We know that we are always lucky to get some great college interns to spend time with us and learn more about the non profit, volunteer and farming worlds that keep this place moving forward. We are also always struck by how having our farms serve as a great community resource that can really get students focused and thinking about their individual impact in the world. We constantly marvel at where our interns end up landing with many finding their way in non-profit work, education, service or volunteer farming roles as they leave school and begin to plot their futures. Two of last years interns have found themselves studying abroad this semester and are reporting back on their exciting experiences. Both of their programs have a focus on food and farming and we could not wait to share their observations with you.
Jenny Rubin, Clark University:
I’m studying abroad in Windhoek, Namibia for the semester and studying development, politics, religion, and culture. Through my classes and my experience, I’ve learned a lot about farming here in Namibia. This country is mostly rural, so a lot of subsistence farming happens here, about 30% or more of Namibians rely on farming for livelihood, mostly in the subsistence sector. Commercial farming of grains also contributes a lot to the country’s economy. However, most of the country’s formal and informal economy is based off of meat production, specifically cattle. Cattle grazing has been a cultural practice in Namibia throughout the country for centuries, and Namibia exports all the beef that feeds surrounding countries like South Africa in addition to supplying its own citizens as well. This week, my program is traveling to Khorixas, a town in the Northern region that is made up of mostly subsistence farmers. In this excursion, we will be able to learn a lot about how members of the town feed themselves and their families. I’ll also be able to learn a lot about the farming methods used by residents and be able to compare them to what I learned at CHP this past summer!
Leta Branham, Clark University:
I never knew I was interested in agriculture and farming until interning at Community Harvest Project. I was originally attracted to working with Community Harvest Project because of their community involvement, but soon discovered that I really loved working on a farm. My summer internship developed into a fall internship, which meant that I got to see the farm transition into off season and really got to know the inner workings of managing a farm. My internship at CHP has cultivated a passion in agriculture, which I am applying to my major in International Development and Social Change by focusing on agriculture, environment and development. I’m currently studying abroad in Dakar, Senegal and taking an environment and development class which has allowed me to learn about farming practices in West Africa. Further, I got the opportunity to visit a small farming village for a week, where I got to work with local villagers on their farms. The best part about learning about agriculture here is finding similarities in farming practices across the globe, and understanding the reasons behind it from everything that I learned while interning. I’m looking forward to coming back to visit CHP and working once again on the farm that will forever have a place in my heart.
We hope that both Jenny and Leta continue to have a great experience as they wrap up their final weeks of the semester in Africa. It is clear to us that both of these amazing young ladies are charting a path to the future that will have great impact on their communities. We are proud of the work that they are doing and the fact that we were able to share in their growth. The ability of CHP to share our resources with students and leave a lasting impression is just one of the many reasons that this organization continues to grow.