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  • Gender Equality
    Arblaster Project Manager and Consultant at Mennonote Economic Development Associates MEDA I was recently asked to join a panel discussion at the Inter American Development Bank on better engaging women in the agricultural sector in Latin America A conversation that needs to be had more often Having lived in Central America I know all too well the realities of gender inequality that exists in the region Typically in the household a woman cooks and cleans doesn t work and therefore doesn t have any control over the financial or operational decisions within the home This goes as far as to say that some women were not even privy to the prices of milk or eggs Machismo as they call it is the mindset that the man is better than the women I saw many homes where this wasn t the case however for the majority of women living in the shadows is a reality Recently I performed and managed a short consultancy that worked with 4 agribusinesses in Peru to promote gender equality in the workplace and homes of the farmers working downstream in their supply chains A Gender Coordinator led the efforts at each business and also hosted Gender Workshops for both men and women in the community from which they sourced The Gender Coordinators educated the men and women about gender equality a phrase some had never heard of before and conducted activities such as learning to cook nutritious foods together as a couple The consultancy lasted only 8 months The goal was to determine the financial and operational implications of gender dynamics on the household and business 8 months was rather short to be measuring these things however even within that time a difference could be seen Woman began to engage in agriculture which for these communities is the primary source of income Two of the companies even had enough supply that they began to market a new product coffee specifically grown by women Maybe it is the next fair trade One company found a niche market in Germany and demand is over the roof The most prominent change however could be seen in the women themselves The increase in confidence was astonishing and the community had never been stronger Check out the recording of the panel discussion on the IADB website here The CEO of Women s World Banking and Project Manager from Cafe Femenino join me and provide interesting takes on their experiences working in the area as well Enjoy And keep the conversation going Tags Women in Development Women s Economic Opportunities Gender Equality Continue reading Women s Economic Empowerment 1489 Hits Tuesday 11 August 2015 Empowering Women Changing Lives Christine Faveri Director Women s Economic Opportunities MEDA s Women s Economic Opportunities team knows how money in the hands of a woman can change lives This blog has been created to share the learnings ideas and the insights from our projects that excite and energize us in our work Our team has close

    Original URL path: http://meda.org/intern-blogs-yc/tags/gender-equality (2016-02-17)
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  • Microfinance Institution
    Opportunities Continue reading Youth in Development 2096 Hits Thursday 06 August 2015 Praxis Series Entry 4 Designing youth friendly products and services An approach Nicki Post Senior Consultant Project Manager Youth Economic Opportunities In our last blog we looked at making the business case to MFIs to integrate financial and non financial services for young people into their portfolios One of the drivers we looked at was the need for said products to be low cost The cost of youth clients and youth friendly products are comparable to the cost of adult clients Loan Officers are able to integrate youth into their client portfolios without additional costs So how do you do that We developed an approach that takes 12 steps or 4 phases to build MFI capacity to offer a new youth friendly product In the product development PD cycle we begin with phase 1 the identify phase to support partner MFIs in identifying the needs of their new target client This is accomplished through targeted information gathering analysis and conducting interviews with current clients and non client to discern their needs and wants from a new product Tags Microfinance Institution Morocco Praxis Series Continue reading Youth in Development 1757 Hits Sunday 14 June 2015 Praxis Series Entry 3 Is there a business case for youth services We think so Nicki Post Senior Consultant Project Manager Youth Economic Opportunities Youth under the age of 30 comprise over 50 of the global population However when thinking about offering financial services targeted at this age group financial service providers FSPs often overlook this up tapped reservoir particularly in rural areas MEDA s YouthInvest project worked closely with Moroccan Microfinance Institutions MFIs Fondation Ardi Attadamoune and INMAA to explore questions around the feasibility of integrating youth into their portfolios and whether this made good business sense Through intensive discussions with MFI management and tailored frontline staff training we discussed the benefits of working with youth as well designing new financial credit products that would enhance the MFIs bottom line Tags Financial Inclusion Morocco Praxis Series Financial Service Providers Microfinance Institution Continue reading Youth in Development 2456 Hits Thursday 21 May 2015 Assessing micro finance institutions in Cross River State Keisha Thomas Senior Technical Advisor Financial Inclusion YouLead Project This blog is an update on the previous entry on the Financial Inclusion for Nigerian Youth dated February 9 2015 MEDA is partnering with Cuso International to improve financial inclusion for youth in Nigeria The project titled Youth Leadership Entrepreneurship Access and Development YouLead works with young women and men in Cross River State Nigeria Tags Financial Inclusion Cuso International Nigeria YouLead Microfinance Institution Recent Comments Guest Mark Akpan Big thumbs up to MEDA Farah and Keisha for pioneering this laudable initiative on the YouLead Project in partnership with Cuso I Read More Sunday 31 May 2015 09 23 Guest Farah Chandani Thanks for your hard work Mark and support to both Keisha and I Friday 05 June 2015 13 37 Continue reading Youth

