Sylvia J. Megret
President & CEO
LETTER FROM THE BOARD CHAIR AND PRESIDENT & CEO
Dear Friends, The year 2021 was one of hardship for many people. Last year, our global staff and those we serve faced the ongoing struggles of the COVID-19 pandemic, a growing global food crisis, natural disasters, and a number of violent conflicts. In times of hardship, people look to their communities and the people around them for reassurance and relief. After all, its people working in community — both locally and globally — who power transformative change. And that is exactly what the people of ACDI/VOCA have done. Operating from our core values and aligned around our shared mission and vision, ACDI/VOCA’s locally driven but globally diverse community of staff worked side-by-side with project participants and partners to prepare for better days. We have long understood the power of local leadership and community co-creation to create sustainable impact. And while the circumstances of 2021 may have tested us, we are proud to report that our local teams continue to deliver more than expected. For example, despite a military coup in Myanmar, we continued our work, shifting along with the situation to help people manage and navigate cash shortages and mitigate the impact of the conflict as much as possible. Private sector companies like Than Tayar Nielon, a chickpea flour processor in Mandalay, partnered with our team to upgrade their operations. By training women and youth in digital finance, environmental compliance, and first aid, the company built not only their own resilience, but also that of the individuals they trained, which of course contributes to the resilience of the community. Other private sector companies engaged in similar efforts, illustrating the impact locally based investment has on community stability.
In Burkina Faso, a cadre of local organizations came together and partnered with us to combat malnutrition, even as a coup and jihadist insurgency threatened lives and livelihoods all around the region. Five local NGOs as well as village development councils, water user associations, mother groups, and mayors’ offices joined forces with our team to improve families’ health and wellbeing. They knew that for the community to survive the conflict and stay strong, they needed to join together to help the families that make up the community become stronger and healthier. These are just two examples of locally focused efforts, built on trusting relationships and the co-creation of solutions, that make life-changing global development possible. Throughout this report, you will read about the ways we work, with local leadership and teams, in service of sustainable, lasting impact around the world. For nearly 60 years, ACDI/VOCA has partnered locally to help communities prosper in a global economy. None of this would be possible without the trust and dedication of communities and our partners who know they can count on us.
Chair, Board of Directors