Diana Lam, 2012, Architecture
During my time in India, I worked with two partner organizations–the International Society for Ecology and Culture (ISEC) and the Ladakh Ecological Development Group (LEDeG). Both of these organizations seek to preserve traditional culture in Ladakh, a region of northern India that is environmentally fragile and quickly deteriorating due to the influx of large-scale industry. During the first phase of my internship, I lived and worked on a farm in a small village about 50km from Leh, the regional capital. There, my aim was to gain intimate knowledge about the culture and research methods for its preservation. Upon my return to Leh, I used this data to coordinate and implement a tourist education program. The program involved screening documentaries, leading workshops with tourists, and producing written media about the importance of both environmental and cultural conservation in the area. I was also able to work on a few side projects–a housing rebuild for victims of a flood that occurred the previous year and a handicrafts scheme to generate income for village women.