Browsing Category: Staff Spotlight

Fighting Hunger through Agriculture in Nicaragua

Five years ago, Convoy of Hope launched our Agriculture Initiative to teach impoverished farmers how to grow more abundant, disease-free crops. Under the guidance of our own Dr. Jason Streubel, tens of thousands of farmers in four countries have been able to grow crops that now feed their families and produce an income when the extra harvest is sold at market.

For the last two years, Calixta Cruz has directed our Agriculture Initiative in Nicaragua. Because she came from an impoverished farming family herself, she loves teaching farmers — especially students — how to grow crops that thrive so their lives are changed for the better.

What kind of obstacles have you faced?

My father passed away when I was five years old so my brother had to work to support our family. My mom baked bread in the morning and my sister and I would help her make the bread and sell it after school. I graduated high school in 2007 and wanted to attend university, but I didn’t get a scholarship. I shared a room with six other students and worked hard my first year, then got a scholarship my second year. I graduated with the highest grades in my class. I want people to know that anything is possible.

What’s your favorite part of working for Convoy?

When I go to see the school gardens. Kids ask me to teach them about the garden and ask if they can help. Several students have gardens at home now, and they’ve shown their neighbors how to start gardens too. I like to remind the kids they have to fight for what they want and can’t let any obstacles get in their way.

What was your most memorable moment working at Convoy?

I was working with sixth graders at a school, and we were sifting through soil for our garden, taking out glass and stones. I noticed that the kids were laughing nonstop and realized they had put a dead mouse in the dirt where I was working and I grabbed it without even realizing it! It was so funny!

Outside of work, what do you like to do?

I love talking with my family and I spend a lot of time thinking about work and how to improve things for the people we serve. I also enjoy going to church, the movies and hanging out with friends.

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Agriculture / Staff Spotlight

Hal Donaldson Inducted into Missouri State Hall of Fame

Convoy of Hope President, Hal Donaldson, was inducted into the Missouri Public Affairs Hall of Fame that honors individuals, who through their academic, personal or professional achievements, demonstrate active civic engagement to improve the lives of others.

“These honorees are exemplary individuals who use their skills and abilities to effect positive change on people from around the world,” said Missouri State President Clifton M. Smart III. “They exemplify the characteristics of ethical leadership, community engagement and cultural competence. The state of Missouri, our nation and the world are better because of these individuals.”

Other inductees include Maxine Clark, Ann Covington, Judith Rowland and Langston Hughes. Donaldson thanked the local community for its collective involvement in bringing hope to people in need.

“The compassion and generosity of people in the Ozarks has helped make Convoy of Hope what it is today,” said Donaldson. “It is a privilege to be a part of this community.”

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In The News / Staff Spotlight

Teamwork: Time Together Makes Us Better

Nothing invigorates and engages me quite like teamwork, partnership and networking.

My greatest joy at the moment is leading and serving with the Convoy of Hope International Program team. We have nearly 100 diverse and dynamic staff members, interns, volunteers and other great partners serving with us. Seeing the impact our collective calling is having around the world is inspiring.

Perhaps because our team is separated by great distances and we are so highly deployable, we cherish every moment we have together.

The conversations are rich, the camaraderie is robust and the sense of common call is remarkable.

In light of all of this, we understand that time together makes us better.

Every time we come together, we leave feeling renewed, refreshed and recalibrated. We love to connect, we long to collaborate and we have learned to honor one another and those we serve.

I want to encourage you to discover what we have come to know for yourself in new and exciting ways.

I am confident that as you build your team culture, you will discover all of this and more. There is nothing greater than sharing life together.

Believe me — it’s worth it!

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Inspiration / Join The Convoy / Staff Spotlight
David Edson
Spotlight | Stories about the people that deliver hope.

David EdsonGlobal Initiatives International Projects Coordinator

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