Friday, October 26, 2007

Mekong School Announcement

Applications are now being accepted for the Mekong School

The EarthRights School (ERS) - Mekong is a unique training programming for activists from the Mekong Region (Yunnan/China, Burma, Laos, Thailand, Cambodia, and Vietnam) whose work focuses on environmental issues and human rights. The seven month-long training program uses experiential learning methods to equip participants from the region with skills required to conduct research, gather data, and effectively campaign around environmental issues affecting the region. The training will take place in Chiang Mai, Thailand from June to December of 2008. Housing, transportation, and a modest living stipend will be provided to successful candidates.

This year the Mekong School will focus on large dams, infrastructure projects, and international financial institutions (IFIs). The program will provide students with research, writing, and intercultural skills, and substantive knowledge and experience to voice their individual and collective concerns about IFI-funded projects, and related transparency and participation issues within the Mekong basin. Graduates of the program will form a strong network of environmental advocates who, acting together, can effectively campaign on behalf of affected communities who are currently underrepresented.

The goals of the EarthRights School-Mekong 2008 session are:

· for students to understand both the negative and positive impacts of current and past international financial institution-funded projects and how affected communities in the Mekong region and other nearby countries have responded;
· to develop relevant knowledge and 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 return to respective countries.

The training program is divided into two months of instruction in the classroom followed by a two months practicum in which participants will return to their home countries to undertake research and documentation work on key projects. After the practicum, the participants will return to the school for a two month session focussing on media messaging, advocacy and campaign planning.

Applications will be accepted through March 10, 2008. For more information and an application form, please contact the Mekong School Coordinator at

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