One of the most rewarding things about the USAID-funded Farmer-to-Farmer (F2F) program is the relationships that are formed between the volunteers, host organizations, and community members… but also between the volunteers and F2F staff. Sometimes we don’t even realize how deep these connections go, and how profoundly the program can affect someone’s life.
A true example of this, one of Winrock’s volunteers shares her thoughts below:
I am working on a presentation to give to my colleagues, about 30 other extension agents, tomorrow morning. I’ll be speaking to them about the Farmer-to-Farmer program and volunteer technical assistance in general – how wonderful it is, and how to get involved.
As I’ve been preparing my talk, I was reminded that [my Winrock recruiter, Johnnie Frueauff] was my doorway into this world that has been a transformative experience for me. I cannot tell you how wonderful being a part of the F2F program has been for me. The people I’ve met, the places I’ve seen, the experiences I’ve had, the confidence it’s built in me, the things I’ve learned ….. And Johnnie/Winrock got me there.
And to think it all started with an email about a place called Uzbekistan, then a phone call and a follow up in-person meeting at an outdoor cafe in Raleigh. That was 10 years ago …. 2004. I now have 16 F2F assignments that I’ve had the chance to assist with – and I’m thrilled about that.
My life is forever changed.