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    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 Tuesday 27 January 2015 An Interesting Christmas Stephanie Puras Communication and Program Support Intern International development work has it perks for sure but one of its downfalls is that you are often away from your loved ones for quite some time and are out of the loop with what is going on back at home I try not to dwell on what I am missing and try and live in the present soaking up as much of this experience as I can but there are times when it is difficult I m sure we have all been there and being away from my family for Christmas was one of those times for me For some missing Christmas may not be a big deal but in my family it is probably the biggest event of the year There is tons of food music and it really is the only time family from all over the globe can be together This was my first Christmas away from home Thankfully in ways work was hectic so I really did not have much time to think about it and before I knew it Christmas was only days away It was strange for Clara and I we were not only in a tropical climate away from home but Ethiopia does not celebrated Christmas the same time we do They celebrate Orthodox Christmas which is about two weeks later so not much was going on for our Christmas With that being said we still tried to make the best of it We decorated our home with Christmas lights and ornaments and blasted Christmas songs while at home We both managed to get Christmas Eve and Christmas Day off so we had time to relax and watch an abundance of Christmas movies On Christmas day our work invited us for a special Christmas coffee ceremony and even gave us adorable Christmas buddies a reindeer and a snowman I truly appreciated their effort to make our Christmas as special as they could for us especially since it wasn t their own Christmas Even though we were far away from home it helped to be around friends Perhaps the highlight of the day besides saying Merry Christmas to our family back at home was going to the movie theatre to watch the new Hobbit movie Clara and I did a marathon that week and were ecstatic that it was actually showing at the movie theatre here We thought it was a pretty great way to spend Christmas Even though I was not with back at home with my family this Christmas I wouldn t say I was alone MEDA and Clara were my family this year and I am so grateful to have celebrated Christmas with them It is times like these that you really appreciate the relationships you ve created and realize that family can come in different forms I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas and New Year s Thank you to everyone who made mine special and unforgettable Tags Private Sector Development MEDA Interns 2014 Communication and Program Support Intern Agriculture Continue reading Ethiopia 4553 Hits Friday 23 January 2015 A trip to the ocean a time to reflect Clara Yoon Communication and Program Support Intern In Ethiopia Christmas is celebrated at the beginning of January because of the Orthodox Calendar While Steph and I could have had two Christmases we took a trip to Mombasa Kenya to take advantage of our extended holiday I m not really the spontaneous type but it was a worthwhile and refreshing trip We planned it pretty last minute but in the end everything worked out and we had many good memories Mombasa is a coastal city on the Indian Ocean and is the second largest city in Kenya Historically it was a vital port city for trade We had to adjust quickly to a new language Swahili currency Kenyan Shillings transportation Kenyans drive on the other side of the road and so on Our first time in one of the grocery stores was eye opening There was much more variety and selection compared to what s available in Addis We were also very excited about the nice cafes restaurants and the mall in Nyali From a development perspective I began to notice quickly the differences between Ethiopia and Kenya Ethiopia follows a state led development model and the government protects the economy from foreign franchises Kenya on the other hand has scaled back the role of the state liberalized markets and embraced a Western model of development Our time in Mombasa was short and sweet We didn t travel around too much but mainly relaxed by the beach ate food we can t find in Addis and spent time getting to know the guests at our hostel Our stay at the hostel was pretty unique The owner recently moved into the current house a few months ago so it didn t feel like home yet and was missing her personal touches We were there when artwork curtains and the like were being put up To see her and express that she was coming alive again was something that excited me I m all for pursuing things opportunities and people in life that make you come alive Of course we all go through different seasons some much more difficult than others But ensuring that there s life in what you do is vital During our trip I was reading a book called The Me I Want To Be by John Ortberg It s a timely read because I ve experienced many challenges opportunities to grow and self discover throughout this internship If there s one thing that I realized recently it s this for some time I got lost in questions and uncertainty about the future which made me doubt my dreams passions and capabilities It s a downward spiral if you don t quickly realize there s a process to figuring it all out And answers don t always come quickly or conveniently Being confident and certain in who I am in my faith in the Lord regardless of circumstances is what will keep me grounded A quote from the book that I love is this life is not about any particular achievement or experience The most important task of your life is not what you do but who you become It s already nearing the end of January which means I have less than two months left It feels like there isn t enough time to get