Over the past eight years, Ms. Anais Troadec has completed 15 assignments through Winrock International in Africa and Asia focused on gender and organizational development. She says of her experience, “What has always been amazing in every culture is to see the internal fortitude of women. Together, they have strength and are able to overcome some very challenging circumstances.” In 2013, Ms. Troadec traveled to Ethiopia and made her third trip to Guinea.
Ms. Troadec led workshops for 90 members of three Ethiopian women’s cooperatives to impart skills for more successful income generation. Government representatives and service providers were invited to participate, so groups were a mix of men and women. Of this, Ms. Troadec said, “…we worked together to identify strengths, to learn to communicate equally (as women and men) in a Muslim society, and to identify and address different gender stereotypes and biases.”
Ms. Troadec received VEGA’s 2013 “Program Award” for her volunteer service.
All participants are expected to replicate the training, which included: women’s roles in agriculture, cooperative member roles, responsibilities and leadership, business plan development, marketing and gender equality. The cooperatives are implementing improved business practices and regularly discussing gender issues. With higher incomes, the women can afford education for their girls and cover a greater share of their household health, food and clothing expenses.
Ms. Troadec’s work in Guinea was also focused on gender, but this time focused on curriculum, faculty and students at the Agricultural College in Faranah. The Farmer-to-Farmer program is working to transform the institution into a Center of Excellence by, among other things, improving gender parity of faculty and students, and updating the curriculum to make it more responsive to gender and labor market conditions. Ms. Troadec participated in an assessment of these areas and led a planning workshop to mainstream gender.
After returning home, she spoke at a meeting of the American Association of University Women in Hot Springs, Arkansas about the culture, traditions, women’s issues, and school in the small village of Nialya, Guinea. She inspired the group to donate more than $1,400 for school benches and uniforms, especially for girls, so that more children in Nialya can attend school.