    Original URL path: http://meda.org/intern-blogs-yc/tags/microfinance-institution (2016-02-17)
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  • YouthInvest
    the cornerstones of our approach where we worked to ensure that clients were not only able to access products appropriate to their needs but also understood the products and services they were availing Tags YouthInvest Microfinance Institution Morocco Praxis Series Youth Economic Opportunities Continue reading Youth in Development 2096 Hits Monday 30 March 2015 Praxis Series Entry 1 Financial Capability at Work in Morocco Nicki Post Senior Consultant Project Manager Youth Economic Opportunities Youth unemployment in countries like Morocco rank as one of the largest development obstacles Demographic challenges gender barriers and education skill mismatch are among some of the problems that youth face searching for economic opportunities To exacerbate these challenges Moroccan youth have limited access to financial services that can help address their unique needs According to the World Bank only 12 3 of youth aged 15 24 in the MENA Middle East and North Africa region have a formal bank account the lowest rate in the world 1 In this context access to appropriate financial services has the potential to lead to many positive outcomes for youth including a heightened capacity to manage money and build assets as well as increased opportunities for entrepreneurship employment and future education YouthInvest 2008 2014 a six year five million dollar initiative in which MEDA partnered with leading microfinance institutions MFIs and Non governmental Organizations NGOs with the generous support of The MasterCard Foundation to develop innovative financial and non financial products and services tailored to the needs of economically active youth in Morocco and Egypt In Morocco young people constitute 30 of Morocco s population and one tenth of the region s total youth population 1 This youth segment serves as a platform for opportunity and has proven through the Arab Spring that they are ripe for growth and are an important source of entrepreneurship development and innovation Yet in many MENA Middle East and North Africa countries including Morocco these energies are not harnessed or cultivated to create active contributors to a dynamic economy According to the New America Foundation s research on the Effectiveness of Youth Financial Education results have emerged on the necessity of effective training programs Tags Praxis Series YouthInvest Morocco Financial Services Financial Capabilities Continue reading Youth in Development 3689 Hits Tuesday 03 March 2015 Saving s the Future Elena Mizrokhi Monitoring and Evaluation Specialist Savings has been lauded as one of the strongest levers of financial inclusion Grounding itself in this scholarship from the outset of the project YouthInvest has made savings one of the pillars of its financial inclusion strategy in Morocco YouthInvest has encouraged youth to save by providing them with training on financial education as well as enabling them to access a low minimum balance savings account made possible through a partnership with Al Barid Bank in Morocco The YouthInvest team managed to decrease the minimum deposit amount from 100 MAD to 5 MAD by negotiating with the banking institution While the savings component was incorporated into most aspects of YouthInvest

