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Blossom Africa - Volunteer Opportunity

Volunteer Development Worker – Uganda
Volunteers are essential to Blossom Africa and will enable us to achieve our vision and goal of equipping communities in Uganda (initially) with the skills and resources to own and solve their own challenges.
The primary objective of this role is to provide local support to set up and implement Blossom Africa’s first pilot project in Uganda. This is a pivotal role, which will inform and shape the Blossom Africa model and the future direction of the organization. There is additional information about the pilot project beneath the person specification.
The successful candidate will be required to remain in Uganda for approximately four months. This will allow for some preparation time before the pilot project commences, to be present for the duration of the pilot project and to undertake robust monitoring and evaluation. We anticipate that the pilot project will commence early in 2017 but the actual start date is negotiable. 
The closing date for applications for this role is Monday 12th December 2016 at 5pm. 
About the role…
The main tasks associated with this role are;

  • Preparation for the pilot project in the UK; the volunteer will be required to spend time with the Blossom Africa team in the UK prior to travelling to Uganda in order to fully understand our model and the intricacies of the pilot project. The volunteer will also be required to communicate with our training development volunteer and team in Uganda prior to travelling.
Uganda based
  • The volunteer will be required to spend time with different stakeholder groups and our training development steering group in Uganda to help set up the pilot project.  This will help the volunteer gain a comprehensive overview of the training programme, to complete the final preparations for its implementation, make the necessary logistical arrangements for the training and help to support our partners when mobilising the community for the pilot project.
  • Collecting baseline data from participants prior to the pilot project in addition to monitoring and evaluating during its implementation and after its completion.
  • Creation of various Blossom Africa guidance documents including; expectations from training participants and community committee members.
  • Development of the grant making criteria and process using best practice to guide the community committee members and trustee board.
  • Regular communication with the Blossom Africa team in the UK. This will take the form of a weekly report via email and regular phone / skype conversations. All decisions will be made through liaison with the volunteer, the Blossom Africa UK trustee board and our Ugandan Partners.
  • Networking with like-minded organisations working in Uganda and building relationships to foster future partnerships.
  • As Blossom Africa is a new organisation and is yet to register in Uganda, the volunteer would be required, with support from the Blossom Africa trustee board in the UK, to support and facilitate the formal NGO registration process in Uganda.
  • Taking photos (with permission) and producing case studies to promote the work of Blossom Africa on our website and on social media.
The type of person we are looking for…
  • This role is pivotal for the development of Blossom Africa; the successful candidate will therefore need to demonstrate a robust understanding of International Development theory and practice.  
  • The successful candidate will need to demonstrate a particular interest in grassroots-led development and share the vision of Blossom Africa.
  • The successful candidate will need to demonstrate strong organisational and communication skills, with the ability to co-ordinate a project on their own initiative with support from a UK based team. The candidate will need to be able to commit to a 4 month voluntary placement in Uganda.
  • The ultimate aim of this role is to ensure that our pilot project is implemented to a high standard and effectively monitored and evaluated. It would therefore be desirable for the successful candidate to have some previous experience; either working or volunteering in a developing country context.
  • The successful candidate will be collecting baseline data and monitoring and evaluating the pilot project. It is therefore desirable that the successful candidate has experience in data collection and project monitoring and evaluation, either in an academic or professional / voluntary capacity.
  • As the primary representative and main point of contact for Blossom Africa in Uganda, the successful candidate will be expected to demonstrate their ability to communicate and report frequently and effectively to the UK team. They will also be required to demonstrate their ability to work in a professional collaborative manner as part of an international team.
  • This role will also require independent working as there will often be minimal support available on the ground in Uganda. The candidate will therefore be required to take the initiative, to seek out like-minded organisations, to set up meetings and to represent Blossom Africa autonomously.  The successful candidate will therefore need to be motivated and confident about working on their own initiative and should be able to provide specific examples to demonstrate this.
  • Experience of formalising partnership agreements and NGO registration is desirable, however not essential for this role.
  • Experience of preparing case studies and website content is desirable although not essential to this role. 
Blossom Africa Pilot Project information
We have identified Bunambutye sub county, Bulambuli District, Eastern Uganda as the area where we will undertake our pilot project.
There are six parishes in Bunambutye, a cluster of 4 and then 2 which are several miles away. Our pilot project will only include the cluster of 4 (Bushangi, Bulugua, Bunanganda, Bumasari) and not the two parishes of Bumufuni and Buwebere, this is largely due to logistics.
We will seek to engage with the ‘Active Community Members’ (people who are active in their community on a voluntary basis).  Depending on demand to participate we are likely to limit the number of participants on the pilot round of the training course to approximately 30 participants.
These community members will be brought together on a weekly basis and will receive training on the following topics, which will ultimately improve their ability to develop, run and manage their own community projects. We anticipate the programme running for approximately 10 weeks and will cover topics including;
  • Rights, advocacy and lobbying
  • Problem analysis and problem solving skills
  • Financial management including savings, budgeting and accounting
  • Project planning and management, including producing project proposals
  • Business skills and entrepreneurship, including feasibility of income generating ideas
  • Developing funding proposals
  • Monitoring and evaluation

The participants of the training will be asked to commit to the whole programme and to cascade their learning to the wider community, there will therefore be a ‘train the trainer’ element in all topics covered.
This training programme is being developed by our training development volunteer in Uganda supported by Solava Ibrahim (trustee) and the Blossom Africa trustee board and our partners in Uganda.
The facilitators will be identified, trained and supervised by our partners in Uganda with some support from the Blossom Africa volunteer.
For the benefit of the pilot project the participants of the training will be asked to evaluate each session individually. Each participant will be visited by our Ugandan partners between sessions to ensure that they understood the session and are able to apply it in a practical sense and cascade their learning in the community.
At the end of the training programme in the pilot phase the group will come up with a community plan and from this will develop a project proposal.
The volunteer’s role in the pilot project will be to provide a link between the UK trustee board and our partners in Uganda. The volunteer will be involved with all aspects of implementing the pilot project from meeting with facilitators and ensuring they are fully prepared to undertake their role, securing a venue, finalising logistics and engaging with the community. This will be undertaken in partnership with our Ugandan partners, not independently. The volunteer will be ultimately responsible for collecting comprehensive baseline data and undertaking robust monitoring and evaluation of each training session and the pilot project as a whole. The volunteer will not be expected to deliver any training and the volunteer may take part in some of the community visits in between training sessions but this will not be their responsibility, this will be the responsibility of our partners in Uganda.   
If you are interested in this opportunity then please get in touch with Aimee Parker by emailing or calling 07967918915. We will then send you our Guidance for Volunteers and our Volunteer Application Form. We would also encourage you to attach a CV to support your application.
We believe that this is a very exciting opportunity and are very much looking forward to receiving your application. 
If this opportunity is not suitable for you then we are also looking for a number of volunteers to support our work in the UK, these opportunities include building our mailing list by researching like-minded individuals and organisations and also researching funding opportunities. Please get in touch for further information.

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Blossom Africa · 12 Scarborough Road · Newport · Newport, Nwp NP19 7jj · United Kingdom

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