IESC Announces Frank Pace Award Winners, Hellen Kuthea Kitonga and Adrienne Pierce
Volunteers have been a critical part of IESC’s mission since 1964. The Frank Pace Award, named for one of IESC’s founders, is given each year to a volunteer expert who performed the most outstanding project in the previous year. This year’s recipients of the Frank Pace Award are Hellen Kuthea Kitonga and Adrienne Pierce, who volunteered with the USAID Farmer-to-Farmer Program in Kenya.
Hellen and Adrienne teamed up to develop a resource mobilization strategy for the Emuka Moringa Farmers’ Cooperative (EMFC). For this assignment, they advised on the creation of an advisory committee of eminent community individuals with strong market and community influence to become a permanent support structure and part of EMFC’s business model. In addition, the pair conducted a SWOT analysis as well as training for the board and other training-of-trainers programs focusing on EMFC’s sustainability.
They both went out of their way for EMFC. Hellen visited and convinced the County Government’s first lady to become an EMFC brand ambassador and negotiated one month of free radio promotion to promote EMFC’s products on the local leading radio station. Hellen and Adrienne also helped develop a funding proposal which resulted in an immediate grant of US $7,500 to EMFC.
Hellen and Adrienne’s support has produced immense outcomes. EMFC now has a processing plant and was able to expand its product offerings and output. Since the completion of their volunteer assignment, EMFC has opened an outlet in Nairobi and will sell its products at the Nairobi County open market once a month. Hellen and Adrienne’s continued support to the EMFC board, particularly to the women leadership of the board and senior management, has been outstanding and continues to positively impact EMFC’s operations.