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Volunteer and Internship opportunities in Organic Farms in India  RSS feed

 
Harish Tewari
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INTERNSHIP AND VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITIES BUILDING WWOOF GLOBAL VILLAGE IN KHAJURAHO, MP

Established in 2007, Worldwide Opportunities On Organic Farms India (WWOOF INDIA) facilitates cultural and educational exchange between its 160+ member farming communities and volunteers from all over the world. Spanning 16 of India’s 35 states and union territories, all farms in our network are associated with organic gardening, orchards, spices, tea and other sustainability projects. They provide volunteers (known as “WWOOFers”) room and board in exchange for volunteer work, an exchange that allows WWOOFers to learn local organic farming procedures and issues while helping with farm duties. WWOOF India is a member of the International WWOOF Association (www.wwoofinternational.org). It is an eco-activism project under WWOOF India Organics Pvt Ltd which has registration number U01403UR 2010 PTC 033280
WWOOF GLOBAL VILLAGE (WGV)

WWOOF INDIA’s first few years of success are only a beginning. We are constantly expanding not only the number of farms in our network, but also the scope of the work we are doing to promote organic agriculture. One of the ways in which we plan to support the continued growth of organic farming practices and volunteer networks is by setting up 4 WWOOF Global Villages (WGV) in India. The long term goal for is for these WGVs to become recognized research centers in sustainability practices.

WWOOF Global Villages are envisioned as:
Resource centres for documenting WWOOF India’s work in natural farming and permaculture
Workshop venues for WWOOF consultants, farmers and WWOOFers with topics including alternative agricultural practices, food processing and preparation, alternative energy, eco-building, community
exploration, and personal development and more.
Centres for WWOOF volunteers pursuing study of organic farming
Communities in which WWOOF farmers and WWOOF volunteers may network and share best practices/knowledge

Furthermore, WGVs are planned to evolve into a model of sustainability using traditional knowledge and cultural practices. The WGV farm will serve as an example for the local communities with whom we will work to implement “natural farming” methods” for soil regeneration, water conservation, water table increase, and maximum self-sufficiency on all fronts. To this end, WGV consultants and volunteers will work closely with the farmers in various village clusters not only in development of organic agriculture appropriate to that area, but also in children’s education, documentation and promotion of local handicrafts and other village developmental activities. During these field work activities, volunteers will stay in traditional family homes with the family and eat delicious traditional food.

INTERNSHIP AND VOLUNTEER NEEDED

Come and join us in building the first WWOOF GLOBAL VILLAGE!

About WGV Khajuraho (MP): WWOOF India has donated 4.5 acres of land to set up the first ever WWOOF GLOBAL VILLAGE. Located in the village of Surajpura, Madhya Pradesh, it is near the world famous Khajuraho temples and adjacent to the Ken River and Panna Tiger Reserve.

Volunteers and interns will learn basics of green living through their experience working on the WGV farm. They will implement organic farming techniques in the nurseries and will use local materials and low-cost, low environmental impact methods for construction projects. They will also learn about the culture and traditions of India. Work completed to date includes fencing of the WGV farm property and the construction and decoration of some meeting and dormitory buildings.
Our current work needs from interns and volunteers are:
Construction of mud huts for volunteer accommodation
Tree plantation (over 1000 varieties are planned)
Construction of shaded beds for vegetable nursery
Construction of composting structure
Construction of check dam for water harvesting
Construction of toilets
Help integrating the sustainable farming community by setting up a seed bank and cooperative for transport and selling of organic products

Other expectations of WGV interns and volunteers are:
Help in host family household chores such as cooking
Teaching English to children
Communicating with local villagers
Participating in local festivals, religious celebration, social events, school programs

WGV Work Schedule for Volunteers

Volunteers at WGV are expected to work less than they would on most WWOOF farms - only 4-5 hours per day. This enables them to engage in other activities such as visiting the nearby UNESCO World Heritage site of the Khajuraho Temple Complex, going to local waterfalls and visiting the Panna Tiger Reserve and Panna diamond mines, which are a short drive from WGV Khajuraho. Of course, volunteers are welcome to work more than the minimum time expected if they wish. The main concern is that volunteers experience Indian history and culture in ways that will best serve them when they return home. WWOOF India tries to provide every opportunity for volunteers to have this kind of experience.

