"…we worked together to identify strengths, to learn to communicate equally (as women and men) in a Muslim society, and to identify and address different gender stereotypes and biases.”
Area(s) of Expertise: Gender and organizational development Education:
Languages Spoken: English
Volunteer Assignment and Impact: In 2013, Anais traveled to Ethiopia and completed her third trip to Guinea. In Ethiopia, she led workshops for 90 members of three women’s cooperatives to build their skills and improve income generation. Government representatives and service providers were invited to participate in the workshops, so groups were a mix of men and women, which ultimately improved the participants’ experience:“…we worked together to identify strengths, to learn to communicate equally (as women and men) in a Muslim society, and to identify and address different gender stereotypes and biases.” All participants were expected to replicate elements of the training, like women’s roles in agriculture, cooperative member roles, responsibilities and leadership, business plan development, marketing and gender equality. Since the training, cooperatives have implemented improved business practices and are regularly discussing gender issues. In addition, an increase in female participant’s incomes now make it possible for the women to afford an education for their girls and cover a greater share of their household health, food and clothing expenses.
In Guinea, Anais worked with students and faculty from the Agricultural College in Faranah to help mainstream gender within the institution. The Farmer-to-Farmer program currently works with the college and is transforming the institution into a Center of Excellence by, among other things, improving gender parity of faculty and students and updating the curriculum to ensure it is responsive to gender and labor market conditions. Anais participated in an assessment of these areas and led a planning workshop to mainstream gender. After returning home, she spoke at a meeting of the American Association of University Women in Hot Springs, Arkansas about the culture, traditions, women’s issues, and school in the small village of Nialya, Guinea. She inspired the group to donate more than USD $1,400 for school benches and uniforms, especially for girls, so more children in Nialya can attend school.