VEGA’s July Newsletter
Please join us in welcoming Purdue University as one of VEGA’s newest Lead Members. Purdue University is a major research university in West Lafayette, Indiana, known for discoveries in science, technology, engineering and more. Leading VEGA membership is Purdue’s Office of Global Engineering Programs (GEP), which leverages the College of Engineering and its partners in three ways. First, the Innovation for International Development (I2D) Lab impacts emerging markets through sustainable, market-driven engineering innovation and capacity building. Second, world-class faculty experts make progress possible through international research and development collaborations. Third, students shape the world as they advance toward 100% global competency.
Building Bridges Coalition Event
The Building Bridges Coalition (BBC) celebrated its tenth anniversary by holding a Forum on June 14th in Washington, D.C., at the Brookings Institution. Entitled “International Volunteering & the 2030 Development Agenda: Forging Global Development Outcomes, Research, and Alliances,” the Forum provided a platform to highlight the importance of global volunteering and opportunities to engage policymakers and others on the topic. Speakers from Service Year Alliance, USAID, U.S. Peace Corps, UN Volunteers, IBM, VEGA and a wide variety of volunteer sending organizations participated. Read VEGA CEO Michael Deal’s blog here. Check out quotes, pictures, and videos from the event on Twitter here.
Best Practices in Volunteer Recruitment
On June 30th, VEGA and Farmer-to-Farmer members convened for a quarterly programs meeting and discussed challenges and solutions in volunteer recruitment. Read the summary or listen to the full panel discussion here on Farmer-to-Farmer.org.
Three New Small Grants
- Common Pastures: Sustaining Flocks, Farms & Families – Browse & Grass Growers Cooperative
- Engineers without Borders USA in Kosovo
- NCBA CLUSA Farmer-to-Farmer Program in Madagascar
Congress Approves Bills to Strengthen International Development
Congress recently passed two bills that will go a long way to improve U.S. international development efforts: Foreign Aid Transparency and Accountability Act and the Global Food Security Act. Both were passed with notable bipartisan support and are expected to be signed by the president. VEGA joins with InterAction and the dozens of organizations that advocated for these critical reforms in thanking supportive members of Congress and President Obama. VEGA applauds the bipartisan leadership and also welcomes these additions to President Obama’s legacy. Learn more and read the VEGA statement here.
New Managing Director of Communications and Advocacy
VEGA is pleased to introduce Angela Canterbury who has extensive experience increasing the impact and sustainability of cause-driven organizations and initiatives with strategic partnerships, communications and advocacy. Angela’s international experience includes nearly four years in Ukraine where she provided advocacy and communications support to USAID grantees, as well as to local NGOs and businesses. In Indonesia and the Czech Republic, she consulted with multi-stakeholders on participation in the Open Government Partnership. In the U.S., Angela has advanced several policies to improve lives domestically and abroad such as anti-corruption and human trafficking laws. Angela is passionate about the power of volunteers to make a meaningful difference and has been a lifelong volunteer herself. Read more about Angela here and don’t hesitate to be in touch with her at acanterbury [at] vegaalliance.org or 202-367-9998.
Urban Gardening & Entrepreneurial Training in Haiti
Trevor Hylton, an FAMU Farmer-to-Farmer volunteer, traveled to Haiti in April to conduct an Agriculture/Horticulture Small Project assignment. In collaboration with Université Caraibe, Mr. Hylton worked with Haiti’s youth to develop an urban garden in the heart of Port-au-Prince. Read more.
Conversations from Shared Value Leadership Summit
VEGA and several of its member organizations including Global Communities, Land O’Lakes International Development, PYXERA Global, and Winrock International joined more than 400 business thinkers and NGOs for the sixth annual Shared Value Leadership Summit to discuss how businesses can make a profit while tackling social and environmental challenges. Read more.
Volunteer Profile: Ravi Dutta
Ravi Dutta volunteered as a Business Adviser to Support the Lao Chapter of the American Chamber of Commerce through the Institute for International Education (IIE) from April 2014 to December 2015. Read about his experience here.
Save the Date: International Volunteer Day Forum – December 5th, 2016
VEGA, along with co-sponsors the Building Bridges Coalition, IAVE, and Partners of the America, will honor and celebrate the impact service of outstanding volunteers abroad and in the US, explore partnering for 2030 Impact and convene international service leaders for a 6-month progress report on advancing the Sustainable Development Goals. A dialogue with representatives of the in-coming administration will focus on the role of volunteering.
FSVC’s Financial Sector Program in Albania Extended
USAID modified FSVC’s Financial Sector Development Program in Albania to increase the budget from $4.3 to $5.6 million and extend the end date to December 31, 2018. The increased funding and extension will build on the success VEGA and FSVC to support the growth of mobile payments and strengthen the financial sector by improving the supervisory capacity of Albania’s regulatory agencies.