MCC Representative for Nicaragua and Honduras

at Mennonite Central Committee (view profile)
Location 21 South 12th Street, Akron, Pennsylvania
Date Posted February 7, 2024
Category Other
Job Type Full-time

Description

Job Synopsis

The MCC representative provides leadership and programmatic direction to MCC's work in Nicaragua and Honduras within MCC Latin America/Caribbean regional parameters. This position also maintains relationships with MCC partners in the countries and represents MCC to churches, agencies, community groups and leaders, and the governments of Honduras and Nicaragua. The representative is responsible for providing team leadership and support for all MCC workers in Nicaragua and Honduras. The MCC Representative for Nicaragua-Honduras is supervised by the Area Directors for Central America and Haiti.

Job Details

Salaried Employee -Full Time at 1 FTE
Qualifications

All MCC workers are expected to exhibit a commitment to: a personal Christian faith and discipleship; active participation in a Christian church or Christian community; and nonviolent peacemaking. MCC is an equal opportunity employer, committed to employment equity. MCC values diversity and invites all qualified candidates to apply.

Required for all MCC Representative Positions:
Minimum Education Level: BA/BSc or equivalent
Minimum Experience: International experience and MCC experience preferred
​Invitations to serve with MCC are contingent on the successful outcome of criminal background check(s).

Skills:

  1. Relational Skills: Ability to form, foster and maintain positive, working relationships with MCC staff, local churches and MCC partners, building trust by demonstrating integrity in actions and communications and modeling the values of the organization. Ability to create an environment on the team that is supportive of staff who may experience oppression or sexual violence.
  2. Supervisory Skills: Ability to manage/supervise personnel, which includes staff appointments and terminations, performance appraisals, interpreting and enforcing policies, conflict resolutions/problem solving and development of staff (in cooperation with the Human Resources Department). Ability to foster worker development by providing a supportive learning environment.
  3. Computer Literacy: Ability to use email programs, navigate the internet, locate resources, use Microsoft Excel and Word. Ability to navigate and use MCC specific databases for the purpose of planning, monitoring, evaluation, and recording.
  4. Adaptability: Ability to adapt as needed to work effectively in ambiguous or changing situations and with diverse individuals and groups.
  5. Analytical Thinking: Ability to analyze and synthesize information to understand issues, identify options and support sound decision making.
  6. Planning and Organizing: Ability to develop, implement, evaluate and adjust plans to reach goals, ensuring the optimal use of resources.
  7. Initiative: Ability to be proactive and persistent in efforts, identifying opportunities and needs then taking action for resolution.
  8. Teamwork: Ability to work collaboratively with others to achieve organizational goals, taking actions that respect the needs and contributions of others.
  9. Communication: Ability to listen, to model open communication and foster good will among others.
  10. Self-awareness: Ability to understand one’s own emotional framework, maintain a non-defensive posture and manage personal reactivity when leadership is challenged.
  11. Cross cultural/multi-cultural awareness: Ability to work with issues of equity in a cross-cultural setting.
  12. Financial Management: Ability to successfully manage MCC resources within a country program.
  13. Program, Monitoring and Evaluation: Ability to understand and implement Program, Monitoring, Evaluation, and Results based management.
  14. Previous experience in making well-informed, effective and timely decisions, taking into consideration impact and implications within local and regional context.
  15. Demonstrated ability to serve as MCC Representative without bias or conflict of interest, with ability to withstand intense pressure from local constituents.
  16. Organizational Awareness: An understanding of the structure and organizational culture of large non-profit organizations, such as MCC, and ability to work successfully within the structure to achieve results.
  17. Conflict Resolution: Ability to bring conflict and dissent between others into the open to arrive at constructive solution while maintaining positive relationships with all parties.
  18. Strategic Thinking: Ability to understand and process complex information and exercise sound judgment, considering the situation, the issues and the key players. Is able to propose course(s) of action that further the objectives, priorities and vision of the program and/or MCC.
  19. Verbal, Oral and Written Skills: Able to communicate effectively to groups including organizational boards, community groups, congregations and larger gatherings. And, able to ensure that information and messages are understood and have the desired impact.

Key Responsibilities

Duties:

