Congratulations on your decision to pursue an international co-op! The process involves two steps and both must be completed by the application deadline indicated below (App Deadline) but not necessarily in this order. You must apply to the position and a mandatory meeting with an international team member is required. This meeting can be scheduled by calling 215-895-2185.
For any questions, please contact the international team at: Internationalcoop@drexel.edu
|Restrictions:||Drexel undergraduate students enrolled in a co-op program|
Dates / Deadlines:
Academic Year below always refers to the start of each academic year. Fall is the first term in an academic year and it always starts in September of every year. Please refer to the start and end date listed below for appropriate application term. If you do not see the date range applicable to you, please contact the International Co-op Team. Click here for more co-op terms details.
|Min. GPA Requirement:||2.5||Number of Positions:||2|
|Eligible Major(s):||Design & Merchandising, Fashion Design|
Bioko Artisan's Collective
The Bioko Artisan Collective currently holds projects in two villages on Bioko Island in Equatorial Guinea: Moka in the highlands of the island and Ureca along the southern coast of the island. The Bioko Biodiversity Protection Program (BBPP) operates centers in each of the towns. The Moka Wildlife Center (MWC) is the primary research center for BBPP activities and is located immediately adjacent to the Gran Caldera Scientific Reserve (GCSR), a biodiversity hotspot in the Central African region and the larger of the two protected areas on the island. The Ureca Nature Center (UNC) focuses on ecotourism and alternative livelihood projects maintained primarily by the local community, the only one within the GCSR. This position will also include time spent in Malabo (the capital city of Equatorial Guinea) located on the northernmost point of the island.
The Bioko Biodiversity Protection Program is part of an academic partnership between Drexel University in Philadelphia and the Universidad Nacional de Guinea Ecuatorial (UNGE) in Malabo, Equatorial Guinea. BBPP's mission is the conservation of Bioko Island's biodiversity, especially its critically endangered primates and nesting sea turtles, through the development of economically sustainable educational programs, research programs and conservation activities that demonstrate the greater value of wildlife alive, rather than dead as bushmeat.
The Bioko Artisan's Collective was started by the BBPP to facilitate micro-enterprise in rural communities by empowering women to develop sustainable, eco-friendly livelihoods, while providing an alternative source of income during times of agricultural hardship. Members of the collective produce and sell uniquely hand-crafted pieces using sustainable and recycled materials. Individuals in these communities are empowered to broaden their skill sets, reduce financial dependence on the tragic bush-meat trade, and to value and protect their natural resources. This project not only takes hunting pressure off of the over-exploited wildlife populations, but also helps to preserve cultural traditions that might otherwise be lost.
Job Description and Required Skills
Job Title: Jewelry Design and Alternative Livelihood Co-op
Job Description: Field assistants work under the supervision of Drexel University researchers and BBPP on-island staff (MWC and UNC Directors) to manage the two projects associated with the Bioko Artisan Collective, one in the town of Moka and the other in the village of Ureca. The women working on the project in Moka currently use small beads and thread to make braided bracelets with a method that dates back to native Bubi culture as a former mode of currency. In the past, women have also attempted to use sea glass wrapped in metal wire to create rings, necklaces, and earrings. In Ureca, the women involved with the project have developed a technique to handcraft necklaces using tiny volcanic stones that they cover in vibrant fabrics. They also construct hand-woven baskets, originally used for fishing purposes, made out of palm fronds. Men residing in the village have recently taken to producing other traditionally based handicrafts such as wooden oars and small boats carved from local wood.The person filling this position will be responsible for the following tasks associated with these projects:
- Work with the local women to improve the quality of the current jewelry
- Help the women to create new designs for each of the projects by using sustainable and natural resources readily available to each of the groups
- Engage potential stake holders from the local communities in Malabo as potential customers as well as volunteers
- Organize training sessions with each of the project groups for monitoring and educational purposes
- Increase public awareness about the project through the creation of social media outlets and program bulletins
- Create and implement a business model for the project that aims to manage the products while controlling budgets and increasing profit while attempting to make the project into a self-sustaining company
- Educate locals on general business practices and professionalism in the workplace
- Write bi-weekly reports to advisers and supervisors on progress made
Required Job Skills:
- General understanding of, and interest in, alternative livelihood projects in developing countries
- Experience with business practices
- Good communication, written, and oral skills
- Quantitative and reasoning skills
- Creativity and artistic ability
- Experience using Microsoft PowerPoint, Adobe Illustrator, and other editing software (preferred)
- Flexibility, patience, and the ability to calmly resolve conflicts
- Ability to work independently and should be comfortable in a work environment directing group projects
- Physical fitness and a positive attitude towards physically exhausting work in a sometimes hot and humid climate with bugs and other stinging insects
Number of Positions: 2
GPA Requirement: Minimum 2.5 GPA
Program Fee: The cost of living will be $20/day (approximately $600 / month). This cost includes all housing, food, and transportation.
Language Requirements: English, some Spanish language preferred, but not required. Spanish is the national language of Equatorial Guinea, although many local people also speak some French and minimal English.
Compensation: Unpaid, but see financial award below.
Financial Award: Eligible students will be considered for a financial award from the Steinbright Career Development Center.
Housing/Food: Room and board are provided in the BBPP's Moka Wildlife Center. The Moka Wildlife Center (MWC) is Drexel property that has been owned and used by the BBPP. The housing consists of individual and shared bedrooms, two full bathrooms, kitchen, dining room, and living room. Students will most likely have to share a bedroom with one other person. The MWC director lives in the house as well, and any other BBPP/Drexel staff or visiting scientists will stay in the house at various times throughout the season. The house is equipped with electricity, wireless internet, and running water. Food will be purchased by the MWC director at the local grocery store in the capital city, Malabo. There are also other local stores in the town of Moka where additional food purchases can be made when necessary or on short notice. Dietary restrictions can be accommodated.
In-Country Transportation: BBPP owns 3 vehicles, one of which is specifically allocated to the MWC. All transportation will be organized by the MWC director and other on-island BBPP employees, including transportation to and from the airport upon arrival/departure. The MWC director for the fall/winter co-op is Dana Venditti, currently a research assistant in the BBPP lab here at Drexel. This will be her third year living and working on Bioko. The first two years were spent as a volunteer and then a camp manager on the remote southern beaches. Please feel free to contact her with any questions or concerns about living arrangements or the position (email@example.com).
Visa Requirement: No visa required for U.S. citizens. Others will have to apply for visas with support from BBPP.Resources: