Updates

Seed Programs International

SPI is excited to announce several internships that offer a professional learning experience with our growing nonprofit!

Organizational Overview
Seed Programs International (SPI) is a nonprofit that provides access to good quality vegetable seeds, expertise, and gardening training materials to humanitarian organizations worldwide to alleviate hunger and poverty. We partner with humanitarian efforts around the world to reach communities with the greatest need. We have successfully shipped seed to over 70 countries on five continents. The video below will provide you with additional information on our mission and work.

This is an excellent opportunity for undergraduate and graduate students to obtain valuable experience in a not-for-profit space and an international nonprofit food insecurity development organization's inner workings.

Applications: Applications for the internships described below will be accepted through April 30th, 2021. Applicants must submit a cover letter and resume to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Please indicate the internship you are applying for in the subject.

Time Commitment: At least eight weeks between the period of May-August 2021. This internship requires a minimum commitment of 20-25 hours per week during regular business hours. This is a remote internship that will last for two months and is an unpaid internship.

Academic Credit: SPI will work with the intern to obtain academic credit where available.

We are an equal opportunity employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for internships without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, disability status, protected veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by law.

 


Remote Marketing Internship

Responsibilities

  • Assist with monthly e-newsletter content collection, writing, and editing
  • Assist in writing, proofreading, and editing of materials for online and print publications
  • Provide creative rebranding concept, graphic and website design
  • Perform research and competitive analysis on food insecurity issue groups, marketing campaigns and innovative fundraising techniques, and other projects as needed
  • Audit and update business rules and policies for marketing projects
  • Maintain a library of print, audio and visual marketing material samples
  • Assist with campaign performance reporting
  • Assist in donor cultivation
  • Assist the SPI team by researching essential supporting functions of the team
  • Contribute to specific projects under the CEO, Program Director, and Program Coordinator's guidance
  • Other duties as assigned

Qualifications

  • Undergraduate or Graduate student in Marketing, Communications, International Development or a related field.
  • Graphic Design experience with working knowledge of Adobe Suite.
  • Strong research and critical thinking skills.
  • Ability to work interdependently and clear communication skills.
  • Previous office experience preferred (internships are accepted).

 


Remote Grant Management Internship

Responsibilities

  • Complete grant research, prospecting, tracking, and applications
  • Draft or edit internal and external documents, including: acknowledgment letters, fact sheets, proposals, and reports
  • Develop fundraising related tip sheets and training materials for staff
  • Maintain accurate fundraising information in the organization’s files and development database
  • Manage and complete project(s)
  • Other duties as assigned

Qualifications

  • Strong verbal and written communication skills
  • Proficient in Microsoft Office, Word, and Excel
  • Detail-oriented and self-motivated
  • Able to work independently and collaboratively as part of a team
  • Ability to multitask

 


Remote Fundraising Management Internship

Responsibilities

  • Conduct research on donor prospects
  • Assist with fundraising event support as needed
  • Help with mailings of collateral materials to prospective donors
  • Provide data entry assistance and maintain the donor database / CRM
  • essential supporting functions of the team. 
  • The intern will contribute to specific projects under the CEO, Programs Director, and programs coordinator's guidance
  • Additional duties as assigned

Qualifications

  • Undergraduate or Graduate student in Marketing, Communications, International Development or a related field.
  • Strong research, analytical skills and ability to think strategically. 
  • Ability to  work on multiple projects simultaneously.
  • Ability to work independently with communication skills
  • Previous office experience preferred (internships are accepted)
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills
  • Tech-savvy and able to pick up new skills quickly; database skills excellent to have 
  • Outgoing and able to make outbound phone calls.

