As you know, our business members are frequently featured on our blog, and our non-profit partners do not get much attention. To change this, we are going to start a new series of blog posts where we feature stories about our non-profit partners! So if you want us to feature a story about your non-profit here, please email it to Pauline at firstname.lastname@example.org. Our first post (and pictures) were sent to us by our friends at MESA, who have received a number of donations from 1% FTP members… Enjoy!
Ana owns a grocery store in her home community of Mala, Peru – but her contribution to Mala goes much farther than her store.
In 2008, Ana became a Steward with Multinational Exchange for Sustainable Agriculture (MESA), a 1% non-profit partner dedicated to advancing the next generation of farmers through sustainable agriculture training and cultural exchange. As a MESA Steward, Ana trained with Terry’s Berries Farm in Washington state to learn more about organic food production and distribution. She returned to the U.S. in 2011 to complete MESA’s Next Level Program and spent the year learning about organic food marketing and store management with the Natural Grocery Company in El Cerrito and Berkeley, California.
Armed with these two experiences, Ana returned to her home community not only more informed and prepared to expand her business, but inspired to create positive change for her fellow farmers in Mala. During her time as a MESA Steward, she experienced working environments in which men and women can work side by side as equals and are given the same opportunities for advancement – not something she knew to be true in her home community. As many MESA Stewards choose to do, Ana decided to develop a Home Country Project – an initiative designed by the Steward and funded with the help of MESA and individual donors. Ana’s objective is to establish a women farmers association – Mujeres Unidas por Agricultura – to serve Mala and surrounding communities and improve organic production and local distribution. Check out her video about this project here.
Stories like Ana’s make up the roots of the sustainably-grown planet that MESA is working to realize. As an organization dedicated to global change, MESA is a proud part of the 1% for the Planet community. Learn more about MESA on their website!