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Winrock International

Volunteer Post

Sharing Expertise, Forming Human Bonds in Ethiopia

Jen Snow

Winrock staff in Ethiopia share some thoughts on our Farmer-to-Farmer program:

Farmer-to-Farmer Ethiopia has fielded several expert volunteers to increase capacity along the poultry, meat, dairy, and beekeeping value chains in Ethiopia, working with local NGOs, government research institutes, and the private sector, among others. Assignments have ranged from conducting poultry value chain assessments to hands-on training in meat processing, fodder/animal feed production, and improved apiculture management techniques. Beyond increasing the technical capacity of Ethiopian counterparts and smallholder farmers, volunteers have commented on the value of connecting with like-minded individuals on their assignments. Apiculturist Doug Johnson states how “the overall reception [of farmers to the training] was beyond words. The exchange of laughter was more than obvious on several occasions . . . The human side of this training is something very rarely mentioned in the list of objectives.” Poultry expert Jonathan Moyle comments how “Personally I had an extremely enjoyable time . . . The people are warm and welcoming and receptive to ideas. Professionally I made contact with people whom I hope to help and be helped by in the future.”

The value of bringing Farmer-to-Farmer volunteers to Ethiopia cannot be overstated . . . expertise is shared and human bonds are formed.

The jubilation in the pictures below says it all!

Volunteer Doug Johnson receives gift from host in Ethiopia
          Volunteer Doug Johnson receives gift from host in Ethiopia