We recruit, train, pay, and supervise dynamic young adults (ages 18-25) as full-time educators, counselors, and mentors to young adolescent students in public middle schools. These Educators are the core of Projet Jeune Leader, as well as the project’s strongest advocates.
Selected through an open recruitment process each year, our Educators receive two months of rigorous pre-service training, in addition to regular in-service training throughout the school year. The training covers the content of the project’s 10-month leadership and health curricula, as well as develops their public speaking, participatory teaching, and counseling skills. For most of the Educators, this is their first paid job.
Through our model, Educators are monitored closely and provided intensive support to ensure the high quality of their work. They meet weekly with their fellow Educators and project Supervisors for reporting, lesson planning, and trouble-shooting. They receive regular in-person lesson evaluations and real-time feedback from Supervisors, and through participatory appraisal activities, they are able to evaluate their students’ feedback and improve their classes.
After their service, many of our Educators become staunch advocates for comprehensive sexuality education and many refocus their careers on social justice and development work, using skills learned in the program.
Each school year, the newest cohort of trained Educators is placed full-time in urban and peri-urban partner schools. Either two or three Educators are assigned to schools ranging from 400 to 2,500 students. Retention rates of these first-year Educators is high given our competitive compensation model, opportunities for capacity building throughout the year, and close comraderie in our youth-led and youth-centered organization.
Exceptional and motivated Educators can return to work a second year with Projet Jeune Leader in rural partner schools. Smaller in size (200 - 600 students), these schools are located far from the city center and are all too often characterized by their poor infrastructure and low teaching staff capacity, reflected in the poorer educational and health outcomes among their students. Educators live in the communities in which their school is located during the week, traveling once a week back to the city for their weekly meetings.