Internships in 2020

Since 2007, the Agrecol Association for AgriCulture & Ecology (Agrecol e.V.) has been offering internships and travel grants for a 6 to 12-month internship with an overseas partner organisation of Agrecol e.V.

Applications are open to students enrolled at universities or colleges of applied sciences in German-speaking countries. All other applications will be ignored.

This initiative, supported by Agrecol e.V., offers the opportunity to acquire practical knowledge in sustainable agriculture and land management in a developing country. By living and working in a different sociocultural environment, students can also gain valuable intercultural experiences. Cooperation with the partner organisations (nongovernmental organisations/NGOs) and the local farmer organisations supported by them provides the trainees with intensive insights into everyday life and the working conditions of the rural people in the project areas.

Agrecol e.V. can arrange up to three internships in 2020 and provide support in the following areas:

  • Agrecol e.V. will cover the cost of the outward and return flights (economy class) between Europe and the host country in which the partner organisation operates.
  • At least one member of the association as well as former interns are available to prepare and answer questions before and during the overseas stay.
  • After completing the internship, an invitation will be made and the costs for travel and accommodation will be covered for an Agrecol e.V. meeting (in Germany or a neighbouring country), where the interns will present their experiences abroad.

Agrecol e.V. is not in a position to cover any additional costs associated with the internship (e.g. visa, vaccinations, health insurance) beyond those listed above.

For the year 2020, the partner organisations Agrecol–Andes (Bolivia) and Agrecol–Afrique (Senegal) are prepared to accept and supervise trainees. It is expected that the students selected for the travel scholarships will agree on the further modalities for the internship with the host organisation.

For Agrecol e.V. (Germany), the intern will report regularly on his/her activities with posts on the Agrecol e.V. internship blog. In addition, a final report will be prepared and presented at an Agrecol meeting (preferably together with a photo presentation).

 

Information about the internship at Agrecol–Andes in Bolivia

The Agrecol–Andes Foundation is an NGO providing knowledge management services in the field of agroecology and rural development in Bolivia. Through training, capitalisation of experiences, promotion of participatory methods, dissemination of information and advisory services, Agrecol–Andes aims to accompany change processes in order to contribute to the improvement of living conditions in rural Andean societies.

Agrecol–Andes has its headquarters in Cochabamba and a branch office in Santa Cruz. The organisation employs about 20 people (professionals and support staff).

Agrecol–Andes aims to promote local agriculture and rural development in the Andean region of Bolivia. To this end, adapted cultivation techniques and marketing strategies are tested and disseminated. The advisory work focuses on the sustainable use of natural resources and the socially acceptable anchoring of these forms of production in rural communities.

For the year 2020, AgrecolAndes has the interest and need to have an intern in one of the following projects:

  • Strategy development for rural water management: identification of local water reserves and consumption structures as well as development of conservation and protection measures for natural water reserves with user groups
  • Development of marketing structures for processed organic products of a local network of organic farming groups.

The tasks and location of the trainee will be specified by AgrecolAndes according to the requirements of the respective project. The exact preparation for the internship will be agreed with AgrecolAndes.

For example, interns with AgrecolAndes in Bolivia can gain experience in the areas of work and life listed below:

  • Cooperation with an international NGO and with Bolivian farmer organisations
  • Collaboration in implementing development projects
  • Knowledge of participatory advisory approaches that include technical, organisational and strategic aspects.
  • Insights into Bolivian culture, cultural and intercultural impressions in work and private life
  • Creativity, initiative and improvisation.

Further information on AgrecolAndes can be found on the Internet: www.agrecolandes.org

 

Information about the internship with Agrecol–Afrique in Senegal

Agrecol–Afrique is an NGO that has been carrying out projects to promote ecological agriculture in Senegal since 1996. The organisation is based in the city of Thiès. Agrecol–Afrique is committed to food security in Senegal and West Africa. The staff of Agrecol–Afrique, involving various actors in agricultural and rural development, provide information, training and advice on organic farming. Agrecol–Afrique is a supporting member of a national association for the promotion of organic agriculture (FENAB: Fédération Nationale pour l'Agriculture Biologique) founded in 2009.