  1. MCC Vision and Mission. Be the carrier/communicator of institutional identity in relationship to:
    • Local partners, church, government, other international NGOs
    • MCC workers: Nurture understanding of and respect for MCC values and witness; reflect upon and communicate the spirituality of the team
  2. Oversight of the Program. Direct and oversee implementation of regional priorities and country-specific strategies:
    • Select, build, maintain and strengthen relationships with partners. Special emphasis will need to be given to relationships with the Anabaptist churches in both Nicaragua and Honduras.
    • Prepare and administer long-term country strategies
    • Plan, monitor, report and evaluate projects
    • Facilitate, coordinate and respond to disasters, including those that generate unexpected additional resources and require shifts in focus of time/energy and requiring development of immediate and/or short-term plans
    • Understand and ensure compliance with local laws.
    • Coordinate and strengthen local advisory committees in both countries.
  3. Management of MCC Resources
    • Prepare, monitor, and evaluate annual goals and objectives in the context of a multi-year strategic plan.
    • Prepare and monitor budgets in accordance with strategic and annual plans and in alignment with financial management policies.
    • Develop and monitor financial record-keeping and reporting, taking corrective action where needed.
    • Develop and maintain lists of inventories of equipment, including computers, vehicles, etc. along with replacement plans in discussion with Area directors.
    • Maintain and update registration documents in respective countries.
    • Ensure resource stewardship across the countries.
    • Prepare and monitor project reporting.
    • Receive and respond to worker reports.
    • Ensure maintenance of personnel records and other documents for MCC records and archives.
    • Obtain visas for new workers and cancel the visas for the workers that are ending their terms.
    • Manage material resources distribution as needed.
  4.  Select, Supervise, and Motivate MCC Workers: international service workers and national staff
    • Negotiate suitable service assignments and write assignment descriptions
    • Work closely with Honduras Program Manager who provides oversight of the partners and program in Honduras.
    • Select highly qualified service workers and national staff using predetermined criteria based on job content and organizational values
    • Provide orientation for new workers, including arranging for language study
    • Create an environment where all individuals are comfortable and openly addressing concerns/opinions
    • Ensure spiritual, emotional and professional support for MCC staff in both countries
    • Monitor relationships between workers and partners with whom they work
    • Implement MCC Human Resource policies and assist in policy interpretation for workers
    • Conduct timely performance appraisals and end-of-term reports for service workers
    • Ensure workers’ compliance with MCC values and witness
    • Develop and/or monitor compensation, benefits and policies for national staff
  5. Teambuilding: build and maintain MCC personnel team
    • Clarify team expectations regularly
    • Monitor team relationships
    • Lead team in decision making
    • Demonstrate skill in resolving difficult situations, drawing on a variety of resources
  6. Hospitality: arrange for hospitality as needed for:
    • MCC program and support staff, as well as MCC constituents from North America
    • Others who are travelling in the country and who are interested in the work of MCC
  7. Represent the program to MCC and Constituents
    • Cultivate and maintain awareness of the political, economic, social, cultural, and historical contexts of the country/region
    • Provide information about the situation, needs and resources of the country/region to the Area Director and others within MCC and to MCC constituency
  8. Relate to the local church
    • Maintain good relationships with local Anabaptist churches by minimally visiting churches and church leaders, attending their annual meetings, and including their representatives on advisory committees.
    • Develop a plan of close accompaniment of Anabaptist churches in both countries.
    • Attend regularly a local Anabaptist congregation.
    • Assist Anabaptist churches respond to disasters and development needs as those situations occur

Challenges

Extreme Heat; Limited mental health services available; Occasional overnights; Occasional long days; Work requires healthy boundaries; Large geographical scope; Complex-needs population; Diverse group of stakeholders; Location requires digital communication; Use of public transit required; Occasional evening and weekend work; Local church not supportive to LGTBQ* persons

Start Date

01 Jun, 2024 - Start date flexible

Term Length

3-5 years

Benefits

MCC cover the following;
Travel expenses to and from assignment,
Housing,
Transportation related to work,
Education for children benefit,
Retirement Plan,
Life Insurance and Death Benefits,
Student Loan reimbursement benefit,
and End-of-term benefits

Additional Information

Challenges:
Mennonite and Brethren in Christ churches in Latin America are often more influenced by theological emphases and worship styles that they find around them, than by an Anabaptist reading of the gospel (perhaps not unlike their counterparts in North America!). This can take some adjusting to for those not familiar with the reality of Latin American Evangelical and Pentecostal churches. Yet to fully enter into the Anabaptist church in all its complexities can be a truly rewarding experience, especially once one develops friendships with church members and leaders and discovers that there are many who are working hard to live out and promote an Anabaptist Christian theology and practice.

The numerous responsibilities of the MCC representative position, including frequent travel to supervise and accompany partners spread in two countries, carry with them the potential for over-work. The person/couple filling this position will need to be intentional about delegating work appropriately, as well as setting boundaries between work and personal time and developing personal routines that nurture mental, emotional, and physical health.

Nicaragua is host to a number of foreign and national nongovernmental organizations, many of whom provide funding for projects and programs. It is often a challenge to communicate to our partners and other agencies that MCC's principal resource is its people, that we are not primarily a funding agency, and that providing more money is often not the best "solution" to existing problems.

In order to maintain a presence in Honduras, we continue to place one-year workers with partners in Honduras. We are also placing a country program manager and a Connecting People coordinator. The Area Directors are based in San Pedro Sula and provide some support for workers who are close by.

While most modern conveniences are very accessible for those who can afford them, certain realities of life in many parts of Nicaragua can be physically and emotionally challenging (hot humid weather, rough or unpaved roads, unreliable water supply, tropical diseases, gender stereotypes, fear of crime).

Location Description

The MCC representative will be based in Managua, Nicaragua’s capital city of 1.5 million people, and will participate in one of the many Anabaptist congregations there. Like many cities, Managua is characterized by many blatant disparities--traffic congestion, noise, and pollution exist in the midst of one of the greenest cities in the Americas.

Managua is unique in that it has no downtown. Following the 1972 earthquake, central Managua was never rebuilt, resulting in an urban sprawl of markets and businesses springing up wherever people are living. Street vendors are intertwined with well-stocked stores offering an ample and varied supply of consumer goods. The assurance of genuine Nicaraguan hospitality stands in constant tension with the increasing threat of violent crime.

Managua's infrastructure is relatively well-developed. Public bus routes and taxis abound, and there is access to the telephone and the Internet. The postal service is quite reliable, and health care is available for those who can afford it. Various public, church-sponsored, and private schools are found throughout the city.

The tropical climate of Nicaragua brings two six-month seasons--a dry and wet season. The low altitude of Managua and its bordering lake of Xolotlan sometimes make the city's heat a bit uncomfortable. However, the more mountainous regions of Nicaragua have a much cooler climate.

Each of the three Anabaptist conferences with which MCC relates has active congregations in Managua that welcome the participation of MCCers. The worship is generally quite active and includes much singing. Most churches are in lower-income neighborhoods but often have several university students and a few professionals.

Apply online here.