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May 2010

USAID/Mali awarded Winrock International $1.5 million as an Associate Award under the Farmer-to-Farmer (FtF) LWA. The Mali Agriculture Value Enhancement Network (MAVEN) is designed to provide solutions and support to facilitate improvements in the agriculture sector. The program will field 70 additional volunteer consultants over three years, bringing the total of FtF volunteers in Mali to 110.

The SunPower Foundation announced support for the third phase of the Alliance for Mindanao Off-Grid Renewable Energy (AMORE III) program, which will result in solar panels installed at 150 schools and the electrification of 12,000 homes in the Philippines with renewable energy systems. In addition to powering homes, the program will bring lighting, computer technology and Internet connectivity to approximately 135,000 students. AMORE III is a partnership of the U.S. Agency for International Development, the Philippine Department of Energy, SunPower Foundation and Winrock International.

With an eye toward generating greater public awareness of social problems while increasing youth involvement, the Second Youth Short Film Contest took place at the end of March in Khabarovsk, Russia. The film contestfunded by USAID through Winrock International’s LIDER grantbegan with training on short film production and with classes concerning important social topics.

The Gold Award for Medium Employer Category was awarded to Winrock International as part of the 2010 Governor’s Work-Life Balance Awards. The awards ceremony, presented by The Arkansas Department of Human Services, “celebrates companies that focus on the needs of their employees, ultimately strengthening their workers, their businesses, and Arkansas,” wrote Arkansas Gov. Mike Beebe.

On May 3, approximately 150 people gathered to help celebrate Winrock International’s 25th anniversary in Arlington, Va., for the second in a series of worldwide events that will commemorate Winrock’s efforts to empower the disadvantaged, increase economic opportunities and sustain natural resources. The event was also an opportunity to showcase Winrock’s new sustainable office space.

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Essential Oils Prove Profitable for Emerging South African Farmers
Winrock Essential Oils Project in South AfricaMama Msweli has been a sugarcane farmer for many years, but due to theft and a failing market for smallholder farmers she decided to see what other crops could be produced on her land. Her husband told her about a project—funded by the W.K. Kellogg and Ford foundations and located in Melmoth, KwaZulu-Natal—teaching emerging farmers to grow essential oils, and after contacting the Winrock International-implemented project, a training time was set up for Msweli and her family. Seven people received training in rose geranium production as well as business management, a critical part of agro-business and a skill that is generally lacking in South Africa’s emerging farmers.

A commitment was made to support Msweli in the initial development of her land, with Winrock offering soil sampling and lime for her half-hectare plot with the expectation she would eventually develop a full hectare of rose geranium, as well as more than 10,000 rose geranium seedlings, on her own. And although Msweli’s first set of cuttings died due to summer heat and humidity, she was not discouraged. Many trials were made to partially shade the cuttings, but that too proved unsuccessful. Continue reading about Winrock’s impact on South African farmers.

U.S. Senator Blanche Lincoln Hosts Summit Committed to Creating Rural Jobs
Winrock's Annett Pagan with Arkansas Senator Blanche LincolnBuilding a sustainable rural economy. Creating jobs for rural America. These issues made up the two-fold focus of a “Rural Summit” hosted in April by U.S. Senator Blanche Lincoln, chair of rural outreach for the Senate Democratic Caucus. Annett Pagan, director of U.S. operations for Winrock International, also participated.

“Today was all about finding ways we can work together to create a sustainable rural economy,” said Lincoln (D-Ark.). “As Chairman of the Senate Agriculture Committee and as Chair of Rural Outreach, I have made it my top priority to find new ways to create jobs at home in Arkansas and get our economy back on track.

Two panel discussions comprised the heart of the summit. The first deliberation revolved around investing in infrastructure and critical services to create jobs throughout rural America. The dialogue of the second panel concerned the creation of a sustainable rural economy through small business and workforce development and making capital more accessible to small businesses.

“Senator Lincoln is in a very powerful position in her role in leadership in the U.S. Senateon the Senate Agriculture Committeeand that was evident today,” said Pagan. “I think the takeaway for me was that our rural leadership is right on target with the critical issues that are facing rural America today, and that includes infrastructure.

"I was glad to see a strong focus on things that we are really interested, engaged and involved in. One is the access to high-speed broadband and how critical that is to rural areas.”

Lincoln also praised Winrock International and their rural efforts throughout the state of Arkansas, saying that she is one of Winrock’s “biggest fans.”

Winrock Recognized for Its Contribution to Eliminating Child Labor in Cambodia
Kosal Chea is awarded a medal of honorIn March, Winrock International was recognized for its efforts to prevent and withdraw child laborers in Cambodia. During the closing ceremonies of the annual Congress of Ministry of Labor and Vocational Training, Kosal Chea was presented with the Monisaraphoin Thnak Asareth medal of honor. Kosal is the Director of Children’s Empowerment through Education Services (CHES) of Winrock International

The Royal Government of Cambodia has established a national goal to eliminate the worst forms of child labor in the country and Winrock International is committed to being a part of that goal through the CHES program and this award is an endorsement of the successes of the U.S. Department of Labor-funded program. The program reaches 11 districts, 30 communes and 150 villages throughout the Cambodian provinces of Pursat, Siem Reap, Prey Veng and Kampong Cham and is preventing and withdrawing 8,250 children from dangerous child-labor conditions, such as those that exist in subsistence agriculture, cassava and fresh water fishing.

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