Improving Economies for Stronger Communities (IESC)
2000 M Street NW
Washington, DC 20036
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Traceability System Helps Ghanaian Farmers Reach Export Markets
Faced with an export ban on five vegetable products starting in 2015 and increasing rejections of fresh fruit and vegetable shipments to the European Union, Ghana set a goal: meet internationally recognized food safety standards so that Ghanaian products can compete in international markets. One of the major challenges facing Ghana was the inability to effectively trace products…read more
IESC F2F Volunteer Expert Supports Youth Cooperative to Strategically and Sustainably Manage Youth-Support Programs
Sokoine University Graduate Entrepreneurs Cooperative (SUGECO), a youth cooperative located in Morogoro, provides critical services to youth throughout Tanzania. SUGECO trains out-of-school and out-of-job youth and provides Tanzanian youth from poor and disadvantaged backgrounds with in-country short field assignments as well as…
F2F Volunteer Improves Financing Opportunities and Unlocks Capital for Rural Farmers to Improve Production and Increase Incomes
Although the area around Usangu basin in the Mbeya region of Tanzania is well known for its suitability for rice paddies, farmers like 31-year old Atanas Kikwembe were unable to maximize their production and improve their livelihoods. Atanas farmed for ten years in Ubaraku village Mbarali district on five to ten…read more
A Strategic Plan Developed by a F2F Volunteer Helped Dairy Farmers to Thrive During Global PandemicF2F volunteer Bruce Lachney and the cooperative’s manager, Mr. Benard King’oo, overlook dairy procedures.
The global COVID-19 pandemic had an immediate impact on most rural farming households and communities in Kenya. Many farmers lost access to finance, farm inputs…read more
Lisa Larson, an experienced IT management, software development, and organizational change consultant, received the Volunteer of the Year Award from the Volunteers for Economic Growth Alliance (VEGA) for her work in Cambodia and Lebanon.
The award was presented on Tuesday, December 5, which is recognized by the United Nations as International Volunteer Day. The award ceremony also recognized several members of Congress for their…read more
Businesswomen Learn to Get “Real”
By Carrol McCarren
Photo: World Bank/Flickr
Women entrepreneurs are often motivated by different factors than men when they create a business. For many women, the decision to start a business venture is borne out of financial need, rather than a consciously chosen career path. Without enough income to support the family, a woman might begin by sewing clothes, growing tomatoes, or selling…read more
Allyn Lamb is a committed Farmer-to-Farmer volunteer. He has completed assignments in Nigeria, Ghana, and, Egypt. He is a retired executive of Senior Farm Credit System and has years of experience in finance, farm business management, business development, and credit. Now with the Center for Dairy Excellence of Pennsylvania, he was previously president and CEO at AgChoice Farm Credit, which is also in Pennsylvania.
Allyn Lamb helped…read more
A seasoned expert helps Sri Lanka’s cinnamon industry
Sri Lanka produces some of the highest regarded cinnamon in the world. This smallholder crop packs quite a punch. Ceylon cinnamon, which comes from a tree native to Sri Lanka, has been shown to lower blood sugar in people with diabetes without the risk of liver damage, which can occur with high doses of the related cassia cinnamon that is often sold in grocery stores. Ceylon cinnamon also…
This post was sent in by IESC volunteer Michael Braden. Michael is currently vice president, senior underwriter, and portfolio manager for agriculture finance at Key Bank in Salem, Oregon. He is an expert in finance and agriculture lending. Michael has an MBA from the University of Texas at Austin, and a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Texas A&M University. He traveled to Egypt in October 2014 as part of the Farmer to…read more
Joseph Brett recounts time in Ukraine
November 1993. I stood at the apex of the Vietnam Memorial with former communist leaders from Kharkov, Ukraine, our faces reflected against the names of the dead etched forever into the polished black granite walls. Most everyone is moved by the memorial, and we were no exception.
We had hand-picked this delegation of 10 government administrators from Kharkov earlier in the year. My title was project…read more
Volunteer expert Richard Kahlson recalls his time in Russia just after the collapse of the Soviet Union
Shortly after Perestroika, in 1996, IESC sent us to Vladimir, Russia. From American television we had the idea that Russians are rather cold and distant people who seldom smiled. However, during our time in Russia we discovered their warmth and hospitality.
The project was a huge success and we made…read more
IESC Volunteer Albert E. Koehl
In 1964, my father Albert E. Koehl read a story by James Reston in the New York Times about a proposed new international volunteer organization for experienced business people. He doggedly tried to contact the planners and ultimately had lunch with Frank Pace where they discussed the organization.
Within a year, my father and mother Elaine went on their first overseas assignment with IESC…read more
My assignment was to provide assistance to business associations in order to help them develop advocacy skills as part of IESC’s Small and Medium Enterprise (SME) Support Project in the Republic of Georgia. I met with the officials in Tbilisi and then went to the regions outside the capital.
Volunteer Jeff Rogo (left), translator Maya Kharebashvili, and Zugdidi Chamber President Yuri Tsotseria
Before my arrival, Mr….read more
Consultant Rick Hibberd (on the right)
at The London Tourism Show
My IESC project in Armenia included branding their first tourism campaign with logo and slogan “Armenia: Timeless ‘Undiscovered” and creating exhibits for International Tourism Bourse 2000, Berlin’s mammoth trade show, later London’s World Travel Mart.
I also designed a tourist information center opposite Yerevan’s lively vernissage* for souvenirs, jewelry,…read more
Volunteer Donna Howard
The Armenians are extremely hospitable. Their phrase for hospitality is “to love our guest.” At every NGO I visited, I was offered tea or coffee, and I usually accept tea. Tea is a ritual in Armenia, which, I realize now, includes a nice cloth or scarf placed on the table, the loveliest cups or glasses one has, and a plate of cookies or candy at the most humble of locations. No Styrofoam cups! Quite a…read more
Photo: AARP International
By 2030, China will have the world’s largest aged society. By 2050 that population will be larger than the entire current population of the United States. At the same time, America’s seniors are more active than ever. They have energy, expertise, and a desire to engage globally.
In the latest issue of The Journal, a publication of AARP International, IESC President Tom Miller has published an essay…read more
August 1, 2014 — IESC is delivering a new volunteer program in China. Experienced industry experts go for short-term consultations to advise Chinese organizations on global best practices and standards. Among our first group of experts, who will soon return to the U.S., is Ted Smith, a sinkhole expert from Florida, who traveled to Shandong and Shanxi Provinces to assess and advise on China’s significant sinkhole problem.
In Zibo,…read more
Haoua Cheick Seip (right) worked with women weavers in Sri Lanka
Five-time volunteer Haoua Cheick Seip assists war widows in Sri Lanka
Haoua Cheick Seip is the founder of Africa Creations, a wholesaler of handmade African products with a mission to help women artisans achieve economic independence and preserve cultural heritage through creation and sale of traditional crafts. As a consultant and entrepreneur, she has linked…
Volunteering is a real world way to get outside our desires, and ourselves, to experience something new and rewarding. It’s a way to truly give, just for the satisfaction of helping others achieve a better life.’
For almost 50 years, IESC has set the global standard for identifying and deploying Volunteer Experts (VEs) in technical and managerial assistance projects overseas. IESC VEs report great satisfaction from helping…
For almost 50 years, IESC has set the global standard for identifying and deploying volunteer experts for technical and managerial assistance projects overseas. IESC volunteer experts bring years of professional experience to help businesses and organizations in emerging market economies improve their operations and compete more effectively.
However, for many people, volunteering is a two-way street. IESC volunteer experts often say they…read more