Posts Tagged ‘mercy corps’

New Video: Seeding Food Carts

December 8, 2010 Leave a comment

Directed by Matthew Winthrop
Produced and Edited by New Sky Productions

More and more, individuals in Portland are looking to food carts as an inexpensive alternative to starting up a restaurant. Even with the lower start-up costs, however, food cart owners often need help getting the capital to start up. Mercy Corps Northwest is dedicated to supporting entrepreneurs like these. We believe in supporting our local food industry, our local business owners, and in finding creative approaches to business and employment in a recession.


From Bhutan to Portland: Planting the Seeds of A New Life

June 23, 2010 2 comments

Pabitra Dhimal (left) and Koushila Koirala pull weeds in the empty lot they’ve transformed into a productive garden (Photo: Juan-Carlos Delgado for Mercy Corps)

By Andy Parker

Crouched close to the loamy soil, the two women work as one, their ebony hair shining brilliantly in the midday sun as their four hands move seamlessly across the tidy garden plot rows.

Fifteen, 20, then 30 minutes whisk by and never once do they rise from their work, their motions as effortless as the flights of the half-dozen butterflies riding the warm afternoon breezes across the garden. The women are plucking the little leaves of the mustard plant, one at a time, leaf by leaf, then quickly tying them into small bundles and tossing them toward a plastic tub, their fingers back picking greens before the bundles come to rest.

It’s a mesmerizing, well-practiced rhythm, one of the few remaining signature patterns in lives torn apart by the politics and intolerance of their homeland — the mystical Himalayan kingdom of Bhutan where, since 1990, the Bhutanese majority has forced more than 100,000 citizens of Nepali descent into refugee camps in Nepal.
Read more…

Categories: in the community, people Tags: ,

Mercy Corps: Our Work Begins at Home

June 21, 2010 Leave a comment

Juan-Carlos Delgado for Mercy Corps

Last week we ran an advertisement in the June 17 Oregonian, highlighting our connection to our parent organization Mercy Corps and the work we do in Oregon with urban farms, small business development, and prisoner re-entry. The four-page spread was an inspiring collaboration between our staff at Mercy Corps Northwest and Mercy Corps, professional writers and photographers who volunteered to share their skills with us, students working with us in our office, and our clients.

If you didn’t catch that insert in the Oregonian, the full spread can be found on our website. In the next few weeks, we’ll be highlighting some of those great stories here in this blog, starting with the front page story about a group of Bhutanese women working with our New American Agriculture Program.

Categories: in the community, people Tags:

September Highlights at MCNW

September 29, 2009 Leave a comment

October is almost upon us, but we’ve kept ourselves pretty busy this September at Mercy Corps Northwest.

The biggest event was our move into our new building on September 14th. We’re now sharing a space with the rest of Mercy Corps in the old Skidmore Fountain building at 43 SW Naito in downtown Portland. One of the most exciting things about the move is our new and improved classroom space.

An artist rendering of the space... we'll have our own pictures up soon!

An artist rendering of the space... we'll have our own pictures up soon!

We kicked off the move with a seminar on using social media for marketing, presented by Peter Korchnak of Semiosis Communications. We got a little blurb in the Oregonian’s business calendar, and had a full class with 19 participants. Despite it being the very first day in the classroom and few technical issues, it was a productive class. Peter went over some of the different social media forms – Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, etc, and talked about how to be effective on those sites as a busy small business owner. The class did make us realize that the topic of social media is a huge one, and people are coming at from all different levels and for different purposes, and so for the future, we’re going to try to break it down a little more and be more specific about what the seminar will be covering.

Our second seminar of the month was with Susan Rich of RichWriting Inc, who did a concise hour-long workshop on how to write effectively on the Internet called Write it Rich!. We had 15 people attend this class, and I saw a lot of participants writing down notes on the handout she gave, and we got some good feedback afterward:

“I have been to many seminars, and Susan was very, very, very good!” – a participant.

All in all we’ve started off our educational programs in the new building with some great seminars, and we’re looking forward to more soon in October as well.