Health Extension Volunteers work in Peace Corps Tanzania’s Community Health project to promote healthy behaviors at the community level. Volunteers work with local health clinics, community based organizations, and non-governmental organizations to help raise community awareness of and response to community health concerns, including: HIV prevention and mitigation, maternal and child nutrition, hygiene and sanitation, and Malaria prevention and treatment. Volunteers also conduct health education programs in schools, out of school youth, and different community groups.
Volunteers will collaborate with community leaders to identify their community’s needs and implement appropriate interventions. As such, Volunteers will play the role of catalyst for a wide range of activities, limited only by the creativity of the community and the Volunteers. Activities may 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 (i.e. Malaria Day, World AIDS Day)
• Working with health teacher 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 (i.e. health murals)
Volunteers also work with community members to develop secondary projects. Examples of secondary projects include: teaching English or science at local primary schools, promoting sports for boys and girls, improving school or health center facilities, construction of wells, building latrines, or working on local capacity building projects. While much of the work will take place during weekday daytime hours, some activities, particularly in the community, may take place at night or on weekends. Big events such the International Malaria Day and World Aids day are opportunities for action, and many Volunteers work with their village government to prepare a community wide awareness event. Of great importance in any community development work is the time one takes just being there, developing relationships, and building trust.
Tanzania is one of the Peace Corps countries participating in Let Girls Learn, an important initiative promoting gender awareness and girls’ education and empowerment. You will receive in-depth training on incorporating methods of gender analysis into community assessment and development efforts. During your service you will find culturally appropriate ways to incorporate gender awareness and the promotion of youth- especially girls- into your work. As part of the initiative, you will also report on these efforts and their impact.
Competitive candidates will have an expressed interest in working in the health sector and meet the following criteria:
• Bachelor of Arts/Bachelor of Science degree in any field
• 30 hours work or volunteer experience in health related field (e.g. AIDS outreach; sexual education, contraception or family planning counseling; First Aid, EMT, or CPR certification; hospital, clinic, or hospice experience)
• Demonstrated experience mobilizing communities
• Demonstrated experience working with youth, women, and community groups
Required Language Skills
There are no pre-requisite language requirements for this position. Please take a moment to explore the Language Comments section below to find out more on how local language(s) will be utilized during service.
Additional Language Information
Trainees will receive 10-weeks of pre-service training in the predominant language, Kiswahili, and would attain an Intermediate-Mid oral proficiency level before swearing-in as a Peace Corps Volunteer. Additional language resources will be offered through independent tutoring during service.
Karibu at Tanzania! Tanzania is located in East Africa and is in tropic region where most of the areas experience hot weather except for the highland areas which are relatively cold. Volunteers are placed in communities in the far north and the far south, but not the west. Most Volunteers live in underserved mid-sized communities or rural settings. While there is generally a larger district town within a few hour drive, most Volunteers live one or two days drive from Dar es Salaam. Peace Corps Volunteers generally use public buses or bicycles as their main mode of transportation.
The Village government will provide you a house located at a school, clinic or within the community. The houses vary from a mud house with a corrugated iron roof to a concrete house with glass windows. You will have a pit latrine and outdoor bath facilities, and you will fetch your water from a village water source. There may be no electricity in your village or house. Kerosene or solar lamps will be the main source of lighting and charcoal stoves or kerosene stoves will be used for cooking and heating during cold spells. Peace Corps provides a settling-in allowance that can be used to purchase those furnishings necessary to make your house comfortable on a modest scale.
In Tanzania, respect comes with age and experience. Younger Volunteers experience initial difficulties gaining respect from their counterparts. However, Volunteers’ professional appearance, work habits, and positive attitude towards colleagues and community members will help him/her gain respect within the workplace.
Peace Corps Tanzania provides support to a diverse group of Volunteers, including Lesbian, Gay, Bi-sexual, Transgender, or Queer (LGBTQ) individuals. LGBTQ Volunteers have served successfully in Tanzania; however, it should be noted that homosexuality is illegal in Tanzania. Applicants should be mindful of this fact when making the decision to serve in Tanzania.
Medical Considerations in Tanzania
Tanzania may not be able to support Volunteers with the following medical conditions: asthma, including mild or childhood; some types of gynecologic support; insulin-dependent diabetes; ongoing behavioral health support; seizure disorder.
The following medication(s) are not permitted for legal or cultural reasons: Adderall, Ritalin and Vyvanse.
Volunteers who should avoid the following food(s) may not be able to serve: eggs, gluten and peanut.
After arrival in Tanzania, Peace Corps provides and applicants are required to have an annual flu shot, to take daily or weekly medication to prevent malaria, and to receive mandatory immunizations.
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