MEDA Blog - Stories from the Field
Helen oversees the strategic direction and implementation of MEDA's Economic Opportunities (EO) division in which projects and assignments around the world empower clients (women & youth) to reach their economic potential and avail improved income-generating options. She coaches the EO team in their design and implementation of innovative solutions to the challenges faced by our women and youth clients in participating fully in market systems. Her role includes increasing and enhancing MEDA's networks of private sector firms, institutional donors, and other agencies - both local and international - as partners in our work of building economic gains for clients in challenging environments 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.

A 10 year Milestone: Helen Loftin’s Experiences Working with Women Empowerment Projects at MEDA

WEO Blog Pic Pakistan

It’s approaching the 10 year mark. That is, in February 2016, I will have been with MEDA and in the international development industry for 10 years. I began with the management of our small but mighty value chain development project in Pakistan, “Behind the Veil”. Its design and impact is held as an industry standard for effective pro-poor programming and for women’s economic empowerment and I shamelessly brag about it because I had nothing to do with its design. And as a newcomer to international development, to a Muslim country, and to Mennonites (MEDA), I imprinted in several ways on that project.

We’re much more alike than we are different. We say that often at MEDA when talking about the world around us, our work in it, and the motives and incentives that guide human behaviour.

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