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  • MEDA - Media Centre / Press Releases
    Associates MEDA a key player in the fight celebrated the distribution of its three millionth anti malaria net voucher in the country That celebration will be brought to North American soil next week with a visit by two Tanzanian officials from the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare Dr Donan Mmbando Director of Preventative Services and Dr Alex Mwita Program Manager for the National Malaria Control Program They will be accompanied by MEDA s management team for the project country manager Tim Piper and program manager Faith Patrick MEDA will mark the occasion by cutting a cake in the image of a program voucher MEDA is the Tanzanian government s logistics manager for Hati Punguzo an initiative that promotes a unique public private partnership that provides Tanzanians with subsidized vouchers to purchase insecticide treat mosquito bed nets ITNs at very low cost Through the initiative MEDA has helped to create a network of more than 6 500 retail outlets nationwide where previously the life saving nets were not available During a stop in the town of Arusha Bush visited the Meru District Hospital where pregnant women at the clinic receive the vouchers to obtain an ITN The president also toured the net making factory of A to Z Textile Mills the only manufacturer in Africa to produce the life saving long lasting insecticide net which MEDA distributes through Hati Punguzo So far the impact of the project is staggering Research suggests that six lives are being spared for every 1 000 nets sold In addition to the lives saved ITNs prevent serious illness that would devastate families wages would be lost and costly treatment would be needed President Bush launched the five year 1 2 billion President s Malaria Initiative in 2005 The program aims to cut malaria related deaths by half in 15 African countries View MEDA s video on YouTube Email Print Family Business Doctor making a house call in Calgary Partnerships Commitments and Dreams A day of networking learning and inspiration Co sponsored by MEDA and Mennonite Foundation Canada Waterloo ON Seventy per cent of family businesses fail to make the transition to a new generation but an upcoming workshop will show business owners how to keep their enterprise alive by planning now for a smooth succession John Fast the Family Business Doctor will help take family business owners From Parenting to Partnering during one of three workshops he ll present at Partnerships Commitments and Dreams a one day mini convention co sponsored by MEDA Mennonite Economic Development Associates and the Mennonite Foundation Canada Keynote presentations include Connecting Faith Business and Development in a Needy World by MEDA chair Dr Mel Stjernholm of Boulder Colorado and Everest Living a Dream A 20 year Personal and Medical Journey by Dr Bill Hanlon pharmacist family physician travel and tropical medicine consultant from Cochrane Dr Stjernholm a native of Colorado received his MD degree from the University of Colorado and has specialized in endocrinology with a practice in Boulder Stjernholm

    Original URL path: http://meda.org/connect/meda-in-the-news/media-centre-press-releases?start=108 (2016-02-17)
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  • MEDA
    Website Login Logout MEDA365 E mail Login MEDA365 SharePoint MEDA Master Photo Library Travel Tracker Navigation Home Tags Bloggers Archived Posts Calendar Search Sort by Title Tag Weight Access to Financial Services 2 Afghan Secure Futures ASF 1 Afghanistan 1 Agriculture 83 Asset Building 1 Building Skills For Life 1 Business Development Advisor Intern 6 child early and forced marriage CEFM 1 Child Labour 1 Communication and Program Support Intern 16 Communication Development Intern 15 Communications intern 7 Communications Impact Assessment Intern 8 Corporate Partnerships 1 Country Culture 44 CUSO 1 Cuso International 1 Demographic Dividend 1 E FACE 3 Economic Empowerment 2 Economic Opportunities 70 Economic Strengthening 2 EFACE 2 Enterprise Development Intern 7 Entrepreneurship 2 Ethiopia 8 Family 1 Financial Capabilities 1 Financial Education 1 Financial Inclusion 11 Financial Service Providers 1 Financial Services 29 Gender Equality 5 Gender Intern 15 Ghana 4 Global Entrepreneurship Week 2 GROW 2 Health 44 I T Development Intern 13 ICT 1 IDW2016 1 Impact Assessment Intern 68 Inclusive Market Systems 1 International Development Week 1 Internship Experience 85 Keyhole Gardens 1 Launch 1 Leveraging Economic Opportunities LEO 1 Loan Officers 1 Marketing 3 Marketing Fundraising Intern 3 MEDA Convention 2014 1 MEDA Engagement 3 MEDA Interns 2012 77 MEDA Interns 2013 114 MEDA Interns 2014 31 MEDA Projects 44 Microfinance Institution 5 Microlinks 1 Mobile Technology 1 Morocco 6 Myanmar 2 National Holiday Experience 20 Nigeria 2 Nutrition Food Security Intern 4 Occupational Safety and Health 1 Outreach 1 Partnership 1 Praxis Series 6 Private Sector Development 153 Project Coordinator Intern 3 Rural Microfinance Intern 45 Saving 2 SDG s 1 Security 1 SEEP Network 5 SEEP YFS Working Group 3 Sightseeing 33 Skills Training 1 Spotlight 1 Value Chain Development Intern 12 Village Savings Associations for Youth 1 VSAYs 1

    Original URL path: http://meda.org/intern-blogs-yc/tags (2016-02-17)
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  • Bloggers - EasyBlog
