Florence Reed’s years of dedication to her sustainable agriculture initiative in Central America has earned her the 2012 Sargent Shriver Award for Distinguished Humanitarian Service from the National Peace Corps Association (NPCA).
Surry, ME July 24, 2012 - Florence Reed’s years of dedication to her sustainable agriculture initiative in Central America has earned her the 2012 Sargent Shriver Award for Distinguished Humanitarian Service from the National Peace Corps Association (NPCA). The President and Founder of Sustainable Harvest International was unanimously selected from a group of 23 other nominees by a panel of five judges.
“It is a tremendous honor to receive the Sargent Shriver Distinguished Humanitarian Award and one that I feel Sustainable Harvest International deserves. As for myself personally, I just consider myself very lucky to be accepting this award as the Founder and President of the organization whose staff, volunteers, donors and program participants have been improving our world for the past 15 years. I am grateful for all they have done to further SHI’s mission and to my family for all that they do to help me continue my work.”
The award is given to a Returned Peace Corps Volunteer who continues to make a sustained and distinguished contribution to humanitarian causes at home or abroad, or is an innovative social entrepreneur whose actions will bring about significant long-term change. Leading SHI’s sustainable agriculture efforts, Reed has collectively helped 1,500 families to become self-sufficient stewards of the environment and trainers of more than 10,000 other families across Honduras, Panama, Belize and Nicaragua.
“Sargent Shriver was a relentlessly energetic and innovative advocate for encouraging change in ways big and small,” says NPCA President Kevin Quigley. “This is the spirit that infuses the Peace Corps, and through the Sargent Shriver Distinguished Humanitarian Award we honor RPCVs who embody this spirit. Florence Reed, the founder of SHI, which empowers individuals in Central America to build more sustainable futures, is an ideal recipient.”
Since founding SHI, Reed has led the organization’s growth from a budget of $50,000 in the first year, to $1.5 million today. Dedicated to working with rural Central American communities to help implement sustainable land-use practices, SHI has converted 14,000 acres of degraded land to sustainable farms, and have planted 3 million trees to date.
For more information visit http://www.sustainableharvest.org
About the National Peace Corps Association
Founded in 1979 and headquartered in Washington, D.C., the National Peace Corps Association (NPCA) is the nation’s leading 501 (c) (3) nonprofit organization connecting and championing Returned Peace Corps Volunteers and the Peace Corps community. It provides service and education opportunities that build on the Peace Corps experience, and is also the longest-standing advocate for an independent and robust Peace Corps.
About Sustainable Harvest International
SHI addresses the tropical deforestation crisis in Central America by providing farmers with sustainable agriculture alternatives to slash-and-burn agriculture. Founded in 1997, SHI has since expanded its reach from one program in Honduras to also include programs in Panama, Belize and Nicaragua. With the implementation of their programs, poor farmers are now taking responsibility for reversing environmental degradation and achieving economic viability within their own countries.
My name is Pedro Xol and I am fifty-three years old. I have been working with SHI-Belize field trainer, Herminio Sho, in my community of Sundaywood for about three years. Last year, my wife started a little shop in our home selling chips and juice. Since I am now too old to work hard on our farm like I used to, I told Herminio that I would like to make our shop bigger. If the shop was bigger, we could make more money so we could send our children to school, feed them properly and repair our old home. Herminio said that SHI-Belize has a program that lends money, and he would talk to the person in charge of it. About a week later, he came with a micro-loan application and asked us questions about our family and business experience. Later in the week, Herminio returned with Yasmin Ramirez, the SHI-Belize Business Coordinator. Yasmin asked a lot of questions to help us write a business plan.
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