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self-care MEDA - Read online

By April Yamasaki

Is self-care part of your paid employment, and should it be? When I invited readers to respond to this online poll question, the results were 61% yes, 21% no, 18% it depends.

Offline, a nursing supervisor in mid-career says, “Of course, self- care is part of the job. Taking regular breaks is essential, especially on long shifts.”

podcast MEDA - Read online

Faith & Work podcasts are increasingly common in the US

Podcasts, also known as on-demand internet radio talks, have been growing in popularity over the past decade.

Over the past two years, the variety and profile of these niche programs has exploded. There are radio shows, blogs, magazines and conventions devoted to highlighting the best, quirkiest and most talked-about podcasts.

Rebecca Stoltzfus - Goshen College photo

Mennonite higher education prepares students for lifelong problem-solving in evolving economy, Goshen president argues

By Rebecca Stoltzfus

There are a lot of negative narratives about college these days, like this one:

“I’ve been telling my kids since they were old enough to know what college is that they will never, ever go there . .
. . Over my dead body will I see my children begin their adult lives saddled with enormous debt and facing dismal employment prospects, because that is no way to live your life. . . .

Paul Plett filmed Mennonite farmers in seven countries.

Grebel lectures explore Mennonite farmers’ relationship with faith and food production

Care for the earth rooted in Christian faith continues to be a strong motivator for Mennonite farmers around the world, a Conrad Grebel University College audience heard recently.

Food and Faith was the focus of the 20th annual Bechtel lecture at Grebel. The series, sponsored by retired Waterloo Region farmer Lester Bechtel, explores a variety of topics related to Mennonite history, identity, faith and culture.

boomchickapop-featuted MEDA - Read online

Minnesota couple builds kettle corn firm into an internationally known brand

When Angie and Dan Bastian started a business in 2001 to build a college fund for their children, they had neither money nor experience.

They didn’t understand sales, marketing, retailing or branding. Sixteen years later, their popcorn company, Angie’s BOOMCHICKAPOP, was acquired for $250 million.

Folake Owodunni and Maame Poku won $10,000 at MEDA’s pitch competition.

Waterloo firm aims to deliver affordable emergency service to Nigerians

In many North American communities, people who have a medical emergency dial 911.

“In my home country of Nigeria, there is no one to call,” Folake Owodunni says.

MEDA president and CEO Dr. Dorothy Nyambi addresses the annual convention

MEDA continues to expand its reach in creating business solutions to poverty, growth made possible by record gifts from supporters, the organization’s annual convention in Tucson was told.

During the fiscal year ended June 30, MEDA impacted the lives of almost 843,000 clients, working in 76 countries with 26 active projects, along with 543 investment and investment partners.

mary-fehr-featured MEDA - Read online

Leamington woman returns home to take a leadership role in family business

Mary Fehr’s decision-making on a career path took her thousands of miles away from home, to multiple places before returning to the family business a decade later.

Fehr, daughter of Uni-Fab president Abe Fehr, told the story of her journey along with her father in a seminar at MEDA’s annual convention in Tucson in early November.

Uni-Fab is one of Ontario’s largest custom metal fabricators. It works in the aerospace, machine and tool and oil and gas sectors, primarily in North America, with some of its products shipped worldwide.

Coffee with a side order of changed lives

Electric Brew owner buys beans directly from Central American growers

By Marshall V. King

GOSHEN, Indiana — Myron Bontrager doesn’t tell his customers that the coffee he sells them will change their life.

But if they ask, or if he has a chance, he’ll tell them about how it changes the lives of the people who grew, picked and processed it.

He’ll tell a customer in Goshen or Elkhart, Indiana, where locations of The Electric Brew hum with business, that it cost him 1.25 cents from that $2 cup of coffee to buy fair trade coffee directly from a cooperative of producers in a coffee-growing region far closer to the equator than northern Indiana.

Veemo is an elec- tric assisted ride- sharing vehicle

Evaluating people and crunching numbers key to success for New Hamburg man

Successful angel investing — providing funds to early stage companies — requires paying attention to details, expecting high financial returns and being okay with losing everything, Dale Brubacher Cressman says.

“You’ve got to go into it recognizing you could lose your entire investment,” says the New Hamburg man. “It’s not like any other investment. If you are not prepared to lose (all) the money, you shouldn’t be investing.”

Tim Penner discusses a convention program with board member Mryl Nofziger

Outgoing chair reflects on nine years with the MEDA board

When Tim Penner reflects on his MEDA involvements over the years, he uses words like exhilarating and opportunities.

“It’s so exhilarating that all of these great things have happened,” says the Kansas businessman.

Penner completes nine years on the board, most recently as chair, at MEDA’s annual meeting in Tucson in early November.

Javed Iqbal (on right), his wife Bushra (third from right) and their son (second from left) pose with red radishes along with PAVE team members.

Pakistan project helps farmers increase income through improved harvests

MEDA’s Partnerships and Value Expansion for Inclusive Seed Systems (PAVE Pakistan) project works to improve the livelihoods of small-scale farmers from villages in the Sheikhupura and Gujranwala Districts of Punjab in eastern central Pakistan.

Punjab is the main agricultural province of Pakistan.

SheCycle team members, l-r: Anna Kuepfer, Abigail Loewen and Leah Wouda

Students persevere after unsuccessful pitch at MEDA competition, win larger prize

When a group of Waterloo university students presented their business idea at the MEDAx pitch competition last fall, they were surprised and disappointed not to win the $5,000 prize.

SheCycle aims to improve the health of Ugandan women with an antimicrobial, reusable sanitary pad.

Bananas along the road

Recent media reports say bananas — a breakfast and dessert staple for many — may soon be more expensive. A banana-killing fungus is threatening production in several countries.

Most of the bananas that North Americans eat come from Guatemala, Costa Rica, Columbia or Ecuador.