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 15, 2015

Promoting the Prospects for Women in Agriculture

Women farmers produce 70 percent of Africa
Women farmers produce 70 percent of Africa's food.

One of last quarter’s highlights was the scholarship program’s presentation to the annual World Food Prize ceremony in Ames, Iowa. During a special session, Winrock International – in collaboration with the Sasakawa Fund for Extension Education (SAFE) and Sasakawa Africa Association (SAA) - had the opportunity to discuss the scholarship program with leaders from the private, non-profit and public sectors. The presentation focused on the need to increase the number of front-line agricultural extension agents. It also outlined the following reasons why the scholarship program promotes the role of women in agriculture:

  • Women farmers produce 70 percent of Africa’s food. If we are to increase food availability in Africa, we need to reach female farmers.
  • In some cultures, there is no communications between male extension agents. Consequently, only 5 percent of rural women receive agriculture extension services.
  • The World Bank estimates that yields of food crops will increase by up to 30% if best agricultural practices can be conveyed to women farmers.
  • Once women agricultural extension officers are recruited, it is more likely that nutrition and health counseling can be integrated into the agricultural advisory services.
  • Increasing the agricultural productivity of women farmers will increase their income and improve the health and education of their children.

We are happy to report that the Dowswell scholars continute to make excellent progress. Winrock International appreciates your support for the Dowswell scholarship program. Thank you for your generosity!

Oct 9, 2015

Donations Fund Brazilian Reforestation Project

The Mata no Peito Initiative has raised over $40,000 in donations from partners to fund projects that protect and replant forests in Brazil and demonstrate community engagement and enhanced livelihoods.

Winrock is grateful for the generous support to date from 155 individual donations via Global Giving as well as from committed corporate and nonprofit partners including Sustain:Green, the U.S. Tennis Congress, (USTC), the 2013 Environmental and Clean Energy Presidential Inaugural Ball, software development company iObit, Nissan, London Carbon Markets and Hub Culture.

Mata no Peito partners have collectively removed 19.55 million pounds of CO2 from the atmosphere via purchase and retirement of carbon credits to offset their own carbon footprints – equivalent to taking 1,830 cars off the road for a year.

We are excited to announce an award of grant funds to Brazilian NGO Ecologica Institute (“Instituto Ecologica”) for reforestation and riparian restoration of 20 springs in the Taquarussu Grande Creek watershed, which provides water for nearly 70% of the population of the capital city of Palmas, Tocantins. Water supply from the creek has been reduced by 85% in recent years due to deforestation driven by cattle ranching and agriculture.

The Mata no Peito-funded reforestation project will increase the long-term water supply for Palmas as well as improve the water and soil quality in the Taquarussu watershed while restoring wildlife habitat, reducing greenhouse gas emissions and avoiding the deposit of pollutants, which contaminates springs. The project will also provide jobs and raw material for income sources for local communities, such as jewelry, jellies, honey and other products promoted by Ecologica Institute in the region.

Ecologica Institute will begin work in October 2015 to establish the tree nursery and will embark upon reforestation activities in through the spring of 2016. We will report on project developments on www.matanopeito.org. Thank you for your partnership in support of this important initiative.

Oct 8, 2015

RtL works to kick illiteracy out of South Sudan

Students hold up signs at the ILD 2015 event
Students hold up signs at the ILD 2015 event

In South Sudan only 27 percent of people 15 and over are literate. The numbers are even more staggering for girls where literacy drops to just 16 percent. As part of an International Literacy Day celebration in Juba, on September 22nd  Room to Learn (RtL) South Sudan distributed Instructional Material Package (IMP) grants to five Central Equatoria State schools. The grants included school supplies such as: books, teaching and learning materials, classroom supplies, flash boards, educational games and more.

The day kicked off with roughly 1,400 students from the five different schools spilling onto the grounds of Gumbo Primary School, which hosted the event. The celebration came alive as music from a marching band filled the space. Students held up signs with appeals such as “Kick illiteracy out of South Sudan” and “Girls have the right to learn too.”

Kids were invited to read out loud, for the first time, one of the books they were given that day. They had a VIP audience that included not only the mass of fellow students but U.S. Ambassador Molly Phee; Minister of Education, Science and Technology for the Government of South Sudan Dr. John Gai Yoah; and Acting State Minister of Education For Central Equatoria Catherine Kapoki.

Despite the pressure from the crowd, each student who read spoke with confidence bringing the stories to life. Their presentation was inspiring and showcased how education can help prepare young people to succeed. There is still a lot of work to be done to kick illiteracy out of South Sudan but we hope this is the start to a bright future, where more young people will have the opportunity to learn to read.

Your continued commitment enables us to have a bigger impact on each school community we enter in South Sudan. We thank you for your support!

US Ambassador Molly Phee looks at RTL IMP grants
US Ambassador Molly Phee looks at RTL IMP grants
Young girl reads story out loud at ILD 2015 event
Young girl reads story out loud at ILD 2015 event
Two young students read a book provided by RtL
Two young students read a book provided by RtL

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