Since late 2019, Agrecol–Afrique is one of the organisations responsible for implementing the new project "Knowledge Centre for Organic Agriculture in West Africa" funded by German development cooperation (GIZ). In cooperation with ENDA-Pronat (Environnement et Développement et Action du Tiers-Monde – Protection naturelle) and FENAB, a digital platform for knowledge exchange is to be established (Pôle de Connaissances en Agriculture Biologique en Afrique). The partner organisations are responsible for collecting, processing, compiling and disseminating relevant knowledge and adapted, proven practices/technologies for organic farming in West Africa, initially in five countries (Senegal, Mali, Benin, Gambia and Nigeria).

Within the framework of this new project, AgrecolAfrique has the opportunity and the means to employ interns. Detailed job descriptions are available in French and can be forwarded if interested. Essentially, this involves the preparation and implementation of market surveys. To prepare the market surveys, the trainee is to take part in short exploratory studies, using mainly qualitative methods. The current marketing systems and the needs of the farmers are to be described with regard to future improvements in their marketing possibilities. In detail, the tasks can be described as follows:

  • Participation in developing market information systems for local markets and organic products
  • Participation in surveys, evaluations and processing of information on selected rural markets
  • Conceptual support in the developing survey design, databases and information platform for knowledge exchange (network)
  • Cooperation in process support, documentation and "capitalisation" (lessons learnt).

Also the development organisation AgriBio Services (Agriculture Biologique et ses Services) offers the opportunity to do an internship in 2020. This independent NGO is also based in Thiès and works closely with AgrecolAfrique and the network Prolinnova (PROmoting Local INNOVAtion in ecologically oriented agriculture and natural resource management) (www.prolinnova.net). AgriBio Services, in collaboration with AgrecolAfrique and other partners in Senegal, has established the Centre de Ressources en Agriculture Biologique et Economie Sociale et Solidaire (CraBes) in Thiès (https://crabes.org).

The overall objective of AgriBio Services is to promote organic farming and local solidarity savings banks (calebasses de solidarité) as a means of developing sustainable food and food security for Senegalese households. AgriBio Services pursues the following specific objectives:

  • Strengthening the organisational capacities of vulnerable groups through participatory innovation development (PID)
  • Assistance in developing agro-ecological and biological-organic value chains
  • Support to and accompaniment of monitoring, evaluation and documentation of local agro-ecological innovations in the fight against hunger, poverty and debt.

A possible task for interns at AgriBio Services is providing support in the area of documentation. The following requirements were specified:

  • Development of documentation tools (flyers, reports, catalogues, policy papers, short videos etc.) about the work of AgriBio Services.
  • For CraBes: documentation of the experiences of the Prolinnova–Senegal platform (in which both Agribio Services and Agrecol–Afrique are members) regarding agroecology and PID in the Sahel
  • Participation in dissemination of partner organisations’ documents on innovative approaches, methods and techniques at local, national and international level.

The tasks and the location of the intern will be specified by AgrecolAfrique or Agribio Services according to the requirements of the respective project. The detailed preparation of the content of the internship will be coordinated with AgrecolAfrique or Agribio Services.

Further information on the two NGOs can be found on the Internet:

 

Required profile for all internships (Senegal and Bolivia):

The internship holder should:

  • be studying at a university or college of applied sciences in a German-speaking country (non-German students can also apply);
  • have basic knowledge and/or experience in the management of organised groups (farm production, processing and marketing);
  • bring along a notebook (PC) which can be used at work;
  • have basic knowledge of (organic) agriculture;
  • show interest and empathy for working with small-scale farmers in different sociocultural contexts;
  • be a dynamic, open and committed personality;
  • bring a high degree of autonomy and self-organisation skills;
  • have good language skills (Spanish for Bolivia; French for Senegal) for communication at the working level (an interview with Agrecol–Andes / Agrecol–Afrique will be conducted via Skype as part of the selection process)
  • be not older than 30 years. 

 

Period of the internship:

The internship should start, after consultation with the host organisation, between June and August 2020 and should last at least six months, but can be extended up to 12 months after agreement. 

 

General application information:

The application, consisting of a convincing letter of motivation in German and Spanish (for Bolivia) or French (for Senegal), concrete details about the desired period of internship and a curriculum vitae in German, Spanish or French, should be sent by e-mail as one pdf file to info@agrecol.org and keesgoergen@aol.com

The deadline for applications is 28 February 2020.

Applicants will be notified at latest by the end of March 2020.