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Organic Farming Internship at an Eco Resort in Bangladesh

Posted by on March 31st, 2014

Title: Organic Farming Intern

Number of Open Positions: 1

Location: Jessore, Bangladesh

Duration: 8 weeks

Salary: 15,000 Tk/ month living stipend (room, board, and transportation within Bangladesh are provided; students are responsible for their own transportation to and from Bangladesh)

Job Description:
Panigram Resort will be a socially and environmentally responsible spa resort located in southern Bangladesh. We are developing a luxury boutique resort with a spa and wellness center that protects the natural and cultural heritage of Bangladesh, provides authentic and distinctive travel experiences to discerning travelers, promotes sustainable development, and improves the quality of life in the host community. The organic farming intern will work with a professor of organic farming and the villagers to establish an organic farming program in the village building on the work done by the previous year’s intern and using the organic farming plots at Panigram as an example. We have a pilot group of about 25 village farmers who are interested in the program. Interns will teach the villagers organic farming techniques, work with them to apply for grants to cover the losses of the first two years where yields are lower due to soil degradation, and help them figure out the distribution channels to the stores that sell organic produce in Dhaka.

Interns also act as ambassadors for Panigram Resort in our host community and are expected to participate in other activities with the villagers such as Friday English lessons with children and movie nights.

You will be staying in the newly constructed staff quarters at the resort property. The rooms are clean and modern and you will have your own private bathroom, but there is no air conditioning.

Interns are given some basic Bangla lessons when they arrive so that they can communicate with the villagers. The Bangladeshi people are very warm and hospitable and our past interns have formed some strong bonds with the community.

The environment is one of work and play where you can take a pottery class in our pottery village, go on a cow cart ride, take a night time boat ride, and truly experience Bangladeshi village life. The resort is currently under construction so you will be a part of the pre-opening process.

Qualifications:
•    Agriculture major preferred, but will also take enthusiastic students with a passion for organic farming
•    Has completed at least their sophomore year
•    Independent worker
•    Comfortable working in foreign cultures

To Apply:
Please send your resume and a cover letter explaining why you are interested in the internship to hr@panigram.com with the subject “Organic Farming Internship” by May 1, 2014. (Applications without cover letters will not be accepted.)

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A Vision for the Handicraft Village

Posted by on June 26th, 2012

Villagers displaying their Nakshi Katha embroidery work

There’s a large group of villagers crowding around. It seems like the whole community has come out to witness me take pictures.  I’m assisting Andrew (Andy) Pike, the Social Entrepreneur Intern from Cornell University to document the women with their handicraft. As I’m photographing each person with her handiwork, I hear a cheerful “Khub bhalo!” repeatedly behind me. It’s coming from Andy who’s inspecting the women’s embroidery work.  I can’t help but chuckle because it’s one of the few Bangla phrases that we interns know. “Khub bhalo” means “very good” and it also happens to be one of Andy’s favorite phrases.  In fact, he and the other intern, Shu, love to say it in reply to any statement or question that’s said to them. But this time, the phrase is used in the right context. Read the rest of this entry »

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Cornell Summer Interns Arrive!

Posted by on June 11th, 2012

Summer is here and so are the interns! This year we have four students, all from Cornell University: a hotel intern, an architecture intern, an entrepreneurship intern, and a landscape architecture/media intern. This summer the interns are working on some of our socially responsible initiatives, from designing our handicraft village to hospitality training for our village employees. Their adventure has already begun with visits to the Panigram Resort site, villages, and Sundarbans–one of the largest mangrove forests in the world and a UNESCO World Heritage Center.

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Shuping Liu

Shuping Liu

Hello! My name is Shuping Liu and I am the architecture intern at Panigram Resort. I’m an architecture major in my fourth year at Cornell University in Ithaca, New York. Coincidentally, I was born in Syracuse, which is only one hour from Ithaca; however, I grew up in Taipei, Taiwan. With my free time I enjoy reading, running and fixing up old bikes. You can check out some of my work at www.shupingliu.com.

As part of Panigram Resort, my main responsibilities will include planning the nearby handicraft village. I will be investigating how the villagers use and build their homes to inform the architecture of proposed market spaces, workrooms and plazas.  My summer experience in Bangladesh has already been unique and rewarding. I am looking forward to putting my skills to use but also to learn from the local villagers. I can’t wait to learn how to tie my new lungi.

 

Yohana Tsegai

Yohana Tsegai

My name is Yohana Tsegai. I am currently a junior in the School of Hotel Administration at Cornell University. Although many people here confuse me for a local Bangladeshi, I was born in Asmara, Eritrea in East Africa. At the age of three, my family and I moved to Houston, Texas in America. No cowboy hats or boots for me, but I’m a proud Texan nonetheless. I’m one of four children — the only girl with three brothers – so I’m pretty independent. I love to travel, especially when I can visit my relatives who live all over the world.

