Valerie Busch

Valerie Busch

Valerie is a development professional based in Toronto, Ontario.

Sayana Press Brings Affordable Family Planning to 69 Countries

Lack of contraception and family planning services is a serious challenge for women in developing countries around the world. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), more than 200 million women in the Global South would like to access contraception, but are currently unable. In 2012 alone, this led to almost 80 million unplanned pregnancies, with about 25% of women resorting to unsafe abortions.

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Growing Self-Sufficiency through Urban Agriculture in Toronto

A unique program in Toronto’s west end gives low-income and marginalized residents access to fresh food and gardening skills through a co-operative urban agriculture model. The Co-op Cred Program has improved food security and health, and also provides an opportunity for low-income workers in the Parkdale community to learn new skills.

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A Community-Driven Palliative Care Solution in India

In the Indian state of Kerala, Dr. Suresh Kumar has devised a community-led solution to the problem of inadequate palliative care. He founded the Neighbourhood Network for Palliative Care (NNPC), an organization with a goal of developing a cost-effective approach to making these services accessible to even the poorest members of society.

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Social Farming: Transcending International Borders

  In rural areas of many developing countries, seniors and people with disabilities are often some of the most marginalized groups. The World Bank estimates that 20% of the world’s poorest people have a disability and are also regarded as the most disadvantaged people in their communities. Due to traditional prejudices and a lack of understanding, they often experience insufficient to …

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Mud Silos Protect Harvests in Ghana

An American NGO called Opportunities Industrialization Center International (OICI) is taking a centuries-old technique and putting a new twist on it to help Ghanaian farmers reduce post-harvest losses. The technique of building mud silos out of locally-available materials is already known in some parts of northern Ghana and was first introduced 300 years ago by traders from Burkina Faso.

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West African Diaspora Brings Special Expertise to Fight against Ebola

Many large international NGOs and foreign governments have pledged support to help contain the Ebola outbreak. These foreign actors must contend with the challenges of working with an often suspicious and fearful population. However, there are diaspora groups from both Liberia and Sierra Leone who possess a thorough understanding of the local context and are posing innovative initiatives to help citizens protect themselves. The Mineke Foundation and Lunchbox are two new programs spearheaded by diaspora groups.

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To Teach Science and Engineering in Haiti, MIT Project Embraces the Kreyòl Language

In 2012, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) won a five-year grant from the U.S. National Science Foundation to produce Kreyòl language education resources for science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). Called the MIT-Haiti Initiative, the project will take open education resources previously developed by MIT, translate them into Haiti’s native language of Kreyòl, make them available to higher education institutions in Haiti, and evaluate their effectiveness.

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Banana Fibre Pads Tackle Menstruation Taboo in East Africa

In Kenya, two Bachelor of Education students from Kabarak University have come up with a simple, locally-developed idea that has the power to change women’s lives. Ivy Etemesi and Paul Ntikoisa created Photo3a sanitary pad made out of fibres from banana trees. The pad is created by isolating the soft inner stems of the banana tree, washing them to remove impurities, and softening them into a fine fibre.

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