 


Remote Communications Internship

Responsibilities

  • Support Communications team by prioritizing and coordinating daily tasks
  • Serve as a project manager for assigned tasks
  • Assist with content creation for social media and blog accounts to help spread the word about our mission and encourage fundraising
  • Schedule social media posts using Hootsuite and Facebook scheduler
  • Monitor news, SPI accounts, and follower comments for relevant content to our channels. Provide appropriate and supportive feedback
  • Organize photo and video libraries, keep them updated as assets are received
  • Research current communications industry trends and tools
  • Identify upcoming editorial and speaking opportunities 
  • Assist SPI team in organizing and archiving assets
  • Create toolkits for campaigns and social media
  • Other duties as assigned

Qualifications

  • Undergraduate or Graduate student in International Development or a related field
  • Strong research ability and critical thinking skills
  • Ability to work interdependently and communicate clearly.
  • Previous experience working in an office environment (internships accepted)

 

Ladies in cabbage plant lot large

Hi folks,

Yohannes and GrowEastAfrica have been laying out the next steps to meet their communities’ greatest needs. Water access understandably continues to be a top priority. Water is scarce in Ethiopia, and water access is critical for everyone — not just farmers. Community leaders are working with GrowEastAfrica toward an exit strategy, toward a time when each community will be self-sustaining and able to weather new challenges.

“What is our long term? To stay with a given community for 3-5 years, then move to another community. We’ve been in Burji working with these IDP families for three years. Southern Ethiopia is a drought-sensitive area. Water is always a challenge, even now. On the land we have, we are lucky because there is a well. As we try to expand, that is the main limiting factor.” — Yohannes Chonde, GEA Co-founder

In addition to your support, we’ve received a generous grant from GlobalGiving to help address drought and famine in East Africa. As part of that grant, we’re taking Yohannes’ lead in how to best use those funds for water access. He’s outlined several possibilities, including digging new wells and piping water to different areas within each community. Currently, rainwater is being caught from roofs and stored, which works when there is rain to catch. However, relying on the weather can hinder crop expansion when the rainy season ends. While wells are a longer-term solution, they are cash-intensive. GrowEastAfrica is trying to balance access for multiple communities with affordability in an area where digging a well can be quite expensive.

We’re also consulting with GrowEastAfrica as advisors to select the most appropriate drought-resistant vegetables. Their programs provide access to resources and skills that alleviate hunger and build livelihoods, and education around nutrition is woven throughout their trainings. Nutrition from vegetables is important for a region whose primary sustenance often comes from grains. While grains can provide a daily meal, Yohannes continues to encourage the communities’ cooperative leaders to make space in their gardens for vegetables.

“In regards to what they are growing right now — whenever I call them and talk to their cooperative leaders — they need to have something to eat at the end of the day. Teff is important in Ethiopia, one of the widely-grown crops. I look at vegetables as an important complement. They need something to eat for survival, and they need to balance their nutrition.” — Yohannes

Applied knowledge is another resource necessary for proper growth and sustainable agriculture. Recently, Fate and the Soyama Women’s Association visited a commercial tomato farm to expand their own farming methods. The farmers toured the greenhouse and saw a demonstration about seedlings grown in trays that will be transplanted into an open garden. They discussed various growing components like soil health, protection against disease, and nutrient demands. Finally, they discussed the differences between conventional and hydroponic tomato growing methods.

Rather than growing all of their vegetables from seed, the cooperatives have begun collaborating with the Meki commercial farm to adopt planting seedlings grown in trays. This provides a more controlled environment and increases the likelihood that seeds will grow into healthy plants. Seeds are provided to the Meki farm, and seedlings are returned to the cooperatives in Burji. Attached to this report, you can see some of the seedlings being packaged for transport.

Farming is hard work that requires both manual labor and expertise — these resources are not a handout. GrowEastAfrica’s programs strive not only to provide access to resources, but also to educate and train farmers who can pass on their knowledge and training to other farmers. As a result, these IDP communities have produced healthy food for themselves and have also sold some of their harvests to provide meaningful income. Money can be saved for the lean season and also reinvested in the next planting. They’ve created a cycle of self-sufficiency that will provide a strong foundation for generations to come.

