Manna Project International (MPI) is a Nashville-based nonprofit that connects college students, recent graduates and young professionals with international opportunities where they can apply their passions, experience, and education through service to communities in need. With the vision of communities serving communities, MPI’s model is a collaborative community-based approach to development stressing three organizational pillars: holistic approach, community focus and leadership development. At our sites in Guatemala, Ecuador, and Nicaragua, groups of year-long volunteers live and work together implementing a range of education, health and livelihood community development programs. For more background on MPI, please visit our website, www.mannaproject.org.
On the ground, the Ecuador Country Director leads the team of yearlong volunteers in the realization of MPI’s mission, vision and goals. In practice, he/she serves as executive director of the organization in Ecuador, and is responsible for both the daily management and long-term planning of the organization there. The Ecuador Director is directly accountable to and reports to MPI’s Executive Director.
The Ecuador Country Director’s daily responsibilities include any and all tasks necessary to maintaining and improving the operations of the organization, including but not limited to:
- Ensuring that volunteers conduct local programs in a goal-oriented, culturally sensitive way, and that they are in line with the mission and vision of MPI’s holistic approach;
- Communicating regularly with volunteers to ensure their well-being, safety, effectiveness in projects and overall volunteer experience;
- Navigating the annual transition between groups of yearlong volunteers, with an eye to efficient, effective, and sustainable progress in programming;
- Building and deepening MPI-Ecuador’s local and international partnerships;
- Managing on-site finances, reporting regularly to the Executive Director and volunteers;
- Fundraising a minimum of $5,000 annually for on-site programmatic and operational development;
- Maintaining legal operation of the organization in Ecuador, along with local attorneys;
- Reporting regularly and thoroughly to the Executive Director on the condition and quality of MPI programs and resources in Ecuador; and
- Participating in organization-wide planning and development.
The Ecuador Country Director may delegate responsibilities and tasks to trusted volunteers in order to best realize these goals, as is appropriate and as they see fit.
Complete Description of Responsibilities
Ensuring that volunteers conduct local programs in a goal-oriented, culturally sensitive way, and that those programs are in line with the mission and vision of MPI.
The Ecuador Director plays an active role in the implementation of community programs and projects. They regularly visit each of the programs in operation, measuring their performance, impact and long-term development. Each program should be visited at least once every month, and depending on circumstances and current need, the Ecuador Director may be called upon to lead programs. For volunteers, the Director serves as a constant resource, continually discussing with them the goals of each program and what is being done to achieve those goals. The Director is the key reference point to community members, meeting with key stakeholders from the community who oversee or participate in the program in order to assess the success of the program from the community’s point of view. In order to measure each program’s performance, and to keep record of the program’s history, volunteers submit quarterly program updates to the Ecuador Director.
Communicating regularly with volunteers to ensure their well-being, safety, effectiveness in projects and overall volunteer experience.
As leader of MPI’s in-country team, the Ecuador Director stays in constant contact with volunteers. This includes attending and leading weekly meetings with volunteers, serving both as team leader and as a representative of the organization at large. This dual role means both communicating relevant information from the volunteers on to the rest of the staff, and representing the organization’s policies and decisions to volunteers. The Director will also serve as a resource who can seek out and present fresh perspective on issues and ideas, founded in MPI’s experience, partner organizations, and community development best practices.
On a personal level, the Ecuador Director conducts one-on-one meetings with volunteers to address their needs, well-being, and performance in programs. These meetings serve to support each volunteer’s achievements, encourage improvement and guarantee that volunteers have a rewarding experience with MPI.
Navigating the annual transition between groups of yearlong volunteers, with an eye to efficient, effective, and sustainable progress in programming;
As the one member of the MPI team whose presence in Ecuador spans MPI’s annual transition from one group of yearlong volunteers to the next, the Ecuador Director oversees the continuity of the organization from year to year. This is crucial to ensuring that programs and projects stay consistent over time. The Director leads orientation activities for new volunteers who in turn lead such activities for summer volunteers and visiting teams, and the Director spearheads the recruitment of future volunteers to the site.
Building and deepening local and international partnerships.
As the foremost representative of the organization in Ecuador, the Ecuador Director is the public face of MPI to local and international organizations. The Director builds new relationships and deepens existing ones, leveraging the knowledge, expertise and experience they provide into MPI’s programs and projects.
Managing on-site finances, reporting regularly to the Executive Director and volunteers.
As the effective executive director of the organization in Ecuador, the Ecuador Director manages the finances of Manna Project in country. This includes maintenance of the organization’s bank accounts in country, and the dispersal of funding from those accounts to support volunteers’ living situation and the operation of programs, as well as the maintenance of organizational resources. The Ecuador Director is ultimately responsible for the program and living budgets within the country and is entrusted to make well-reasoned decisions about the distribution of these funds in accordance with both the needs of the programs and the mission, vision, and goals of the organization.
The Ecuador Director records and regularly reports on the status of accounts and expenses to the Executive Director and volunteers as appropriate.
Each year, the Ecuador Director is responsible for raising a minimum amount of $5000 designated to on-site program development and general operating expenses. This requirement may be fulfilled through grants received, individual or corporate donations made to programs from current volunteer’s donors, and/or obtained by the Ecuador Director’s connections. Time spent on fundraising, either on-site or in the United States, is considered work time. Travel and associated costs incurred within the United States for fundraising will be reimbursed by the organization if the fundraising trip or expenses are approved by the Executive Director prior to the fundraising activities.
Maintaining legal operation of the organization in Ecuador, along with local attorneys.
The Ecuador Director keeps the organization in good legal standing within Ecuador. This means maintaining the legal status and operation of the organization and its volunteers. The Ecuador Director must have a familiarity with local laws regarding service/non-profit organizations and foreign visitors/workers and record both the general understanding of these laws and the organization’s compliance with them. This will likely involve consultation with other organizations for guidance, the organization’s attorney in that country and potentially in the United States, as well as government bodies regulating the activities of foreign persons or organizations.
Reporting regularly and thoroughly to the Executive Director on the condition and quality of MPI programs and resources in the country for which the director is responsible.
The Ecuador Director reports on the state of programs and volunteers in Ecuador to the Executive Director, and serves as the primary channel between volunteers and the ED for questions, concerns, and ideas. The Ecuador Director is in regular contact with the Executive Director regarding finances, programs, policies, and the needs of the organization in Ecuador.
Participating in organization-wide planning and development.
As a member of MPI’s team of staff, the Ecuador Director actively participates in MPI’s organization-wide vision and strategy planning, resource development, and operational assessment. This includes but is not limited to involvement in publicity, volunteer recruitment, curriculum development, metrics management, grant writing, and fundraising.
- Solid relationship-building skills
- Fluent in English and Spanish
- A minimum of two years’ experience in Latin America (preferably Ecuador, Colombia, Venezuela, Peru or Bolivia)
- Experience in community development and/or community organizing
- Experience working with college students or in leading young people
- A visionary mind and an entrepreneurial initiative
- A willingness to commit to MPI principles and approach to community development
- A minimum two and a half-year commitment
- Bachelors required; Masters preferred
How to apply
Send a resume and cover letter describing your fit with MPI and with this position to firstname.lastname@example.org. Accepting applications immediately, interviews in January 2014.
Quito (Valle de los Chillos), Pichincha, Ecuador