The IRC has been implementing specific programs to promote and protect the rights of women and girls affected by gender based violence in Sierra Leone since 2001. Currently the WPE / GBV program works in Freetown and the Eastern Region of Sierra Leone in three districts, Kono, Kenema and Kailahun. The Ebola outbreak that began in Guinea in December 2013, spreading most significantly to Liberia and Sierra Leone, continues to have a huge impact on women and girls. As in all emergencies, the Ebola crisis has exacerbated the already existing inequalities and vulnerabilities of women and girls to violence, and the demands of the crisis have devastated the support services and systems that previously helped to mitigate risk and provided women and girls with some levels of protection from GBV. For adolescent girls, the Ebola crisis and the subsequent schools closure, has left them more exposed to rape, and also sexual exploitation, early marriage, and pregnancy. Many girls may not be able to return to school due to these factors or on-going economic constraints, particularly for their mothers. This has life-long consequences for girls as their opportunities are restricted and they will continue to be vulnerable to violence and to the health consequences of early pregnancy. For girls who have experienced domestic violence, most have had nowhere safe to turn to.
In response to these specific needs, the IRC will establish and develop informal adolescent girls groups, outside of the school setting, where girls are connected with other girls, to reduce their isolation, build supportive friendships and solidarity, develop confidence and voice, process their experiences, be empowered to make healthy choices, and develop their social and economic assets as well as enhance their safety and security; to reinforce their social and human capital to prevent violence. These groups aim to provide spaces where girls can think, imagine, create and act. They aim provide safe spaces, a sense of belonging, and also a route to disclosure for the girls with appropriate support and follow up.
SCOPE OF WORK
The specialist, working closely with the WPE Coordinator, will lead in the development, start-up and implementation of adolescent girls groupsresponsive of the current situation in Sierra Leone, with a view on the longer term, in collaboration with the WPE team, working closely with the WPE Coordinator.
The specialist will provide technical support, guidance and over sight to the IRC WPE team and partners (local community-based women's groups and organisations) on adolescent girls informal programming; to establish and develop the girls groups, founded on a girl-centred, feminist and rights-based approach, through assessment, programme design, resource development, staff and local partner capacity development (training and on-going practice mentoring); leading and guiding on the start-up and initial stages of the girls group implementation; supporting the IRC WPE team and partners to take the lead in the girls programming.
Support the design, planning and development of criteria to determine which groups of girls to engage with, specifically reaching the most vulnerable; conduct the assessment to identify girls and ask the girls what they want to do in the groups and what their needs, interests and priorities are and use this to inform the next component -
Working with the IRC WPE team, lead in the development of a girls group facilitator resource (including themes and content) that will inform and guide (not highly structured or create a rigid curriculum) the girls groups. Themes such as friendship, self-expression, independent thinking, knowing our body, reproductive health, GBV, rights, life skills to build social and human capital among targeted adolescent girls; ensure this process is guided by the voices and input of the girls and their needs, interests and priorities
Provide capacity building (including training and practice mentoring) for the IRC WPE team and partners on working with adolescent girls, including informal, safe space, psychosocial support-based girls groups sessions founded on a girl-centered, feminist, rights-based approach; enable staff and partners to develop a strong understanding and technical competency for this adolescent girls programming and adolescent girls mentorship; provide specific support to - those identified as girls group facilitators to strengthen supportive facilitation skills and girl engagement, and mentoring
Work with the IRC WPE team and partners, develop and introduce positive engagement strategies for working with gatekeepers in the girls lives and key stakeholders (including community leaders) to gain/maintain their support and "buy in" of the groups and the girls' participation in the groups
Provide technical guidance, support and oversight on the start-up and initial implementation phases of the adolescent girls groups sessions across the three districts; co-facilitate with, and mentor, the staff and partner facilitators and young women mentors as the girls groups are on-going; support the team and partners in taking the lead in the programme more independently
Assist in the development of a participatory monitoring and evaluation (M&E) system for the adolescent girls' initiative.
Advanced University degree in social sciences, humanities, social/youth work, gender, or other relevant field
2 + years' experience in humanitarian, development or similar organizations with direct experience working on adolescent girl programming; working directly with adolescent girls, and experience that includes addressing GBV is strongly preferred
Strong experience and skills in creating resources, facilitating practical workshops, providing capacity development to others through a variety of methods – technical support and guidance, training, practice mentoring, "learning by doing" approaches
Demonstrated ability to motivate, mobilise, energise, and inspire individuals and teams
Clear understanding of how power, inequality, violence, oppression and humanitarian crises impact upon the lives of adolescent girls and those working with them
Strong ability to respect differences of culture, opinion and lived experiences while upholding girl-centered, feminist, rights-based principles and women and girls' protection and empowerment
Highly organized and self-motivated, able to work efficiently independently, as well as working collaborative with others
Excellent interpersonal skills, positive and professional attitude
Strengths in listening, empathy, flexibility, and creativity