    such as those affected by conflict cultural constraints climate change pressures and dire economic disadvantage Helen has directly managed several women s economic development programs in Afghanistan and Pakistan and has expertise in building business operations for enterprises in India Bangladesh Ethiopia Pakistan Libya Afghanistan and in Canada Her work centres on the practical application of disciplined business principles in building effective pro poor programs for marginalized communities around the globe Subscribe to updates from author Posts 1 Categories 1 Tags 0 11 December 2015 A 10 year Milestone Helen Loftin s Experiences Working with Women Empowerment Projects at MEDA View All Posts Women s Economic Empowerment Author did not utilize any tags yet Rob Maxwell Impact Assessment Intern Ghana Rob Maxwell Impact Assessment Intern Ghana has not set their biography yet Subscribe to updates from author Posts 1 Categories 3 Tags 0 01 December 2015 Arriving in Ghana View All Posts Uncategorized Ghana Stories from the Field Author did not utilize any tags yet Kara Klassen Consultant Project Manager Women s Economic Opportunities As project manager Kara manages MEDA s work on the SDC funded Chemin Levi Miyo Plus CLM Project Pathways to a better life in Haiti with Fonkoze Foundation the lead implementer An extension to Fonkoze s very successful CLM program this project seeks to introduce more market driven and business oriented solutions to addressing the poverty that the program s women face through facilitating improved technical assistance and market linkages Kara also supports MEDA s project in Myanmar specifically focusing on the impact that women s economic empowerment has on peacebuilding Kara also provides value chain development expertise market systems analysis and research and manages local and international donor relations as required Subscribe to updates from author Posts 1 Categories 1 Tags 2 28 November 2015

    Original URL path: http://meda.org/intern-blogs-yc/blogger (2016-02-17)
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  • MEDA
    Releases Get Social MEDA s Facebook Page Twitter MEDA Videos meda tv MEDA Blog Stories from the Field Client Stories Personal Reflections MEDA Web Links Get Involved MEDA Convention Upcoming MEDA Events MEDA Field Experiences How to Get Involved Youth Connect MEDA Ambassadors 20 under 35 MEDA Chapters Mennonite Entrepreneurs Conference Ways to Give Donate today Gift Solutions Catalogue Planned Giving Sarona Risk Capital Fund Farmer to Farmer MSCU Mutual Aid in Action Fundraise for MEDA AmazonSmile Donate while you shop Products Supporting MEDA Donate aeroplan miles Resources Publications The Marketplace Magazine Learning Centre Policies Logos and Branding My MEDA My Communication Preferences My Giving History MEDA Staff Logins Website Login Logout MEDA365 E mail Login MEDA365 SharePoint MEDA Master Photo Library Travel Tracker Navigation Home Tags Bloggers Archived Posts Calendar Blog Archives There are no archived posts yet Youth Connect Youth Connect Youth News Intern Blogs YC Incentives for First Time Donors You re Hired Book Contact Youth Connect Stay in Touch Please complete all required fields First Name Invalid Input Last Name Invalid Input E mail Invalid E mail Address Please Subscribe Me Unsubscribe Me Please choose one Select below Invalid Input MEDA Creating business solutions to poverty

    Original URL path: http://meda.org/intern-blogs-yc/archive (2016-02-17)
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  • MEDA
    meda tv MEDA Blog Stories from the Field Client Stories Personal Reflections MEDA Web Links Get Involved MEDA Convention Upcoming MEDA Events MEDA Field Experiences How to Get Involved Youth Connect MEDA Ambassadors 20 under 35 MEDA Chapters Mennonite Entrepreneurs Conference Ways to Give Donate today Gift Solutions Catalogue Planned Giving Sarona Risk Capital Fund Farmer to Farmer MSCU Mutual Aid in Action Fundraise for MEDA AmazonSmile Donate while you shop Products Supporting MEDA Donate aeroplan miles Resources Publications The Marketplace Magazine Learning Centre Policies Logos and Branding My MEDA My Communication Preferences My Giving History MEDA Staff Logins Website Login Logout MEDA365 E mail Login MEDA365 SharePoint MEDA Master Photo Library Travel Tracker Navigation Home Tags Bloggers Archived Posts Calendar February 2016 Switch to calendar view Can Corporate Partnerships Promote Gender Equality Tuesday 02 February 2016 Approach with Humility Reflections for International Development Week Friday 12 February 2016 Youth Connect Youth Connect Youth News Intern Blogs YC Incentives for First Time Donors You re Hired Book Contact Youth Connect Stay in Touch Please complete all required fields First Name Invalid Input Last Name Invalid Input E mail Invalid E mail Address Please Subscribe Me Unsubscribe Me Please choose one

    Original URL path: http://meda.org/intern-blogs-yc/calendar (2016-02-17)
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  • MEDA
    consisted of Hilda Abambire and Mohammed Fatawu our value chain people in the project myself and the project manager Ariane Ryan We started in Accra meeting with equipment suppliers and an industrial user of soybean oil the Azar paint company We then traveled to Ghana s second city of Kumasi and spoke with processing companies the state seed distributor financial institutions and poultry operators All throughout these interviews one consistent theme arose There is not nearly enough soy being produced in Ghana to meet the demand The huge unmet demand for soybeans and its associated products in Ghana has meant this gap is being filled by imports of raw beans soy oil and especially soy cake used in animal feeds This reliance on imports for a large portion of the country s demand for soybeans is a double negative for Ghana for two reasons First of all the country has great potential and many natural advantages to be able to grow substantially more soy This is a missed opportunity not only for the country s agricultural sector which could be growing a high value crop but also for many potential downstream commercial activities from milling and processing to end product creation that create more value Secondly importing soy adds to the trade deficit one of the many large macro economic difficulties facing the country However there are positive developments Farmers and other market actors are slowly beginning to realize the great potential in this previously relatively unknown crop The pace of change is not as fast as we would like Service providers seed growers and other key actors are still not able to meet the demands of producers Although the market forces and price signals are slowly starting to turn increasing numbers of agriculture value chain actors towards the soybean This along with help from projects like GROW and increasing attention and recognition from government policy makers on the crop means Ghana s soy production is sure to increase in the coming years Tags Enterprise Development Intern Economic Opportunities Women MEDA Interns 2014 MEDA Projects Continue reading Ghana 2782 Hits Monday 02 February 2015 Top 5 