    Original URL path: http://meda.org/intern-blogs-yc/tags/youthinvest (2016-02-17)
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  • Nutrition/Food Security Intern
    most importantly the operation will be supplied with soya beans by GROW women In collaboration like this both parties MEDA and ATT are aligned with their respective project objectives ultimately for the benefit of rural farmers in Northern Ghana It s like a match made in soy heaven Tags MEDA Interns 2013 Women Nutrition Food Security Intern Economic Opportunities MEDA Projects Continue reading Ghana 7171 Hits Sunday 08 September 2013 Beads of Hope Ghana Gillian Perera Nutrition Food Security Intern Women s Economic Opportunities It was a late Sunday afternoon when Jess called one of her trusty taxi drivers Michael to pick us up at our junction i e the intersection by our house We were invited to a fellow Canadian s going away party although we had never met her before But as the saying goes better late than never As we crossed over the main road into an unknown neighbourhood Jess began scrolling her phone for the directions to Erin s compound Of course she had to scream them out to Michael over the blaring radio In a few minutes we found ourselves on a street that seemed to have all the described landmarks except for a compound Jess quickly called Erin to make sure we were in the right place before Michael drove off Coincidentally Erin was right behind us walking towards our taxi We introduced ourselves in the street and began walking with her While holding an infant on one hip she followed a line of children carrying plastic chairs above their heads Erin introduced us to the little girl named Nadia and mentioned she had to make the difficult decision of bringing back either Nadia or a chair to the compound As we walked towards her place Erin spoke of the family she shares the compound with and that Nadia is referred to as Princess Nadia she s adored by everyone and can be quite the diva The kids ahead of us were arranging the chairs they had just brought in There were benches and tables in the compound s courtyard in preparation for the anticipated crowd and food Erin led us into her home As soon as we walked in we were greeted with a table full of beads and a welcoming smile Literally a table full of jewelry made from shiny and glistening beads Jess and I immediately sat down letting out gasps of excitement As I finally tore my eyes away from the bracelets I met Nafisa sitting across from us As Jess and I began searching through the piles of bracelets rings and necklaces Nafisa affectionately called Nafi began telling us the story behind the beads She s from Paga a village in the Upper East region and began making jewelry from local beads as a means to get through University Nafi was so successful and quickly saw the potential that jewelry making had for others in her community She started a project called Beads of Hope with the mission to provide local women and girls the opportunity to make a sustainable income Beads of Hope has gained much popularity through word of mouth and now employ young boys in addition to women and girls from Paga and neighboring towns Navrongo and Bolgatanga This local business is dedicated to fighting poverty by providing sustainable livelihoods for families in the Upper East Region Having a warmhearted and friendly organizer like Nafi as it s driving force has undoubtedly helped Beads of Hope success Anyone that meets her will agree that if it isn t for the beautiful beads and designs purchasing jewelry solely because of the passion and dedication Nafi exudes is not unusual Congrats to Nafi and the continuing success of Beads of Hope Check out Beads of Hope like their Facebook page or shop their Etsy store Tags MEDA Interns 2013 Economic Opportunities Women Nutrition Food Security Intern Country Culture Continue reading Ghana 5528 Hits Wednesday 07 August 2013 For Generations to Come Gillian Perera Nutrition Food Security Intern Women s Economic Opportunities Field Trip On our way to the Verimpere community of the Wa West district many things were racing through my mind I was highly anticipating my first trip to the field in a community where the GROW Greater Rural Opportunities for Women project is active Days leading up to our journey MEDA s Gender Specialists facilitated gender sensitization and analysis training for our staff and partner organizations Now more than fifteen of us were heading to the field some to participate and others to observe the gender sensitization pilot activity for women and their husbands Many things in that hour long visit were unforgettable the women gathered under a large tree awaiting our arrival their singing and dancing to celebrate our presence in the community and the attentiveness and involvement exhibited by women and men alike But the enthusiasm and pleasantness of the children were what really captivated me Family Matters Once adults of the community broke off into groups each settling under a tree children gradually started congregating nearby Starting with a few it soon became over a dozen little ones circling our group Of course we were a sight to see for them dressed differently and speaking a foreign language Yet they were sincerely engaged in their parent s discussion keeping a keen eye on everyone involved and quietly giggling when something unexpected was said During the activity gender roles and responsibilities were being discussed or rather negotiated I imagine this was the first time these children heard this subject talked about so openly I was moved by the children s curiosity and interest eagerly soaking up every word Plant a Seed and Watch it GROW And then Eureka I really had one of those eureka moments I was already very familiar with MEDA s values to ensure sustainability in their projects Most projects truly provide business opportunities incredible sustainable solutions to poverty But I was now seeing with my own eyes the impact these

    Original URL path: http://meda.org/intern-blogs-yc/tags/nutrition-food-security-intern (2016-02-17)
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  • Project Coordinator Intern
    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 5217 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 to live

