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September 2011

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Thank you to everyone who supported Winrock in the GlobalGiving challenge last month! With your generous support of the Mata no Peito Initiative, Winrock successfully completed the challenge, raising more than $7,000 to benefit community forestry projects in Brazil. Winrock also earned permanent membership on the GlobalGiving website to raise funds for other deserving projects .

Thanks to a new hydropower plant, a village in Georgia has reliable access to energy for the first time since 1988. The plant, an outcome of a Winrock-implemented and USAID-funded project, opened last month. 

Winrock’s 2010 Global Projects & Financial Statement is now available online. The annual publication provides a financial report of the organization as well as an account of Winrock’s projects and their global impact  .

On Oct. 20, the National Food Hub Collaboration will present a webinar on funding for food hubs. Three food hubs will describe their operations and funding needs, while a panel of funders and fundraising experts will advise how best to pursue funding. The collaboration is a partnership between USDA, Wallace Center at Winrock International, National Good Food Network, National Association of Produce Market Managers and Project for Public Spaces. Register for the webinar today.

Recently, Lauren Nichols of Winrock’s American Carbon Registry (ACR), was selected for the Climate Change Fellowship offered by Partners of the Americas through the U.S. Department of State's Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. One of nine fellows, Nichols represented Winrock and ACR in Colombia during the fellowship, July 30-Aug. 5. Nichols worked with climate change professionals and organizations on citizen diplomacy surrounding climate change issues that affect communities.

Last month, Winrock's Lisa Davis was elected to serve on the Delta Leadership Network Board as the Arkansas alternate. Governance of the Delta Leadership Network comes from a board of directors elected by network members. The Delta Leadership Institute creates opportunities for a corps of leaders to receive specific training in the areas of innovative leadership, change strategy, collaboration and project management.

Are you interested in working at Winrock? Search current openings and post your resume. Would you like to volunteer with Winrock? Learn more about new opportunities for volunteers.

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Vocational training boosts business, opens new doors for carpenter
Vocational training boosts business, opens new doors for carpenter.Deng Biai Makuer, a carpenter from Twic County, wasn’t sure what to expect when he was selected by community leaders as one of 30 tradesmen from Warrap for a vocational training program last year. The training at the Wau Vocational Training Centre (WVTC) involved leaving home and spending three months away from his wife and two children. After completing the WVTC program, however, Deng has no regrets. Six months later, he is reaping the benefits of his new skills in carpentry and masonry acquired during the training, which has led to increased business and more consistent income. Deng has noticed new demand for his services as a maker of tables, doors and windows, and he now has the skills and tools to take on additional, large-scale jobs including roof construction and latrine building.

The rapid pace of development and construction in South Sudan has led to increased demand for skilled laborers. This environment created the need for the WVTC program, which was sponsored by the Building Responsibility for Delivery of Government Services (BRIDGE) program – funded by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID).

In all, USAID funding provided training for 45 tradesmen – 30 from Warrap and 15 from Unity State – and included the distribution of invaluable toolkits, which included hammers, saws, levels and planes, for carpenters like Deng. Prior to the training, Deng’s income allowed for only one or two meals per day. He couldn’t even afford to pay school fees for his two daughters. Now, he says he has enough income to provide medical expenses and more than two meals a day for his family. He can also afford to send his children to school full time for the first time.

“I have enjoyed the skills I received during the training and I’m putting them to practical use which has supported my livelihood,’’ Deng said.

Winrock builds capacity in climate change mitigation efforts through technical training
Winrock builds capacity in climate change mitigation efforts through targeted technical training.Winrock’s USAID-funded Lowering Emissions in Asia’s Forests (LEAF) Program initiated its technical capacity building program with a 3-day training workshop in August focused on the creation of Reference Emission Levels (RELs).

The training workshop was led by Winrock ‘s internationally-recognized climate scientist Dr. Sandra Brown and her Ecosystem Services team, and included interactive sessions on REL creation using historic emissions and projections, practical tools for carbon accounting, and reporting of national circumstances. More than 50 government officials and regional specialists, including 20 women and representatives from the UN-REDD program, attended the event – representing Thailand, Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, Malaysia and Papua New Guinea. The workshop resulted in practical recommendations on areas for regional collaboration across the six target LEAF countries.

Robust and accurate RELs are a baseline from which countries can measure emissions reductions, and position themselves to potentially receive payments for these reductions under initiatives such as Reduced Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD+). REDD+ is a developing global effort to develop a financial mechanism to provide payments for improved forest and ecosystem management, and Winrock is a recognized leader in the technical aspects necessary for countries’ preparations towards “REDD+ Readiness.”

LEAF is a five year, $20 million dollar program that will continue to engage regional governments, forestry and climate mitigation specialists and universities in a technical capacity building program focused on REDD+ Readiness. The program also works on policy and market incentives for improved forest management and land-use planning, develops innovative pilot interventions, and strengthens regional platforms and mechanisms for sharing lessons learned and scaling up innovation .

Local entrepreneurs help provide solar PV products to rural Mindanao households
Local entrepreneurs help provide solar PV products to rural Mindanao households.In rural areas in the Philippines, many people have no electricity. In fact, in the conflict-affected region of Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao, more than 3 million people are, literally, living in the dark. Mountain slopes and islets make the extension of grid services to these areas extremely difficult for the local electric cooperatives. In the face of this situation, one solution offered by government entails the use of photovoltaic (PV) solar home systems and lanterns. In response to the government’s call, the USAID-funded Alliance for Mindanao and Multi-Regional Renewable/Rural Energy Development (AMORE) program, implemented by Winrock International, helps local entrepreneurs market and sell solar PV products.

Abz Manalasal, one of the first to receive technical assistance from AMORE, took an interest in selling solar PV products when he saw how it improved the quality of energy services for families in remote communities. With AMORE’s help, Abz linked with national suppliers of solar PV products to ensure a steady supply at discounted prices. He would then scour mountain villages for clients, usually relying on AMORE-organized associations to help him promote and market his products.

His first big break came after a meeting facilitated by AMORE between solar PV suppliers and local village associations. Afterward, Abz provided 313 units of 20-watt peak solar home systems and orders for 175 more soon followed. With referrals from his personal and professional network, Abz was able to facilitate the sale of around 700 solar home system units to rural households in Central Mindanao.

“The success of the PV business in remote barangays in Mindanao hinges on how motivated ground sales agents are,” says Abz. Currently, at least 12 companies and three micro-entrepreneurs are now engaged in the solar PV business in Mindanao through the technical assistance of AMORE.

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