About the Internship

Internship Timetable

The Vale da Lama Internship is a six month program, in partnership with the PND.

Orientation Week
All interns arrive at the same time to participate in the Orientation Week. This is a week helps the interns settle into their new surroundings. Activities include farm tours, a meeting with the founders of the farm, educational activities on permaculture and other subjects, intern exchanges, a tour of Lagos, firesides and much more.

1st semester: Work Experience and Learn (the first three months)
During this semester interns spend their mornings with their mentors. Here the interns learn the practical side of their area of study.
The afternoons are more flexible. There may be a group activity, or you may find yourself helping your mentor finishing off the morning’s activities, or maybe you spend the afternoon engaged in self-guided study.
During this first semester interns also develop and discuss project ideas with their mentors. Interns present a project design near the end of these three months.
One Week Break
All interns have a one week break between semesters.

2nd semester: Work Experience and Project (the second three months)
The intern continues to be with their mentor during the mornings, but in the afternoon they implement their project.
Group study activities continue in the second semester as well.
Good-bye
The current interns organize the Orientation Week for the new class of interns. This is an opportunity for the outgoing interns to share their experiences and advice for the newcomers.

The Program

Interns come to Vale da Lama to do three things: to learn, to have work experiences and to live in community. At the centre of all of these things is the Exchange.

WORK EXPERIENCES
Interns are expected to participate an average of six hours a day, five days a week (30 hours a week). Four of these daily hours are fixed hours with their mentor (20 hours a week) and two of these daily hours are flexible hours (10 hours a week).

Please be aware that we expect a lot from our interns. They are an integral part of our team and we expect them to participate in the schedule with full commitment. We have had great success with interns who are mature, and able to work both individually and as part of a team.

Fixed Hours
Every day (usually Monday to Friday) the intern spends the morning (four hours) alongside their mentor. This is an excellent opportunity to learn from one of the many talented and knowledgeable staff we have here at VDL. This work is also main way an intern contributes to VDL.

Flexible Hours
Interns are expected to participate ten flexible hours a week (an average of 2 flexible hours a day). Whereas the fixed hours followed a set schedule, these flexible hours can be organized between the mentor and intern on a weekly basis.
Throughout your internship there will be group activities organized for the interns. It is expected that all interns shall attend these activities. Time spent in these activities count towards the week’s flexible hours.
During the project phase of the program these flexible hours are spent implementing the intern’s project (please see below).

*Please be advised that learning outcomes are dependent on what is needed on the farm. VDL will do its best to accommodate the learning desires of the intern, however these learning outcomes are ultimately defined by the work which is needed to be done on the farm.

LEARN
Besides learning the hands on skills with their mentors, the interns’ learning at Vale da Lama has three other components.

Individual Study
Individual Study is a any self-guided exercise the intern undertakes throughout the internship. Here the intern investigates subjects related to their area of work and starts to think about their project.

Group Activities
Group activities may include Holacracy training, Permaculture lessons or educational afternoon activities and they take place throughout the internship. All interns are expected to attend these activities.

Projects
Each intern is expected to develop and implement a project before leaving the farm. This is a chance for the intern to integrate both their practical and theoretical learning into a useful project for the farm. This project is designed and implemented by the intern, with their mentor’s support.
The project is an opportunity for the intern to leave a mark on the farm and it is an important addition to the intern’s personal portfolio.
During the last three months of the internship the intern will spend the afternoon working on their project.

LIVING
Interns live in dormitory accommodation with shared bathrooms. They also have access to kitchen and laundry facilities.
As the interns are a group there is some organization required. Interns have a cooking schedule where a group of interns will cook for the other interns and during the week interns are expected to have meals together (this is an organizational necessity, and also a key to communal living). Each intern is also expected to participate in a cleaning schedule of common areas and be responsible for their personal living space.
Please be aware that all food provided by Vale da Lama is Lacto-ovo-vegetarian.
Bringing interns to live together presents challenges for both the farm and the interns. As with any challenge there is opportunity for growth. Interns are expected to arrive with a keen attitude to communal living.

EXCHANGE
At the center of the Vale da Lama Internship Program is the exchange of time and energy between interns and the farm. We strive to make the exchange fair, open and transparent.

What the intern gives to the farm:
Work Experience
– 30 hours of participation a week
Project
– A useful project integrated into ongoing farm operations that you design and implement
– Fresh energy and ideas
Living
– Contribute to a communal living environment
– Participate in the cooking and cleaning schedules
– Organize and participate in small group activities once a month (ie a games night or a skills share)
A onetime administration fee of 100€

What the farm gives to the intern:
Training
– One on one mentoring in the area of study which will give you a solid skill set base in your area of study
– An opportunity to participate in a established and evolving Permaculture farm
Learn
– A Permaculture Design Course
– Resource Centre
– Group Learning Activities
– Training in Holacracy
Living
– Orientation Week
– Shared Accommodation
– Three meals a day (prepared by rotating Cooking Teams of interns)
— These meals are Lacto-ovo-vegeterian (eggs and dairy products)
– Hot showers
– Do it yourself laundry
– Internet
– One week break between semesters

What is outside of the exchange?
The following are items that are the sole responsibility of the intern:
- Travel or health insurance
- Visa requirements
- Any food requirements beyond the lacto-ovo-vegetarian diet (i.e. if you are gluten-free all gluten-free products will be your responsibility to purchase)
- Any costs associated with the intern commitment (i.e. Travel costs, spending money during the intern’s stay).

Does this sound like something you might be interested in?

This internships are organized by Project New Discoveries, in partnership with Quinta Vale da Lama