everything done so it s crunch time I m excited to go to the field next week and spend time collecting most significant change MSC stories from our clients My sister wrote in her Christmas card to me There s no CAP to what you can learn there I want to hold onto this Each day there are new things to learn from different people opportunities and situations There is no cap Tags Agriculture Communication and Program Support Intern Sightseeing Private Sector Development MEDA Interns 2014 Continue reading Ethiopia 4025 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 Friday 26 December 2014 Christmas in Ethiopia Clara Yoon Communication and Program Support Intern Merry Christmas from Ethiopia Without the snow and festivities it was definitely a different kind of Christmas for me this year But I m thankful to have had a new experience celebrating Christmas in a different country I learned how to make the best of my circumstances and enjoyed the two days off to rest and celebrate I m thankful for the Christmas season because I m always reminded and humbled by the birth of Jesus and all the blessings I have in my life Back at home the month of December is usually filled with reflection travel and celebration I usually travel to the US to visit family and friends or attend a church retreat to conclude the year My family usually doesn t have extravagant Christmas traditions we just enjoy each other s presence Over the month of December Steph and I decorated our house with lights paper trees and ornaments And this past Tuesday I had some friends over for a Christmas dinner party I made pork chops sausages mashed potatoes and roasted vegetables It was nice having company over for the first time Some of my friends said that they felt like they weren t in Ethiopia with the food decorations and Christmas music The next day Christmas Eve Steph and I were off work We got two days off to celebrate our holiday but technically Christmas in Ethiopia is in January We had a nice Christmas Eve dinner and watched the Hobbit at home Waking up on Christmas morning I had a nice post it note stuck on my door from Steph reading Merry Christmas with a cute reindeer doodled on it We had pancakes and fruit for brunch exchanged gifts and watched Home Alone a classic In the afternoon we went to the office for a nice Christmas coffee ceremony our staff had put together for us We had coffee cake and received a nice gift from our staff I really appreciate their thoughtfulness and for celebrating Christmas with us even though they celebrate in January Our evening was spent calling home to say Merry Christmas We also watched the Hobbit at the movie theatre and had a nice Christmas dinner in Bole I m really thankful to be in country with Steph we made Christmas the best we could even though we re both far from our families There s just a few months left of this internship and I don t think I would have made it this far without her support and friendship As we near the end of 2014 a new year is just around the corner I m always excited for a new year because it s a fresh start and I gather together hopes and dreams for another year The year 2014 has had its ups and downs and at the beginning of the year I never would ve thought I d be in Ethiopia working with MEDA Now that it s the end of the year I can say that despite this year s challenges all of the obstacles and experiences have helped me grow as a person and being on this internship has contributed much to this growth Tags MEDA Interns 2014 National Holiday Experience Private Sector Development Agriculture Communication and Program Support Intern Continue reading Ethiopia 3628 Hits Wednesday 17 December 2014 Travelled Centuries Back In Time Stephanie Puras Communication and Program Support Intern After the week of work visiting clients in Bahir Dar Clara joined me and we did some touristy things First Stop Blue Nile Falls Also known as Tis Isat the Smoke of Fire waterfall is near the Tis Abay town situated about 30 km downstream from the town of Bahir Dar and Lake Tana The Blue Nile Falls are considered one of Ethiopia s greatest natural spectacles and is the second largest waterfall in Africa next to Victoria Falls The town was busy when we arrived late that Saturday morning It was Market Day Once we got through the crowds we trekked 1 5 hours up the mountain to the falls I don t hike not alone with high altitude the scorching sun and sharing the path with dozens of cows Needless to say it was a mission and it would not have been complete without stepping in cow dung and nearly being trampled a few times Haha it was still worth it Even though it was very busy we got to see the falls in its full form sometimes there is little water due to the dam I was so hot I seriously considered jumping in it but I refrained knowing it would not end well Second Stop The Lalibela Churches On the Sunday we boarded a plane for Lalibela to see the UNESCO heritage site of the 11 monotheistic rock hewn churches These churches were attributed to King Lalibela who in the 12th century set out to construct a New Jerusalem after Muslim conquests halted Christian pilgrimages to the Holy Land Due to this Lalibela is one of Ethiopia s holiest cities especially for the Ethiopian Orthodox community The churches were not constructed they were excavated Each church was created by carving into the ground to form the churches from the inside and out The largest church is 40 feet high Going from Bahir Dar a lush green paradise to Lalibela a rocky mountainous desert was quite a drastic change but not any less spectacular The churches of Lalibela are unlike anything I have ever seen The most impressive was Bet Giorgis St George church It is cut 40 feet down and its roof forms the shape of a Greek cross It was built after Lalibela s death c 1220 by his widow as a memorial to the saint king It was breathtaking no literally All the walking up and down stone hills through caves