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April 2010

Winrock International, in partnership with the Delta Center for Economic Development at Arkansas State University, will receive a $300,000 investment to minimize economic dislocations resulting from natural and other disasters, improving responsiveness and effectiveness in the recovery process. Winrock and ASU will undertake the development of an Economic Adjustment Assistance Strategy for a seven-county region in northeast Arkansas. This project, funded by the U.S. Department of Commerce Economic Development Administration, will focus on the agricultural sector in the targeted area of eastern Arkansas where droughts, floods, and winds have, historically, drastically and negatively affected the region’s economy. 

The USAID-funded, Winrock-implemented Liberia Smallholder Oil Palm Revitalization project is featured in the March issue of USAID’s Frontlines newsletter. Click here for the full story.

The American Carbon Registry has approved the first carbon offset methodology for a fugitive methane emission reduction project in the U.S. oil and gas sector. The groundbreaking methodology, developed by Verdeo Group and Devon Energy Corporation, will enable oil and gas companies to generate carbon offset credits by retrofitting existing high-bleed pneumatic controllers with low-bleed options, thus reducing fugitive emissions of methane, a potent greenhouse gas. The methodology is expected to incentivize retrofit projects, reducing the largest source of emissions in the U.S. oil and gas exploration and production sector. The EPA estimates that pneumatic devices annually emit over 20 million metric tons of CO2. Read the full press release here.

On April 13, Winrock hosted a panel on "Strategies to Prevent Trafficking of Women and Children" as part of the 12th United Nations Congress on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice, held in Salvador, Brazil. Winrock's panel provided detailed information about the context of human trafficking in Brazil, including trafficking of children and adolescents for sexual exploitation in the state of Bahia, and also outlined Winrock's global approaches to fighting trafficking in persons, including the importance of collaboration with the criminal justice sector.

Are you interested in working at Winrock? Click here to search current openings and post your resume. Would you like to volunteer with Winrock? Click here to learn more about new opportunities. 
Child Labor Prevention Project Launches in Rwanda
On February 16, 2010 at La l Palisse Hotel, Kigali, Rwanda, Winrock International and its partnerCarol with REACH participants s FAWE-Rwanda and SNV-Rwanda officially launched the Rwanda Education Alternatives for Children (REACH) project.

The event featured a keynote speech by the Honorable Minister of Labor and Public Service, Murekezi Anastase, and a presentation by Carol Michaels O’laughlin (pictured above), vice president of Winrock’s Empowerment and Civic Engagement Group.

The goal of REACH is to reduce the incidence of exploitive child labor in agriculture, and targets a total of 8,300 children—4,800 for withdrawal and 3,500 for prevention from exploitive child labor on smallholder coffee, tea, sugar, and rice farms, as well as animal herding. The REACH project will provide the children with educational services for grades 1 through 9, Catch Up programs, and agricultural vocational education. The project will be implemented through district and local community participation in seven rural districts—Nyarugenge, Nyaruguru, Gicumbi, Nyamasheke, Rubavu, Kayonza, and Nyagatare. The REACH project is funded by the U.S. Department of Labor.

Extending Access to Solar Home Systems in
Rural Nepal

The Piloting a Model for Credit Financing of Solar Home System (SHS) project was implemented to distribute solar systems in off-grid areas to increase the energy access of Nepal’s rural poor through credit financing. The project was initiated by AEPC/ESAP and implemented by consortium partners covering six remote districts—Winrock International as the lead partner, and the National Cooperative Federation of Nepal and Sana Kisan Bikash Kendriya Sangh as implementing partners in the western and eastern cluster respectively. 

The approach of the project was to build the capacity of local financial institutions (LFIs) to supply credit financing to increase access and affordability of SHS, and link those LFIs with commercial and development banks to provide wholesale loans to fulfill the financing gap and link with solar companies for the supply of SHS and for exploring vendor financing model. The project increased LFI awareness and access to renewable energy technologies, lending procedures, and business diversification of loan investment in SHS, and strengthened 21 LFIs from six districts to finance SHS. More than 1,100 SHS were installed, reaching approximately 5,500 people, including an estimated 3,000 children who now have a better quality of light for studying.

While the first phase of the project is complete, AEPC/ESAP is extending the project in six additional districts to replicate the model. In addition to SHS financing, the next phase will be broadened and other technologies such as mini-grid and improved cooking stoves will be incorporated separately with a specially designed approach.

Grassroots Conference Opens Door for Peace
For decades, disputes over water and access to grazing land have erupted into brutal tribal conflicts in the remote border regions between northern and southern Sudan. This year, senior leaders from two tribes, the Dinka Malual of Northern Bahr el Ghazal (NBG) and the Rezeigat of Southern Darfur, jointly organized a grassroots peace conference to discuss alternatives to conflict and to lay out a plan for mutual cooperation.

Governor Paul Malong (pictured) of NBG contacted Winrock’s USAID-funded Sudan BRIDGE program to seek logistical and financial support for the conference.  For BRIDGE, it was an opportunity to support a Sudanese-led initiative that yielded peace dividends and demonstrated local governments’ improved capacity to be responsive to citizen’s needs. USAID/OTI, PACT Sudan and several other donor organizations also contributed to the conference preparation.

The dialogue resulted in the signing of a joint communiqué outlining specific steps for future cooperation, including a pledge of mutual protection and safe passage through each other’s lands and the creation of a jointly administered traditional court to resolve disputes. This success is a victory not only for the Dinka Malual and Rezeigat, who have a new opportunity for peaceful coexistence, but for other tribes for whom this experience may serve as an example. It also showcases the capacity of local government leaders to mediate and resolve disputes, directly responding to the needs and concerns of their constituents.

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