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Steve Richards

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2 reviews

Review for Sustainable Harvest International, Boston, MA, USA

Rating: 5 stars  

I have been involved with non-profit organizations for over 40 years as a staff member, board member, board chair, and as a volunteer. I have found SHI to be a truly unique organization in a variety of very positive ways. SHI's small staff accomplishes amazing things.
It is addressing some of the most important global issues such as climate change on a local level. By teaching farmers how to grow healthy vegetables through organic farming, SHI is is able to provide healthy food for families and to market their excess crops thereby generating some income for their families.
SHI's 5 phase program usually takes about 5 to 6 years to complete. It is a comprehensive plan that produces outstanding results. An additional benefit of SHI's program is that, by teaching farmers how to grow their crops using organic methods, they no longer engage in the traditional slash and burn techniques which have been destroying the tropical rain forests which is a leading cause of climate change.
I am very proud to be associated with such a worthwhile organizations which has a record achieving outstanding results.

Role:  Board Member
 

Review for Sustainable Harvest International, Boston, MA, USA

Rating: 5 stars  

Sustainable Harvest International (SHI) is an amazing organization! I have been involved as a board member and staff member of a number of NGOs working overseas. SHI stands out as an organization that works hand in hand with local farmers and helps build the local infrastructure so that local farmers are helping train and educate other local farmers.

It has a well thought out 5 phase program that results in outstanding crop production that does not deplete the soil. It creates a real win - win situation as the local farmers no longer need to use the slash and burn technique of their forefathers, which was devastating the forests. With sustainable agriculture, not only do the farmers have a broad variety of crops with better yields, but the forests and the many species who call the forests home, are no longer being burned. So SHI not only helps the farmers, it also has a significant impact upon the environment by saving tens of thousands of trees each year.

I had the opportunity to visit SHI programs in Panama this year and was impressed by the results being achieved. In one small village I saw many farmers graduating from the 5 phase program. One local farmer had significantly diversified his crops, created a fish pond, created a rice paddy, installed an irrigation system. He also installed a composting toilet and a very energy efficient stove. All this was accomplished with the advice and support of the local SHI field trainer.

SHI has a very small staff in the US so that most of the money donated to SHI can be used to support the local organizations with which it works in four Central American countries - Belize, Honduras, Nicaragua, and Panama. These local organizations, with the support of SHI, hire and train the local staff who then work with the local farmers. As a donor to non-profits, I want to see my donations having a real impact. With SHI, I am assured of my donation having an impact in supporting sustainable agriculture in Central America and saving the forests. It also has positive impact upon the environment.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

I look forward to the day when SHI has the resources to expand its program to other countries and continents. I know from personal experience that farmers in many other countries would benefit immensely from having SHI techniques applied to their farming. Also, preserving the existing forests throughout this planet would have a huge positive impact upon the environment.

Will you volunteer or donate to this organization beyond what is required of board members?

Definitely

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

Life-changing

Will you tell others about this organization?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

Role:  Board Member