Location Xaythany, Laos
Start Date Jun - Aug 2017 (flexible)
Length of Placement 24 Months
Language Requirements English
English Reading: Level 4, Writing: Level 4, Speaking: Level 4
Language Scale: http://www.cusointernational.org/languageratingscale
Open to Canadian Citizens and Permanent Residents only
The overall purpose of the placement is to provide support to small holder farmers in Laos in developing, adapting and innovating technologies and practices related to soil and water management in order to improve agriculture and food security, in response to climate change effects. The activities will be primarily focused at Phailom village, but will also be focused at other sites in the surrounding sites. Occasional support of activities at Phailom climate smart village in Savannakhet province will also be likely from time to time.
As a volunteer, you will:
- Facilitate improved collaboration, cooperative working relationships, information management and activity coordination in CSV development in Phailom village with the relevant stakeholders, under the oversight of the National Agriculture and Forestry Research Institute & IRRI researchers based in IRRI office in Vientiane Capital, Laos.
- Support continuous learning and adaptive research & participatory trials to increase understanding and ownership by farmers and staff assigned from local agricultural office to the CSV village site in Phailom village and neighboring areas in Champhone District.
- Work closely with IRRI in soil and watershed management, rainwater harvesting, small-scale irrigation and micro-catchment pond design & construction with practical applications to local production measures.
- Support validation of maps and overlays for field water availability and water catchment & topography, soil types, etc. with GIS ground sensing.
-Contribute to the development of project concept proposals and collaborative partnership formation for wider dissemination & scaling out of CSV technologies.
- Follow up with community mobilization and organization with activities for CSA and small business start-up and marketing the target groups at Ekxang village within a strategic framework for improvement of livelihoods in liaison with local consultants, resource persons and other volunteers.
- Identify gender mainstreaming activities and initiatives that directly tackle issues relating to inclusion (marginalized women, people with disabilities, indigenous minority groups) and opportunities to improve women’s social & economic empowerment
Essential Academic Qualifications:
Degree in Agricultural Sciences / Horticultural Production and Water Management
Essential Professional Background:
- Agriculture/ horticulture project implementation
- Horticultural production skills and experience in
- Experience and proven competencies in community development, farmer facilitation and application of
- Experience of water and soil management projects social science research.
- GIS and mapping skills in the agricultural sector
- Experience or knowledge of enterprise & business development in the agricultural sector.
National Agriculture and Forestry Research Institute
The National Agriculture and Forestry Research Institute was established in 1999 in order to consolidate agriculture and forestry research activities within the country and develop a coordinated National Agriculture and Forestry Research System under the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry.
Vision: The National Agriculture and Forestry Research Institute envisions the future where the poverty in rural areas is reduced through improvement of agriculture production systems which support a higher state of food security, increased income for rural farmers, and the utilization of natural resources is managed sustainably.
Mission: The National Agriculture and Forestry Research Institute aims to contribute to the goals of the Government of Laos by carrying out integrated ‘research for development’ to overcome specific problems limiting production and causing degradation of natural resources. The National Agriculture and Forestry Research Institute will also work closely with different levels of policy-makers to provide feedback and advice to ensure a more supportive policy environment. Finally, the National Agriculture and Forestry Research Institute will strengthen information and communication systems within Laos so that a range of actors have better access to information and knowledge to make informed decisions at different levels.
- To develop appropriate methods and technologies to strengthen agriculture production systems for different regions in Laos and focus on ensuring food security as well as income generation opportunities for rural farmers.
- To develop alternative options for upland farmers to cope and adapt their production systems to the rapid changes occurring in the country.
- To support the development of improved methods to ensure the sustainable management of land and natural resources.
- To provide MAF with information and guidance on emerging and globally linked opportunities and problems in the sector.
- To improve access to information and knowledge of different actors so they can make informed decisions at different levels.
- Strengthen the capacity of the National Agriculture and Forestry Research Institute and its local partners to undertake research and provide effective research support activities.
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
- Access to Employee Assistance Program while in placement and upon return
- Cuso International assessment day (Candidates must cover the first $200 of the most cost-effective travel expenses and all accommodation costs).
- 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 Cuso International before or after the field placement. Volunteers also have the option of requesting support from an e-volunteer to help them with their work 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 assessment and 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 an assessment day, training course, 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.