Service Learning for Women (SLW) program and the African Women in Agricultural Research and Development (AWARD) teamed up to bring four African women to New Mexico State University for a month-long period, during September to October 2011, to develop career enhancement opportunities through workshops, mentoring, and training in Extension and research methodologies.
The NMSU Service Learning for Women (SLW) program seeks to inspire and empower women in agricultural careers so that they can excel as leaders in local and global communities. The program brings together opportunities to learn in areas, such as Agricultural Extension methodologies, leadership skills, and the latest agricultural technologies. Their career development is encouraged by opportunities to gain proficiency in presenting, teaching, research, and publishing. They are mentored by NMSU's College of Agriculture, Consumer and Environmental Sciences faculty with the intention of broadening their professional network and world perspective, the women are introduced to agricultural leaders, local community members, and cultural events.
AWARD is a professional development program that strengthens the research and leadership skills of African women in agricultural science, empowering them to contribute more effectively to poverty alleviation and food security in sub-Saharan Africa. The program's mission is to build an effective and transferable career development program for women in agricultural research and development of sub-Saharan Africa.
Established in 2008, AWARD is a project of the Gender & Diversity Program of the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR). It was launched following a successful three-year pilot program in East Africa with support from the Rockefeller Foundation from 2005-2008. AWARD has 180 fellows in its program who have been chosen from a large pool of applicants from 10 sub-Saharan African countries (Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Malawi, Mozambique, Nigeria, Rwanda, Tanzania, Uganda, and Zambia).
The four SLW-AWARD Fellows for 2011 included:
Anabela da Piedade Manhica, Veterinarian and Head of Technology Transfer Department, Mozambique Agricultural Research Institute
Chikondi Chabvuta, Eco-health Research Assistant, Bunda College of Agriculture, University of Malawi.
Esther Wamono, Nutrition Officer, The United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF), Uganda.
Meaza Abawari, Manager, Development Grant and Private Non-Sponsorship Grant Department, World Vision, Ethiopia.