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.

 

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