Mercy Corps Yes Youth Can Project Communications Officer Job in Thika Kenya

Vacancy Announcement
Communications Officer – YYC! Thika Office
Program / Department Summary:
Yes Youth Can, funded by USAID, endeavors to empower Kenya’s youth in new and meaningful ways. Yes Youth Can is an unprecedented program that puts youth truly in the lead of their own and Kenya’s development. 
The core of the program is that it is:
  • Youth-led: Youth ideas, local knowledge and innovations drive the process.
  • Youth-managed: Youth implement program elements (grants, investments, Youth Bunges, research) while leveraging mentoring and coaching.
  • Youth-owned: Youth are in control of all decisions within the institutional structures as a result of fair democratic elections, using a bottom up, localized demand approach.
By integrating the principles of youth-led, managed and owned throughout each element of the program, young people throughout Kenya will begin to identify with and internalize these principles through a process where they lead youth self-help groups (called Youth Bunges), implement community grants, network with youth throughout the country, find linkages for their communities and increase their income through microenterprises and jobs. 
Through this process, youth will recognize that they are in charge of transforming their society and will become catalysts for development in their communities.  Such an approach to youth development programming has the ability to change the paradigm for youth programming both in Kenya and around the world.
The Yes Youth Can initiative comprises five implementing partners in six regions of Kenya as well as the national partner (Yes Youth Can National), Mercy Corps.  
Yes Youth Can National comprises four entities: a youth trust, a youth sustainable development think tank, a youth non-governmental organization to disburse community grants, and finally Tahidi Youth Fund to manage innovative micro and SME venture capital to youth enterprises. 
General Job Summary:
Under the overall guidance of the Communications Manager and the Yes Youth Can! Regional, Chief of Party, the Communications Officer is expected to perform the following tasks.  
Duties and Responsibilities
  • Develop long term Communication strategy  and work plan that includes media strategy  covering  overall program messaging in liaison with the Communications Manager that highlight
  • Draft press releases and responding to media enquiries and building dialogue with journalists in the Rift Valley and Central regions. 
  • Produce issues-based print stories for the and websites and YYC! eNewsletter  that communicate YYCs results from various regions
  • Drafting media kits and constant updating of partner files
  • Daily Monitoring and updating of press cuttings and other docket fillings/files touching on Youth matters
  • Taking minutes during status meetings and Daily Rapid meetings
  • Attending meetings on behalf of the Chief of Party/Communications Manager
  • Liaising with both Central and Rift Valley Regional heads and CoP leads to  help compile events calendars for various Youth Bunge activities
  • Be able to raise g PR’s for the Communications department on short notice and chase for approvals with authority
  • Identify venues for events on short notice
  • Be able to beat deadlines on short notice
  • Managing media  during Village Youth Bunge activities as well as National Youth Bunge  events
  • Manage video production  and editing of small in-house videos and uploading them on the and websites
  • Contribute to the development of printed communication materials, including editing images/photos and layout and ensure they are captioned
  • Assist in updating PFF profiles on social networks (Facebook, YouTube) with information about project activities and events
  • Assist in the organization and updating of photo library and creation of video library
  • Compiling monthly Public and media relations activity reports
  • Assist in the organization of events
  • Other task may include: General administrative assistance to the Unit
  • Provide editorial support to colleagues for reports, case studies, articles, and presentations;
Key Learning objectives of the position:
  • Learn about impact-oriented communications and communications management in an NGO and high pressured  environment
  • Gain experience in the production of public information materials (print, video and web)
  • Further enhance editorial skills
The Communications Officer should have; 
  • Have a Degree/Diploma in Communications, International relations and organizational Communications from a reputable University or college. A Master’s Degree in Communications/Journalism or related field would be an added advantage as well as experience working within a humanitarian or development context an asset
  • Excellent communications skills (oral and written)
  • Excellent written and spoken English is essential, as well as a critical eye for editing and grammar
  • Experience in managing websites and  using social media tools in a professional context
  • Experience and skills in the use of software programs such as MS Word, PowerPoint, Excel, Adobe
  • Demonstrated effective organizational skills and ability to handle work in a timely manner
  • Demonstrated ability to coordinate tasks to meet deadlines
  • Ability to work in a multi-cultural, multi-ethnic environment with respect for diversity
  • Knowledge of or interest in humanitarian programs, as well as a commitment to Mercy Corp’s mission and vision
  • Willingness and ability to travel to remote project locations
  • At least two (2) years relevant work/practical  experience in an NGO, Private and public sector or busy organization
  • Critical thinking, problem solving and good judgment skills.
  • Ability to write press releases and manage events
  • Good media relations and contacts
  • Have a passion for Public and media Relations
  • Good command of English, Kiswahili, Kenyan Sheng and English language fluency required.
Success Factors:
This is a challenging opportunity for a dedicated and highly motivated professional.  
The successful Communications Officer will have strong interpersonal skills and demonstrate an ability to work with minimal supervision, create and maintain effective working relationships with internal staff. 
S/he will be able to productively work as a member of an overall project team and as an individual. 
S/he will have a commitment to staff and program to produce assigned work in a timely and a creative manner.
If you would like to join this dynamic team, please submit your application to the Human Resources Manager at hrKenya@ke.mercycorps. org  before  or on 23rd  July 2012 at  2.00pm and include the following:
An updated CV; and an application letter indicating why you fit this position. 
Please include contact details of three work-related referees.  
A sample of your articles(sample of draft press release and actually newspaper article of the same, clippings (radio or Tv on MP3 or movie) which have been aired or published in the local media. 
Applications not including all of the above information will not be reviewed. 
Only short-listed candidates will be contacted. 
This position is only open to Kenyan Nationals.

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