ACDI/VOCA VOLUNTEER PROGRAMS
50 YEARS OF VOLUNTEERS
In celebration of the 50th Anniversary of Volunteer Programs, we created the Charles Cox Excellence in Volunteerism Awards to recognize the outstanding contributions our volunteers bring to ACDI/VOCA projects. Accounting and Finance Specialist Kabita Kabita (right) was one of five recipients of this award, recognized for his work with the Zambia Enterprise Development and Growth Enhanced Activity (2020-2025). Between May and December 2021, Kabita worked with dozens of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in the aquaculture, poultry, horticulture, apiculture, and animal feed sectors. As a Zambian himself, Kabita knew what would resonate with the SMEs who participated in the training and coaching he offered. By improving their financial knowledge, enhancing their business sustainability, and encouraging them to adopt value chain integration and quality control systems, Kabita provided tools to enable SMEs to be more competitive. He also helped them identify microfinance institutions from which they could access loans and small grants in the future.
VOLUNTEERING FROM HOME
Armenian volunteer Liana Tadevosyan, an event management and marketing specialist, teamed up with U.S.-based volunteer Marilyn Phillips, a marketing strategist and management specialist, to support young people aged 15 to 17 in Liana’s home country of Armenia. Together, through an ACDI/VOCA-led assignment with the USAID-funded Farmer-to-Farmer Program, they addressed sales challenges related to locally made products in Ashnak. Their goal was for young participants to improve their branding and marketing skills and develop a single brand for the entire village, starting with dairy products. Soon, participants had formed the Ashnak Youth Group, started a Facebook page, began working with community farmers, developed a logo, and generated income from the sales of their newly branded Ashnak Agricultural Products. Within the first two months, their earnings far exceeded expectations. Currently, they conduct online sales of mixed agricultural produce, such as traditional cheeses, apples, stone fruits, dried fruits, legumes, and honey. With support from both a fellow Armenian and U.S.-based volunteer, they are working to create a permanent niche.