reasons why I love my job Clarissa Heger Former Communications Intern After five months in Ghana with the GROW project it feels like I ve really found my stride I love my job and living in Tamale not to mention my amazing friends and co workers that have become more like family to me Our GROW project has had a busy start to the new year packed with trainings field visits and visitors from headquarters on top of the usual work Luckily when you love what you do there s a lot of fun involved and working for a good cause always keeps me going The New Year also brought great news for me I m thrilled to announce that I ve been offered an internship extension and I will be continuing my work as part of the GROW team for another six months here I m so happy to be able to stay here longer and am really excited to contribute more to the GROW project embrace new challenges take more learning opportunities and make deeper connection with people In celebration of my awesome news I thought I d provide a little more insight into why I love my job Supporting real change During my field work I get chance to meet the rural women soybean farmers and learn about their lives families successes and troubles I can t help but leave completely in awe of their strength openness and determination it s incredibly inspiring every time I feel so fortunate to be able to share their stories and how the GROW project is improving the women s and their families lives I really love that part of my job Our MEDA Team I have the pleasure of being surrounded by very supportive smart and fun people For the first day that I arrived I was warmly welcomed into the GROW family and we ve only gotten closer since then It s a great to be part of the team that works together grows together and supports one another Thank you all for being your wonderful selves It never gets boring There are constantly new projects and challenges coming my way Whether it s working through cross cultural barriers figuring out the process of getting marketing materials printed or learning about a new aspect of GROW I m constantly solving problems and learning new things GROWing professionally Working for MEDA comes with the perk of being surrounded by some of the best and brightest minds in international development Just last week we had MEDA s Ann Gordon take our team through an advanced value chain training that taught us all about value chain analyses tools and Ghana s soybean industry Plus we actually got to practice our new skills in the field Making connections I m always getting to meet new and interesting people Just a couple of weeks ago we had the pleasure of hosting Kim Pityn MEDA s Chief Operations Officer and Dave Warren MEDA s Chief Engagement Officer from MEDA headquarters It was great to get to know them learn about their roles hear about their experiences and exchange ideas with them Tags Communications intern MEDA Interns 2014 MEDA Projects Women Economic Opportunities Continue reading Ghana 3479 Hits Thursday 08 January 2015 A new way of living Kevin Linklater Program Support Enterprise Development Intern I spent the two week Christmas New Years break in Lomé the capital of Togo I couchsurfed while I was there a website that connects travellers to locals who open up their homes and allow that person to crash or surf on their couch or any sleeping surface There is no expectation of payment and depending on the host lifelong friends can be made in a matter of a few days I had done this many times before but all in Europe and North America pretty much all were great and memorable but all were in situations and cultures that were at least vaguely familiar to me as a middle class Canadian This was certainly not the case in Togo For two weeks I got the full experience of living like a typical Togolese with my Togolese peers I slept on the floor sometimes had bucket showers didn t go on the internet ate what my hosts ate drank what my hosts drank hung out with their friends went to their spots and lived life at their pace Sometimes there were long periods where nothing really happened we lazed about and didn t really do anything No electronic devices to distract or appointments or things coming at you Constant stimuli are a luxury of developed countries or of the wealthy In underdeveloped parts of the world you have to just pass the time with nothing but the people around you I came to appreciate these moments this is when you just need to chill out and be centered in yourself It builds trust in those around you I really had to learn how to just be and hang out with your friends doing nothing You have to lose that nagging flighty ness not think about what others are doing or thinking not think about what you should be doing and not worry about the future These were contrasted by periods of fast action and intense stimulation of the senses Fast nights jumping from place to place all on the back of motorcycles weaving in and out of traffic Walking through jam packed markets where every sight sound and smell is new The constant bartering over prices and everyday tasks that require so much more than this North American could ever have thought All this reinforced a few things 1 You have to take life it as it comes planning and the future are luxuries Live in the present Eat when there is food in front of you drink when you have drink and sleep when you have a bed 2 You have to be capable For example fetching water from the well for the first time I felt so helpless I couldn t get the technique to fill the bucket and could only retrieve a small amount each time If you can t do something learn fast because as a grown person you don t want to be a burden on others 3 Saving doesn t happen If you have money spend it If you have food or water you consume it now because if you wait there is a good chance it won t be there in the future just due to the uncertainties and precariousness of life 4 Reciprocation and sharing are hugely important and reinforce bonds in a powerful way Because the typical Togolese or African for that matter won t always have money or food you have to rely on others Sometimes you pay other times your friends pay That way you won t ever go hungry when others are eating 5 When the good times roll jump in with both feet because there s no guarantee tomorrow will