Organic farming in Nepal – rural development that strengthen communities.
The past Monday, I had the honor and pleasure to give a lecture at Fenix, the environmental association at Malmö Högskola. (More information: https://fenixmiljoforening.wordpress.com/about/)
I begun with inviting the audience to answer some questions on the state of the world today. I also spent some time situating the rural development project that I’ve been working with in Nepal in a wider context, outlining three major, global trends.
The world is improving in many ways, more people than ever before are having access to education, healthcare and opportunities to improve their lives. At the same time, the inequality gap is widening, both within and between countries. Humans, as a species, are destroying the environment that we, and other creatures that live on this planet, need to survive. Because of these trends, projects such as the organic farming project I worked with in Nepal are essential. The project inhabits the intersection of social and environmental issues and the work done though the project improves both social and environmental conditions. We talked about the organic farming project, the benefits it brings to the participants and the challenges that are still waiting to be overcome. We discussed the roles of women in Nepal, and how the project can help develop strong female leaders.
One of the audience raised the very important issue of land ownership and how that impacts small farmers. Another person from the audience brought up WWOOF – a truly great way to learn more about organic farming.
I gave the lecture in tandem with Jenny Lagergren, another intern at SOIR-IM/Individuell Människohjälp. (We were interns in two different years, I was in Nepal in the autumn of 2013. Jenny was an intern last year.)
Jenny has been working at the Clean Upper Dharamshala Programme, a SOIR-IM partner organization in India that is run by tibetans in exile. Though her work at the organization focused on waste management and recycling, a large part of her internship experience came to be about human rights and the situation of the tibetan people. Jenny, thank you for a very nice presentation!
Also, thank you very much, Björn, for a lovely welcome and a very well-organized event. I am very happy that I had the chance to come and visit!
A few of you were interested in perhaps doing an internship or volunteering abroad yourselves. Here are some resources.
Sida’s internship program www.globalportalen.se
European Volontary Service http://www.mucf.se/volontar
Folk High Schools http://www.folkhogskola.nu
Statistics on the situation in the world today: http://www.gapminder.org
A Ted talk that introduces the concept of environmental justice: http://www.ted.com/talks/majora_carter_s_tale_of_urban_renewal?language=en