Winrock's new Program for Investment in Micro-entrepreneurs (PRIME) has been funded by the U.S. Small Business Administration. PRIME will provide assessment, market analysis and mentoring to disadvantaged entrepreneurs in a 17-county region of eastern Arkansas. Eligible groups include those who employ fewer than five people and work in the sectors of energy efficiency, environment, agribusiness and manufacturing.
Winrock received a $6 million cooperative agreement from USAID to continue the Alliance for Mindanao Off-Grid Renewable Energy Program (AMORE). With assistance from alliance partners Sunpower and the Philippines Department of Energy, this will be the third phase of the program, which has supported clean, renewable energy for more than 400 communities, 12,000 households and 150 schools in the Philippines since 2002.
Our work in Cote D'Ivoire to prevent child labor—by improving the educational capacity to teach sustainable cocoa farming—is featured on program funder Purdy's Chocolate Web site. Click here for the full story.
Winrock volunteer Paul Pohl helps improve livelihoods for dairy farmers in El Salvador through USAID's Farmer-to-Farmer Program. Read the USAID story here.
Winrock's work implementing the USAID-funded Empowering Cocoa Households with Opportunities and Educational Solutions Program (ECHOES) in Ghana and Cote D'Ivoire is currently featured on the World Cocoa Foundation's Web site.
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|USAID Provides Training and Hope to Villages in Southern Sudan
After decades of devastation following a long civil war, Alikhook Arieu Akec and her neighbors in Anwei Boma in Southern Sudan are starting to feel hopeful for the first time, crediting Winrock’s USAID-funded Building Responsibility for the Delivery of Government Services (BRIDGE) program for the change. “Before BRIDGE, we didn’t know that we could do something to help ourselves. The program has shown us how to work hard. We now know that we can rebuild this town,” Akec says.
In Northern Bahr el Ghazal, Warrap, and Unity states, BRIDGE works with people like Akec to form community action groups (CAGs) comprised of representatives who work together to identify and address local needs. Like many others, Akec’s CAG has identified agricultural development as a priority. Members attended agricultural training conducted by BRIDGE, marking the first organized training that many of them have ever experienced. Akec and her neighbors are now working hard in their newly established gardens, which will provide increased food security, nutrition, and income. “If one person knows how to grow, the entire community benefits,” she says. Bamboo Furniture Company Invests in the Future of Vietnam’s Forests
BRIDGE has provided agricultural training to 839 individuals, building skills and bringing hope to communities across Southern Sudan.
The USAID-funded Asia Regional Biodiversity Conservation Program (ARBCP) helps create public-private partnerships to support poor households by generating income-earning opportunities that minimize forest-clearing activities. ARBCP promotes planting high-value bamboo in low-density forests while maintaining their natural state, and Grass Co., a bamboo furniture and materials company, is working to advance this philosophy with a pilot planting program in the Cat Tien National Park buffer zone.
Grass Co. will work with 50 households in An Nhon and Huong Lam to plant the first 40 hectares of a planned 1,000-hectare bamboo plantation, providing plant materials, fertilizer and half of the labor costs for farmers to plant and care for over the next five years. This investment will generate a projected $1,500 per hectare in annual revenue for the farmers, and also consolidates private-sector support for biodiversity friendly management of bamboo agroforest models that support conservation targets in two areas. “Bamboo represents an effective tool to fight against global warming as a proficient sequester of carbon dioxide, and as a replacement material for wood,” says Dang Hao, vice director of Grass Co. “It can help the depletion of the rain forest; bamboo is the future of wood.”
SIMI-OVC Initiative Improves Health and Nutrition in Nepal
Since 2003, the USAID-funded Smallholder Irrigation Market Initiative (SIMI) has increased the incomes of Nepali smallholder farmers through the production and marketing of high-value agriculture products. In 2006, an innovative health initiative was launched with funding from USAID’s Office of Vulnerable Children (OVC). SIMI-OVC integrated income generation with increased awareness of and access to education, health services and improved nutrition, helping more than 14,000 households, including that of Salamiya Tharu.
Tharu, a mother of six, participated in the program, which helped her go from no income to making about 20,000 rupees per year, thanks to her vegetable, rice and wheat crops. But before SIMI-OVC, the family was engaging in unhealthy behaviors—they lacked a latrine, rarely ate vegetables and animal proteins, and used non-iodized salt—which led to Tharu’s daughter getting sick 12 times each year. After the program, she and her family are more aware of their decisions, and have reduced her daughter’s instances of illness to only twice a year.
In addition to now using a proper latrine, the family is eating more nutritious food on a more frequent basis, and have increased their consumption of meat from once every two months to three times per month. The money Tharu began making with her crops has been re-invested to start a fish farm and poultry farm, which provides the family with additional income to continue on a healthy path.