offer you the same opportunity that you have now It really was a life changing experience It changed me by showing me a different way of living with new rules new social norms new burdens and new rewards I gained broader perspective on what life is for a large part of humanity and will carry those lessons and experiences with me I loved it all Tags Economic Opportunities Enterprise Development Intern MEDA Interns 2014 National Holiday Experience Women Continue reading Ghana 3644 Hits Monday 05 January 2015 Sunny Holidays in Togo and Ghana Clarissa Heger Former Communications Intern This year I spent my holidays at a beautiful beach surrounded by good friends in Lome Togo Although of course I missed celebrating Christmas with my family the alternative wasn t too shabby Four friends and I flew from Tamale to Accra on the early morning flight then took a car for about three hours to reach the boarder and then ended up at our bungalow on the beach by late afternoon We spent our time on an almost empty beach swimming playing Frisbee listening to music eating delicious food and playing lots of card games in the evenings It was the perfect antidote to the busy pre holiday stress we had left behind On Christmas we played and relaxed on the beach all day and then met Kevin the other GROW MEDA intern who was also traveling in Lome for dinner at a little Bavarian and French restaurant Taking me back to my Bavarian roots I was beyond excited to have discovered a German restaurant in Lome The six of us shared a delightful Christmas feast that reminded me of celebrating the holidays as a child in Germany We had a truly wonderful time and it was great alternative way to celebrate the holidays One of the perks of returning to Tamale was that everyone else was traveling so I had been asked to house and dog sit for two adorable puppies at a friend s nice house with a pool In a way my vacation continued with lots of dog walking and pool time And I also looked after a friend s horses so I got to go horseback riding a few times which made my break even better It was a really great holiday break and I was happy to ring in the New Year s in Tamale celebrating here with friends and fireworks The last year brought many new firsts and special memories for me Moving to Ghana and being part of the GROW team has been such an incredible experience so far I feel very privileged to be able to travel to the villages to meet our women farmers continue learning from our skillful staff here and be part of this meaningful work to help make a difference for these women and their families in Ghana The GROW team is really a family and after three short months it feels like home here I m truly grateful for an amazing 2014 and I can t wait to see what 2015 has in store Tags National Holiday Experience Economic Opportunities MEDA Interns 2014 Women Communications intern Continue reading Ghana 4015 Hits Monday 24 November 2014 Leadership and Inspiration in Everyday Life Clarissa Heger Former Communications Intern I m nearing the end of my third month in Ghana and am still learning and doing something new every day Overall I absolutely love my life and work here Whether I m learning how to build keyhole gardens in the villages for the dry season or documenting our semi annual Project Advisory Committee meeting to get insights into the GROW strategies I m constantly growing professionally and personally as well as getting my daily dose of inspiration Recently I had one of these moments of absolute admiration and inspiration in Maase village Jalal my GROW team member and I had an early morning and a bumpy ride to this village in Upper West District I was taking pictures videos and interviewing Mary the proud new owner of a keyhole garden Her GROW group of women farmers had come to help with the construction and to learn how to build the gardens for themselves from Jalal s demonstration Several layers into the construction the garden was starting to come together but needed more top soil The women had to gather additional soil from outside of Mary s fenced in property So the women and some men formed an assembly line to pass bucket of top soil to the construction site of the keyhole garden A true testament to teamwork and support but more than that despite the fact they had been working in the heat all morning to build this garden for their group member they started singing songs laughing and smiling as they were passing buckets of soil along the assembly line I was so touched and impressed by this beautiful display of community The women showed so much strength unity and joy with access to opportunities their potential to change their communities Ghana and the world is endless My time here in Ghana hasn t been without its challenges but getting to work in this area of my passion women s empowerment is really all I need to relight my motivation I m truly inspired every day being surrounded by strong women Whether it s through these incredible moments with the women in the villages or by the strong female leaders on our MEDA team it serves as a constant reminder as to why this work is so important Tags Communications intern Women MEDA Interns 2014 MEDA Projects Economic Opportunities Continue reading Ghana 3562 Hits Friday 21 November 2014 Hard work and a bit of luck Kevin Linklater Program Support Enterprise Development Intern This week we had a Project Advisory Committee or PAC meeting in Wa The meeting was attended by a majority of MEDA Ghana country staff MEDA staff from HQ in Canada representatives from our five key facilitating partners KFPs folks from the Canadian embassy in Accra and DFATD as well as a representatives from the Ghana Health Service and the Ministry of Food and Agriculture This was my first PAC meeting What I was able to take away is that things seem to be on the up and up There was a great deal of optimism for year three of the project and I feel like things have improved in that regard since the last PAC meeting in June This optimism will surely be necessary The project has ambitious targets and the rate of uptake by the clients i e the number of women planting soybeans within the GROW project must increase drastically for next year s planting season and in subsequent years for these targets to be met I have two thoughts on this Initially I