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MEDA News

In a recent segment on FaithFM (a radio station serving the Waterloo Region), David Eagle, MEDA's associate director for East Africa programs, gave an overview of our Cassava project in Tanzania. Listen in to hear David describe MEDA's work to develop sustainable livelihoods for millions of people living in poverty. Interview by Jess Huxman of Mennonite Foundation Canada.

D EagleDavid Eagle (L), Associate Director, East Africa

A Canadian nonprofit teams up with D2L to train women founders in Libya and beyond

By Ainsley O'Connell (@ainsleyoc)

Originally published in Fast Company

 Welcome to Libya, where life goes on amid political and economic turmoil.

"You might be standing on your balcony enjoying the view and—bam!—hear this explosion, but it’s not always like that," says entrepreneur Amal Delawi, a cancer survivor and working mom who lives in Tripoli. Following the 2011 revolution, which toppled longtime leader Muammar Gaddafi, and her cancer treatment, which required travel to Egypt, she was broke and unemployed.

By Hope McKeever

Photos: Nate Bergey

Globally, markets serve as the epi-center of economic and social involvement. Likewise, with outdoor farmer’s markets, Pennsylvania is no stranger to a market model of community building and agricultural emphasis. From spicy Mexican enchiladas to sweet chocolate truffles from Ukraine, many countries have traditions that make their market experience unique. Market place goods are often linked to the economic and social atmosphere of a country. MEDA saw this as the perfect vehicle to raise awareness about our important work and support the creation of opportunities for people living in poverty.
Congolese DancersCongolese Worship Band from the Evangelical Center

Source: "Fortifying cooking oil for children's health" in the University of Waterloo's Daily Bulletin

More than half a million children under the age of five have died in Tanzania in the past decade as a result of inadequate nutrition, but a new joint project with some Waterloo roots will increase access to one important micronutrient and potentially save lives.

Mennonite Economic Development Associates (MEDA), the University of Waterloo, and Sokoine University of Agriculture in Tanzania just launched a two-and-a-half-year project aimed at reducing vitamin A deficiency using fortified foods.

 

Impact Investing in Frontier Markets

When we think of global health security, we cannot look at it as a single issue.

I believe we have to look at the entire well-being of the individual.

There is a strong link between health and economics.

Source: "Canada Continues to Support Agricultural Development in Ethiopia" on the Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development Canada website

Minister MacKay and MP Armstrong announce two projects that will help boost farmers' productivity and resilience

February 1, 2015 - Truro, Nova Scotia - Today, on behalf of the Honourable Christian Paradis, Minister of International Development and La Francophonie, the Honourable Peter MacKay, Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada, and Scott Armstrong, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Employment and Social Development and Member of Parliament for Cumberland-Colchester-Musquodoboit Valley, participated in an event at Dalhousie University to highlight Canada's continued support for agriculture in Ethiopia.

Source: "Revolutionizing agriculture in Ethiopia: Dal to lead $18 million development project" by Robyn McCallum on the Dalhousie University website

The ATTSVE teamIn Ethiopia, agriculture isn't just a way of life: in many respects, it's the cornerstone of life itself.

Approximately 80-85 per cent of the country's population is employed in agriculture. The country has the largest livestock population in all of Africa, and agriculture contributes more than 40 per cent of the country's total GDP. But the country is both heavily populated and economically poor. There's widespread food insecurity, limited social support for and acceptance of women, and 30 per cent of the country's 85 million people live on less than $1.25 US a day.

 

Source: "Bible Hill agricultural campus joins Ethiopian project" by Aaron Beswick Truro Bureau in the Herald News

Bible Hill is teaming up with Ethiopia.

Well, it's actually a bit more complicated than that.

Dalhousie University's agricultural campus in Bible Hill will be administering an $18-million program funded by Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development Canada to improve agricultural education in Ethiopia.

The program, called Agricultural Transformation Through Stronger Vocational Education, touts itself as one of the first steps in moving Ethiopia's farming community from a subsistence one to a market economy.

Source: "COLUMN: Addressing poverty through nutrition" by Lois Brown in the Aurora Banner (yorkregion.com)

We all know of the pivotal role nutrition plays in improving the health of the most vulnerable in developing countries.

Nutrition is at the centre of Canada's top development priority — improving the health of mothers, newborns and children — and will be a key focus of Canada's commitment to this cause from 2015 to 2020.

 

Source: "McGill, Dalhousie to boost agricultural education in Ethiopia" on McGill University's website

A traditional Ethiopian coffee ceremony held to celebrate ATTSVE launchMcGill's Faculty of Education and the Institute of Gender, Sexuality and Feminist Studies have joined the lead partner, Dalhousie University, to embark on a 6-year, $18 million project to help Ethiopia enhance their colleges' Agricultural Technical and Vocational Education Training (ATVET) programs. Key to McGill's involvement in the project will be to foster and support gender equality, diversity and inclusiveness.

Source: "A Reflection Upon Winning Canada's 2014 Social Finance Awards" by Jason Dudek, Chairman & Chief Financial Officer, Mountain Lion Agriculture on SocialFinance.ca

MLA EmployeesWhat does winning Canada's 2014 Social Finance Awards alongside MEDA mean to Mountain Lion Agriculture? We feel deeply honoured by this recognition of our work – the field of nominees was excellent, a testament to the strength of Canada's growing impact investment and business sector. The award greatly bolstered the morale of our staff but is also a deeper recognition of the rising, demonstrable efficacy of impact investment and business in tackling the toughest problems with resilient, sustainable solutions.

 

Chris SteingartSource: "Chris Steingart builds websites and life" by Dave Rogalsky in the Canadian Mennonite (In print)

Late last year, Mennonite Economic Development Associates (MEDA) presented its inaugural 20 under 35: Young Professionals Changing the World Awards, honouring these young adults from Canada and the U.S. for their "faith, entrepreneurial spirit and service" Ethan Eshbach, coordinator of engagement initiatives for MEDA, explains, "20 under 35 connects the values behind MEDA's work around the world to those of young professionals here in North America. From entrepreneurs to business professionals to community advocates to church leaders, we have a very impressive mix" Over the next few issues, Canadian Mennonite will be featuring profiles of all six of the Canadian winners, fivefrom Ontario and one from British Columbia.

 

MicroVest ClientSource: "This Firm Keeps Capital Flowing to Micro-Entrepreneurs" by Jessica Pothering on the Entrepreneur

The global financial crisis didn't dent the demand for loans from small businesses and micro-entrepreneurs around the world. But it sure whacked the supply of capital available to lend to them.