equitable norms and increase girls’ sense of agency. As part of their work, they also report on these activities and results achieved.
Volunteers always work in partnership with community leaders and community members. Using this approach, Volunteers help to assess the local knowledge, resources and needs, and collaboratively determine the best and most appropriate interventions, and select sustainable projects that they can undertake during the time frame of their two-year service.
Examples of Volunteer activities include but are not limited to:
• Working with community health workers to run health education sessions.
• Conducting sessions with community groups addressing common health issues.
• Working with peer educators to commemorate global days (e.g. Malaria Day, World AIDS Day).
• Working with health teachers to conduct health education lessons at local schools.
• Hosting youth clubs at local schools (i.e. health club, gardening club, life skills club).
• Designing and developing inexpensive instructional materials (e.g. health murals).
In collaboration with a community counterpart, Volunteers also have the opportunity to undertake secondary projects that address additional community needs. Examples of secondary projects include: teaching English or science at local primary schools, promoting healthy behaviors through sports for boys and girls, improving school or health center facilities, supporting rainwater catchment projects, rehabilitating latrines, or working on local capacity building projects.
While much of the work takes place during weekday daytime hours, some activities, particularly in the community, may take place at night or on weekends. Key dates such as the International Malaria Day and World AIDS day are opportunities to implement social-mobilization activities, and many Volunteers work with their village government to prepare a community-wide awareness event. Of great importance in Peace Corps community development work is Volunteer integration in the community, being present in the community, developing relationships with neighbors and key community members such as teachers and religious leaders, and building trust.
Having a laptop is important as it enables Volunteers to complete required reporting assignments offline and uploading them at a later date. While Volunteers may also complete the assignments through local internet cafes or other access points, having a laptop will alleviate challenges of connectivity and facilitate access to training and technical resources for service as a Health Volunteer and for secondary activities. Unfortunately, as is the case across the world, this also comes with the risk of damage and theft.
Health coverage, Housing, Living allowance, Non-competitive eligibility (federal jobs), Stipend, Training
Subject to criminal background check