fear that the low hanging fruit has already been targeted so to speak that it will be difficult to convince the remaining women who are enrolled in GROW but aren t yet planting to plant next season These remaining women are perhaps more risk averse and will be very hesitant to try something new making achieving the targets set for the number of women planting a tall order Countering this is that the initial work put in with the other value chain actors will hopefully yield more reliable service and more stronger linkages after a longer duration relationship has developed enabling more women to access these crucial services and inputs when they need them and allow more to plant This will work in the project s favour going forward and be a positive factor in the following years that was not present at the outset I think it will come down to whether or not women who have planted in the past were successful In groups where women have been successful and have earned a decent income from their crop it will encourage more women from those groups to plant next year However in groups where women encountered problems and were unable to earn an income or a high enough income to justify their efforts it will be very hard to convince additional women from those groups to try planting and indeed it may be hard to retain the numbers we do have The abilities and strengths of our field officers will affect this to a degree but I have learned that it is very hard to change people s perceptions and change ideas that have been long held and are entrenched Some of the shortfalls from last season were due to bad luck such as poor weather In some of these communities successes will beget more success but in communities that experienced difficulties we will certainly have our work cut out for us Tags MEDA Projects Enterprise Development Intern MEDA Interns 2014 Women Economic Opportunities Continue reading Ghana 3621 Hits Friday 07 November 2014 I believe in what we are doing here Kevin Linklater Program Support Enterprise Development Intern I have now started getting into the meat and potatoes of the work I am meeting regularly with Mr Baaro the gentlemen who I am supporting with his soymilk business I am helping him track his costs prepare marketing materials and determine production levels and the selling price This is as much a learning experience for me as I am not an expert in business Figuring out when the business will make its return on investment ROI is going to be fun to calculate as there are lots of moving parts that go into it and measuring it is not always precise in the best circumstances let s not forget that pesky Ghanaian inflation However I have received good support from the other MEDA staff here and I have a clear goal which is to see Baaro Enterprise turn a profit from producing and selling soymilk and to therefore become a sustainable and reliable buyer of soybeans from local farmers I have also been tasked by Catherine the country manager to work with the other staff to compile a manual for the field officers I have now attended 5 meetings with our key facilitating partners KFPs local NGOs that MEDA has partnered with to carry out the GROW project at the community level From those meetings I have learned all of the challenges and opportunities that the field officers face in implementing the GROW project in the communities A myriad of obstacles must be overcome logistics social group formation and navigating the web of community relationships ownership the availability of financial services even the weather But this manual will hopefully smooth out some of these hurdles and support these field officers by providing them with a template for action including who will be supporting them at each stage of implementation It also helps that I believe in what we are doing here I have met many other expats and a few have shrugged their shoulders when I ask what sort of work they are engaged in saying something to the effect of well I just do whatever This was one of my biggest fears in heading overseas to do development work that I would simply be a voluntourist involved in a project with a fuzzy but lofty sounding goal but with no concrete outcomes that would change anything If our project is successful it will create meaningful and more importantly long term and permanent change in the lives poor rural Ghanaians Tags MEDA Interns 2014 Enterprise Development Intern Women Economic Opportunities Internship Experience Continue reading Ghana 3884 Hits Friday 31 October 2014 Beyond the Rough Bumpy Roads Clarissa Heger Former Communications Intern I love being a communications intern because it allows me to learn about all different aspects of the GROW project agriculture gender nutrition monitoring and evaluation and much much more I m always buzzing around partner NGO meetings community visits donor tours staff trainings etc taking tons of pictures and notes to share But I have to say my favorite part of the job is doing field work As part of my responsibilities I have the honor of reporting on the significant changes that are taking part in women farmer s lives due to the GROW project Together with our MEDA team and partner NGOs we identify several women that have become empowered through being part of the GROW project After our field staff preliminarily interviews them I have the great pleasure of doing in depth follow up interviews taking pictures and sharing their stories with people from around the world as well as getting them back to the women and their communities Travel to these rural villages usually requires a start in the early morning hours and what seems like endless driving along rough bumpy and often unpaved roads I can t even tell you how impressed and grateful I am for our drivers they are incredible When we finally make it to the communities I have the privilege of meeting these amazing women Then we find a shady spot under a tree or around their house and with translation assistance of the field staff they share their stories about their soybean fields their families their ambitions and their concerns As is common when you have foreign visitors generally a crowd of curious neighborhood children accumulates within minutes of starting the interview and it has usually tripled in size by the time we finish Then after