MEDA in the News

Myanmar on the Move

 As published in Canadian Mennonite.

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Ashlyn Shantz of Heidelberg, Ont., right, shares a meal together with a local in the village of Win Poat, Myanmar.
(Photo by Byron Shantz)

When I originally told friends and family of my intention to travel with my family to Myanmar, I was challenged with the idea of a known global-crisis country as a travel destination. However, we were completely removed from any threat of the Rohingya genocide crisis in the northwest of the country. Our experience was in the south, where Mennonite Economic Development Associates (MEDA) is impressively rooted in creating sustainable solutions to poverty there.

The idea of travelling with MEDA is attractive, deeply fulfilling and safe. MEDA has an ability to draw like-minded donors who are ecstatic to show their involvement and support, in this case for Myanmar on the Move, an initiative to improve the lives of 25,000 women farmers.

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Empowerment Mainstreamed: Applying gender equity across the ESG standard

As published on Next Billion by Linda Jones

While impact investing has become a buzzword in global development in recent years, the concept and practice had been around for decades before the sector even had a name. To take one perhaps under-recognized example, Mennonite Economic Development Associates (MEDA) was launched as an investment club in 1953, when a group of North American Mennonite business people joined together to support the development of businesses in Paraguay, Uruguay and Argentina. These small businesses were operated by European WWII refugees and local indigenous communities who did not have the means to expand or improve their enterprises. Drawing on their extensive business background, the investment club members determined that loans to these types of business owners could catalyze sustainable economic growth. So these early “impact investors” offered loans as high-risk venture capital, mitigating the risks with the provision of business coaching and technical assistance.

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Cyclists hit Myanmar for Fundraising Trip

As published in Faith Today by Michael Strathdee

Laverne Brubacher doesn't consider himself an avid cyclist. But in November the 73-year-old from St. Jacobs, Ont., plans to join 16 other Canadians and three Americans riding 355 km through the South Asian nation of Myanmar. 

All 20 will ride in support of impoverished female farmers, people they have never met. Sixteen others, mostly from the U.S., are supporting the same fund drive by exploring Myanmar on a bus tour.

Each participant has committed to raising at least $5,000. Brubacher set and achieved a goal of raising $10,000. The Myanmar on the Move trip raised a total of $600,000 (

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MEFCCA and Inta signed an important agreement with Mennonite Economic Development Associates of Canada

As published in


The Authorities of the Ministry of Family Economy and the Nicaraguan Institute of Agriculture (INTA) have signed an inter-institutional cooperation agreement with the Mennonite Economic Development Associates (MEDA).

The cooperation is for the implementation of a project to advance towards prosperity, including the agri-food sector, for an amount of 9.2 million Canadian dollars, financed by the Canadian Government.

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Producing a winning funding application: Lessons from the business partnerships program

As published in Devex by Lisa Cornish.

CANBERRA — Ten projects have been awarded funding of up to $500,000 Australian dollars ($377,000) from the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade through round two of their business partnerships platform, or BPP.

Round two funded projects include a Fairtrade Australian and New Zealand and Krissy Co. partnership to improve access to markets for smallholder coconut farmers in Samoa, a partnership between Oxfam International and Bangladesh SME Corporation Limited to improve the dairy sector and promote sustainable energy use in Bangladesh, a partnership between the Mennonite Economic Development Associates and East-West Seed to create new markets for seeds and vegetables in Myanmar, and MEDA and Engro to partner in inclusive seed systems for Pakistan.

The winners provide an important opportunity for future funding partners to understand what makes a successful application. And to provide insights into the application process, Fairtrade Australian and New Zealand, Oxfam and MEDA spoke with Devex about what they believe made their projects and partnerships stand out from the BPP pack.

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Leamington father and son are cycling for a cause

As published in the Leamington Southpoint Sun

This November, David Dyck and his son Andrew of Learmington will be cycling in Myanmar to raise money to support women-owned businesses and farming enterprises. They are travelling with MEDA (Mennonite Economic Development Associates), an international economic development organization whose mission is to create business solutions to poverty.

The Myanmar project endeavours to bridge the gap between poverty and opportunity by providing beneficiaries with both funding and business expertise. This five-year initiative aims to help 25,000 female entrepreneurs attain sustainable livelihoods for themselves and their families.

All donations to this project are multiplied seven times in impact with funding from Global Affairs Canada.

You can help David and Andrew achieve their fundraising goal of $20,000 by donating here.

Donations can also be sent directly to the MEDA office at 155 Frobisher Drive, Suite I-106, Waterloo, ON N2V 2E1. All monies raised will go directly to the project in Myanmar.

Follow David and Andrew's trip at