Rising temperatures. Corporate human rights abuses. Government corruption. The threats to frontline communities in the Mekong region compounds. At the EarthRights Mekong School, young activists from communities across Southeast Asia come together to build skills, knowledge, and networks to take on challenges in their communities.
The EarthRights Mekong School Mekong prepares the next generation of earth rights defenders to draw on the power of their communities to protect their rights, resources, and livelihoods. Most students come from Indigenous and rural communities and have experienced environmental and human rights abuses firsthand. They are highly motivated to address these issues through organizing, campaigning, and legal advocacy. Once they join our alumni network, many of these students lead their communities in fighting human rights and environmental abuses, and many more go on to establish their own organizations.
EarthRights Mekong School offers an intensive, six-week online program followed by a three-month residential training program for activists and earth rights defenders from the Mekong region actively working on environmental and human rights issues
Our one-of-a-kind school curriculum provides intensive training so that participants can:
- Identify strengths, challenges, and opportunities within their communities
- Draft a model campaign, including setting campaign vision/goals/objectives and action plans.
- Define, research, and map actors and stakeholders involved in their advocacy and campaigns
- Identify legal tools and strategies to aid in their campaigns
- Engage in community organizing to work with community members in an inclusive and participatory way
We also provide physical, legal, and digital security training to ensure that our students and alums can address potential security threats they might face because of their work.
Building the Curriculum
Our students are human rights and environmental activists from across the Mekong region and have the opportunity to learn from local and international experts in the environmental and human rights fields. Once they join our alumni network, many of these students go on to lead their communities in fighting human rights and environmental abuses.
The courses included in our unique curriculum employ a combination of theoretical and experiential learning, including fieldwork and site visits.
“I came to the EarthRights School because I wanted to learn how to organize youth in my community and promote Indigenous voices.
Here I’ve learned not only from teachers, but from other students and their lived experiences.”
Our training program has grown from the EarthRights School Mekong to additional training opportunities for defenders worldwide, including the Seminario in the Amazon and the Global School.