Saturday, August 8, 2009

Local Woman Saves the Planet

I don't want to toot my own horn, but I know a real, live superhero, or actually, a real, live superheroine. (Why does my spell checker not appreciate the word "superheroine" when it likes the word "superhero" well enough?)

She doesn't perform martial arts in high heels and a catsuit, but she does perform miracles in places where miracles are rare.

She doesn't have x-ray vision, but she does have vision and can see a world where all children are healthy, well-fed and educated.

She can't lift a 20-ton boulder over her head, but she can coax funding from tight-fisted foundations and governments which takes even greater strength (and patience.)

Who is this woman of superlative quality? I thought you would have guessed by now, it's Ms. Vicki Wilde.

Who's she and what's she done that's so great?

She is the Gender and Diversity director for CGIAR who had a beautifully simple idea for transforming rural Africa from places where diseases and famines rule to places where gardens and communities thrive. She's tapped into the vast, unused resource of African women. These women, who do 80% of the agricultural work in Africa to begin with, become highly skilled agricultural scientists through Vicki's AWARD program then return to their villages to combat potential crop failures with the power that is knowledge.

Her test program started small, like every miracle, it survived on a miniscule budget, pure hope, and unalloyed dedication. It's difficult to argue with success and now that the results are in, people, important people, people who can provide the means to make Vicki's little program into a world-wide answer to that question which every poor woman asks, the one that goes "How will I feed my children today?", stand up and take note.

Here's a pic of one person who recently realized the beauty of one small program. See if you can recognize her.

(Vicki is the one in orange and absolutely beaming. What you can't see is me jumping up and down in front of my computer, screaming, "That's Vicki! I know her! I know her!")

Some other fans of Vicki's are Bill and Melinda Gates, you may heard of them. They're out to save the world too.

For more information about Vicki Wilde, the AWARD program and Secretary of State Hilary Clinton's historic visit to Africa follow this link.


Donna Kuzel said...

"Chuck" How are things? Donna Kuzel
Seton - Class of 83

Donna Kuzel said...

"Chuck" How are things? Remember Class of 83? Long time ago. I still remember you, Mary & me causing trouble, drinking, smoking, hanging out with OLDER MEN!!! Hope all is well with you and yours. Donna Kuzel

Carol Kabat said...

Donna Kuzel! Where the hell have you been woman? I've been looking for you for years and you show up out of the blue on my blog. Come find me on Facebook and Mary too. Do it. Do it now. I can't wait to talk to you. Donna (DK), you totally made my day.
Talk to soon (seriously, I've already whipped out the yearbook.)