HELP International

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International Volunteer Green Technology Certification Programs

HELP International offers one- to six-month volunteer internship programs at HELP's Center for Ecology Research and Training at Weyburn, Saskatchewan, Canada for both Canadian and International volunteers.
The internship provides aggressive on-the-job training in a wide range of green technologies, appropriate technologies, modern technologies, combined with on-the-job training in logistics and performance management systems. While the program covers a wide range of green and modern technologies relating to forestry and recycling technologies (depending upon the season) the program focuses on HELP's mandate of developing and modeling techniques, methodologies and simple new technologies for manufacturing new products or buildings from waste, and for proliferating trees at low to zero cost.
HELP has pioneered many new zero waste technologies and forestry applications in phytoremediation in Canada and Kenya, Africa and has many more such developments under way. 
The normal annual season for this internship (which has been running since HELP's inception in 1993/94) is from April through August of each year which also coincides with our warmest weather and is the time when 80% of our international and Canadian interns and volunteers participate.
April through mid June is the planting season when we carry out the bulk of our field forestry activities. In June we host live-in school students at our ecology camp. In July and August the focus is on environmental research. September and October we carry out our new fall (cooler season) forestry program of tree planting. November through March is the cold winter with a lot of snow and temperature varying from zero to minus 40 degrees Celsius.  During this time most of the work is indoors. The focus is on bookkeeping, marketing and facility upgrades (roofing, flooring, paneling, drywalling, plumbing, electrical etc). Usually it is only the CEO and one or two other volunteers who carry on winter programming.
April through October we also carry out small scale manufacturing from recycled goods. This includes manufacturing tree mulch pads from 9,000 square feet grain bags (350 feet long bags!), milling of styrofoam, and some low tech paper milling.
Marketing is a new very important focus for the winter months or whenever there is a volunteer with this interest. We have produced new products from recycled materials and must now work at creating markets to take advantage of:
  • our strong inventory position.
  • the economic opportunity our unique green products offer in terms of revenue generation for HELP and its programs.
  • our current competitive advantage created by the innovative products we have developed.
This environmental internship program is considered the most aggressive and challenging in Canada and is not for everyone. We look for physically/emotionally/psychologically robust people who are service-driven and who have significant life experience to show they can handle serious challenges and steep learning curves.  A farm background or environmental sciences background is an asset but not essential. The physical demands, the sometimes hot/dry/windy climate (depending upon the year), and the wide diversity of programming can be very challenging. The program can involve the use of over one hundred technologies from operating a car and truck, tractors, cultivation equipment, mowers, mills, simple appro-tech brick press, roof tile form, fiberboard maker, tree planter, tree mulch applicator, power tools (wood saws, drills, presses, metal chop saw, arc and oxy-acetylene welders), plus traditional technologies such as mud and thatch house building, traditional tool making and stone carving. Interns must be able to be willing to be corrected several dozens of times due to trying so many new things.  Making small mistakes and being corrected is normal and the intern needs to be patient with themselves as well as with their coach and their host organization. Many interns thrive in this environment; others with little or no work experience find the program too challenging. HELP is therefore very selective from the people who apply to this program.
Three types of internships are currently available:
A one- to six-month volunteer internship certification program for international and Canadian adults.  Internships are available year round, however the bulk of the forestry and horticulture programming is carried out in the April through mid October period. The program is open to undergrads who require an internship as a part of their undergraduate degree and is also open to higher level students who utilize our program to carry out Masters or PhD level environmental research.
A variable (shorter) term volunteer internship for international and Canadian adults with negotiable start time and length of stay.
A subsidized-tuition green technology internship for Canadian students who will return to their studies in the fall.
A more detailed description of current ongoing research can be found on the 'Strategic Technologies for Development' pages.

 © HELP International 2014