many thanks and smiles we all pile into the car or walk to the women s soybean fields Here I photograph the women proudly showing their crops and ask a few last questions that come up Then after many more thank you s we pile everyone back in the car and drop them back at home On the ride back I generally find myself reflecting on the women s stories I m always blown away at the strength determination and selflessness of the women I meet Farming is very difficult work but beyond that many of these women lack formal education and to see them decide to switch to growing soybeans so they can for feed and educate their children is inspiring humbling and beyond impressive And that pretty much concludes a typical field visit as you can see there s really nothing typical about them which is why I enjoy them so much Keep an eye out for our newest client stories they ll be coming your way soon Tags MEDA Interns 2014 Communications intern Internship Experience Women Economic Opportunities Continue reading Ghana 3726 Hits Tuesday 21 October 2014 A Canadian Thanksgiving in Ghana Kevin Linklater Program Support Enterprise Development Intern This past weekend was thanksgiving back home in Canada One might think that this would make a wayward Canuck passing the holiday thousands of miles away in Northern Ghana a little homesick missing a nice home cooked meal enjoying the company of family and friends fall leaves crunching under foot But nothing could be further from the truth This past weekend was filled with all of those things minus the crunchy fall leaves part The expat community here in Tamale rolled up their sleeves and cooked baked and basted their way to faithfully recreating a North American holiday tradition in the heart of West Africa There was squash mashed potatoes carrot rice and eggplant dishes tilapia salad couscous green beans and of course turkey and stuffing Dessert included 4 pumpkin pies made with local squash I am told although surprisingly indistinguishable from the pumpkin version apple crisp chocolate cake and lots of ice cream The celebration wasn t confined to Canadians but included Ghanaians Danes French British Americans Nigerians Dutch Swedes and others around 50 or 60 people in total For some probably a majority there this was their first experience with this holiday and I am sure it left an indelible and positive impression Sitting along two long tables in the still hot and humid evening people from all over the world sat and talked shared their backgrounds their aspirations their stories I met people from everywhere but was able to connect quickly and meaningfully to all of them Indeed Tamale seems to attract similarly outward looking engaged and thoughtful people For me the most beautiful aspect of this is that we Canadians were able to share a part of our culture with people from across the globe and that everyone took part with enthusiasm and zeal and came out with stronger ties to one another It is my hope that I will be able to take part in many things that are uniquely Ghanaian during my stay and similarly strengthen my ties with people in the communities I will be working with here Tags MEDA Interns 2014 Women National Holiday Experience Enterprise Development Intern Economic Opportunities Continue reading Ghana 3646 Hits Wednesday 15 October 2014 Morning Runs Red Red and Lovely People Clarissa Heger Former Communications Intern These are some of my favorite things I m happy to report that these past couple of weeks I ve finally been settling in After almost a month of searching I finally found an awesome roommate and a safe apartment A little two bedroom off a main road with electricity running water and even has AC pretty fancy I ve been taking full advantage of having a kitchen again Traditional Ghanaian food is not very vegetarian friendly most dishes have meat so it can be challenging finding something veggie on the menu when you re eating out I must say one of my favorite traditional dishes is red red and luckily vegetarian It s fried plantains with beans and veggies when I make it at home which makes it even better Our neighborhood is nice and quiet with lots of rural roads nearby that are prefect for peaceful trail runs I ve even formed a little running group with my roommate and another girl nearby Morning runs are one of my absolute favorite things here The sun is just rising and it s still cool enough to run plus you I get to watch the whole world wake up Usually we just encounter goats and chickens on the roads with the occasional motorbike or women carrying a load on her head passing by Then on the way back on our loop we are greeted by eager smiling children in their uniforms walking and riding bikes to school They re always enthusiastically waving and yelling hello salaminga foreigner on top of their lungs You can t help but smile wave and repeat hello back to them as many times as they say it to us On days that we don t run my roommate and I have started doing yoga together in our living room I was pretty excited when we found yoga mats at the grocery store With large windows that overlook the main road we get some beautiful views in the morning It s been a great way to get centered before diving into a busy day at the office It s been a few busy weeks for the GROW project and my internship Last week our first press release for the new soy processing plant was published and we also launched our Facebook and Twitter sites Don t forget to like and follow us We ve been moving at a very fast pace but it s been a lot of fun and I m learning constantly and getting to know my amazing coworkers better is just another bonus Speaking of them I d like to give a shout to all of the wonderful people I ve met here that have welcomed me and supported me My boss and coworkers who have helped me get settled in From fixing things in the apartment to taking me on errands getting us a security guard and much more they ve been there for me very step of the way I ve also been fortunate to meet some awesome expats that have provided helpful advice and shown me the magical cheese and yoghurt shop I m truly grateful to be surrounded by some many lovely people thank you Tags MEDA Interns 2014 Communications intern Women Internship Experience Economic Opportunities Continue reading Ghana 3842 Hits Friday 