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Community Engagement Advisor

12 Month | Start Date between Jun - Aug 2017


Jamaica - Youth


Location Ocho Rios, Jamaica

Start Date Jun - Aug 2017(flexible)

Length of Placement 12 Months

Language Requirements English

English Reading: Level 5, Writing: Level 5, Speaking: Level 5

Language Scale: http://www.cusointernational.org/languageratingscale


Open to Canadian Citizens and Permanent Residents only


The Volunteer’s Role


Cuso International Jamaica Office is seeking a Community Engagement Advisor to support the growth of the emerging green enterprise sector in Jamaica and to contribute towards the implementation of community programming related to sustainable farming.

With over a $1 billion U.S. worth of food imported each year and more young farmers leaving the trade to move to cities, Jamaica’s vulnerability grows and basic living costs increase. Rural agricultural focused regions in Jamaica have the highest prevalence of poverty with 16.5% living below the poverty line and the majority being women. Cuso International’s goal to develop Jamaica’s capacity towards sustainable environmental stewardship and economic prosperity starts with agriculture security as shocks to this basic need disproportionately affect the most vulnerable of Jamaican society. In addition to coinciding with the ISEG strategy, Cuso International aims to improve the employability and employment offerings for marginalized women and youth in rural communities by supporting budding industries including organic agriculture, agroforestry, and eco-tourism.

“Green programming” has seen increased interest and discussion by development practitioners in the region and has been noted as an opportunity to develop emerging “green businesses”, as more individuals move to establish enterprises that will have a positive impact on the environment and communities. In addition, this seems to be high on the agenda for tourists who are interested in supporting countries with environmental management. Lastly, some hotels have already begun to support work in this area.

As a volunteer, you will:

-Work with team at Durga’s Den to create and implement community programming to foster agriculture resilience and employability of local women and youth

-Capacity of local community groups/farmers and strong partnerships development with local markets and Durga’s Den

- Support Durga’s Den in identifying key partners and beneficiaries and following through on those partnerships (both external and within the community)

-Sustainable action plan for community engagement developed; communities more empowered and more resilient

- Conduct meetings with community and staff at Durga’s Den to develop community engagement strategy; identify key areas of focus to pursue community empowerment

- Develop partnerships

- Support the Durga’s Den in developing a robust community engagement program; support the staff to conduct training in agroforestry and organic farming.

Essential Academic Qualifications:

Degree or Diploma in Community/Civic Engagement, Social Work

Essential Professional Background:

- Experience working with community-based organizations and NGOs

- At least one year of experience developing assessment tools and/or training materials

- Experience building community networks

-Excellent at building partnership networks

- Workshop facilitation

- Excellent oral and writing skills

-Experience in sustainable agriculture, agroforestry, organic farming or working on projects of this nature


About Our Partner


Durga's Den

Durga’s Den is a regenerative agriculture eco-lodge founded in July 2012. Utilizing the most innovative approaches in organic agriculture including agroforestry, seed vaults and Hulger Kultur, Durga’s Den also experiments with vernacular architecture including cob, adobe, stone, bamboo and water conservation techniques. They are experienced in hosting volunteers and is proud to say that one of the owners is from Montreal.


Terms and Conditions


Cuso International terms and conditions allow you to lead a modest and healthy lifestyle while being effective in your placement. This support package will cover basic living expenses for one volunteer and is not intended to cover home-based expenses (ex. loans, support payments, etc.) or luxury items such as imported items in placement or international personal travel.


Support Package

- Modest monthly living allowance (varies depending country)

- Accommodation while in placement

- Return airfare and visa/work permit costs

- Cost of required vaccinations, antimalarial medication and health insurance

- Pre-departure training and in-country orientation

- Travel and accommodation for reintegration debriefing weekend

- Modest support for accompanying partners and dependents going on placement with you for 12 months or longer

- Access to Employee Assistance Program while in placement and upon return

- Cuso International assessment day (Candidates must cover the first $200 of the most cost-effective travel expenses and all accommodation costs).

- Travel and accommodation for the five-day pre-departure training course and for in-country orientation



We ask each volunteer, regardless of placement length, to raise $2,000. All volunteers receive support from Cuso International to help achieve the goal through fundraising. If the volunteer chooses not to fundraise or is unable to achieve the fundraising goal, he/she can make a one-time donation or become a monthly donor to support our work.



Depending on the nature of the placement, volunteers are encouraged to provide e-volunteering support to the local partner or Cuso International before or after the field placement. Volunteers also have the option of requesting support from an e-volunteer to help them with their work while they are in placement.


Residency and Citizenship  



The majority of Cuso International volunteer applicants are residing in Canada at the time of application and during the pre-departure process. Occasionally we received applications from volunteer applicants who are residing outside of Canada at the time of application. In both instances, between your application date and placement start date, we must be able to contact you and you must be able to contact us easily and promptly throughout the process.

We may require your passport and would need to be aware of your current place of residence and any travel plans you may have during this time. You will also require unrestricted access to Canada during this time for assessment and training, as applicable.



Leaving your country of residence can have significant effects on your citizenship status in that country. It is your responsibility to research the consequences of travelling to Canada during the pre-departure process if you are living outside of Canada and of leaving your country of residence for a placement with the immigration authority where you live.

By applying to this placement, you accept full responsibility for any consequences related to your citizenship, residency and immigration status or penalties as a result of travel to an assessment day, training course, international placement or other Cuso International related travel.

You  must  check the implications that apply to you, but examples include:

  • Canadian permanent residents may need to make arrangements with immigration authorities before travelling. These arrangements allow them to travel without risk to their status in Canada. Without them, residency status may be withdrawn.
  • Citizens of other countries, including those visiting Canada on a visa, may have travel restrictions.