and across bridges nearly killed me That weekend was a work out All the churches were so beautiful and it really was a privilege to witness something so sacred to the Ethiopian Orthodox Christians and Orthodox Christians around the world This weekend was the first major touristy trip we did and I am glad we did it Ethiopia is often not given much thought but it truly has a lot to offer you just have to look for it Tags Agriculture Sightseeing MEDA Interns 2014 Private Sector Development Communication and Program Support Intern Continue reading Ethiopia 3998 Hits Tuesday 16 December 2014 Young Entrepreneurs Big Dreams Clara Yoon Communication and Program Support Intern It s the holiday season back in Canada and I m trying my best to be present and thankful in my current circumstances here in Ethiopia While I could compare and wish that I was back at home there are so many things to be thankful for I am part of a really great project E FACE and am loving the work that I get to do Here s a little snippet of what I did a few weeks ago I went on a field visit in the South for a few days with Lauren Good from MEDA s DC office and an E FACE colleague Wondwossen It was a really eye opening trip I learned so much from working and traveling with Lauren Wondwossen and the field staff And of course our wonderful clients always teach me so much After a 7 hour car ride we finally arrived in Wolaita We then drove to Sibaye Korke kebele kebele municipality in Damot Gale woreda woreda district to meet with a potato producer cooperative and a group of youth sales agents We were warmly welcomed by one of our female clients a member of the potato producer cooperative who had prepared tasty potatoes for us Lauren and Wondwossen facilitated a focus group discussion verifying information and data for our project s potato intervention I couldn t help but notice all the kids in the area sneaking up around us to see what was going on After this discussion we met with six youth sales agents who participated in the Building Skills for Life program They each shared about their businesses used clothing sugar cane butter coffee cereals and seed teff and what their future aspirations are It was refreshing to hear about their dreams and how the training they received changed their mindsets I interviewed one client named Aynalem and I was so encouraged by her story Despite a difficult life growing up she has worked hard to provide for herself and support her mother As we were leaving I encouraged her to study hard and chase after her dreams T he next day we visited more youth in Humbo Woreda In this group two youth stood out to me They were on time and one brought his record book to show how he keeps track of his expenses sales and savings I could tell they were very serious about their future dreams one wants to become an engineer and the other wants to become a doctor This really amazed me Through their current businesses they know if they work hard continue to save and maximize their profits they can attain their dreams Another theme I noticed among the youth was a sense of empowerment They felt empowered because they were no longer burdening their families They were earning their own income through their respective businesses and can now pay for their own expenses I have no doubt in my mind that these youth will go on to be successful and influential leaders in Ethiopia I have a few months left of my internship so I m eager to meet more clients hear their stories and document how the project facilitated positive change in their lives Tags Communication and Program Support Intern MEDA Interns 2014 MEDA Projects Agriculture Private Sector Development Continue reading Ethiopia 3920 Hits Saturday 13 December 2014 Increasing Sustainable Economic Growth Improved Livelihoods Stephanie Puras Communication and Program Support Intern In early November I woke bright and early to catch a seven AM flight When I arrived at the airport I traveled 1 5 hours to visit three EDGET clients a Farmers Field Schools Group and 2 rice processors Each had a different story to tell about their progress challenges and success It was amazing to finally be able to connect the information I gathered for reports and see how the project is impacting client s lives first hand Knowledge is Power Farmers Field School Group In a town called Libo I walked through hectares and hectares of farmland for what seemed to be hours I almost stepped on a snake and screamed really loud which provided entertainment for the rest of the staff Eventually I reach a series of huts and the group of farmers This was one of EDGET s Farmer Field School FFS Groups Farmers Field Schools is an EDGET initiative that gives farmers the opportunity to view demonstrations and experiment of improved farming techniques Members then share what they learned and their results with their Farmers Field School group members and neighbouring farmers Even though they were shy at first the men opened up to me about their experiences with FFS and described how they have used the new technologies to improve their rice production increase their businesses and ultimately create a better life for themselves and their families Balay Improved Technologies Increased Success After the farmers group I visited a processor named Balay Balay provides a rice processing service for neighbouring farmers Due to the training sessions and opportunities he has received from MEDA through the EDGET program his business is a huge success He also recently bought a rice processing machine on a cost sharing basis with MEDA it combines a number of steps into one The machine produces higher quality rice which increases the value and ultimately the profit Balay believes this machine will be a great investment for his business and his future This machine will not only benefit me as a processor but because it increases the quality of rice the farmers will benefit as well by receiving a