03 October 2014 More than economics Kevin Linklater Program Support Enterprise Development Intern My second day in Tamale and I am slowly getting used to the pace of things here My fellow intern Clarissa Heger has been an invaluable help showing me some good spots in Tamale and introducing me to the rest of the staff at the office here The real work has yet to start but I have been getting good background information from the office team here The week before I arrived some of the office staff attended the opening of a soy processing facility in Wa which is where I will be doing most of my work One of the principal tasks I will be engaged with will be publicizing and explaining the process of producing soy milk so that potential investors will be able to see the opportunities of this particular market There is an entrepreneur who has already invested in this and who will be buying soy from the farmers that MEDA has trained The more buyers and markets that exist for soy the better and developing this market will mean more opportunities and earning potential for the smallholder farmers who are producing soy However numerous challenges exist Soy milk is a very foreign product here in Northern Ghana and creating demand for it will be a challenge Also competing with cheap imported soy will be a challenge for producers here I have just come off of a 3 month contract working in the Department of Agriculture at the provincial legislature in my hometown of Winnipeg Part of my duties there entailed putting together a daily news briefing for the minister and other staff I am fairly well versed now in the movement of key commodity prices and trends in agriculture The world will see a very large soy crop this year as several key countries including the United States the world s largest producer and Brazil are harvesting record crops The downward pressure this will put on soy prices will be problematic as the soy processors that exist here may look to cheap imports Conversely though the Ghanaian cidi has been depreciating and this makes importing more expensive which will make domestically produced soy more attractive to processors here All of this highlights the risks of the marketplace and doing business in a globally traded commodity However the diversification of Ghana s agricultural sector will help mitigate these downside risks For too long Ghana s agriculture sector relied on the export of cocoa With the development of other crops and products the price swings of one commodity will be mitigated Furthermore any displacement of imports with domestically production will improve the country s balance of payments and put the country on a sounder economic footing This in and of itself is laudable However this is only one small aspect of the GROW project The main goal of GROW is to improve the incomes of rural women and the nutritional outcomes of their families The benefits this would have are too numerous to mention here and would far outweigh the narrow benefits identified above and I will leave that for a later blog post Needless to say this is a very exciting project to be involved with Tags MEDA Interns 2014 Enterprise Development Intern Women MEDA Projects Economic Opportunities Continue reading Ghana 3242 Hits Thursday 02 October 2014 Fadila s Story Soybeans for School Fees Clarissa Heger Former Communications Intern This past week I had the pleasure of joining a wonderful passionate and committed group of MEDA supporters visiting us from Canada for a MEDA field experience It was a jam packed schedule with lots of meetings village visits cultural excursions and new adventures We had so many inspiring highlights fun experiences and moments of growth but today I want to tell you about one encounter that stood out to me above all others About half way into the field experience we visited a little village called Tampala where with the help of our NGO partner PRONET MEDA started the GROW project We were so warmly welcomed by the women farmers their families and the village chiefs which even included one female chief It was moving to see so many women successfully growing soybeans hear about how they re able to make more household decisions and better support their children While intently listening to the achievements and challenges of the women GROW groups I was circling the group to document our visit with lots of pictures I found myself standing next to a young woman in a pink shirt She had shared her perspective to a few of the group s questions and her natural leadership charismatic personality and vibrancy came across clearly despite the language barrier I asked her if I could take her picture and we got to talking To my surprise my new friend Fadila spoke very good English So with her permission I d like to tell you her story Fadila is eighteen years old and was born and raised in Tampala She lives with her mother father her father s second wife his third wife has passed away four brothers and four sisters Unfortunately Fadila was just six months shy of finishing senior high school when due to family s inability to pay for school fees she was forced to drop out As is sadly often the case her brothers education was prioritized all four are still in school but none of the girls in her family are That s not going to stop Fadila though she s growing an acre of soybeans and plans to use her proceeds from selling the crop to go back to school Fadila wants to be a nurse It s not easy to grow soybeans she mentioned harvesting the crop destroys your hands but she s determined and I have no doubt that she ll achieve her goals Plus she s already experimented with soybeans by incorporating them into local dishes such as paola by making a boiled soybean dumpling and tambra adding soybeans to a maize beans and rice dish I didn t get a chance to try these but as soy loving vegetarian they sound delicious Fadila and I got along so well that she suggested I marry one of her brothers so I could come live in Tampala with her which made us both laugh I am so impressed by Fadila s strength resolve and positivity and will definitely visit her again during my time here so we can catch up about this year s harvest and how she s

    Original URL path: http://meda.org/stories-from-the-field-ghana (2016-02-17)