While here at Panigram Resort, I will be in charge of creating a training program for more than 200 employees in a variety of positions. The training will include activities, video modules, and written and verbal exams. I will also be helping the Human Resource Manager craft HR policies that will take into consideration the local culture and customs. I am looking forward to helping Panigram Resort set the standard as Bangladesh’s first five-star resort.

 

Katherine Li

Katherine Li

Asalam elaiykum! My name is Kathy and I was born and raised in the crazy city of Los Angeles, California. I am currently pursuing my master’s degree in landscape architecture and next year will be my final year at Cornell University.  One of my greatest passions is to travel; I have visited more than 20 countries thus far. Most of my travels have taken me to Asia where I love to eat, shop and learn about the area’s culture and architecture.  Spending a year in Japan and traveling inspired me to go back to school to learn more about design and the environment.  I hope to focus my last year of study on sustainability and how it can be applied to ecotourism. As the summer Media Intern at Panigram, my job will be to publicize the activities leading up to the resort’s opening next year.  I am excited to be part of a project that is committed to helping the people in Bangladesh as well as the local environment.

 

Andrew Pike

Andrew Pike

My name is Andrew Pike and I believe in development through business. Growing up and working in East Africa over the past 20 years has taught me that business, as a profit maximizer, is inherently more efficient than aid and is a large part of the solution to poverty.

At the age of 18, I became a social entrepreneur by starting my own small not-just-for-profit business. My business creates eye-catching laptop cases out of ‘Kitenge’, a traditional African fabric with intricate, colorful patterns. Everything is made in formerly war-torn Northern Uganda and allows Mama Lucy, a remarkable local entrepreneur, to expand her tailoring business and to put the 10 children she supports through school. I stress that this is business, not charity.

Panigram, which is energizing the local economy around Jessore, shares my ideals. I am excited to start my main project—a crafts village for disadvantaged women, which will provide them with a self-sustaining and long term flow of income. By selling directly to the tourists, the women are able to get higher and fairer prices and eliminate exploitative middle men.

I study Applied Economics and Management with a specialization in International Trade and Development at Cornell University. I am an avid reader of science fiction, a lover of music, disco boogie, and all things jolly. My ‘to-learn’ list includes headstands, salsa dancing and ironing. Traveling makes me feel alive and I aspire to make the most of the opportunities that cross my path. Folks, the aim is to live the dream.

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English Lessons Resume in the Local Village

Posted by on July 17th, 2011

Through our days documenting the village neighboring Panigram, we have come to know many of the local children quite well.  As we walked through the village, they would follow us energetically and inquisitively, watching us sketch, listening to us speak, and examining every little move we made.  The children would point to animals, plants, food, or anything else that might (or might not) interest us, and relay its name to us in Bangla, laughing at our poor pronunciation a few times until we said the word correctly.  In exchange, we would teach them the word in English, which they were so anxious to discover.  These interactions were the first days of our English lessons, which have now officially located to the village school on Friday mornings.

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Mud and Mangoes

Posted by on June 24th, 2011

Now, after almost two weeks of settling into our humble abode in Jessore, we interns, have become quite adjusted to our new lifestyle abroad.  We eat our egg and ruti in the morning before our hour-long autorickshaw ride to the project site; a ride which often makes me think of getting pulled down bumpy sidewalks as a child in my little red metal wagon.  Here, though, the sidewalk is eight feet wider and trucks stacked twenty feet high with local goods like hay, bricks, or goats (though not usually all three together…) fight at top speeds for the extra sliver of road beside me.

Millie waits for our driver Rafik in the autorickshaw.

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Introducing the Interns…

Posted by on June 13th, 2011

We have a great group of interns this year, all architects who will be helping us construct our site office to test out our mud building techniques.

Bradley Kinsey

Bradley Kinsey

Raised on steak, potatoes, and public pools, Bradley was your quintessential product of the American midwest. While the suburbs of Chicago offered him a side yard and picket fence, the idea of  varying topography and open space was all too alluring, so he packed up for the University of Colorado. While at C.U., Bradley’s appetite for new cultures was heightened as he studied abroad in Italy and traveled throughout Europe with the university’s snowboard team. When it was time to move on, Brooklyn, New York came calling to him with a similar lure as Colorado, being the pursuit of architecture and the excitement of a foreign land. Read the rest of this entry »

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Winter Interns Work on Alternative Energy Project

Posted by on January 23rd, 2011

A couple of months ago a student from Cornell emailed me. She said that she had applied for the summer internship last year at Panigram, but unfortunately was not selected. She said that she really wanted to work for my company and was wondering if she could come do a winter internship with me. I thought that three weeks was too short for an internship, but I was impressed with her initiative, and I always enjoy working with students, so I agreed. Her friend Cat (another Cornell engineering student) decided to join her. Read the rest of this entry »

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