*DEADLINE EXTENDED to 1st April 2024*
Voices of Rural India is once again looking for a storytelling fellowship coordinator, for a 12 month position based in Sarmoli village, Uttarakhand. This is the second phase of the Himalayan Storytellers Fellowship Program. Accommodation and food will be covered, and a monthly stipend offered.
The fellowship is hosted by HIMAL PRAKRITI – a trust for nature that has been working in the Kumaon Himalaya for the past many decades. It is supported by Climate Conscious Travel – an impact initiative that integrates community-centric climate action in tourism offerings, and the Digital Empowerment Foundation – committed to empowering marginalised communities in information dark regions of India.
Application ends: 15th March 2024
Start date: 1st April 2024
Voices of Rural India (VoRI) began as a pandemic project, to build digital storytelling skills among rural communities who had lost their tourism-related livelihoods. In the process, we created perhaps India’s first platform to host stories told by rural storytellers, in their own voices. Our platform currently hosts 70+ stories, across 11 states, in 7 different languages.
For the next phase of VoRI, we’re looking for someone passionate about storytelling and connecting with local communities, to drive and manage a one-of-a-kind fellowship for rural storytellers – along with our storytelling, partnership and social media efforts. The fellowship coordinator will be part of the HIMAL PRAKRITI team, based out of Sarmoli – a charming mountain village in the Munsiari tehsil of Uttarakhand – and work closely with one of the VoRI’s co-founders.
The ideal candidate can be a mid-career professional looking to transition into the development sector, or a young professional driven to challenge the status quo and enable digital empowerment in rural Himalayan communities. The position is for a minimum of 12 months (with a 3 month probation period). The candidate will be required to be based in the remote mountain village of Sarmoli for atleast 7 out of 12 months, and has the option to work remotely for the remaining 5. The candidate must be open to the adventure of living in a rural mountain village during this time.
- Design, drive and manage a creative fellowship for rural storytellers, offered to 6 fellows from amongst India’s Himalayan States, for 6 months.
- Develop and deliver storytelling modules, both online and offline, to initiate the transition from traditional oral storytelling to digital forms of storytelling – like photography, video, audio and written.
- Work closely with fellows to brainstorm, create and publish stories on themes like climate change and the environment, rural life and its evolution, food traditions, and other intangible cultural heritage of their region.
- Drive VoRI’s storytelling efforts, including working closely with community-based tourism organizations and non-profits, to develop, flesh out, translate, edit and publish stories.
- Manage VoRI’s social media channels (primarily Instagram and Linkedin, with a bit of Facebook and Twitter), especially to enable stories to reach a wider audience.
- Build a network of remote volunteers to receive support for translation, editing, social media, SEO and other tasks.
Desired skills / experience
- Past experience living with a rural Himalayan community, and the determination to spend atl east 7 months living in a remote mountain village
- Past experience in storytelling, translation, editing and/or publishing
- Past experience in working respectfully with rural communities in India
- Excellent spoken and written skills in at least one Indian language + English
- Ability to build relationships with partner organizations, community storytellers and existing / new volunteers
- Familiarity with WordPress, social media channels, and tools like Canva
- Patience to cope with what can sometimes be a long process from the birth of a story to its publishing – especially for those who haven’t traditionally been exposed to the digital world
- A passion for VoRI’s mission – to create space for voices that have long been unheard
- Live for 7-12 months in one of India’s most charming mountain villages – Sarmoli, in the lap of the snow-capped Panchachuli! You will be accommodated in village homestays, and your food expenses will be covered.
- A stipend of INR 20,000 will be offered per month for 12 months.
- Bond with a rural community and experience their organic, earthy, sustainable way of life.
- Be part of a team that works on an array of landscape/place-based and community centered activities.
- Be part of one-of-a-kind initiative to challenge the status quo of storytelling and setting up a rural community media hub.
Expected period of commitment
12 months (including a 3 month probation period). Work begins on 1st April, 2024.
Your accommodation and meals in Sarmoli will be covered during the work period of 12 months, and a monthly stipend will be provided.
How to apply
To apply, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org, with the following:
- Your motivation to apply for this role.
- Relevant past experience in publishing, storytelling and/or social media.
- Past experience living with a rural mountain community, ideally in the Indian Himalayas.
- Research Sarmoli / Munsiyari in Uttarakhand, and share how you’ll adapt to life in this remote mountain village for atleast 7 months.
- Confirm whether the stipend amount works for you. Note that this is the maximum amount we’re able to offer for this position.
- Include your resume and at least 2 relevant professional references.
Shortlisted applicants will be contacted for an assignment, followed by interviews. All the best!