Winrock International

Winrock International is a nonprofit organization that works with people in the United States and around the world to empower the disadvantaged, increase economic opportunity and sustain natural resources. Winrock matches innovative approaches in agriculture, natural resources management, clean energy and leadership development with the unique needs of its partners. By linking local individuals and communities with new ideas and technology, Winrock is increasing long-term productivity, equity and responsible resource management to benefit the poor and disadvantaged of the world.
May 26, 2015

Priming for Success at Farmers Markets

Farmers Markets and locally grown food are increasing in demand, while new farmers markets are being established and existing markets are growing and expanding. The Arkansas Farmers Market Vendor & Manager Training was held in Hope, Arkansas recently. The training was aimed at educating farmers, vendors, and market managers. To ensure longevity and sustainability of the farmers markets and local food systems, the vendors and managers who participated would in turn be able to increase the profitability and success of the farms and the markets they sell through.

The training featured two tracks: one 6-hour training for market managers and a separate 6-hour training for market vendors. Over 65 attendees participated, coming from the local Southwest Arkansas area to as far as East Texas, Cabot, Jonesboro, and Little Rock. The manager training including speakers presenting topics on market management, grant writing to source funding for markets, utilizing the SNAP program at market, promotion of markets through the web and specific social media programs, state legislation surrounding markets and food safety, and incorporating activities at market to involve the community and bring in more customers. The market vendor training also utilized experience speakers from Arkansas and Texas to cover topics including state legislation, post-harvest handling, marketing and profitability, beautifying your market display, increasing sales at market, branding your local food, and food safety. The primary goal of the training was to help markets and market vendors attract more customers and increase profitability at their local farmers markets. Door prizes such as a large chalkboard easel, cash boxes, market display baskets, chalkboard paper, a logo design for one winning farmers market, farm profitability books, money deposit bags, and more. The training was hosted by the Arkansas Women’s Business Center, Winrock International, the US Department of Agriculture, and the University of Arkansas Community College at Hope/Texarkana. Participant evaluations were overwhelmingly positive and encouraging, and a follow-up evaluation will be conducted with participants in mid-summer to determine the value of the training on the market season.

Apr 24, 2015

Dowswell Scholarship Program

Dowswell Scholarship Program
Dowswell Scholarship Program

April 2015 Report for Global Giving

 

During the second year of the Christopher Dowswell Scholarship program all fifteen scholars are making good progress. Five scholars are in their second academic year. In this second year the Fund provides a laptop for each scholar to help them research as much information as possible. In Ethiopia, a laptop was hand delivered to Ms. Gedamu, a scholar at Bahir Dar University. We are pleased to relay her thank you note to all supporters of the Dowswell Fund.

 

“Yesterday, I received an HP Laptop that you send me with the help of Dr. Mutimba.

I would like to say thank you! Thank you! Thank you! Really, I admire your true support. It is unbelievable. God bless you! I have not any better words, which explain my feelings.”

I have completed this semester course. Then, I will send my results as soon as the university will give me these. Thank you very much!”

Apr 21, 2015

Community Engagement in South Sudan

Students participate in RtL community activities
Students participate in RtL community activities

At the start of the 2015 school year, Room to Learn (RtL) South Sudan entered school communities for the first time in three states and four counties. Using a community-based approach, RtL county teams work with community members to identify their own human and material resources, networks, and past experiences that can be put to use to support education. The process involves many stakeholders including teachers, parents, government officials, religious leaders, youth, women’s groups, entrepreneurs, and civil society organizations. Communities are engaged to actively understand how safe and effective their school is so that they can plan and implement steps to improve school safety through the creation or updating of the School Development Plan.

The result of this approach is that community members are empowered to mobilize resources at their disposal to improve school conditions as well as identify gaps that RtL can help address through its grant mechanism.

This process can be applied not only to the school. It can be applied in our houses so we appreciate the resources we have and use them properly”, said one community member. Over the life of the project, Room to Learn anticipates it will reach over 500 schools and 300,000 children through direct services aimed at improving access, retention, quality, safety and relevance of instruction across South Sudan. On behalf of Winrock and our partners, we thank donors for their generous support. Your commitment is invaluable as we move ahead with work in school communities!

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