We are proud to announce Dr. Khalid M. Hameed as the recipient of Winrock’s 2016 Volunteer Spirit Award.
Dr. Hameed, Professor of Mycology and Plant Pathology & Physiology at Duke University, provided extraordinary assistance to the Farmer-to-Farmer (F2F) program in Bangladesh. Dr. Hameed contributed significantly to build the capacity of a group of underprivileged minority youth (mostly young women) to create an additional livelihood opportunity by introducing environmentally friendly, low-cost mushroom production practices using locally available materials. During his volunteer assignment, he provided technical training on mushroom production and also rolled up his sleeves to help prepare facilities (painting walls and cleaning floors) for mushroom growing. The participants were thrilled with his support and appreciated his motivational approach.
Dr. Hameed’s assignment was the first time that the youth had been exposed to mushroom growing, but with his training and ongoing support, the youth were able to start producing mushrooms and spawn in a short period of time. The participants are now a part of a newly established mushroom association and have replicated the training with other young farmers. This activity has created an opportunity for the youth to earn an income, to improve family nutrition, and to serve as an example for others who want to follow in their footsteps.
After returning home from his volunteer assignment, Dr. Hameed continued to demonstrate his commitment by responding to questions, providing ongoing guidance, and shipping three batches of materials to Bangladesh to help the youth succeed.
Staff from the Church of Bangladesh Social Development Programme, which provides ongoing support to the youth group, noted that “Mushroom production is important for the country. Dr. Hameed’s assistance was tremendous, a successful process of technology transfer. Now the youth can do something for their income!”
Dr. Hameed notes, “We planted a seed, and it’s beautiful that it’s fruiting.” We couldn’t agree more!
Winrock’s Volunteer Spirit Award is given to a volunteer who has made a significant difference through volunteering. This is a person who has gone “above and beyond” the minimum requirements of an assignment. He/she is an ambassador of the American people who fosters sustainable relationships and impacts on those we serve. Not only does this person exemplify great technical ability or approach, but they also show a charismatic approach with our hosts, and also with field and headquarters staff. Winrock International is fortunate to receive support from so many caring individuals that exemplify these qualities.
We would also like to acknowledge the other volunteers who were nominated by F2F field staff and volunteer recruiters:
- Anais Troadec
- Leslie Cosgrove
- Marie Laurent
- Steven Kovach
- Tiffany Drape
Thank you to all of our volunteers for your incredible support!