This article was originally published in Mennonite World Review.
Successor is first woman and first person of African descent to lead organization
INDIANAPOLIS — As Allan Sauder retires from Mennonite Economic Development Associates in December after 16 years as president, he will leave behind an organization that reaches much further than it did when he joined.
MEDA set new records in donations and clients served for the second consecutive year, Sauder noted in his final address to the organization’s annual convention in Indianapolis Nov. 8-11.
In the year that ended June 30, MEDA received $8.2 million in private donations from supporters in North America andEurope, up 31 percent from a year earlier.
WATERLOO — Taking the helm of the Mennonite Economic Development Associates was a simple decision for Dr. Dorothy Nyambi.
"It's unique and it's sustainable," she said.
The Waterloo-based organization's focus — and successful track record — on supporting entrepreneurship to alleviate poverty impressed Nyambi. "That dedication to really taking things to the finish line, to let people sustainably get out of poverty," she said.
Nigeria is seeing a surge of interest in agriculture, but violent conflicts in some parts of the country are holding people back from exploring that industry. Hear from Chom Bagu, Field Project Manager of our Nigeria WAY project in partnership with Global Affairs Canada.
Listen to the full interview here.
Allan Sauder, Mennonite Economic Development Associates’ (MEDA) longest serving president, told staff this week of his intention to retire at year-end, initiating an orderly leadership transition process which will take place over the balance of 2018. The board of directors will begin a global search to select a new leader.
Laura Alexander, Director of Programs and of the Farmer-to-Farmer (F2F) Special Program Support Project (SPSP) at Volunteers for Economic Growth Alliance (VEGA), recently visited VEGA’s Enabling Growth through Investment and Enterprise (ENGINE) program in Tanzania. Laura had the opportunity to get to know some of ENGINE’s highly skilled volunteers sent by implementing partners IESC and MEDA.
Volunteer expert Kathleen Campbell knows the potential waiting to be unlocked in small businesses around the world and the importance of strong business skills and services to generating sustainable growth. As a former executive of Ten Thousand Villages, a company that helps artisans in developing countries increase their income by creating long-term, fair trading relationships, Ms. Campbell has unique experience facilitating the sustainable growth of enterprises and value chains.
Wa, Feb. 21, GNA – Mr Amidu Chinnia Issahaku, the Acting Upper West Regional Minister, has expressed government’s commitment to create a just society where fair opportunities for all Ghanaians are ensured regardless of their location.
He said Akuffo-Addo’s administration believes in working to create fair and inclusive society where equality of opportunity is guaranteed and citizens are permitted to share in the prosperity of the nation.
He was addressing a two-day capacity building workshop for District Coordinating Directors, Planning Officers and Gender Desk Officers on strategic implementation of Ghana’s Gender Policy.
It was held under the theme: “Mainstreaming Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment into Ghana’s Development Efforts.”
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.
As published in www.el19digital.com
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
It took just over 4 months to reconstruct an old Soviet-era motor transport enterprise into the first stage of a logistics center, capable of receiving and processing up to 80 tons of vegetables a day. The facility makes it possible for small and medium greenhouse producers to bring their vegetables to be sorted, packaged, palletized and, most importantly, quickly cooled to a temperature of 5˚С in order to preserve the proper quality required by the market (exports in particular), extend shelf life and transport fresh F&V without losses.