Valerie Busch

Valerie Busch

Valerie is a development professional based in Toronto, Ontario.

Teaching Refugee Children How to Code

A study by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that there will be 1.4 million new technology jobs by 2020, and many of those jobs will go unfilled. In her home of Des Moines, Iowa, Nancy Mwirotsi noticed the needs of local African refugee families were enormous. Knowing the need for STEM training to fill future jobs, and the need to support struggling local refugee children, she decided there must be a way to do both.

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How Coastal Mapping and Conservation Can Save Lives

The world’s 15 most at-risk nations for natural hazards are all coastal, tropical, and developing countries. NGOs and governments are spending billions of dollars to construct sea walls, levees, and other barriers to protect against risk. But unlike natural barriers, artificial ones can be easily destroyed by a single extreme weather event. SNAP is exploring how restoring coastal habitats can protect coastal communities and livelihoods, and reduce fatalities and loss of property.

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The Global Southern NGO Network: A Long Overdue Idea

The term ‘capacity-building’ has become popular in development circles, particularly in the context of partnering with southern NGOs to improve knowledge and ownership of development initiatives. However, concrete efforts to allow southern NGOs a greater voice have been relatively weak. In April 2015, an African NGO called Adeso released a report outlining the need for a global network of southern NGOs. On the heels of the report, Adeso has announced their aim to do just that.

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Learning Goes Mobile in Lesotho

In Lesotho, only one in three children who start primary school end up completing secondary education. Repetition rates remain high, classrooms are crowded, and teaching resources are limited. Teachers are overburdened and do not have time to hand out homework assignments, resulting in low learning rates outside of the classroom. Sterio.me aims to address these challenges with their new mobile homework program.

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Better Access to Vaccines with the New Microneedle Patch

Each year, millions of people in the developing world are killed by vaccine-preventable diseases. Vaccines are administered through injection, meaning a trained professional is required. Vaccines also require a sterile environment and constant refrigeration to remain viable. These requirements are difficult and costly to meet in developing countries. However, researchers at the Georgia Institute of Technology are developing a microneedle patch that can quickly and easily administer vaccines that save lives.

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A Simple Farming Technique Improves Yields and Restores the Environment

Recurrent drought in the Sahel has become the norm in the past decade, resulting in agricultural decline and periodic famine. There is general recognition that drought-resistant practices are critical, but conventional Western methods are commonly applied to solve these problems. The World Agroforestry Centre is using a technique, called farmer managed natural regeneration (FMNR), which promises to address the issue in a unique way.

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Grassroots Approach Helps Kenyan Dairy Groups Double Milk Production

Dairy production is a vibrant sector in Kenya that contributes to 4% of GDP annually. Many dairy producers in Kenya are smallholder farmers who own only a few cows, and the milk sold from these cows is often the main source of cash income available to a family. As demand for dairy products increases, farmers need to acquire knowledge in more efficient and more adaptive production techniques. A researcher from PEI is teaching dairy groups in Kenya those new techniques.

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