“Children and Soil” – documentary now online

Please enjoy the latest documentary on our YouTube channel: Children and Soil.

How do children gain awareness of ecology and appreciate the lives of their farming parents?

In this beautiful film, “Children and Soil” (2017), school children in India and West Bengal encounter their home communities’ soil. Soil for building, soil for playing, soil for growing food. How children from different situations see agriculture, how teachers develop school gardens, their different—often contrasting—approaches to learning about nature and farming are documented here.

The 48 minutes film primarily follows the work of ecological teacher-trainers from the Development Research Communication and Services Centre in Kolkata, an organization co-founded by ARI graduate Ardhendu S. Chatterjee.

“Children and Soil” was created by the initiative of Dr. Donata Elschenbroich and Dr. Otto Schweitzer, documentary filmmakers with over thirty years of expertise in educational films from a cross-cultural perspective. Donata has known ARI for over ten years and is an expert social researcher with numerous publications in Germany and internationally.

We are grateful that we can offer this film online for the first time and hope it will invite meaningful discussion.

— An article by Dr. Donata Elschenbroich on school gardens in English can be found in ARI’s journal euodoō
— A lecture by Ardhendu Chatterjee on environmental learning practice is in Japanese also printed in euodoō

We will start accepting visitors

Because the state of emergency will be lifted soon, we will start accepting working visitors from October 13th.

We’re looking forward to seeing you!

* We ask all visitors to stay more than one week.
* Working visitors are required to submit records of body temperature 2 weeks before your arrival. Please apply in advance.

Apply from here:

“Adding Value” – documentary about Ardhendu Chatterjee

A new documentary film is now accessible on our YouTube channel: Adding Value – Ardhendu S. Chatterjee and Food-Insecure Farmers In Search of Hidden Resources.

In this documentary film, we follow rural educator Ardhendu S. Chatterjee as he visits farmers in grassroots Indian communities. Through the perceptive use of natural, living materials, Chatterjee helps farmers practice ecological agriculture to secure their livelihood.

Chatterjee is a 1976 graduate of ARI’s Rural Leaders Training and co-founder of the Development Research Communication and Services Centre (DRCSC) in Kolkata. ARI regularly invited him as a lecturer, introducing participants to a deeper understanding of sustainable agriculture and the interdependent environment.

Adding Value was created by the initiative of Dr. Donata Elschenbroich and Dr. Otto Schweitzer, documentary filmmakers with over thirty years of expertise in educational films from a cross-cultural perspective. Donata has known ARI for over ten years and is an expert social researcher who became interested in preserving and condensing Chatterjee’s wisdom in a film.

We present this documentary as a witness of Ardhendu S. Chatterjee’s impact and as a learning opportunity for everyone interested in ecological agriculture and community development.

We also extend our heartfelt gratitude to Donata and Otto for offering their time and skills to create this beautiful documentary with ARI.

the 50th Foundation Day

Join us September 16th from 9:30am-12:15pm (Japan Standard Time) as we remember and celebrate the foundation of the Asian Rural Institute.

This day will remind us of the passion and sprit of those who dreamed of ARI and made it a reality.

After a time of thanksgiving to God worship, we will hear from graduates around the world share updates of struggles and new discoveries of what is going on in their communities in the midst of the worldwide COVID-19 pandemic.

Hope to see you there!

the 50th Asian Rural Institute Foundation Day

September 16th (Thu) 9:30am to 12:15pm

9:30am Worship ( Messenger: Ms, Tomoko Arakawa, Director)

11am Worldwide COVID sharing from Grads

How to join:

Please join from ARI Facebook Livestream

Our 2020 Annual Report – now available in English!

You can now read our 2020 Annual Report That We May Live Together in English!

The report is a detailed overview of our training, our farm, and our many activities with supporters and learners from Japan and overseas in 2020.

Of course, the report directs particular attention to the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. How did it affect ARI, and what actions did we at ARI take to ensure safety?

While maintaining community life, we spent the year without compromising ARI’s values but instead reaffirmed the importance of those values. We want to express our sincere gratitude to the many supporters who enabled ARI to overcome the pandemic’s new challenges.

(from the “Greetings” by Board Chair Masaoki Hoshino and Director Tomoko Arakawa)

We are happy to share this report with you, supporters, partners, and friends of ARI, as a record of our commitment to rural leadership and learning for a livable future.

Notice of suspension of accepting visitors

According to the preventive measures is declared from August 8th in Tochigi prefecture, we suspend accepting visitors until August 31st. 

Thank you for your understanding.

A Football Garden for Sierra Leone – documentary portrays ARI graduate

You can now watch the documentary A Football Garden for Sierra Leone on our official YouTube channel!

This documentary portrays Pastor Mambud Samai and his organization, the Single Leg Amputee Sports Association (SLASA). Mambud is the association’s program coordinator and a 2018 graduate of the Rural Leaders Training Program at the Asian Rural Institute.

“In Sierra Leone, many youths live with amputations in the wake of the civil war,” said Mambud at the beginning of his training at ARI. “Using the sport of soccer, I work to empower these young adults and give them hope. I also offer classes on computers, financing, agri-science, nutrition, and food security.”

Following his training, Mambud started expanding agricultural activities with the amputees in Freetown. The documentary shows some of the first steps they take to make their vision of a garden and soccer field possible.

This film was created by German team Dr. Donata Elschenbroich and Dr. Otto Schweitzer, documentary filmmakers with over thirty years of expertise in educational films from a cross-cultural perspective. Donata has been volunteering regularly at ARI since 2011. The film was developed in 2019 as a joint venture between Donata and ARI’s Graduate Outreach Coordinator Steven Cutting, working together on the concept and research as they visited various places in Sierra Leone.

After filming, the LUSH Foundation in the UK further funded constructions on the football field, and SLASA continued planting, harvesting, and receiving visiting schoolchildren. European supporters have pledged to provide new prostheses, training, medical supplies, and buildings, helping SLASA to gain claim ownership of the land. SLASA is also supported by the United Church of Canada, a supporter of ARI.

Job Opening for Part-Time Staff

The Asian Rural Institute (ARI) is seeking a qualified candidate to serve as contract part-time staff member.

The position is for a Japanese-speaking accountant to join our General Affairs Section.
The contract starts from January 2022.

Please find details from our recruitment page (Only in Japanese): パートタイム職員募集

Harvest Thanksgiving Celebration

Watch all our online events again! ​

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