The Asian Rural Institute (ARI), a partner and friend of ECHO Asia, offers a nine-month residential training program in sustainable agriculture, community organizing, and servant leadership – relevant to many of the ECHO Asia network members. This training is designed for rural leaders living and working in rural Asia, Africa, the Pacific Islands, and Latin America. ECHO Asia network members who are grassroots rural leaders and working with a local organization that serves the marginalized in their community, are encouraged to apply.
Because this training is designed for individuals and organizations working at the grassroots level, ARI finds funding for tuition, room, board, housing, and travel. ARI is Christian in inspiration, but welcomes people of any faith. Since 1973 ARI has trained over 1,300 leaders from 55 countries, of many ethnicities and faiths.
Applications for the training program are due May 31st. For more details regarding the application process, visit ARI’s website. You can also contact ARI by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org, or by sending mail to this address: ARI Recruitment, 442-1 Tsukinokizawa, Nasushiobara, Tochigi-ken, Japan 329-2703.
More About ARI
Located in Northern Japan, each year ARI conducts a “Rural Leaders Training Program” which focuses on three areas of rural development – leadership, sustainable agriculture through integrated organic farming, and participatory community building. Each year ARI invites about 30 rural community leaders who have the passion and commitment to work for the betterment of their own communities, to take part in this program. After completing nine months of training at ARI, graduates are expected to return home and share their new learnings and adapt these to their own local contexts. In other words, this training is not intended only for an individual, but for a whole community.
Founded in 1973 by Rev. Toshiro Takami, ARI’s program is community-based, with participants coming from countries primarily in Asia, Africa, the Pacific Islands, and Latin America. ARI also strongly promotes the training of women leaders, as their voices and participation are essential in creating any strong community. ARI is a Christian-based institution, but their training has always been open to people of all religions; each year’s class often includes people of Buddhist, Christian, Muslim, and/or Hindu faith. From this culturally, religiously, and linguistically diverse group, trainees, staff and volunteers work together to build a cohesive learning community that is centered on the healthy production of food.