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.
Oct 18, 2013

Hardy Antiques: Testimonial

Martha Wilson, Hardy Antiques, shares her story.
Martha Wilson, Hardy Antiques, shares her story.

“The Operation JumpStart Program sponsored by Winrock International’s Arkansas Women’s Business Center (AWBC) and the University of Arkansas Cooperative Extension Service was just what I needed to begin my second career and make the transition from living and working in Tennessee to Arkansas. The course I attended was held in the fall of 2012 and I purchased Hardy Antiques January 1st 2013, so the timing could not have been better.

The classes were held at different Ozarka College locations in Melbourne, Salem and Ash Flat and traveling to them afforded me the opportunity to get to know these towns and some of the business people in them. The class material, handouts and the workbook we were furnished were well organized and chocked full of information, everything you would need to start and maintain a small business in Arkansas. I loved the real life examples of a small business owner's journey, the successes and missteps. The instructors gave us direction on how and where to apply for business permits, get sales and use tax and Federal ID numbers. In addition to the textbook material, we had interesting guest speakers; an attorney, accountant, publisher, banker, as well as established small business owners. These professionals gave us the good, the bad, and the ugly side of owning your own business. We had a beautiful "graduation" dinner when we completed the course and we gathered with instructors, classmates and friends to celebrate.

After completing the course we continue to have periodic follow up and interaction with our facilitator. After the Operation JumpStart class, the AWBC arranged two seminars on using Facebook and creating a Website for small business, which I attended. Nine months into this life changing event I am paying the bills, with a little to spare, and I feel good about it. I am truly thankful for the Operation JumpStart Program and the people involved in it. The name really fits what it is and what it does. It gave me the jumpstart I needed at just the right time in my life.”

Martha Wilson, Owner


Sep 3, 2013

Women Advising Women Farmers

Women advising Women Farmers (August 31, 2013)

By Henk Knipscheer - Senior Associate

Since the last update of March 31, 2013, the Christopher Dowswell Scholarship Fund has made progress on two fronts, i.e. scholarship promotion and scholarship fund raising.  Scholarships for rural female extension agents have been advertised in the three target countries, Ethiopia, Mali and Nigeria. Despite the relatively short window for application, numerous applications have been received. These applications are presently being evaluated. Mid-September, successful candidates will be informed about their selection. The scholarships will be mentored in collaboration with the Sasakawa Fund for Extension Education Program (SAFE). SAFE is committed to addressing faculty gender imbalances in agricultural extension education. By targeting female candidate students, the Christopher Dowswell Scholarship Fund will help improving the gender balance in rural advisory services.

In June, Winrock was informed of the commitment by Sasakawa Africa Association (SAA), of an additional USD 50,000 for the scholarships. SAA is a Nippon Foundation sponsored program (also known as Sasakawa Global 2000) that was the institutional home of Christopher Dowswell for many years. This gift will be announced during the next World Prize award ceremony in Des Moines, Iowa, in October. 

On behalf of Winrock, the Dowswell family and our partners in the SAFE program, we thank all donors
for their generous support.

Stay tuned for more updates!

Aug 9, 2013

Empowering Young Women to Lead

SSL participants in a teambuilding activity
SSL participants in a teambuilding activity

This summer, 50 young Moldovan women gained leadership skills and enhanced their self-confidence and knowledge about domestic violence and human trafficking during the annual Summer School of Leadership (SSL), co-organized by Winrock and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) Mission to Moldova. In addition, participants learned about available educational and job opportunities and resources, acquired basic employment and entrepreneurship skills, and discussed political and social issues in the country.

Moldova’s Minister of Labor, Social Protection and Family attended SSL and spoke to participants about the  importance of building a society in which men and women are equal and domestic violence is eliminated. The Minister and other speakers encouraged the young women to get involved in decision-making processes in their communities and to actively participate in efforts to prevent and eliminate domestic violence. The important role that men and boys play in promoting gender equality was also highlighted. Many of the young women who participated in SSL expressed commitment to lead activities in their communities to address social issues, using the skills and techniques they learned this summer. As one participant noted, “I became more confident in myself [as a result of the SSL]. In the future I want to speak in front of people. I believe that if I apply the knowledge gained at the Summer School I will become a true leader.” In November, participants will reconvene to present the progress of their  activities and share their experiences.

In addition to leadership and prevention activities like SSL, in its first year, ADVANCE provided services to over 100 survivors of domestic violence and women at risk, and reached over 450 people in rural villages through Mobile Technical Units.  On behalf of Winrock and our partners in the ADVANCE project, we thank donors for their generous support. To date we have raised over $1,100, thanks to individuals like you. Stay tuned for more updates!

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