    Original URL path: http://meda.org/intern-blogs-yc/tags/project-coordinator-intern (2016-02-17)
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  • Marketing/Fundraising Intern
    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 was a great to be able to meet face to face the staff I had been corresponding and working on projects with Tags MEDA Interns 2012 MEDA Engagement Marketing Marketing Fundraising Intern Internship Experience Continue reading Canada 5392 Hits Wednesday 16 January 2013 A Ploughman s Paradise Jaclyn Stief Marketing Fundraising Intern Marketing Engagement In September I was given the opportunity to attend the 2012 International Plowing Match IPM for short in Roseville Ontario To be honest I had never heard of the IPM until this experience so I was surprised about the crowd it gathered Over 100 000 people mainly farmers visit this farming and agricultural expo of sorts each year bringing together people over various competitions displays demonstrations and food MEDA had a booth in a tent with other community organizations and we were just there to spread the world about who we are and the work we do with a particular focus on our agriculture projects like Techno Links Farmer to Farmer EDGET Ukraine Horticulture Development Projects GROW and Cassava Seed Champions amongst others Tags MEDA Interns 2012 MEDA Engagement Marketing Marketing Fundraising Intern Internship Experience Continue reading Canada 5199 Hits Wednesday 09 January 2013 Introducing the 2012 MEDA Interns Jaclyn Stief Marketing Fundraising Intern Marketing Engagement Welcome to MEDA s Intern Blog This fall 14 new interns joined MEDA to take part in an international development internship Working in a variety of capacities and countries each intern will be helping

    Original URL path: http://meda.org/intern-blogs-yc/tags/marketing-fundraising-intern (2016-02-17)
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  • MEDA Engagement
    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 was a great to be able to meet face to face the staff I had been corresponding and working on projects with Tags MEDA Interns 2012 MEDA Engagement Marketing Marketing Fundraising Intern Internship Experience Continue reading Canada 5392 Hits Wednesday 16 January 2013 A Ploughman s Paradise Jaclyn Stief Marketing Fundraising Intern Marketing Engagement In September I was given the opportunity to attend the 2012 International Plowing Match IPM for short in Roseville Ontario To be honest I had never heard of the IPM until this experience so I was surprised about the crowd it gathered Over 100 000 people mainly farmers visit this farming and agricultural expo of sorts each year bringing together people over various competitions displays demonstrations and food MEDA had a booth in a tent with other community organizations and we were just there to spread the world about who we are and the work we do with a particular focus on our agriculture projects like Techno Links Farmer to Farmer EDGET Ukraine Horticulture Development Projects GROW and Cassava Seed Champions amongst others Tags MEDA Interns 2012 MEDA Engagement Marketing Marketing Fundraising Intern Internship Experience Continue reading Canada 5199 Hits Wednesday 09 January 2013 Introducing the 2012 MEDA Interns Jaclyn Stief Marketing Fundraising Intern Marketing Engagement Welcome to MEDA s Intern Blog This fall 14 new interns joined MEDA to take part in an international development internship Working in a variety of capacities and countries each intern will be helping MEDA

    Original URL path: http://meda.org/intern-blogs-yc/tags/marketing-engagement (2016-02-17)
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  • YouLead
    Financial Needs in Cross River State Keisha Thomas Senior Technical Advisor Financial Inclusion YouLead Project MEDA is partnering with Cuso International to improve financial inclusion for youth in Nigeria The project titled Youth Leadership Entrepreneurship Access and Development YouLead works with young women and men in Cross River State Nigeria Following MEDA s detailed institutional assessment of financial sector in Cross River State five financial inclusion partners were selected for capacity building support Subsequently an assessment of Youth Financial Needs was undertaken in May June 2015 This blog documents the key findings of this assessment Why was the assessment needed Tags YouLead Youth Youth in Development Youth Economic Opportunities Continue reading Youth in Development 1565 Hits Thursday 21 May 2015 Assessing micro finance institutions in Cross River State Keisha Thomas Senior Technical Advisor Financial Inclusion YouLead Project This blog is an update on the previous entry on the Financial Inclusion for Nigerian Youth dated February 9 2015 MEDA is partnering with Cuso International to improve financial inclusion for youth in Nigeria The project titled Youth Leadership Entrepreneurship Access and Development YouLead works with young women and men in Cross River State Nigeria Tags Financial Inclusion Cuso International Nigeria YouLead Microfinance Institution Recent Comments Guest Mark Akpan Big thumbs up to MEDA Farah and Keisha for pioneering this laudable initiative on the YouLead Project in partnership with Cuso I Read More Sunday 31 May 2015 09 23 Guest Farah Chandani Thanks for your hard work Mark and support to both Keisha and I Friday 05 June 2015 13 37 Continue reading Youth in Development 2578 Hits Monday 09 February 2015 Financial Inclusion for Nigerian Youth Farah Chandani Senior Consultant Project Manager Youth Economic Opportunities The start of something new something based on MEDA s experiences in Morocco MEDA recently launched its

    Original URL path: http://meda.org/intern-blogs-yc/tags/youlead (2016-02-17)
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