Internship Program

The WWOOF India internship program has been created with the goal of providing a stimulating environment and professional and academic resource network for students interested in research-based activities in organic farming, sustainability and environmental issues.

WWOOF India internships are project-based and may be undertaken by either individuals or groups. Longer 12 week internships are better suited to those wishing to research, plan and implement their own projects, while the 4 and 8 week intern options work better for those who are prepared to research and implement a project suggested by WWOOF India advisors. All advisors are part of WWOOF India administration (see section below “About WWOOF India” for details).

Internship projects may be based at the Khajuraho WGV or at any of our member farms. Concepts are studied through a mix of practical work and conceptual projects/assignments. Practical work includes any day-to-day activities on site including land works, gardening, building and general maintenance. This is a great opportunity for a newcomer to jump straight into the flow of things and orient themselves with the overall project.

By the end of the internship period, interns are expected to deliver a completed project based on the conceptual, practical and research-based curriculum involved in the three phases outlined below. Documentation of the project from the initial to the final phases is also required for the benefit of the intern and the program overall. Upon internship project completion, WWOOF India will provide certification defining what was learned and accomplished.

Internship Phases:

Phase one: Conceptual Understanding and Orientation .

The internship begins at home; by learning about the internship process and the values and guiding principles of WWOOF India and host farmers, interns can establish a meaningful and fruitful connection between themselves and WWOOF India hosts.

Phase one projects include:
System Relations Analysis: Choose a relationship between two or more elements of a system. What makes this relationship distinct? How does it relate to the greater system? Why do we understand objects as part of relationships, rather than simply as objects in their own right? Or perhaps, argue for the contrary. Express this relationship abstractly, metaphorically, physically, verbally, musically or any other way you wish.
Resource Cycle Analysis: Human resources follow a complex path from their simplest forms to their practical purposes. The journey does not end here. These elements continue to cycle within and without our ecosystems. How do we begin to understand the simplicity of this idea and the complexity of the reality? Choose a specific human resource. Trace its path from the moment we (humans) decide it has a value. What preceded our direct relationship with this resource? What super cedes it? Does a clear cycle exist? Or does the path twist and tangle without an end? Are there weak spots? Leaks? Room for greater efficiency? What is revealed about our habits of consumption?
Conceptualizing: A project that you would like to implement and researching to see in which parts of India this project may be feasible. A this time, either WWOOF India provides a project that needs doing or the intern may propose an idea of their own interest. A few project ideas are:
Food Forest Stand Design
Aquaculture Design
Aquaponics Systems
Rural Energy Systems
Low-Income Garden Design
Contacting organic host farmers from WWOOOF network: For placement and explaining the project proposal and finalising his arrangements to carry out field activities related to your project.

Remember that daily volunteering on the farm will be part of your internship!

Phase two: Research and Project Definition

This time is reserved for more specific research as the project gains definition. Resources include the local knowledge, and the land itself. Mid-term reviews will provide a venue for feedback and constructive criticism. A final presentation of the project proposal will define the end of research and the start of action.


Phase three: Action and Manifestation

Make it happen! Following an initial review of the project proposal, WWOOF advisers will help interns to define discrete project components and put together a schedule for their completion. Final presentation and submission of documents to WWOOF India completes the internship process.


LOGISTICS

Lodging & Boarding: You can expect simple & traditional but comfortable living as you stay at WWOOF host farms and the WGV Khajuraho project area. Interns and volunteers working at WGV will stay with local farm families until our basic infrastructure becomes fully functional. We have kept in mind the hygiene needs of our guests.

