Today is October 16, World Food Day. A reminder for each of us to consider the daunting task of making sure that the world’s 7 billion men, women, and children can eat. On this day in particular, we ask ourselves, “how can I make a difference?” One answer is to volunteer.
Over the last 21 years, Winrock’s volunteers have impacted 8.2 million individuals in 56 countries around the world, contributing to the global effort to increase availability, access, and quality of food. We are proud to see how these efforts are making a difference.
In Kenya, volunteers worked with several different women’s poultry groups that were struggling to maintain healthy, disease-free chicken flocks. For example, members of the Kyemole Poultry Keepers Group received training on biosecurity and safe poultry production, as well as assistance with improved feed, financing, and linkages with buyers. As a result, members have increased their income and, in turn, improved household food security. One member, Alice Pius Makau, proudly states, “I am not afraid of my children sleeping hungry anymore, because I have enough food for them, all of the time. The money I get from chicken sales helps me to buy the food that I do not grow on the farm. I also have a constant supply of meat and eggs for my family’s protein nutrition.”
In El Salvador, volunteer Alejandro Segarra-Carmona (right) shows local farmers how to apply sustainable pest control techniques to their crops. Segarra-Carmona came here to provide good agricultural practice training, integrated pest management and quality standards. Trainees will apply these techniques to increase production and improve quality.
In Mali, volunteer Poul Hansen worked with the Women’s Local Milk Stockist Cooperative in Oulessebougou to help ensure that many more Malian families had access to quality milk. At the end of the training session, the president of the Cooperative proclaimed, “This is what we’ve been talking about – some new ideas to make a difference! Now the nutrition and health status of our children in need will change for the better, as will the income of women processors.”
In Bangladesh, Farmer-to-Farmer volunteers have trained women farmers on improved vegetable production techniques. As a result, women (like the woman pictured) have been able to successfully grow bitter gourds and vegetables in fallow lands. Their families have reaped the benefits of improved nutrition and increased income.
In Nepal, volunteer Howard Prussack trained low-income vegetable producers to improve vegetable production and processing. Mrs. Sharada Sharma, an agro-vet owner and farmer who participated in Howard’s trainings, stated, “These [techniques] look so simple and we can do it easily, but we didn’t do it before. This training is eye opening for me and many other rural women producers.”
These efforts -and many others- have helped our beneficiaries increase sales by $52 million and increase income by over $9 million (combined).
This is tremendous impact, though there is still more work to be done. Check out Winrock’s website , if you want to be a part of the effort to help increase food security around the world!