Meet Edwina Jenny Taylor Flathen, an African primarily and a Liberian secondarily, living in the Netherlands for over 20 years where she studied Business Administration, possessing years of experience in the corporate world and humanitarian sector, particularly Agriculture, education, advocacy, and WatSan projects.
Of all the agriculture projects she spearheaded and implemented, 3 had an immense impact.
First, She and her team worked with 150 farmers in Motserrado County Liberia providing them with much-needed training on business/marketing skills training with the aim of improving the income of the farmers and creating the link to the markets.
The main objectives were to open an environment where learning, sharing of knowledge, and co-operation between farmers was encouraged, the opening of new avenues for the sales of the farmers produce and show them how to further expand themselves their avenues of sales and to continually evaluate applications of new skills and techniques learned.
Edwina went on to work in Bomi, Bbarpolu, and Grand Cape mount counties, together with 500 parents and teachers from these 3 counties ( 100 PTA groups) she ensured ways to generate income to support their schools.
One of the main objectives at the time was to encourage community mobilization and instill a sense of self-reliance within 100 PTA’s through community school gardening empowering them to sustain their primary schools. The PTA empowerment training, school gardening, and farming focused on improved farming techniques, preparation of nurseries, pest and disease control, and seed multiplication.
As of December 31st, 2010, this project was concluded and deemed a success. 100 communities received the global training and 45 communities received seeds, materials, and tools.
Finally, the most challenging yet rewarding qua output of all the successful projects Edwina has achieved is the creation of 12 new Farmer Field Schools (FFS) in Liberia.
Without any experience in creating FFS before yet presented with the tasks of doing so, She along with a team of experts including the brilliant Drake Yssenyange had the responsibility of achieving this daunting task.
Despite the challenges of the just-ended Civil war in Liberia, She and her team embarked on a powerful awareness campaign where the message clearly showed the short and long-term benefits of food sustainability through agriculture as well as working along with local grassroots organizations.
Thus, successfully creating 12 Farmer Field Schools, notably 100 participants per community of which 60% were women. The schools were meant to serve as a study ground for all and they are still active to this very day.