Food: Home cooked vegetarian food will be served and will consist mostly of local-grown, organic ingredients. Those working on member farms will be fed according to the customs of people living in the area. In the Bundelkhand region of MP, where the Khajuraho WGV is situated, there is a tradition of two main meals each day: one full meal is served in the late morning around 9-10 am, then tea and light snacks are served around 4.00 & 5.00 pm and dinner is served between 7.00 & 8.00 pm; not long after this, the village goes to sleep. In other words, you will share all the same amenities that your host family enjoys. Your only expenses aside from your program cost (see below) will be for your own personal shopping at the local market or excursions you may take.

COSTS*

NOTE: All volunteers and interns must pay $25 WWOOF India membership fee and after registration

Volunteering in Host Member farms: Free
WGV Volunteer : Daily fee of 10 USD to help cover expenses
Internship : 1 month - 500 USD 2 month - 800 USD 3 month -1000 USD

*All travel to, from and within India being the responsibility of interns/volunteers

How to Reach the WGV:
By Air: Khajuraho has daily domestic flights to and from Agra ,Varanasi and Kathmandu.
By Train: The nearest railway stations to Khajuraho are Khajuraho, Mahoba, Satna and Jhansi. All of these are well connected to most of the major cities of India.
By Road: Khajuraho has frequent bus services and good roads to and from the major cities of India including Panna, Mahoba, Satna, Jabalpur, Bhopal, Gwalior, Indore, Agra

ABOUT KHAJURAHO TEMPLE TOWN
The world renowned temple town of Khajuraho in Madhya Pradesh, a designated UNESCO World Heritage Site, is situated just 18 Km from the WGV site. The temples of Khajuraho are a beautiful study in the science and art of architecture, showcasing the talent and wealth of the Chandela rulers of the 10th - 11th century. Today, the considerable aesthetic, technical, cultural and historic lessons portrayed by the temple carvings are overshadowed by a fascination with the erotic nature of some of the carvings. These carvings make up only about 10% of the total sculptures on the temples. The temples have a very interesting legend behind them that connects them to the origin of Chandela dynasty: It is said that in a fit of passion and lust, the Moon God seduced and ravished a beautiful Brahmin girl named Hemvati, resulting in the birth of Chandravarman (the founder of the Chandela dynasty.
ABOUT WWOOF INDIA
WWOOF INDIA is administered by WWOOF INDIA ORGANICS private limited, a company owned collectively by international organic agriculture expert Mr Harish Tewari , Mr K.R Pandey, and WWOOF India Organic member farms network. WWOOF INDIA ORGANICS is registered in India with the registration number: U01403UR 2010 PTC 033280. WWOOF India administrative functions include matching volunteers to farms, volunteer advice and support, and maintenance and support of the country’s WWOOF network including documentation and sharing of best practices, meetings and informational workshops on successful organic farming.

Mr Harish Tewari (M. Sc Ag) is an Agricultural Micro-Biologist who has worked on projects funded by the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA), the World Bank, The International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), and the Department of Bio-Technology (Govt of India). Mr. Tewari has worked in more than 10 countries across Europe, Africa and Asia, lending his knowledge and expertise to these projects, which focused on organic agriculture, water management and livelihood improvement.
Mr K.R Pandey is the former Establishment Officer of G.B.Pant Agriculture University, Uttarakhand, a leading Agriculture University in Asia.
Additional part time consultants associated with WWOOF India Organics Pvt Ltd come from a wide range of disciplines and possess in-depth knowledge about agricultural production chains that allows them to provide farmers, growers, processors, packers and retailers with cost effective expert advice and technical support relevant to local, regional, national and global markets.

WWOOF INDIA - A 46 Judge Farms , Haldwani , Nainital , Uttrakhand , India
Email: sewak1@rediffmail.com . Phone : 0091-9406567597or 9837240600 www.wwoofindia.org


 
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