LITTLE ROCK, Arkansas – Winrock International is a nonprofit organization headquartered in Little Rock, Arkansas dedicated to empowering the disadvantaged, increasing economic opportunity and sustaining natural resources.
It links local individuals and communities with new ideas and technology to increase long-term productivity, equity and responsible resource management to benefit the poor.
Moreover, its commitment to sustaining natural resources has earned the organization the Gold Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design certification from the U.S. Green Building Council.
This recognition encompasses the success of a broad range of programs and services that are critical to the development and stability of the communities and nations it serves.
These programs and services range in addressing the following global issues: Agriculture and Sustainability, Climate Change, Forests and Natural Resources Management, Leadership, Youth and Education, Clean Energy, Economic Opportunity, Gender Equality and Human Rights, and Water.
In addition, with program teams combining their expertise in the aforementioned areas, Winrock is prepared to offer sustainable solutions that also follow the strong values that guide their work. Winrock, according to the organization’s website, is driven by “a commitment to good science and sound economics, an appetite for innovation and new ideas, a belief in the power of knowledge to improve lives, an understanding that ideas must be proven on the ground, a commitment to equity and the empowerment of women and the disadvantaged, respect for partners, and a long-term vision.”
These full-scale projects, partnerships and program activities operate in over 60 countries to fulfill its mission in providing solutions to a range of global issues.
The impact of these projects is highlighted in many success stories, including a scholarship program that helps young women in South Sudan, bringing anti-desertification efforts to Tibetan communities and helping trafficking victims reclaim their lives.
Winrock’s most recent success story deals with a man who migrated to Thailand in 2010 in search of work soon before he found himself trafficked into forced labor.
A taxi driver had told him about jobs paying $20 per day in the fishing industry, and for three years he spent endless hours working on a fishing boat without pay.
In April 2013, his vessel was apprehended off the coast of Madagascar where all crew members were taken into custody.
But with the help from the International Organization for Migration, he was able to return to Cambodia and rebuild his life with the help of the Cambodian Women’s Crisis Center, a Counter Trafficking in Persons program partner.
He was able to get counseling, receive a life start-up grant to cover basic needs and even a small business grant that allowed him to start a small grocery store. With hard work and determination, his family now earns about $230 a month.
The Counter Trafficking in Persons program is a four-year project funded by USAID and implemented by Winrock International. It’s committed to helping trafficking victims get back on their feet through counseling and self-help groups, training and job placement services, business planning support and small grants.
This program is one of many that Winrock International implements in the 60 plus countries that it operates in to create these success stories.
To learn more, visit http://www.winrock.org/success-stories.
– Chelsee Yee
Sources: Winrock International, Interaction, The New Star
Photo: Winrock International