I am Jeremy Taylor, a current junior at Fort Lewis College, pursuing a bachelor's degree in Environmental Studies with Biology minor and a focus on Tribal Conservation. This next summer I am planning to fulfill the internship requirements for my degree by volunteering in Ngongongare Village of Arusha National Forest, Tanzania. I will be conducting environmental/conservation-related work, such as but not limited to: water treatment, tree planting, nursery management and community development. I will stay in the village for an approximate five weeks and work a minimum accumulation of 150 hours. This will give me a chance to expand my ever growing knowledge of cross-cultural understanding and what Tribal conservation truly means. Thus, understanding how Tribal conservation can be applied in a world where conservation efforts are increasing but not necessarily for the right reasons.
It is important that conservation efforts do not only set aside parks, wildlife preserves, and serene areas for recreation but also allow for a holistic approach. There are many cultures still existent that have embedded views on how to properly be stewards to the land. Their cultural practices, plants, spirituality and autonomy rely on a holistic conservation approach that allows for the protection of their sake and not just for the sake of endangered species or forests. More often than not the framework in which conservation was created allows for the displacement of people, their traditional cultural resources and their deep connection to the landscape. In summation, conservation efforts must keep in mind the principles of "generalized" Indigenous worldviews and also the foundations of environmental justice (humans are a part of the environment and still depend on it). This trip will further my studies in Tribal conservation and will ultimately allow for the creation of my own tribal conservation/land stewardship ethic that I can use to represent Tribal communities and non-profit conservation efforts in the years to come.
Cross Continental Solutions, Inc. is a non-profit organization seeking to give back to impoverished local communities and to make a difference in the global community while promoting cross-cultural understandings. Many Tanzanian communities and villages are far from ever living the lush life that is so familiar to American families. Most citizens of Tanzania, besides the political and wealthy elite, live on less than $1 per day. Without any sign of being able to seek the benefits of up-to-date/modern consumerism they will never have the sorts of phones, furniture, beds or other accommodations we take for granted. Yet because of their socioeconomic standing and their access to scarce resources they often take on the harms associated with producing such accommodations. Being directly tied to their land and habitat, Indigenous communities of Tanzania are threatened much greater by the effects of consumerism and environmental degradation that is often inflicted by highly developed nations.
Besides volunteer work I will also be conducting an independent research that will assess whether the conservation methods conducted by the local program in Arusha National Forest are that of the mainstream conservation model, of Tribal Conservation models or a mixture of both. Also is there any effort to convert to a more holistic approach if one has not already begun? Then I will look to see how the Tribal communities are being represented and/or involved in the conservation process. This study will serve as the basis for on-going research that I will synthesize for my Senior Thesis and Seminar projects. What a better way to do it right? Literature reviews and the synthesis of other scholar's ideas can only do so much, but to have my own data and ideas... What else could you ask for?
Now that you've heard my spiel, I'd like to leave you with just one more clump of information. I really need financial help with this internship. While some internships are paid for, this one will not be. I will have to pay for:
* the program itself (including enrollment fees)
* Tanzanian work visa
* international flight
* travel insurance
* immunizations and other personal fees incl. transportation
I understand we aren't all made of money, but all I can ask is that if interested, donate what you can. Anything counts! Whether the amount is $5 or $50 or perhaps even $500, it all increases my chance and furthers my ability to secure this opportunity. You will also be able to say hey, "I had the opportunity to financially support a project seeking to aid marginalized indigenous communities. And I had the chance to give spare cash (that may have been spent on things we don't need) to someone who could use that money for an entire week or month!" Note that while the visa, flight, insurance and personal fees are being paid to me, the program fees (approx. $900) will go directly to CCS which will then funnel the money to Ngongongare Village and the community members! Again- CCS IS NON-PROFIT! Also because this is for educational purposes any donations are certainly tax deductible! Keep in mind that even if a portion of the money will not go directly to the community, the goal of the trip itself and my work will most certainly directly aid these communities.
I will be publishing copies of my personal journal, pictures and research papers that I will produce on this trip. If interested, those who donate the specified amounts will have access to those.
I will return from my trip sometime around mid-July 2013 so if you want any of that an exchange of contact information is necessary. Also keep in mind how the payment system works. While donors will never be charged fees for donating, the recipient (me) will be charged 5% by gofundme.com and 2.9% $.30 by Paypal on every transaction.
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