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September 03, 2014    
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Early success of NCBA CLUSA’s resilience project in Niger, Burkina Faso impresses senior U.S. Senate policy advisors

Representatives from the U.S. Senate’s Committee on Foreign Relations say they are pleased by progress made against benchmarks on NCBA CLUSA’s USAID-funded project that addresses the root causes of chronic vulnerability in the Sahel region of Northern Africa while promoting economic resilience.

This five-year, $70 million project implemented in Niger and Burkina Faso, “Resilience and Economic Growth in the Sahel-Enhanced Resilience” (REGIS-ER), is empowering local communities with the tools and knowledge necessary to adapt to climate change, withstand food crises and improve nutrition, especially among children under the age of five.

The August 18 site visit—the first from observers outside of USAID—began with a stop at REGIS-ER headquarters, followed by a field visit to three REGIS-ER projects in Niger’s Tillabéri region.

In Sassaba, the team visited community members cultivating Moringa in home gardens. The plant is easy to grow and its leaves and seeds are nutrient-dense, making it an ideal crop to supplement both diets and incomes. Just six months after planting, the moringa is already producing edible leaves, providing much-needed nutrition to the village.

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NCBA TALKS 2014

NCBA TALKS 2014

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  THUMB 01 Farmer-to-Farmer volunteer spotlights: Senegal and El Salvador

August has been a busy month for NCBA CLUSA’s Farmer-to-Farmer (F2F) programs in Senegal and El Salvador. Funded by USAID, the F2F Program's goal is to generate rapid, sustainable and broad-based food security and economic growth in the agricultural sector. A secondary goal is to increase the American public’s understanding of international development issues and programs.

To achieve these goals, F2F programs design volunteer assignments and scopes of work that maximize opportunities for volunteers to work and interact with rural communities in the host countries.

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  THUMB 01 ROI everywhere as exhibitors bring learning opportunities to Minneapolis conferences

The 2014 Purchasing Cooperatives and Annual Cooperatives Conferences, to be held jointly at the Depot Renaissance Hotel in Minneapolis, Minnesota from September 8 to 11, will feature a unique mix of sessions, attendees and conversations as NCBA CLUSA works on “Building a Cooperative Future” across the various sectors through education, convening and networking opportunities.

Attendees will find a Return on Investment in everything that they experience, with exhibitors playing an integral role. 

On September 9, during the Purchasing Cooperatives Conference, attendees will have the opportunity to break into small groups in the ROI Roundtable Session, rotating every 15 minutes to different “mini-breakout session” tables, each facilitated by a sponsoring exhibitor. There, they can expect to pick up quick tips, tricks, best practices and other information they can implement upon returning to their organizations.

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  THUMB 01 How America's largest worker-owned co-op lifts people out of poverty

In a move recognizing the role of co-ops to create quality jobs and spur economic growth, Mayor Bill de Blasio and the New York City Council in June allocated $1.2 million to fund the development of worker cooperatives. Supporters say the investment will help the city build on the success of Cooperative Home Care Associates. Reporter Laura Flanders wrote this article for The End of Poverty, the Fall 2014 issue of YES! Magazine

Before Zaida Ramos joined Cooperative Home Care Associates, she was raising her daughter on public assistance, shuttling between dead-end office jobs, and not making ends meet. "I earned in a week what my family spent in a day," she recalled. 

After 17 years as a home health aide at Cooperative Home Care Associates (CHCA), the largest worker-owned co-op in the United States, Ramos recently celebrated her daughter's college graduation. 

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  THUMB 01 Payment processing provider TransFirst finding new business with co-op/purchasing groups

Based in New York, TransFirst is one of the nation’s largest providers of secure payment processing with more than 1,300 distribution partners, processing over $48 billion for 200,000 merchants in 2013.

TransFirst recently entered the co-op/purchasing group sector and is currently engaged in learning what services best resonate with the industry. 

“By leveraging existing technology and focusing on providing high-quality and trusted solutions, TransFirst is able to provide its partners and their merchants outstanding payment processing expertise and service,” said James Scott, director of Business Development for TransFirst.

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  THUMB 01 A new day for El Salvador cashew co-op, thanks to cooperation among cooperatives

Equal Exchange, a leading importer of organic, Fair Trade products and one of America's largest and fastest-growing worker co-ops, sent this story about its relationship with Aprainores, a cashew co-op in El Salvador currently hosting NCBA CLUSA Farmer-to-Farmer volunteer and business consultant Mel Farmer. By supporting Aprainores' cashew farmers and rallying its food co-op partners, Equal Exchange is putting Principle #6—cooperation among cooperatives—into action: 

By Phyllis Robinson

It was a hot, muggy afternoon this March and my colleague, Mark DiMaggio and I were touring the cashew farms on the Island of Montecristo. March is one of the hottest months of the year in El Salvador. The end of the dry season is approaching; the air is thick with humidity and it feels like any moment the skies could burst. But the cooling rains never really come; not until April or May. On this particular day, the temperature had reached 106 degrees. 

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NCBA CLUSA would like to thank the following sponsors of this year’s Annual and Purchasing Cooperatives Conferences.
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NCBA CLUSA Upcoming Events  

 
2014 Purchasing Cooperatives Conference
2014-Sep-08 10:00 am - to - 2014-Sep-10 12:30 pm
 
 
 
2014 Annual Cooperative Conference
2014-Sep-09 01:45 pm - to - 2014-Sep-11 11:45 am
 
 
 
2014 International Summit of Cooperatives
2014-Oct-06 12:00 am - to - 2014-Oct-09 12:00 am
 
 
 
 
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About NCBA CLUSA
The National Cooperative Business Association CLUSA International (NCBA CLUSA) is the trade association for cooperative businesses in the United States and an international development organization. NCBA CLUSA provides cross-sector education, technical assistance, and advocacy that helps co-ops thrive. For nearly 100 years, NCBA CLUSA has sought to advance and protect cooperative enterprises, highlighting the impact that cooperatives have in bettering the lives of individuals and families. In the last 60 years, NCBA CLUSA has worked in over 100 countries in the areas of food security, agricultural development, strengthening of communities and farmer organizations, community-based health, natural resources management, and empowerment of smallholder farmers, women, and youth. We currently work in 15 countries in Africa, Latin America, and Asia.
 
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