Volunteer opportunity posted by: Q'ente Textile Revitalization Society
Posted on: February 20, 2013
About the Organization
The Q'ente Textile Revitalization Society is a not-for-profit society based in Victoria, British Columbia, Canada which works to preserve and promote the Quechua textile tradition in Peru. We work directly with campesino weavers in the Cusco area, providing capacity-building and an outlet to sell their textiles in North America. We aim to help achieve sustainability in rural Andean communities through the textile tradition, an integral part of the Quechua culture, history, and economy.
Q'ente is the Quechua word for hummingbird, a powerful symbol in Quechua cosmology that represents connection, regeneration and rebirth. The hummingbird also symbolizes hope, and is the connection between our world and the upper world. Our goal is to be a hummingbird – the connection between Canada and Peru, bringing hope and rebirth to a new life.
Q'ente also works very closely with the Canadian charitable organization Mosqoy, which provides post-secondary educational opportunities to economically disadvantaged youth from rural communities in the Cusco area, including the same weaving communities that Q'ente works with. A portion of proceeds from textile sales in Canada supports these efforts by Mosqoy.
The Q'ente Textile Revitalization Society is looking for qualified applicants for the position of Textile Programs Field Coordinator and Community Liaison for our operations in Cusco, Peru.
This is an exciting office- and field-based position which involves overseeing ongoing projects in the Sacred Valley and Mapacho Valley regions and administrative work related to the management of textile inventory in Peru, as well as other duties. This position requires consistent communication with supervisors in Canada regarding the state of operations and development of new initiatives.
Applicants must speak, read and write English and Spanish fluently, and possess the ability to adapt and learn quickly, as well as the confidence to take initiative and to work effectively while unsupervised. This person must possess strong organizational skills while also being creative and enthusiastic about the work both Q'ente and Mosqoy are doing in the region.
The volunteer's time will be divided between Cusco and the weaving communities. Although it varies weekly, the volunteer generally spends one or two days per week in a community. The remaining work days are spent on computer-based administrative tasks in Cusco.
With a population of almost half a million, Cusco is a thriving cosmopolitan city, considered the "Navel of the World" by the Inca civilization. Steeped in history, Incan stone foundations sit comfortably beside colonial balconies and modern structures. Cusco offers both traditional Andean charm as well as everything that the modern city-dweller looks for, from cozy cafes to fine dining, yoga, and a vibrant nightlife.
Field work includes visits to the weaving communities which are located in and around the Sacred Valley. In the most remote communities, the volunteer will be hosted overnight by a member of the weaving association. These accommodations are rustic, with outdoor toilets and no running water or electricity. On these visits the volunteer will have a chance to experience rural Andean lifestyle first-hand, as they sleep in stone houses and enjoy meals straight off the kitchen cooking fire, surrounded by stunning views of the Andes.
Hours & Remuneration
Hours for this position are not regular as your work will involve frequent travel, mostly on weekends. However, you are expected to complete a standard 35 hours per week. It is essential to keep good track of hours spent because of this irregular schedule.
This is a full-time volunteer position. There is no financial remuneration; however, all transportation and communications costs required to successfully carry out your duties will be reimbursed by the Organization. Accommodation is also provided in Casa Mosqoy, the residence for Mosqoy's post-secondary scholarship students in Cusco. This includes a semi-furnished room with private bathroom and hot water, as well as breakfast and dinner four days a week. The house is large and full of life, and close to public transportation.
Additional reasonable costs incurred may also be covered by the Organization, subject to approval by Management. In order to be reimbursed for a given expense, a detailed expense sheet must be submitted along with the corresponding receipts.
Main Responsibility: Monthly Community Meetings
The volunteer will be responsible for scheduling and conducting meetings with each of Q'ente's six weaving associations in their communities, and keeping accurate minutes and attendance records of each meeting. They will always be accompanied by at least one Mosqoy student for assistance with Quechua translation, but will serve as the main Q'ente representative during these meetings.
Content for most meetings includes:
· Textile orders
· Textile purchases
· Kallpa K'oj projects (more details below)
· Community development projects
· Sharing of news, updates and photos
Weekly Administrative Duties:
· MMR – The Monday Morning Report. The volunteer is expected to write a short email describing upcoming meetings and activities; tasks completed; tasks to be completed in the coming week; ongoing duties; and hours worked the previous week. This is due every Monday morning.
· Blog – One blog per week. These are short posts, with interesting facts and observations about Peru, or reflections on recent experiences. Should be accompanied by photos.
1. Manage Peru Inventory
The community liaison will be responsible for managing the textile inventory in Peru. This includes:
· Tagging and recording new inventory;
· Keeping all electronic records up-to-date;
· Posting all related documents on Podio;
· Preparing shipments to send to Canada.
2. Kallpa K'oj
One of the primary ways that Mosqoy and Q'ente connect is through the Kallpa K'oj program. Kallpa k'oj means "giving back energy" in Quechua, and is a way for the Mosqoy students to give back to the program and to the communities by engaging in volunteer service projects.The community textile liaison will be overseeing the organization and implementation of this program by:
· Discussing the needs and interests of the weaving communities and other partners;
· Identifying workshops or activities to be carried out in these communities based on these discussions;
· Coordinating these workshops with the Mosqoy students;
· Keeping an ongoing calendar of workshops and other volunteer activities;
· Keeping track of the students' volunteer hours;
· Creating reports on the outcome of each workshop;
· Posting these reports on Podio.
3. Supplementary Research Projects
The textile community liaison may also research, plan and implement additional projects. These projects may include research in the communities or fact-finding assignments in the city. In general, these projects involve finding out more information about the communities we work in, or planning community workshops, events or other projects. The liaison may also research marketing and supply chain options for the textiles.
These projects are usually determined by the management team; however, the volunteer may undertake research of particular interest to them, pending approval by their supervisor.
· Fluency (reading, writing, and speaking) in both English and Spanish.
· Excellent organizational skills.
· Strong administrative skills (record-keeping and written reporting).
· Intermediate to advanced computer skills: experience with Microsoft Office, Dropbox and Skype.
· Excellent communication skills.
· A strong interest in textiles, handmade artisan products, and/or traditional craft.
· Basic digital photography skills and the ability to upload photos using internet tools.
· Self-starter, with a high degree of motivation and initiative.
· Self-confidence, and the ability to work independently but take direction well.
· Good interpersonal skills, and the ability to work in a multi-cultural, collaborative environment.
· The ability to adapt to new environments, be resourceful, and be sensitive to cultural differences.
· Should enjoy hiking and the outdoors, and be prepared to stay in remote communities without modern amenities.
· Experience living in a developing nation.
· Relevant university degree.
· A good quality digital camera.
- Project management experience, including basic budgeting and accounting
Interested applicants may submit their applications via email to Sarah Confer at email@example.com, with the subject heading Textile Programs Field Coordinator. Application materials, including CV or resume, cover letter, and contact information for 3 references, must be sent as one PDF attachment. Incomplete applications will not be considered.
Posting open until filled.