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Community Health Agent


Peace
Corps

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COUNTRY
Burkina Faso
REGION
Africa
SECTOR
Health
LANGUAGE REQUIREMENT
Any Romance Language
Includes French, Spanish, Portuguese, Italian

ACCEPTS COUPLES
Yes
POSITIONS AVAILABLE
20

APPLY BY
Oct. 1, 2017
KNOW BY
Dec. 1, 2017
DEPART BY
June 10, 2018

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Before You Apply


You can only have one active Peace Corps Volunteer application, so choose a
position that best fits your skills and interest. You have the opportunity to tell us if
youd like to be considered for other openings and more about the ones that interest
you most!

Project Description
The overall goal of the Community Health Project is to help rural communities in Burkina Faso
implement enhanced health behavior change interventions to improve the health status of the
population, particularly among mothers and children under five years old. The project has two
goals:
Goal 1 Promote maternal and child health through neonatal care and nutrition
Goal 2 Promote health living specifically with respect to malaria, hygiene, and HIV/AIDS
Community Health Educators are placed directly with rural health clinics to serve in areas that
are commonly made up of about five villages. Volunteers work with health center staff, a
village management committee, and community health workers to improve the quality of
preventative services offered to the overall community through capacity building of
community health care providers. After conducting a participatory community analysis,
Volunteers work with counterparts to design, implement, monitor, and evaluate health
promotion programs and activities focused on maternal and child health care, including:
Promoting prenatal consultation and delivery at the health center, and conducting family
planning awareness activities
Promoting proper infant feeding including exclusive breast feeding, proper weaning
processes, and nutrient-rich meals for malnourished children.

Other activities include:


Malaria education
Hygiene promotion
HIV/AIDS awareness and reproductive health education

Volunteers collaborate closely with the health center staff, community health agents, and
community members to carry out health promotion and behavior change communication in
the above-mentioned areas.

Peace Corps Burkina Faso promotes gender awareness and girls education and empowerment.
Volunteers receive training on gender challenges and have the opportunity to implement
gender-related activities that are contextually appropriate. 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, Volunteers will also report on these efforts and their
impact.

Required Skills
Qualified candidates will have an expressed interest in working in the health sector and one or
more of the following criteria:
Bachelor of Arts/Bachelor of Science degree in any field
5 years' professional work experience

Desired Skills
Most successful candidates will have the following relevant qualifications:
Experience working with underserved populations.
Experience working with schools in health promotion activities or running after-school
programs.
Experience working with camps and with youth.

Required Language Skills

Candidates must meet one or more of the language requirements below in order to be
considered for this position.

A. Completed 4 years of high school coursework within the past 8 years in a Romance
language
B. Completed a minimum of 2 semesters of college level coursework within the past 6 years in
a Romance language
C. Native/Fluent Romance language speaker
D. Any French language competency

Candidates should have either a willingness to take a French course or commitment to self
study and a subsequent placement test (score of 50 on the French College Level Examination
Program CLEP exam or a score of NoviceHigh on the American Council on the Teaching of
Foreign Languages (ACTFL OPI).

Additional Language Information

French is necessary to travel safely and to interact effectively in all regions of Burkina Faso.
All Volunteers must attain a functional French level by the end of training. While Burkina
Fasos official language is French, most Volunteers use an additional local language and are
provided training for said language during Pre-Service Training.

Living Conditions

Volunteers will be living and working among rural community members for two years and will
live in the same conditions as most of the villagers. Houses may be a mud hut with thatched
roofing or a cement block house with metal roofing. The majority of houses in the rural areas
will not have running water or electricity.

Volunteers commute to work using an all-terrain bicycle, which is maintained and operated by
each individual. Terrain may be difficult in the hot and humid climate.
Adapting your diet to local foods such as corn, millet flour paste, or locally produced rice with
various leaf sauces, local vegetables (okra, eggplant, tomatoes), and meat (chicken, beef,
goat, or lamb) will be necessary due to limited access to western foods.

Mobile phone infrastructure is present throughout the country with many Volunteers having
access to the network coverage at their site. Access to internet is more limited and one might
have to travel for up to 50 kilometers to the provincial or regional capital for access.

Personal appearance is important to people in Burkina Faso. Dressing appropriately will help
one gain respect in host communities, facilitate integration, and increase credibility and
effectiveness. It is advised to take cues from Burkinabe colleagues, and dress to their
standards of professionalism. For example, covering shoulders, knees, and the mid-section is a
necessary sign of respect. Women tend to wear long dresses/skirts, or pants. Men tend to wear
button down long sleeve shirts along with slacks and nice shoes.

Respect of hierarchy and protocol is a crucial part of the social fabric in Burkina Faso. While
human interactions may involve conflict or misunderstanding, it is crucial to maintain
professional relationships with work counterparts.

While Burkina Faso is generally tolerant, values and mores concerning sexual orientation and
gender identity may be different from those in the U.S. Volunteers will need to be mindful of
cultural norms, and use their judgment to determine the best way to approach sexual
orientation and gender identity in their communities and host countries. Staff and currently
serving Volunteers will address this topic during pre-service training, and identify support
mechanisms for incoming trainees.

Learn more about the Volunteer experience inBurkina Faso: Get detailed information on
culture, communications, housing, and safety including crime statistics [PDF] in order to
make a well-informed decision about serving.

Medical Considerations in Burkina Faso

Burkina Faso may not be able to support Volunteers with the following medical conditions:
asthma, including mild or childhood; cardiology; some types of gynecologic support; insulin-
dependent diabetes; requiring a psychiatrist for psychotropic medications support; seizure
disorder; ongoing counseling.

The following medication(s) are not permitted for legal or cultural reasons: none identified.

Volunteers who should avoid the following food(s) may not be able to serve: peanuts.

After arrival in Burkina Faso, 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.

Before you apply, please also review Important Medical Information for Applicants [PDF] to
learn about other health conditions typically not supported in Peace Corps service.

Does this sound like the position for you?


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Learn what it's like to serve in Burkina Faso

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