International Women’s Day – a "global celebration of the economic, political and social achievements of women past, present and future,” according to the official website
– will be celebrated March 8. Winrock International is proud that our work has impacted and improved the lives and livelihoods of women around the world. On GlobalGiving, you can catch up with and support
– among other projects – Winrock’s work alleviating domestic violence in Moldova and supporting women entrepreneurs in Arkansas.
On March 13, GlobalGiving is celebrating their first bonus day of the year. A match of 30 percent for donations up to $1,000 per donor will be given when the gift is made through the GlobalGiving.org website. In all, $50,000 in match funds is available. Matching will begin at 9 a.m. EST on March 13 and will continue until funds run out or until 11:59 p.m. EST. If you are interested in supporting Winrock’s projects on GlobalGiving, you can read more about them here.
The Arkansas Women’s Business Center and South Arkansas Community College will host a Money Matters class March 5 & 7 at South Arkansas CFWD East Campus in El Dorado, Ark. This class focuses on practical solutions to money management and is designed to educate women who want to improve their financial management skills. For more information, contact Shay Kaldem. The Arkansas Women’s Business Center is a Winrock International project funded in part through a cooperative agreement with the U.S. Small Business Administration.
If you missed the free webinars this month from The Wallace Center’s National Good Food Network (NGFN), you can still watch the archived versions. On Feb. 21, the webinar – On-farm Food Safety and Access to Larger Markets – presented news and analysis of the latest Food Safety Modernization Act (FMSA) guidelines released for comment from the FDA, and more. Also, the NGFN webinar on Feb. 5, on National Food Hub Studies, described a national survey and benchmarking study on food hubs and explained how you can help improve the world's understanding of them, and also help improve your food hub’s bottom line.
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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|Winrock’s BRIDGE Program Brings Water to Thousands of South Sudanese Families
In March, Winrock’s USAID-funded Building Responsibility for the Delivery of Government Services (BRIDGE) program in South Sudan will start construction on the first water yard in Northern Bahr el Ghazal state. The pilot is part of the program’s ongoing efforts to support the Government of South Sudan’s goal to deliver improved services to its citizens.
BRIDGE builds sustainable partnerships between communities and local government, assisting villages to take ownership of water sources and fostering communication with local government to ensure that water points remain fully functional and protected. Besides drilling boreholes and repairing existing water points, BRIDGE provides training and support to community water management committees (WMC), local technicians, and local government Rural Water Departments. BRIDGE also trains WMC members to serve as advocates of improved hygiene and sanitation practices, such as proper water handling and hand washing. This integrated model for water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) has increased water access for thousands of households, while empowering local “change agents” to protect water sources, minimize conflicts and promote good practices to ensure a healthy community.
The planned water yard is a step toward expanding this model – enabling multiple taps to be used simultaneously, unlike the current system, which allows one person to access water at a time. The new system would also reduce wait time and require less maintenance/repairs. Once established, BRIDGE will provide the local WMC with additional training and support to enable them to manage this more complex system. This pilot represents a potentially important step to furthering the government’s vision for rural water supply, and would become a key example of how a good track record of community water supply management can lead to upgrades in service for the entire community.
By the end of the program in September, BRIDGE will have formed and supported 234 WMCs, constructed or rehabilitated 693 community-managed boreholes and one water yard, and trained over 80 government WASH officials and hand pump mechanics. Since 2009, BRIDGE has enabled over 440,000 people in South Sudan to benefit from reliable access to safe water — many for the first time.
Winrock Supports Municipal Building Energy Efficiency in Georgia
In November, the Tbilisi Municipality in Georgia celebrated the successful demonstration and operation of an atmospheric air-powered heat pump that will provide heating, cooling and hot water for Tbilisi Kindergarten #155. This project demonstrates simple, affordable energy efficiency options for the Municipal government to help cut operating costs, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and improve comforts for citizens.
The pilot project is being implemented by the Renewable Energy Center (REC), a Georgian organization, with grant support from the New Applied Technology Efficiency and Lighting Initiative (NATELI II) project, funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and managed by Winrock International. Winrock’s goal for supporting this pilot is to enhance capacity building for local organizations, demonstrate viable energy efficiency technologies and interventions, and interest the Tbilisi Municipal government and other cities in Georgia in adopting similar actions for its Kindergartens and other city buildings.
REC installed two heat pumps and a water boiler and added insulation and energy efficient ceramic paint to the building. While heat pumps are a well-established technology for building heating and cooling worldwide, they have rarely been used in Georgia. The type of insulation and paint used on the building are also new to Georgia. It is projected that the municipality can reduce operating costs for the school by 40 to 50 percent each year, and the children and school employees now have access to reliable heating, cooling and hot water – all absent prior to this project. Renovation costs, it is estimated, can be recovered in seven or eight years.
Energy use and costs will be monitored and compared to earlier data to document energy and cost savings. Tbilisi Municipality officials have expressed interest in replicating technologies and plans similar to this pilot for other municipal buildings after completion of monitoring at the pilot site.
Winrock’s Supportive Service Leads to Employment and Improved Livelihoods
After Elvis Jones, an unemployed veteran, enrolled in a course at East Arkansas Community College (EACC) to better his career opportunities, tight finances and minimal income was making it difficult for him to cover the cost of travel to and from school. Since Jones was enrolled in a Diesel Technology program offered through EACC’s Arkansas Energy Sector Partnership (AESP) program, Winrock International’s AESP supportive services program was able to provide him with transportation reimbursement.
“Winrock came through for me at a point in my life when I was unemployed. Because of [Winrock], I was able to continue my training,” said Jones, who will complete courses this summer. “The training I am getting is opening many doors for me.”
East Arkansas Community College’s AESP programs in Diesel Technology incorporate skills necessary to maintain biodiesel engines in farming and transportation fields. These skills empower students to improve their livelihoods through higher-wage employment opportunities that likely would not have been available to them otherwise. Tom Hale, EACC’s counselor and recruiter, says Winrock’s supportive services are a link to this kind of success. “Every two-year school in America can tell you stories about students having to drop out or stop out and go to work — at jobs they don’t like and that pay only minimum wage — for a semester or two until they can afford it again,“ he said. “The supportive services from Winrock helped our students stay in school, achieve their goals, and get high-wage, high-demand jobs.”
Winrock, with funding from the Arkansas Department of Workforce Services provided supportive services reimbursements to individuals enrolled in AESP curriculum across the state. Reimbursements for transportation, housing and child care were available to support individuals as they completed training. Overall funding for AESP came from the U.S. Department of Labor. Over the course of the program, Winrock reimbursed more than 600 disadvantaged individuals totaling more than $297,000 in payments. Winrock received more than $398,000 in requests for supportive services reimbursements, and referrals from 1,955 individuals.