Field Study Internship

Interns from all over the world come to India and are responsible for the design and implementation of a permaculture project in Aranya’s Tribal Development Program Area. Interns will visit many successful projects and see the results of various permaculture practices. Following Aranya Agricultural Alternatives successful development method, interns will live with villagers, learning from them about their traditional ways and needs, developing relationships and community trust. Interns will  then be mentored in creating their own permaculture project, implementing it, and following up on long-term results.

1) Social Study of the Village:
Interns learn about social mapping and surveying. They spend time interacting with villager’s lives, teachings and social customs, and learn from locals, gaining their trust and respect. [Certification requires a social report.]

2) Environmental Study:
Interns work on recording a plant database, methods of animal husbandry, climate and land use by people.  Interns learn how to do a report of the present environmental situation and make an evaluation of what is possible and what is probable.

3)  Design Project:
Map land and project area, reasons for project and its projected impact. Interns create a design for their farm and once approved they facilitate the implementation  of the project with the villagers help, creating sustainable  caretaking of the project for long-term continuance.

4) Final report:
Follow-up report with actual impact of permaculture project.

Interns require previous permaculture education to be admitted to the program, preferably Permaculture Design Course (PDC) or have the equivalent education or experience to be admitted to the program. If there are more applicants than space allows, interns will be chosen based on agricultural experience.
Interns completing their project receive Aranya Agricultural Alternative’s Permaculture Practitioner in International Aid Certification.

Detailed Internship Curriculum Outline

Narsanna Koppula teaching 2015 internshipIntroduction (3 days)
Starts Jan. 11, 2016
Aranya Agricultural Alternatives organization and history.
Visit Aranya’s City Farm School (Permaculture Patashala) location.
Visit rooftop water harvesting sites that directly recharge wells.
Time for shopping for supplies i.e. appropriate Indian clothing.
Aranya FarmWater harvesting Earthworks Course
Jan. 15-19
Watershed education and government projects.
Survey techniques: how to create contours using A frame, U tube and dumpy level.
Water harvesting structures: water absorption trenches, swales, percolation tanks, ponds, dam walls, spillways, gully plugs, check dams, gabion structures and stone outlets.
Landforms – concepts of design.  Ridge, ravine, gully, rill.
Planting and soil erosion.

10801995_762204000534588_7054799123218256544_nVillage farm visits (4 days)
Small farmers who have worked with Aranya and are using permaculture and biodiverse practices.
Telegu language class.

Permaculture techniques practicum (6 days)
Jan. 25-30
Thatch construction, compost, nursery, seed collection and preservation, windbreak plantings, alley cropping planting.
Farm and herbal forest flora identification and uses.
Contour bunding and percolation tank installation.

Social and Environmental Study
Starts Jan. 25 for 3 weeks
Interns learn, listen and get to know villagers they will be working with.  Trust, respect and friendships are built mutually during this time.

11037889_818428651578789_6399936377311139704_n1 week village home stay.
Telugu language practice and learning.
Social mapping and socioeconomic survey.
Nutritional and food habit assessment.
Health assessment.
Discussions about needs and issues.
Study of plants and trees in village and farms.
Farm cropping assessment.
Matrix participatory educational farmer interaction.
Assessment of capacity building needs.
Forest walk with villagers.
Forest department and tribal department visit.
Climate and environmental research.
Work for a morning with 100 days government work program.
Natural and local home construction with mud and thatch.
Introduction to Permaculture for Villagers workshop.

9 day Recreational Break
Feb. 20 -28 Rest, relaxation, or Independent exploration of India.

11205007_818430371578617_8753278023504778960_nPermaculture Design (3 weeks)
Feb 29 – Mar.19
Selection of clients.
Client interview.
Site survey.
Base mapping.
Water harvesting earthworks planning and mapping.
Planting plan.
Implementation plan.

Water harvesting earthworks workshop for villagers.
Lessons on local intercropping patterns and appropriate tree species.

Implementation of Permaculture Design Plan (3 weeks)
Mar.20 – Apr. 9
Management of earthworks implementation.
11203172_818430704911917_7850782970485934861_nSoil fertility lesson.
Soil Fertility workshop for villagers.
Compost and Mulch procurement.
Seed collection and preservation.
Seed education with villagers.
Nursery creation.

Final Days (2 days, completing Apr. 12)
Final presentation of permaculture design project.
Aranya Board of Directors presentation.
Sharing documents and photos.
Debrief and evaluation.

2 month break during extreme hot season.  Returning June 13 at the beginning of the rainy season to implement the planting part of the design.
During this break, interns complete a detailed project report.

Planting Implementation
11016975_818432108245110_2456558226353761177_nJune 13 – July 15 rainy season
Planting of trees, local annual crops and live fencing.
Pitchari pot irrigation.
Microbial innoculants and bio-inputs class and application.
Assessment and design for village rainy season water issues.
Capacity building with villagers.
Market analysis and idea generation for villager cash income.

Follow up Report
August 2017
Follow up report assessing success and impact of the intern’s permaculture project.  The intern will learn what worked in their design plan and what needs adjustment or follow up and will make suggestions. [Intern can do follow-up report in-person or receive photos and information from Aranya staff or interns of the following year.] The report will be evaluated by Narsanna Koppula and Raya Cole.

Upon completion of their project, interns receive Aranya Agricultural Alternatives Permaculture in International Aid Certification.  They will have the skills necessary to implement a successful international aid project in other parts of the world. Successful intern projects will be showcased in the 2017 International Permaculture Conference tours.

11041764_818426801578974_1255497637290432266_nCost:  $4550 US
Includes food, accommodation, transport, translator and mentorship.

Airfare to India is the intern’s responsibility

Crowd-funding: Projects can be completed in the name of an organization or community that sponsors the intern; consider fundraising in your local community to help support the implementation of this international aid project that creates long term resilience. We will support fundraising initiatives with our web materials to interns once accepted.


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