Wellesley-resident Marion Good has been named the provincial regional director of resource development for Mennonite Economic Development Associates. Formed in 1954, MEDA has worked to design and implementing market-driven economic development programs to help improve the livelihoods of millions of people living in poverty around the world. Good’s primary responsibility will be to spread the word of MEDA’s mission and to engage in fundraising initiatives for various projects in developing and impoverished nations.
“The part that really, really inspires me is how they make a difference in people’s lives and especially the programs that they have the help women in the countries that are really suffering through war or poverty,” said Good of her involvement with the organization.
“Women are the anchor of the home and that means that their children can have better food and better health and better education – it makes such a difference.”
Good also served on the Wellesley Board of Trade for a number of years as well as helped get the Wellesley Township Community Health Centre up and running.
She has been directly involved with MEDA for a dozen years and has served on the board of directors, making her the ideal candidate for the job, said Marlin Hershey, director of resource development for MEDA.
“She knows the organization so well that she can tell the story and that’s all part of what fundraising is all about, and she tells the MEDA story well with much passion and conviction,” said Hershey.
The organization operates under the slogan of ‘business solutions for poverty’ and is present in more than 45 countries worldwide, including Nicaragua, Ukraine, Morocco and Afghanistan.
“The goal and our bottom line is that those projects have sustainability in the end. They are typically three to five years in length, and our goal is that they are sustainable when we leave,” said Hershey, adding that projects range from growing grapes and tomatoes in Ukraine to establishing small garden plots or milk co-ops in Afghanistan and Pakistan.
Much of the work is done via micro-loans that small businesses can apply for and then re-pay when they have the means. Hershey said that MEDA has a 99 per cent repayment success rate.
“The whole idea of bringing them up to where they are able to get an education for their children, and they’re able to be sustainable,” he said.
Good started her new position on July 11 and is still learning the ropes of the job, but is optimistic about the future and looks forward to the new challenges that await her.
“I am just thrilled to be working for this organization, it’s a wonderfully powerful organization that has been around for almost 58 years.”