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Counselors:Handicap International - India

Post: Counselor
No of Vacancies: 2
Organization: Handicap International - India

Location: Purnea & Araria, Bihar


Handicap International (HI) is an international organisation specialised in the field of disability with headquarters in Lyon, France, and operating in about 60 countries in the world. It is a non-governmental, non-religious, non-political and non-profit making organisation working alongside people with disabilities, whatever the context; offering them assistance and supporting them in their efforts to become self-reliant. Since its creation, the organisation has set up programmes in approximately 60 countries and intervened in many emergency situations. It has a network of eight national associations (Belgium, Canada, France, Germany, Luxembourg, Switzerland, United Kingdom and USA) which provide human and financial resources, manages projects and raises awareness of Handicap International’s actions and campaigns.

HI has been present in India since 1988. Following the recent floods in India, notably in Bihar, HI plans to intervene in the Districts of Araria and Purnia where approximately 200,000 people are affected by the floods. The two camp blocks HI will target host an estimated 80,000 people, of which roughly 5,000 are disabled, and 15,000 vulnerable or marginalized. The project will be focusing on providing support to Vulnerable Persons (adults and children with disability, elderly, people with injury and chronic disease) and marginalized/minority groups in two camps of the Araria and Purnea districts of Bihar.

The project will be funded by ECHO.

Job Context

The project in Bihar will target vulnerable populations that are frequently excluded from mainstream humanitarian responses. Over a period of 6 months, Handicap International will target the affected populations living in the Block of Narpatganj in Araria District and the block of Banmanki in Purnea Districts. The project will be implemented with a local partner based in Purnea, and has 3 major components with a number of sub-activities:
• Improved access to basic needs and appropriate disability services: 2 vulnerable focal points (VFP) will be set up in the two camp blocks. Vulnerable populations will be registered, assessed and provided with appropriate basic needs items and specific services.
• Protection: appropriate protection and accessibility solutions will be developed in the camps for vulnerable and marginalized populations (i.e. improved security in camps, physical accessibility, inclusion in camp management committees, regular monitoring of context). Also, sensitization of government and other actors on the specific needs of vulnerable populations, and the presence of HI’s services in the camps.
• Psychosocial response: vulnerable populations in the camps as well as humanitarian aid workers will have access to group and individual psychosocial responses, which will include peer-to-peer groups, focus groups, one-on-one sessions and recreational spaces for children.

Main duties

Each staff member has a duty to perform the outlined minimum requirements for their position, but also to constantly look for ways of improving their performance and the project.

Under the direct supervision and responsibility of the Project Coordinator, the counsellors will work with the Vulnerable Focal Point project in Purnia and Araria districts of Bihar State, focusing on individual and group psychosocial responses for vulnerable populations and aid workers.

Psychosocial Activities for Adults
• Identify psychosocial needs of flood affected vulnerable individuals (persons with disability, injury, chronic disease and the elderly) and their families, particularly those affected by post traumatic stress disorder
• Develop and provide appropriate psychosocial interventions through individual and group based approaches
• Facilitate group sessions focusing on stress, its signs and symptoms, coping skills, loss and grief, etc.
• Organize peer-to-peer support groups and networks
• Provide training to volunteers to identify flood-affected vulnerable individuals in need of psychosocial support, and to animate basic psychosocial activities
• Identify the specific psychosocial needs of humanitarian aid workers and develop an appropriate response
• Identify and organize referral to appropriate specialized (i.e. physiotherapy, mental health) services

Reporting, Coordination and General
• Respect all guidelines of documentation within the project; keep data records for each individual and group sessions
• Write case studies on beneficiaries and activities of the project
• Write regular activity and progress reports, including compilation of statistics
• Document any protection concerns and report them to the Protection Officer
• Ensure all services are provided in a professional and ethical manner
• Use various communication means (written, spoken, etc) during activities to ensure effective inclusion of all participants
• Maintain a positive image of Handicap International at all times and in all circumstances.

Considering the fact that the first phase of the contract will be for initial implementation of a new project, the Couselor should be fully aware that this list is not fully exhaustive. He/She is expected to be flexible according to the project’s needs and accept extra duties as per the demands of the Project Coordinator or Project Manager.
An individual action plan will be drawn up in collaboration with the Project Coordinator, and the Counselor will be responsible to ensure all effort is made to reach the targets of this individual action plan.

Profile sought:

Academic qualifications:
Degree in Occupational Therapy, Counselling, Psychology, Social Work or Social Services with minimum of 2 years experience working with children.

• A good level of written and spoken Hindi and English is essential.
• Experience facilitating group and individual psychosocial activities
• Able to work in a team and under supervision.
• High level of flexibility and strong interpersonal skills.
• Previous experience with international or local NGOs
• Willing to relocate to Bihar (Purnea or Araria) for the duration of the contract

• Knowledge and/or previous experience in disability, vulnerability issues
• Person originating from Bihar area
• Previous experience in the provision of emergency psychosocial care with individuals experiencing PTSD, vulnerable groups, and/or children

Interface and hierarchic reference

Internal interface with all Purnia and Araria staff and expatriates staff on the HI India program
External interface with partners, local authorities, other NGOs, UN agencies…
Line Manager: Project Coordinator


Salary will be commensurate to qualifications & expertise related to the job. Other benefits are reimbursement of medical expenses for self & dependant family members, insurances on accidental & hospitalization for self.

Length of Mission: Initially 6 months

Start date: ASAP

Interested and eligible candidates, may mail their application with updated resume at by Oct, 26th 2008. Please mention the post applied for.

People with disabilities are welcome for this post. Interview planned before the end of October in Bihar.