Since all of ‘students’ in the program are adults, and have demonstrated themselves as leaders in their community, ARI prefers the term ‘participant,’ rather than ‘student’ or ‘trainee.’ ARI actively recruits people from the most marginalized rural communities from countries in Asia and Africa. Some examples include tribal peoples, minorities, and those oppressed by the caste system. Each year there are about 25 – 30 participants in the program, from 14 -16 different countries.
This year 2014 we have 31 participants from 16 countries (including two Japanese graduate interns, and one training assistant). It is always the goal of ARI to have a 50/50 male-female ratio; however, it is not always possible to achieve this due to conservative and often discriminatory policies of some organizations or societies. The most important point about the international participants is their devotion to their people and their commitment to utilize their training at ARI for the positive development of their home communities.