Location Vientiane, Laos (with occasional travel to Savannakhet)
Start Date May - Jul 2019 (flexible)
Length of Placement 6 Months
Language Requirements English
English Reading: Level 5, Writing: Level 5, Speaking: Level 5
Language Scale: http://cusointernational.org/languageratingscale
Open to Canadian Citizens and Permanent Residents of Canada only
The Volunteer’s Role
We are looking for a volunteer like you to help our partner capture stories through PhotoVoice to raise the voices of farmers- especially women, about the challenges they face in adapting agricultural practices to climate change effects. These stories will influence decision makers at a provincial and national level to better understand farmers situations, and change policies accordingly.
Initial photo and videos have been generated with Savannakhet University Students, so your rile will improve the quality of what is available as well as produce more photojournalistic material & footage.
As a volunteer, you will:
- Review all resources already produced under PhotoVoice and make recommendations on upgrading the use of what has already been produced. This may involve further work with Cuso volunteers, IRRI interns and Savannakhet University Students
- Produce new photographs, footage, stories and transcripts from the field at Phailom climate smart village, and other potential sources suggested by the IRRI team.
- Compile, edit and consolidate materials to produce high-quality products and enhance Photo Voice outputs under the guidance of IRRI Laos
-Gather other stories on women’s leadership in climate change in liaison with the Cuso Laos office and SE Asia regional management team.
- Contribution to the wider Cuso Laos VOICE program- including collaboration with other volunteers, staff and relevant partners
Essential Academic Qualifications:
-Journalism and Communications
Essential Professional Background:
- Photo Journalism
- Highly developed writing skills
- Production and multi-media
- Publishing and design
About Our Partner
International Rice Research Institute
The International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) is one of 15 international research institutions within the CGIAR Consortium of International Agricultural Research Centers. IRRI is the world’s premier research organization dedicated to reducing poverty and hunger through rice science; improving the health and welfare of rice farmers and consumers; and protecting the rice-growing environment for future generations. IRRI is an independent, nonprofit, research and educational institute, founded in 1960 by the Ford and Rockefeller foundations with support from the Philippine government. The institute, headquartered in Los Baños, Philippines, has offices in 17 rice-growing countries in Asia and Africa, and more than 1,000 staff.
IRRI research and collaborative programming began in Lao PDR in the late 1960s and the first memorandum of understanding (MOU) between Lao PDR and IRRI was signed in 1987. Rice production is an important livelihood for Lao PDR, whose rice sector is rapidly transforming from pure subsistence to more commercial production. IRRI has a wide range of on-going rice research development projects in Lao PDR that include the following initiatives:
- Helping farmers in uplands
Through the Consortium for Unfavorable Rice Environments (CURE), IRRI is helping farmers in Lao PDR’s northern mountain region upgrade their agricultural practices and find varieties that suit their environment, as well as minimize environmental impacts on this fragile environment.
- Helping farmers in irrigated areas
As part of the Irrigated Rice Research Consortium (IRRC), IRRI is helping farmers in irrigated areas adopt beneficial postproduction processing and water management technologies.
- Helping farmers in southern Lao PDR
For farmers in rainfed regions in southern Lao PDR, IRRI is developing improved soil, nutrient, water, and crop management technologies to improve the livelihoods of rural people.
- Breeding better rice varieties
IRRI is developing varieties with beneficial traits, such as drought tolerance, that are important for Lao PDR farmers and that suit different growing regions and conditions.
- Coping with climate change
IRRI is collaborating with Lao PDR researchers to test seasonal weather forecasting, adapt crop management systems, and produce decision support systems. These information resources and tools will help farmers cope with climate change.
- Better grain quality and value
Under the Grain Quality Improvement Network, IRRI is enhancing the aroma of Lao PDR-grown rice to help improve its quality, value, and export appeal.
- Sharing knowledge
IRRI is helping to further develop the Lao PDR Rice Knowledge Bank – an online repository of effective and practical best management practices for rice production.
Cuso International Laos has been partnering with IRRI since 2014 on a programme for Climate Change Agriculture and Food Security at Climate Smart Villages while also supporting aspects of other IRRI programmes through professional volunteering.
Terms and Conditions
Cuso International terms and conditions allow you to lead a modest and healthy lifestyle while being effective in your placement. This support package will cover basic living expenses for one volunteer and is not intended to cover home-based expenses (ex. loans, support payments, etc.) or luxury items such as imported items in placement or international personal travel.
- Modest monthly living allowance (varies depending country)
- Accommodation while in placement
- Return airfare and visa/work permit costs
- Cost of required vaccinations, antimalarial medication and health insurance
- Pre-departure training and in-country orientation
- Travel and accommodation for reintegration debriefing weekend
- Modest support for accompanying partners and dependents going on placement with you for 12 months or longer (Return flight, emergency medical insurance, vaccinations)
- Access to Employee Assistance Program while in placement and upon return
- Travel and accommodation for the five-day pre-departure training course and for in-country orientation
We ask each volunteer, regardless of placement length, to raise $2,000. All volunteers receive support from Cuso International to help achieve the goal through fundraising. If the volunteer chooses not to fundraise or is unable to achieve the fundraising goal, he/she can make a one-time donation or become a monthly donor to support our work.
Depending on the nature of the placement, volunteers are encouraged to provide e-volunteering support to the local partner or to Cuso International before or after their field placement. Volunteers can also request e-volunteer support to help them with their work, or any other partner-requested task while they are in placement.
Residency and Citizenship
The majority of Cuso International volunteer applicants are residing in Canada at the time of application and during the pre-departure process. Occasionally we received applications from volunteer applicants who are residing outside of Canada at the time of application. In both instances, between your application date and placement start date, we must be able to contact you and you must be able to contact us easily and promptly throughout the process.
We may require your passport and would need to be aware of your current place of residence and any travel plans you may have during this time. You will also require unrestricted access to Canada during this time for training, as applicable.
Leaving your country of residence can have significant effects on your citizenship status in that country. It is your responsibility to research the consequences of travelling to Canada during the pre-departure process if you are living outside of Canada and of leaving your country of residence for a placement with the immigration authority where you live.
By applying to this placement, you accept full responsibility for any consequences related to your citizenship, residency and immigration status or penalties as a result of travel to pre-departure training, an international placement or other Cuso International related travel.
You must check the implications that apply to you, but examples include:
- Canadian permanent residents may need to make arrangements with immigration authorities before travelling. These arrangements allow them to travel without risk to their status in Canada. Without them, residency status may be withdrawn.
- Citizens of other countries, including those visiting Canada on a visa, may have travel restrictions.