As the 22nd Annual General Meeting and Members Day draws to a close I reflect on what has been a very busy and thought provoking experience.
Over 200 Members travelled from around the country to attend the day which was held in the Ballroom of the Oxford Town Hall.
Ian Barney the Managing Director of TWIN and Willington Wamayeye, MD of Gumutindo Coffee Cooperative gave an introductory address. Ian explained how TWIN worked exclusively with smallholders recognising their importance to rural economies and in the protection of rich and diverse ecosystems. Willington spoke of the difficulties created by climate change and the devastating impact of landslides in the small organic coffee farming community of Mount Elgon in Uganda.
It was a great opportunity for Members to talk to other Members and hear first-hand the massive impact their investment has made. Last year, payments of over £39m were made to 63 countries around the globe.
Regional Development Executives Rachel Ngondo and John Dossou travelled from Kenya and Ghana respectively to give Members a first-hand account of their experience on the ground. Two new films were showcased which detailed the impact of lending to banana cooperatives in Peru and handicraft producers in Kenya.
Patricia Alexander gave an overview of the recent work of Shared Interest Foundation and reported that the percentage of children attending school had risen to 86% in one area. The video accounts of women in Rwanda were particularly moving.
Feedback from Members was extremely positive.
“Thank you for a very inspiring day and for the wonderful work you do. Thanks for the delicious lunch and refreshments”
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