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October 2013

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Winrock announced this month the elections of Suzanne Siskel and Richard ‘Rick’ Leach to its board of directors. Siskel, executive vice president and chief operating officer at The Asia Foundation, and Leach, president and chief executive officer of the World Food Program USA, both accepted five-year appointments. Read more.

In October, GlobalGiving is offering multiple regional Bonus Days. A match of 30 percent for donations, and two $1,000 bonus awards, will be given when the gift is made through the GlobalGiving website. Wednesday, Oct. 23 is the designated Bonus Day for projects in North and South America and the Caribbean. If you are interested in supporting any of Winrock’s projects on GlobalGiving, you can learn more about them here.

On Sept. 24, the California Air Resources Board (ARB) issued the agency’s first compliance offset credits, also called ARB Offset Credits or ARBOCs. ARBOCs can be used by California entities to help meet their emissions-reductions obligations in the state Cap-and-Trade Program. ARB issued over 600,000 ARBOCs to four ozone depleting substance destruction projects. The largest single offset credit issuance was for more than 300,000 credits to Environmental Credit Corp. (ECC) for a compliance offset project listed on Winrock’s American Carbon Registry (ACR). Last month, ACR issued the first Registry Offset Credits (ROCs) of the California compliance offset program to ECC for this project, which are now the first ROCs to be converted to ARBOCs.

Farming is a business, but many farmers are not armed with all of the tools to manage their farm finances. Farmer trainers now have a new resource in their arsenal — a curated collection of tools to address this critical issue, and people to help them incorporate them into their curricula. Join the Wallace Center’s National Good Food Network for an introduction to the tool library, and several of the tools on Nov. 21, during a free webinar. Register for the “Tools for Improving Farmer Financial Skills” webinar today.

The Arkansas Women's Business Center is partnering with nine Arkansas community colleges to provide entrepreneurship and small business classes. The program started this month, and a three-session "Bookkeepers’ Boot Camp," which will teach basic bookkeeping skills, will take place Oct. 22, 24, and 29. Find out more.

David Ganz, chief of party for the Winrock-implemented Lowering Emissions in Asia’s Forests (LEAF) program, was quoted in the news recently discussing the link between wildfires, transboundary haze and climate change in Southeast Asia.

On Sept. 21, LEAF partnered with the Queen Sirikit Botanical Garden and other Thai organizations to plant 5,000 trees on a degraded hillside that was threatening the local water supply. Approximately 300 Mae Mhae villagers, schoolchildren and local officials came together for the restoration and to raise public awareness.

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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Dr. Palaniswamy: International Volunteering Improves Quality of University Faculty
Usha PalaniswamyDr. Usha Palaniswamy, an adjunct professor at Strayer University, has volunteered seven times with Winrock International — in four countries. She also recently joined the World Vegetable Center as project manager for the "Vegetables Go to School" project. Winrock International staff talked with Palaniswamy about her volunteer experiences and the role that American university staff and faculty can play in strengthening food security, both in the United States and around the world.
 
What has drawn you to volunteer each time?
It’s my desire to give back. I want to help provide a similar experience to others who don’t have the same opportunities that I did in the U.S. I have a lot of training and passion for the work that I do, and a desire to reach out to countries that need help, to work with students, staff, community leaders. So I try to find time within my tight academic schedule. Volunteering gives me an opportunity to interact with different cultures. This is an element of excitement and that is of value to me as a person. I get a lot of ideas from other countries and other people.
 
Describe some of the best moments as an international volunteer.
The hospitality that is given back to me is the greatest thing. The people are extremely grateful. I’ve been in so many different countries, and the lecture halls are always full. Read the full volunteer spotlight.

Winrock International, EPA Organize Cookstove Design and Performance Testing Workshops
cookstove workshopWinrock International and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently organized a series of six capacity building workshops on cookstove design and performance testing, throughout Africa, Asia and Latin America. Almost 200 participants, from more than 100 organizations and 19 countries, attended trainings between July 2012 and September 2013.

Two types of training were provided: capacity building for stove design and laboratory-based performance testing, provided in Vietnam, Mexico, Nepal; and training on planning and conducting field-based performance tests, provided in Uganda, Benin and India. The field-based tests evaluate stove performance in real homes, with real cooks, to assess actual impacts on household fuel consumption. These multi-day workshops provided a valuable opportunity for participants to interact at a country or regional level through hands-on, practical exercises, interactive discussions and real-world practice. Participants in these workshops are leaders in their field, and not only receive training but provide training through sharing their experience and offering assistance to their colleagues — quite often making action plans for future collaboration before the workshop has ended. In delivering these unique workshops, Winrock and the EPA draw on a vast network and longstanding relationships with household energy sector partners around the globe.

One workshop participant in Nepal said, “Whatever the new things that we learned during this workshop, we will share these with other colleagues and try to apply as much as we can to increase the efficiency of our stoves.” Another participant in Benin noted, “[The workshop] has been well executed. That has allowed me to follow the whole program easily and learn in an understanding and conducive [environment]."

Trafficking Survivors Unite to Present Recommendations to Bangladesh Leaders
In solidarity with TIP survivorsLast month, more than 80 men and women — survivors of human trafficking and labor exploitation — met with Government of Bangladesh officials during the ANIRBAN (Survivors’ Voice) convention to present their recommendations to improve laws and programs that address trafficking in persons.

During the convention, survivors met in working groups to discuss four key themes: Quality support for survivor’s empowerment; survivor-friendly prosecution process; activation of local and regional frameworks to prevent trafficking; and the roles of public and private institutions for successful reintegration of survivors of trafficking. Forty recommendations came out of the sessions, with the 12 most significant recommendations presented to government officials.

The convention was made possible with the support of USAID through the Winrock-implemented Actions to Combat Trafficking-in-Persons (ACT) program, and partner NGOs Dhaka Ahsania Mission (DAM), Young Power in Social Action (YPSA), SHISUK, and SACHETAN. Since 2008, ACT has been providing support to strengthen and expand services for survivors of trafficking.

Entrepreneurship Curriculum Approved by Moldovan Ministry of Education for Wider Use
“Basics of Entrepreneurship” curriculum in the classroom.Moldova remains the poorest country in Europe, with rural areas disproportionately affected and youth especially impacted by the ongoing global economic crisis. Many young people find it difficult to meet basic needs and earn a sufficient income — often leading them to seek work in other countries.

The Winrock-implemented Moldova Employment and Entrepreneurship Activity project, funded by Liechtenstein Development Service, aims to counteract these trends by increasing employment and entrepreneurship opportunities for Moldovan youth. To provide quality entrepreneurship education, project staff developed a “Basics of Entrepreneurship” curriculum, trained 65 vocational education and technical school teachers on the curriculum and teaching methods, and piloted the curriculum in 15 schools. The pilot program received such positive feedback from teachers and students that, in August, Moldova’s Ministry of Education approved the curriculum for use in all vocational and secondary schools throughout Moldova.

The curriculum features interactive didactic teaching methods and a combination of classroom/group and individual work, with each student developing and presenting their own business plan as their final assessment. Wide-ranging topics covered include financing and accounting, management, marketing, and business-plan development.

       


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