greater income for the rice they produced From Fields to Markets The last person we visited was Momina a rice processor turned parboiler turned business woman Momina has been a rice processor with EDGET for a number of years but in 2013 she decided to parboil rice as well Parboiling is an additional step in processing rice that increases the nutritional value and quality Momina has used EDGET s training on market linkages to sell her rice in local markets and several supermarkets in Addis She has not only put parboiled rice on the market but has also shown the value of women as key players and entrepreneurs in the rice industry Tags Communication and Program Support Intern Agriculture Private Sector Development MEDA Interns 2014 MEDA Projects Continue reading Ethiopia 4387 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 Wednesday 19 November 2014 Exploring the North Bahir Dar and Lalibela Clara Yoon Communication and Program Support Intern Two weeks ago I went on a weekend trip to Bahir Dar and Lalibela located in northern Ethiopia Since I went to the south for work about a month ago I was excited to see different parts of the country again While I do like Addis it does get tiring with lots of people traffic and pollution It was refreshing

    Original URL path: http://meda.org/connect/meda-blog-stories-from-the-field (2016-02-17)
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  • MEDA - Client Stories
    kilograms for his household consumption The following year he received 150 kilograms of improved seed from the project and produced 3000 kilograms He stored 2000 kilograms sold 500 kilograms and kept 500 kilograms for consumption He generated 62 50 USD and will be able to earn even more by selling the potato as seed The project also facilitated the organization of potato cooperatives Madebo is a member of the Delbo Wogane Potato Producers Cooperative that has 102 members 80 male and 22 female that was established in November 2014 Being part of a cooperative allows them to access a storage unit to keep their potato seed and have improved bargaining power in the market The biggest change Madeo has experienced is improved food security He can now feed his family and not worry about a shortage of food The second biggest change for him was acquiring new skills and knowledge Before I didn t have the skills or knowledge to store potatoes in a diffused light storage DLS Through the project I was introduced to this new type of technology expresses Madebo He also received training on how to produce when to produce and what to produce The training access to new potato varieties and access to the storage allowed Madebo to improve his income and food security for his family Madedo values education despite his limited education I am not educated and so I do not wish my children to be like me If I asked them to workand help me it may have burdened them I want them to be active students and continue to let them study Madebo plans to keep investing in his children s education for them to have good opportunities in the future He also plans to construct a DLS storage unit on his own property because he has experienced and seen the great benefits of the technology Email Print Tsehay Yes we can Ethiopia My name is Tsehay Alemayehu and I have six children Since the age of three I have been taking medication for my illness Despite my physical problems I am determined to leave my children with something that can change their lives I joined E FACE under the VSLA village savings and loan association financial service intervention and it has changed my life for the better It has been one year since I became a member and I cannot imagine life without this service Before joining my VSLA I was unable to afford 200 ETB USD 10 00 to hospitalize my son who suddenly became ill From that moment I knew I needed change in my life so that my income could properly support my family When I joined the project I took out a 200 ETB USD 10 00 loan and bought a small cart I began renting the cart to others which provided me with enough profit to repay the loan and begin saving After experiencing the success with that venture I took out a 900 ETB USD

    Original URL path: http://meda.org/connect/meda-blog-stories-from-the-field/client-stories (2016-02-17)
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  • MEDA - Personal Reflections
    simplest the solution is to boost yields and reduce waste Through our work in Afghanistan Ethiopia Ukraine Peru and other countries MEDA is encouraging small farmers to adopt modern farming practices that will help them move away from merely subsistence toward a more prosperous future Small farmers learn how to boost yields through Use of better seeds that produce more vigorous plants Sowing in rows versus broadcasting Judicious use of fertilizers and pesticides They are using their resources more efficiently through More intensive use of their land Adoption of simple technologies such as drip irrigation and treadle pumps to make best use of available water supplies Farmers in developing countries are reducing waste through Improving distribution systems so food gets to market before it rots in the field Better storage to protect produce from the elements They are also learning to work more collaboratively with each other to create distribution systems to better link them to markets respond to modern market demands and changing consumer preferences Relief organizations provide food aid that fills empty stomachs and saves lives We need food aid to respond to a crisis such as we are seeing now in East Africa but we also need to look to the future MEDA is helping to provide longer term solutions to the question of food security by working with small farmers in their communities to ensure that more food and more nutritious food is grown to meet the needs of a rapidly expanding population We also want to ensure that not only is more and better food