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January 2015

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The John D. Rockefeller 3RD Scholars Program, in collaboration with the USAID-funded Climate Resilient Ecosystems and Livelihoods project, seeks proposals for applied research on community co-management of wetlands in Bangladesh, by Feb. 13, 2015. The goal of the research is to assist local communities, the Government of Bangladesh, and funders in making better informed decisions on policies and programs to protect freshwater wetlands. Learn more about how to submit a proposal.

The Royal University of Phnom Penh and Royal University of Agriculture partnered with the USAID Lowering Emissions in Asia’s Forests (USAID LEAF) program and the USAID Cambodia Supporting Forests and Biodiversity project in Phnom Penh from January 15-16 on a national seminar to introduce the USAID LEAF Climate Change Curriculum countrywide. Read more.

Winrock and Japan Tobacco International are addressing a shortage of teaching and learning resources in Malawi by training teachers to make their own resources from recycled paper.

The Agricultural Marketing Service of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has partnered with the Wallace Center at Winrock International to create a Group GAP (Good Agricultural Practices) Pilot Program, allowing “cooperatives, food hubs and other marketing organizations to offset the costs of GAP certification by pooling their resources together.” Read more at the USDA Blog.

The USDA-funded Philippine Cold Chain Project’s first Farmers’ Field School graduation and Harvest Festival was held on December 10, celebrating graduates — 41 of whom are women — of the Farmer Field School program. Farmers in the program completed a hands-on training course designed to improve the skills of experienced farmers, and introduce new farmers to the fundamentals of growing and harvesting high-value vegetables.

Read more from Arkansas Business about how Innovate Arkansas, a program of the Arkansas Economic Development Commission and Winrock International, is helping build a tech startup scene in the state.

Winrock's John Fisk spoke at the first ever Food Tank Summit in Washington, D.C., Jan 21-22. Prior to the event, Food Tank asked Fisk five questions about the summit and building a better food system. Here's what he had to say.

Pebble toys has partnered with the USAID-funded Climate Resistant Environment and Livelihoods project to open three new centers in Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh. Pebble will train 300 women to knit and crochet the children's toys, creating livelihood opportunities and reducing dependency on the vulnerable forests of these communities.

Visit the USAID LEAF website to view the second volume of the Gender Policy Brief — highlighting the status of gender integration in climate change and REDD+ across the Asia-Pacific region.

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.

Trafficked bride rebuilds life with assistance, training from Winrock-implemented program
Trafficked bride rebuilds lifeMoney was scarce in Kanya’s family (not her real name). Her father had died and her mother was sick, leaving her as the sole provider. When her aunt suggested marriage to a wealthy Chinese man and the opportunity to send money home, she agreed. At age 20, Kanya had never heard about trafficked brides. She was sold for about $16,000 and joined, on a plane to China, three other women who shared a similar fate.

When she arrived in China, Kanya soon learned that marriage was not in her future. She was forced to live and have sex with her buyer. Her passport was confiscated. After two months, she was returned to the broker and sold to another man for the same purpose. Eventually she was held captive and forced to work in a factory without pay.

Read more.

Youth event in West Georgia promotes energy efficient technologies
Youth event in West Georgia promotes energy efficient technologiesStudents from the “Momavlis Taoba” (Future Generation) Program Civics Club participated in a youth energy efficiency event — Energy Efficiency Is a Smart Choice — in Georgia last month. The event was organized by the Enhancing Capacity for Low Emission Development Strategies (EC-LEDS) Clean Energy Program, to help raise awareness of the benefits of sustainable energy consumption and energy-efficient technologies.

Seventy-five students from Kutaisi, Zugdidi and Batumi schools participated in the event. Dean of Energy and Telecommunications Faculty at Georgian Technical University, Professor Gia Arabidze, discussed the importance of energy efficiency, how to conduct an energy audit, energy efficient technologies and simple tips to save energy at home. Later, students participated in contests, during which they were given simple energy efficiency tests covering the topics of the session, with the top three winners receiving medals. All students were awarded with a certificate of participation.

The EC-LEDS Clean Energy Program is funded by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and is implemented by Winrock International. Through this project, USAID supports Georgia’s efforts to increase climate change mitigation through energy efficiency and clean energy activities, and enable more responsible management and development of Georgia’s natural endowments. The event was organized with the support of PH International.

Strengthening agriculture education, training in Guinea amid Ebola crisis
Distance learning classIn November, the Agriculture Education and Market Improvement Program (AEMIP) initiated a training of trainers through distance learning for 15 faculty members and three students at the Institut Supérieur Agronomique Valéry Giscard d’Estaing de Faranah (ISAVF) — Guinea’s only agriculture university. The training provides participants with an understanding of key components of a business plan and allows for practical development and design of four mock proposals for potential social enterprises with strong importance to ISAVF. This was the first time distance learning has been offered at a public university in Guinea.

Soon after, the project supported the university to implement two additional training of trainers sessions via distance learning: an Extension Methods Training-of-Trainer course, covering the fundamentals of working with communities in rural development, experiential learning opportunities for students, and participatory extension; and a Gender and Climate Change course, focused on climate change and gender, gender analysis, problem-solving and decision-making, vulnerability analysis, climate-resilient livelihoods, and disaster-risk reduction. The distance-learning aspect of the courses allowed more than 50 ISAVF faculty and students to participate in the training, despite the outbreak of Ebola in the area.

In addition, ISAVF’s conference center, equipped through AEMIP support, served as a resource for university and graduate students to showcase the defense of their master’s thesis. Three of the students were from foreign countries in the region that regularly enroll students at ISAVF. The center has the potential long-term benefit for the university to strengthen collaboration with other Guinean agriculture education and training institutions and with external research networks and universities.

The completed distance learning trainings have prepared university faculty to address new challenges in the Guinean agricultural sector related to food security, gender, agribusiness and climate change that will be critical as Guinea addresses local, national and regional impacts related to the ongoing Ebola Virus Disease.

AEMIP is funded by USAID and is implemented by Winrock International and Purdue University.

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