Greetings from Abuja, Nigeria!
I would like for you to read this carefully, consider it seriously, and grab the opportunity while it’s right there in your face. If this is too far-fetched or an opportunity you must pass, then do me a favor and pass this along.
As you might know, I am serving as a volunteer with Voluntary Services Overseas Nigeria, and am presently working with several NGO partners: SNR: Nigeria’s Response to HIV/AIDS; Coalitions for Change (C4C) and VSO. I am based in Kaduna, Kaduna State which is located in Central Nigeria. I have just been transferred to Kaduna from a far away city in the desert, Kebbi, where I’d been working at a Deaf school since March 2008.
For several months in Kebbi, I had a hearing intervenor/support service provider, Marufat, who lived with me full-time and in some situations, interpreted for me. We went food shopping, took trips around the city and out of state, as well as doing errands. She was my sighted guide, for it’s dangerous in Nigeria for a Deaf Blind white woman to venture out alone. Unfortunately, as soon as I arrived back in Nigeria in September after several weeks vacationing in America, Marufat quit to continue her education on a master’s level. I am now left without an intervenor, and that is why I am sending this e-mail out to you.
Right now, nothing is certain or confirmed, but it’s been an idea that was passed along my supervisors at VSO: seek out a person with qualifications to work with me as my part-time intervenor and part-time interpreter.
The position would have the volunteer live with me in my three-bedroom apartment, rent-free, accompany me to my workplaces (SNR office; C4C locations, and at the Kaduna School for the Deaf), occasionally interpret short Kaduna SNR team meetings, accompany me to the markets of the city to pick up food and supplies, escort me on my out-of-town trips to strange new cities, help me host workshops for the general population (HIV, Deaf-Blind, leadership), work with other Nigerian interpreters during major at-large meetings with my NGO organizations or the government Assemblies. As you can see, this requires multiple facets of interpreting, intervening, and involvement. I need someone who is flexible, willing to work with other interpreters, open-minded, assertive, creative, outgoing and committed.
The volunteer must be a hearing person, preferably female but if there is trust and acknowledgment, I am willing to accept applications from males. The volunteer must be hearing, with a background in interpreting, and at least experienced with working with Deaf-Blind persons and is open to tactile in sign language. American Sign Language is a must, but the volunteer needs to understand that, in Nigeria, most Deaf people use Signed English Exact – and in some situations I will need the volunteer to clarify what has been said.
The position will begin January 2009 to August 2009. That is how long I have been contracted to work with SNR, but there MIGHT be a possibility there will be a second term for the volunteer intervenor from August 2009 to January 2010 if VSO can find me another placement. The volunteer would probably be keen to work with University of Jos during this second term, to develop a new field of interpreting and sign language.
The volunteer intervenor would receive these during the employment: free rent, medical insurance, trainings pertaining to In-Country Training and VSO Office orientation, flight to Nigeria and the return trip home, reasonable time off work, and a monthly salary of 34,000 Naira (325.00 USD). I also earn the same amount, and I consider it a very comfortable salary. I am able to afford food and transportation, some luxuries. VSO will take care of any expenses related to visa proceedings, but if you have not applied for a new passport, the fee is yours to cover. The volunteer would cover for his or her own food, transportation on time off, dental insurance, and clothing. There is furniture, water, electricity in the apartment which has been paid for by SNR.
What I would ask you to do for me is to send me your resume, a one-page letter explaining to me about yourself and one-page letter explaining why you are the best person for this job. Also please include ONE letter of reference – not from a friend or family member.
What I don’t need is a flaky, emotional, moody volunteer who will break down or get angry when things don’t go their way or issues appear during interpreting. I need a cool, collected, fun, motivated and optimistic person who loves adventure and is willing to support me any way possible.
When you send me your resume and the three letters (attach them as MS Word), I will go through them and send the ones that I consider the most fit for me to VSO Canada (the office will process work visas and guide you through the process via communication) and VSO Nigeria so they are prepared for you if you are the chosen one.
The deadline will be November 1st, and I hope to have a final decision by November 10th. VSO Canada will screen the final pool of candidates, and whoever has their papers ready will be chosen to go to Nigeria to begin a new chapter in their life.
Give this serious consideration, and again, if you are unavailable for this opportunity, please forward this to other people. I stress that this is just an idea that is being passed along VSO, but they are very keen on making this happen so why not grab the opportunity while it’s knockin’?
Merci beaucoup for your time,
Christine “Coco” Roschaert
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