Today we celebrate Winrock volunteers who have dedicated their expertise, time, and hearts to helping people in need around the world. Volunteers for Winrock International aren’t just lending manual labor – they’re lending their expertise. Volunteers strengthen service providers to conduct agriculture training programs in Africa and teach best practices to farmers in Asia.
Volunteers who have volunteered with Winrock’s USAID-funded Farmer-to-Farmer program share what international volunteering has meant to them:
Dr. Bill Foxworth: As a research scientist, my goal has been to develop technologies that assist with livestock reproduction. Improvement in breeding technology leads to more efficient animal production and the greater number of offspring. This is a foundation for feeding more people worldwide and that is my true aim. Volunteering in Nepal afforded me the opportunity to enhance the knowledge base in goat reproduction in a country that relies so heavily on the goat.
Dr. Steven Kovach: By being a volunteer with F2F Program, I am provided the means of sharing my technical knowledge in horticulture and drip irrigation technology to poor farmers in the developing world where their livelihoods can be improved and their food security enhanced.
Dr. Jonathan Deenik: Volunteering is an important part of my life. I volunteer regularly in community work days, taking care of the agricultural land in my community of West Oahu. This commitment to volunteerism was solidified by my 5-years as a Peace Corps volunteer (1985-1991).
Ms. Erin Riley: In 1999, I was a Peace Corps Volunteer in Ecuador. It was one of the best experiences of my life. Serving underserved communities is an important part of being a good global community member. The best part of volunteering is the personal growth you get from it. Sometimes you question if you really did any good or you were effective in your teaching. But if you ask yourself “did I learn anything from that experience that will make me a better citizen” most of the time the answer would be yes. You will never regret visiting this amazing place.
What can you do today, in honor of International Volunteer Day? Here are three simple ideas:
• Sign up to volunteer (check out Winrock’s current volunteer openings at www.winrock.org/volunteer)!
• Share this Winrock Volunteers blog (https://www.winrock.org/volunteer_blog/) or Facebook post with your network, to inspire others to get out and volunteer!
• Send us your thoughts/stories from your volunteer experience(s) –and we’ll include it in a future blog post. (email firstname.lastname@example.org). Your stories help us continue to inspire new volunteers!