We appreciate your support of Seed Programs International and Garden’s Give Hope, Health, and Income in East Africa. Thank you from us, our partners, and the farmers whose lives have changed because of your generosity!

The SPI Team

 

Fate harvesting carrots.
Fate harvesting carrots.

 

Birhan Ladies Group member fixing a dripline.

Birhan Ladies Group member fixing a dripline.

 

Fate (right) and group members with peppers.

Fate (right) and group members with peppers.

Fate (right) and Birhan Ladies Group members.

Fate (right) and Birhan Ladies Group members.

Hi folks,

One year ago, we started this project with gratitude. Gratitude for your support. Gratitude to GlobalGiving for their tremendous support of this Project. Gratitude to Grow East Africa for the truly amazing work they’re accomplishing in collaboration with local leaders in Ethiopia. And gratitude from Wato and Fate who are on the ground with Grow East Africa.

Over the past year, we’ve shared how Grow East Africa has cultivated a new communal garden, increased the expertise of their farmers, and supported women like Fate who have led the way in strengthening their cooperative. Today, we’re glad to share a recent update from Fate.

First, if you’re not familiar with Grow East Africa, they’re a cooperative near Moyale in Ethiopia that prioritizes women’s access to resources like land, training, and tools. Many of the women have been displaced from regions and tribes that have been historically targeted for displacement.

Fate joined Grow East Africa in 2016 and has become an integral part of the Grow East Africa collective and local community. In a recent interview, Fate described the start of her new life with Grow East Africa.

“My name is Mrs. Fate. I am 45 years old, a mother of seven children, member of Mega IDP [Internally Displaced Persons], the chairlady of Birhan Ladies group, and an active contributor to my community.

Mangloris shows off a beet from the garden.

Mangloris shows off a beet from the garden.

Hi folks,

This month’s update comes from our partnership with Habitat for Humanity in western Guatemala and features our Rotarians Against Hunger seed grant program. Habitat Guatemala founded the Family Gardens Project in 2013 to help establish and improve family and community gardens as a way to address malnutrition and poverty. In 2014, Habitat Guatemala worked closely with the community to expand their Family Gardens Project to El Canaque, San Marcos.

We know that only starting a garden is not enough. Disadvantages like malnutrition and poverty often stem from restricted access to resources and a lack of knowledge about how to use those resources. After the gardens were established, Habitat Guatemala offered families and communities training on the organic production of vegetables and seeds — that is, a way to expand the use of the original resources and the resources provided by these gardens.

During the initial phase, malnutrition in the community was reduced by 52%. Several community members were also inspired to found a bio-factory that prepares and sells different organic inputs and products, the Bio-fabrica. The challenges faced by these communities are not gone, but this project has provided resources and education to develop new tools that can help provide for fundamental human needs like nutritious food and income. 

Contact Us

Seed Programs International

PO Box 9163
Asheville, NC 28815
+1-828-337-8632

 

Seed Programs Canada (Affiliate)

Registered Charity No. 839858107RR0001
Lombardy, ON
613-406-6100

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Seed Programs International (SPI)

Seed Programs InternationalSeed Programs International (SPI) is a non-profit, tax exempt, non-governmental humanitarian organization.

We work thorough other humanitarian organizations, church groups, service clubs and individual donors, to provide quality seed to impoverished communities in developing countries enabling them to grow some of their own food. In addition to seed, SPI provides critical seed expertise and experience operating seed based self help programs.”

SPI is operated by individuals with over 50 years seed industry experience plus over 20 years experience in vegetable research and production. We also have 15 years experience operating programs that have successfully shipped seed to over 70 countries on five continents. SPI has shipped enough seed to plant over 1,000,000 vegetable gardens, providing more than 20 kinds of vegetables that are rich in vitamins and minerals often missing in people’s diets.