Tuesday, October 23, 2012

uac-cp graduates: promoting rural development

Rachel Satterlee, a graduate student in Sustainable International Development at Brandeis University in Boston who is completing a 6-month field study at the College in Carmen Pampa, published an articled in the October 2012 edition of Global South Development Magazine featuring the College's work to promote rural development through higher education. Rachel's work at the College is focused on developing and implementing an alumni survey and interviewing UAC-CP graduates about their post-graduate work and lives--her article provides an example of the types of stories she hopes to collect.

Published on page 20 under the heading "Development Inspirations 2012", Rachel's article focuses on the work of UAC-CP Agronomy graduate Rene Villca (the College's first graduate) who is executive director of a honey processing association called FUNDACOM. As Rachel notes in her article, FUNDACOM was founded in 2005 by a group of UAC-CP graduates who continue to serve on the budding association's board of directors. And five of the six full-time FUNDACOM employees are UAC-CP alumni.

Rachel writes that FUNDACOM: "is able to provide 98 percent of its supply of honey to the Subsidio Prenatal y Lactancia program of Bolivia, which is the equivalent of WIC (Women, Infants and Children) food assistance in the United States. FONADAL [a European Union financial assistance program] pays FUNDACOM a market rate for the honey that they provide for free to poor families in Bolivia. The remaining two percent of their honey is sold to the general market.

"FUNDACOM provides technical support to beekeepers that work with them, helping farmers solve problems, and giving advice about how to increase production. In this way, Villca hopes the association can contribute 'con un grano de arena'' [with a grain of sand], helping to fulfill the mission of the College, to empower the neediest of people.'"

To read Rachel's two-page story in full and learn more about FUNDACOM's work, visit Global South Development Magazine online and scroll to page 20. It's well worth the read!

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