Photo of the Week: Yesterday the War … Today Businesses

September 14, 2012

In 1996, TechnoServe founder Ed Bullard traveled to northern Nicaragua to visit members of the Enrique Bermúdez Cooperative. Two years earlier, these farmers were soldiers emerging from a civil war. With TechnoServe’s assistance, they began to plant trees and revive the barren land, which was decimated from years of war. TechnoServe helped the farmers reintroduce coffee trees and connect to markets for their crops. The former soldiers formed a cooperative and committed themselves to rebuilding their livelihoods.

 

In 1996, TechnoServe founder Ed Bullard traveled to northern Nicaragua to visit members of the Enrique Bermúdez Cooperative. Two years earlier, these farmers were soldiers emerging from a civil war. With TechnoServe’s assistance, they began to plant trees and revive the barren land, which was decimated from years of war. TechnoServe helped the farmers reintroduce coffee trees and connect to markets for their crops. The former soldiers formed a cooperative and committed themselves to rebuilding their livelihoods.

 

When Ed visited these farmers, they presented him with a battered AK-47 assault rifle mounted on a plaque. The inscription read, “Ayer La Guerra … Hoy Empresas.” Yesterday the war … today businesses. The AK-47, a symbol of war and death, was relegated to the past. These onetime soldiers were now farmers and businessmen.

Next Friday, September 21, is Peace Day. This year, the nonprofit Peace One Day is calling for a day of ceasefire and non-violence – a Global Truce. TechnoServe is a proud supporter of the Global Truce because we understand the inseparable connection between peace and prosperity. Our experience in Nicaragua and other places has shown that with peace and stability, people can make choices about their future. They can better their lives through hard work. And when they succeed, peace is easier to maintain.

Learn more about why TechnoServe believes peace pays. And come back next week for more leading up to Peace Day, including an inspiring story from northern Uganda.

 

Related Blog Posts

 

The Impact Comes From the Coffee Cherry

The Impact Comes From the Coffee Cherry

Garuke coffee cooperative in Ethiopia was the only employer in the area for workers like Seifu Abafita, but in 2009 was on the brink of closure until support from the Coffee Initiative helped to turn things around.

Plowing for Profits

Plowing for Profits

TechnoServe's 2015 Annual Report shared several stories of our impact on our beneficiaries' lives, including the story of Abu Adam, a successful agricultural entrepreneur in Ghana.

TechnoServe Partnership Named Finalist for P3 Impact Award

TechnoServe Partnership Named Finalist for P3 Impact Award

An innovative partnership to boost fruit farmers’ incomes in East Africa has been named a top five finalist for the P3 Impact award, which honors model public-private partnerships.