I have volunteered at ECHO during the past three years. ECHO is different than many non-profit organizations who help with World Hunger, because it "teaches people to fish, instead of just giving them a fish". West African Farmers have experienced large increases in their harvest of corn, millet, vegetables, and fruit after attending ECHO's training. There have been two training events in Burkina, and a WEST African Impact Center is opening soon. It is exciting to see people harvesting an adequate amount to feed their families, while also having extra to sell, meeting other needs like medicine, education and clothing. ECHO is worth supporting as it is truly making a difference around the world!
Several years ago, a staff member from ECHO came to our church and gave a presentation about how this charity helps to end hunger around the world by teaching people how to grow their own food, and providing the seeds and other resources to do that. I was so impressed that they were providing help long-term, by empowering communities to feed themselves, rather than by a short-term donation of food. I wish they had a northern office location so that I could volunteer for them.
I have the unique opportunity to interact with many non-profits and community organizations in Southwest Florida, and ECHO stands out as an example of excellence in what they do. ECHO has had far-reaching effect here in Florida, but from what I've experienced this is just the proverbial tip of the iceberg. This organization's programs, while often understated, are profoundly effective around the world. I have had the privilege of travelling to places where ECHO's expertise, seeds, and information exchange have empowered people to change their own lives, and the lives of their neighbors. ECHO is an organization that is less concerned with their own prominence and more concerned with discovering, creating and exposing real, accessible and sustainable solutions to real problems.
I have had the opportunity to interact with ECHO several times over the last 4-5 years, including on site training, the annual conferences and via email. ECHO consistently delivers information and networking that exceed my expectations. The commitment of the staff and volunteers and their kindness and encouragement are outstanding.
While an intern at ECHO for one year, through hands-on experience I gained invaluable knowledge and skills that are foundational to my work here in Bolivia serving the poor through sustainable agriculture. While working here in Bolivia, ECHO continues to help my by supplying information and seeds to support my work here.