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.
Mar 20, 2014

First Class Communication Testimonial

Julie Johnson Holt and Dauphne Trenholm
Julie Johnson Holt and Dauphne Trenholm

First Class Communication, LLC., a public relations firm whose niche is education (we like to say we’re where education and communication conspire) will soon enter into its third year of business.

As any new business owner knows, the first few years are, well, a roller coaster. Times of high productivity are followed by lulls in projects and, thankfully, those are followed (though not soon enough, it always seems!) by new spurts of business.

We - founding partners Julie Johnson Holt and Dauphne Trenholm - have the Arkansas Women’s Business Center to thank for helping us navigate these choppy seas of new business ownership.

The AWBC has taught us how to visualize the clients we want (and then go after them successfully) as well as to get to the quick “no” when it’s just not a good fit. The AWBC has helped us build our business with new clients who seek our services on a project as well as an ongoing basis.

We still have a lot of room for growth and are working daily to reach our goals, but the support of the Arkansas Women’s Business Center has been nothing short of invaluable to First Class Communication’s.

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Your contribution to the AWBC allows us to continue to make dreams of business ownership a reality for women in Arkansas. Women across the state receive free one-on-one counseling services designed to help make their business venture a success.

Mar 6, 2014

Moldovan Women Empowered to Overcome Violence

Young leaders campaign against violence
Young leaders campaign against violence

Over the past two years, the ADVANCE project has helped Moldovan women escape the cycle of family violence and empower themselves toward a better future. “Elena,” a mother of seven, exemplifies the courage and perseverance it takes to move forward. After enduring years of physical and emotional abuse in her home, Elena discovered that there are services available to women like her. After a training in her village carried out by one of ADVANCE’s Mobile Technical Teams, Elena began to access legal and psychological assistance provided by the project. Through repeated sessions, she regained her self-confidence and learned to prioritize her own well-being, as well as her children’s.

One of the effects of years of abuse was that Elena did not feel she could do anything on her own, that she always needed her husband to survive. She soon learned about ADVANCE’s entrepreneurship courses and jumped at the opportunity to become self-sufficient. After the course, she went on to develop a business plan and won an in-kind grant worth about USD 500 to start her own sewing business. She said that this success has helped her to trust her own abilities and feel truly independent. Now, Elena lives with her children separately from her husband, and her business is getting off the ground.

As the ADVANCE project comes to a close, we thank you and all of our donors who contributed to the empowerment of so many women like Elena. Over the course of the project, more than 400 survivors of domestic violence and women at risk accessed psychological or legal assistance, and expanded their economic prospects through job readiness or entrepreneurship training. Our Mobile Technical Teams reached almost 900 people in 26 villages. The project has also reached about 1,150 young people through peer-to-peer sessions addressing gender roles and stereotypes, as well as providing tools for violence mitigation and prevention. Among these young people, 120 have gone on to conduct their own prevention activities in their communities.

On behalf of Winrock and our partners in the ADVANCE project, thank you for your support. While the problem of family violence may persist in Moldova, we are confident that the communities and individuals who participated in ADVANCE are equipped and committed to addressing this serious issue now and in the future.

Feb 28, 2014

Women Advising Women Farmers

Women advising Women Farmers (February 28, 2014) By Henk Knipscheer - Senior Fellow

The five awardees (Mrs. Ayele in Ethiopia, Mrs. Sy In Mali, Mrs. Koné in Mali, Mrs. Traore in Mali and Mrs. Bukar in Nigeria) have all enrolled at their universities. Mrs. Ayele already received formal notification of the successful completion of her first semester, while all the others expect a similar confirmation in March.

In collaboration with the University of Central Arkansas, Winrock is developing a Website for the Christopher Dowswell Scholarship Fund. The purpose of collaboration is the development a fully functioning and user-friendly website that (a) provides general information about the Fund, (b) allows an easily accessible method of applying for scholarships from the Fund, and (c) will encourage additional support. The Website will be functional before May 31, 2014

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