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    the people behind this posts If you don t get the opportunity to travel to these places yourself to explore the food culture and stories of our clients let these interns personal tales serve as a window to MEDA s work in the field Tags MEDA Interns 2014 Internship Experience Economic Opportunities Private Sector Development Continue reading Canada 3470 Hits Tuesday 09 July 2013 Safe Travels to the 2013 MEDA Interns Jaclyn Stief For the past 16 years MEDA has sent over 100 young professionals in total to 20 countries around the world to give them the opportunity to gain experience in the field and discover their career interests This summer 14 new interns visted MEDA head offices for a week long orientation to learn about the organization and meet staff members before they embark on their 6 month international development internships While not all of the interns will be in the same country or working on the same project each of them will be helping MEDA fulfill its overall mission of creating business solutions to poverty for families around the world Check back on this blog regularly to read their stories about how they are building new skills uncovering unique experiences and changing the lives of those around them Bringing different skills and life experiences to their position will no doubt make for varying perspectives on the realities of their internship and of international development as a whole Let us now introduce the 2013 cohort of MEDA Interns Ethiopia EDGET Ethiopians Driving Growth through Entrepreneurship and Trade Emma Harris Rural Microfinance Intern Shaunet Lewinson Business Development Advisor Ghana GROW Greater Rural Opportunities for Women Daniel Penner Communications Impact Assessment Intern Gillian Perera Nutrition Food Security Intern Jessica Adach Gender Intern Morocco YouthInvest Jeelan Syed Communication Development Intern Sanae Elamrani Impact Assessment Intern Nicaragua MiCredito Techno Links Technology Links for Improved Access and Incomes Catherine Walker Rural Microfinance Intern Sarah French Impact Assessment Intern Peru Techno Links Technology Links for Improved Access and Incomes Stefanie Santana Value Chain Development Intern Tanzania TNVS Tanzania National Voucher Scheme Curtis Shane I T Development Intern Mary Fehr Impact Assessment Intern United States Ines Sawadogo Project Coordinator Intern Zambia Techno Links Technology Links for Improved Access and Incomes Jared Worley Rural Microfinance Intern Visit MEDA Internships for more information on our internship program and to read the biographies of the 2013 interns Tags Economic Opportunities Internship Experience MEDA Interns 2013 MEDA Projects Private Sector Development Continue reading Canada 5472 Hits Wednesday 16 January 2013 Social Media Saavy Jaclyn Stief Marketing Fundraising Intern Marketing Engagement Each year MEDA hosts its annual convention Business as a Calling I had the opportunity to attend this year s events in Niagara Falls Ontario from November 1 4 2012 I was excited to learn more about MEDA contribute to work behind the scenes and meet some of our supporters I arrived with the rest of the Marketing team on October 31 to help with registration preparation and logistics It

    Original URL path: http://meda.org/intern-blogs-yc/categories/canada (2016-02-17)
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    my mother s career was my true inspiration In fact hearing stories about places like Darfur the Democratic Republic of the Congo and many other African countries in crisis made me realize that this is what I wanted to do I want to contribute to the economical political and social development of developing countries like my home country Burkina Faso I transferred to Suffolk University in Boston in 2006 for my sophomore year and despite some initials struggles with English language I caught up really fast After one year in at Suffolk University I decided to relocate to La Roche in Pittsburgh a smaller city and smaller educational environment where I could focus more on my studies After my graduation in May 2009 I thought getting a job would be easy but reality taught me otherwise In fact finding an internship or a job is not simple However during my program at American University I had the opportunity to intern with two great two great organizations but I was still looking for an internship that would tie everything together and put me in a position where I could really use what I have learned in the last two MEDA s Project Coordinator internship came at the right time I have been with MEDA for just a month and I am already impressed Unlike many internships where you are just sitting by the copy machine I get to work on ongoing projects and attend staff meetings Right now I m working on developing and updating MEDA s entrepreneurship toolkit for the financial services I have learned so much already and I am looking forward to the rest of my experience with MEDA Tags Financial Services Internship Experience MEDA Interns 2013 Private Sector Development Project Coordinator Intern Continue reading United States 5216 Hits Wednesday 16 January 2013 Top 15 Things You Observe Moving to the Big City Stephanie Shenk Project Coordinator Intern Market Linkages 1 Your life is run by rush hour and traffic 2 Use Crosswalks Tags MEDA Interns 2012 Private Sector Development Agriculture Project Coordinator Intern Country Culture Continue reading United States 5589 Hits Wednesday 09 January 2013 The Void Stephanie Shenk Project Coordinator Intern Market Linkages The Void That s the term my sister uses to describe the time of life that I am in The Void is this tricky time right after you graduate college and suddenly your future is completely open It is an exciting time and a scarey time It is also a time of questions question like What do I really want to do with my life Where do I want to live Do I move to be near friends or a job Now wait what are my life values How do these values shape how I live and work What am I really passionate about How do I even go about finding a job How do I afford to pay off my debt and still manage to eat How do I find a place

    Original URL path: http://meda.org/intern-blogs-yc/categories/united-states (2016-02-17)
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