In honor of the upcoming 4th of July holiday, we cannot help but reflect on the symbolism of this important day. All of us here at Winrock are very proud to support such great American volunteers in their quest to help others and participate in people-to-people exchanges that can forever change who they are as individuals, as US citizens, and as citizens of the world.
We asked some of our volunteers to share their thoughts on the 4th of July and the values that this holiday represents: freedom, patriotism, service –and how these values have affected them as an international volunteer (and vice versa). They have offered some truly inspiring reflections:
“I was either too young or too old to be called to arms, and it took me a good long time to realize that I could serve my country in a better way. Using my life’s work experience, I am able to help people in deserving nations by volunteering to serve as a consultant to the USAID Farmer-to-Farmer program. And, the truth of it is, it’s the best, most rewarding, fun job I have had in the 50+ years I have spent in the food business.” –Bob Corshen (Farmer-to-Farmer volunteer in El Salvador, Kenya, and Lebanon)
“I enjoyed my volunteer trip and time working with Winrock overseas on Farmer-to-Farmer honey bee projects in Africa and the opportunity to share our American values while helping people in a developing country to improve their lives. The people really appreciate the generosity and compassion.” –Dan Mayer (Farmer-to-Farmer volunteer in Ethiopia and Nigeria)
“Americans are some of the most generous people in the world – not only in terms of financial donations, but in volunteering time for worthwhile efforts. My Farmer-to-Farmer volunteer experience created lifelong relationships with ‘kindred spirits’ who are working to make a difference for small farmers. I believe all Americans can contribute and strongly encourage everyone to consider how they can make a difference!” –Kathy Colverson (two-time Farmer-to-Farmer volunteer in Kenya)
What better way is there to celebrate and embody freedom, patriotism, and service than by helping those who have less than we do?
We thank all of our volunteers for so much heart and dedication!