grown but also that people have the resources to access food by working to improve incomes Only through creating greater self sufficiency and producing a surplus to small farmers needs can we hope to achieve that The World Food Summit of 1996 defined food security as existing when all people at all times have access to sufficient safe nutritious food to maintain a healthy and active life Email Print Field Experience I was warmed by the huge smiles and many thank yous Rachel Yordy a former intern and current MEDA staff member reports things have changed tremendously since 2003 when she last visited Haiti to volunteer at an orphanage There are still many tent cities scattered around Port au Prince and other areas hard hit by the earthquake Before arriving I had a negative impression about the lack of progress as reported by media marking one year since the earthquake But I saw lots of energy and activity I was buoyed by Haitians amazing resilience their smiles and celebrations of life and the real progress being made in spite of the scale of destruction Rachel visited the Fondwa and Cabaret areas about 1 2 hours from Port au Prince where MEDA is working with Mennonite Central Committee to repair and rebuild homes for Fonkoze clients Local masons and carpenters are learning how to build earthquake and hurricane resistant structures It takes time to build momentum but good teams are now

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  • MEDA - MEDA Web Links
    the News Media Centre Press 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 MEDA Worldwide Web Links Links to MEDA online Conferences Related church conferences in Canada and the United States More on Mennonites Links to informative sites related to Mennonite faith culture and history Education Mennonite affiliated educational institutions in Canada and the United States Development MEDA donors affiliates and related organizations Churches Churches around the world who engage with MEDA MEDA Creating business solutions to poverty In Canada 155 Frobisher Drive Suite

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  • MEDA - MEDA Convention 2016
    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 Business as a Calling 2016 Women Changing the World Oct 27 30 in San Antonio Texas at the Hyatt Regency MEDA Convention 2016 Convention 2015 Evaluation Convention 2015 Videos Questions Past Conventions 2015 Seminars All Seminars Fri Nov 6 9 00 10 00 am Fri Nov 6 10 30 11 30 am Fri Nov 6 2 30 3 30 pm Fri Nov 6 4 00 5 00pm 2015 Plenary Speakers 2014 Plenary Speakers Convention 2014 Videos 2013 Plenary Speakers Convention 2013 Videos Past Plenary Sessions Stay in Touch Please complete all required fields First Name Invalid Input Last Name Invalid Input

    Original URL path: http://meda.org/meda-convention (2016-02-17)
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  • MEDA - MEDA Field Experiences
    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 Email Print MEDA Field Experiences Nicaragua See MEDA s work experience extraordinary sights Witness the impact MEDA has on communities in rural Nicaragua and meet employees and clients of MiCredito a MEDA founded microfinance institution helping entrepreneurs every day Our 10 day tours include two full days on Ometepe or at San Juan del Sur Ometepe is an island formed by volcanos touted as the Oasis of Peace The island is a mesmerizing place entrenched in history and full of stunning sights and activities San Juan del Sur is a coastal town on the Pacific Ocean popular among surfers and is a vacation spot for many Nicaraguan families and foreign tourists Tour highlights Meet people changed by MEDA s business minded approach to poverty Learn about microfinance and how it enriches lives Visit Managua the national capital and Granada a colonial city dating to 1524 In Granada take a horse drawn carriage ride around the old city a boat ride to a nearby island to see unique birds or enjoy a zip line ride through a beautiful forest On Ometepe visit a coffee farm or see hieroglyphs or swim at Ojo de Agua At San Juan del Sur take a canopy tour on a zipline go fishing horseback riding or snorkeling For more information contact Carol Eby Good at 800 665 7026 or email trips meda org April 16 23 2016 Managua Granada and San Juan del Sur

    Original URL path: http://meda.org/get-involved/meda-field-experiences (2016-02-17)
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  • MEDA - Get Involved with 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 Email Print Get Involved with MEDA Are you passionate about MEDA s mission Do you believe in MEDA s work of sustainably creating business solutions to poverty Do you wonder how you can play a larger role in spreading the word and gaining support for MEDA Join us because together we can do more Select one of the sections on the left to find out how you can get involved in MEDA right where you live whether in your community at your school at your church in your workplace internationally by fundraising or even virtually We welcome everyone who wants to actively participate as an ambassador for MEDA Get

    Original URL path: http://meda.org/getinvolved (2016-02-17)
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  • MEDA - Youth Connect
    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 Email Print Youth Connect MEDA is embarking on a review of our programming and outreach to young people with a passion for social justice developing business solutions to poverty and with an interest in becoming involved with MEDA as a volunteer and a supporter If you are Interested in social justice Passionate about poverty alleviation Looking to help make a difference in the world we want to hear from you Contact us today 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

    Original URL path: http://meda.org/youth-connect (2016-02-17)
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