EarthRights International’s Mekong School is a unique training program for civil society advocates from the Mekong Region (China, Myanmar,Lao PDR, Thailand, Cambodia, and Vietnam) who are working on environmental and human rights issues. The seven month-long training program focuses on the impacts of large-scale infrastructure projects, particularly hydropower dams, and how citizens are engaged in advocating for more equitable development in the Mekong region. Through a series of field visits, students examine the the potential impacts of various projects, such as the series of hydropower dams currently planned and under construction along the mainstream of the Mekong and its tributaries, on local livelihoods and the environment. Finally, program graduates focus on ways in which they can join together as alumni to advocate for greater public participation and transparency in Mekong development planning.
The goals of the Mekong School session are:
- for students to develop an understanding of the impacts of hydropower dams and other large-scale development projects, as well as the views and approaches of various stakeholders
- for students to understand and analyze what methods communities have utilized for greater protection of human rights and the environment
- to develop students’ practical skill base in research, advocacy and campaign work; and
- to develop strong relationships, networks and concrete campaign plans for implementation upon graduation and the students’ return to their respective countries.
Our ideal candidates are individuals who are working on environmental, human rights, or community development issues, who are enthusiastic about partnering with other activists from the region and who have the capacity to become effective community leaders and/or advocates. We have no formal education requirements, but require basic English communications skills. The training takes place in Chiang Mai, Thailand from June to December of each year, and includes a two-month practicum in which students return to their home countries to conduct field work. Housing, transportation, and a modest living stipend are provided to successful candidates.
The deadline for applications is February 1 of each year. For more information, please visit our website at www.earthrights.org. To request an application form, please contact the Mekong School Coordinator at email@example.com.