Howdy, my name is Virginia Birkofer.  I am from Texas and am pursuing a degree in Economics.  My interests greatly coincide with Agile International’s mission.  My passions include Austrian economics, hiking, photography and addressing high school drop-out rates.  Most of all, I deeply believe in women’s empowerment as a means to resolving conflicts and fostering strong communities based on education and equal opportunities.  The supporters of Agile International have a dream, founded in an incredible love for Africa, of creating sustainability for agriculture and education in Western Africa.

Success can only come when an individual decides to pursue it fully; Agile International recognizes this truth and applies it on a state and regional level.  Africa’s long term economic success depends on its own decisions and pursuit of growth, not through out-sourced funding and foreign solutions.  While foreign aid is crucial during a disaster, relief funds are not meant to sustain long term development.  Agile International dreams and acts towards a future where each African country and person is self-sufficient and empowered.  A dream this big takes root in the grasslands, in particular Mali.

Mali is the focus of Agile International because that is where our founder, Fatoumata Doumbia’s dream first began.  Mali’s problems are representative of Africa’s plights: lack of food abundance, discrimination against women, failing farms, broken cultural customs and crippling dependence on foreign aid.

Agile International works to empower and teach local women to farm using sustainable methods and organic foods.  Women-led farming combats discrimination against women.  Agile International further provides programs for girls stressing the importance of staying in school in order to overcome cultural breakdowns across Mali and West Africa.  In addressing these basic grass-root needs, the women of Mali and West Africa become confident and equipped with the ability to sustain themselves.

Spring is blossoming across the northern hemisphere and into our mindsets, it is a time marked by rejuvenated energy both in farms and schools.  Spring is the best time to again focus on the mission of Agile International, reminding ourselves of why we are here and who our efforts our serving.

I hope you enjoy the blog; your comments are important and I look forward to having them shape our conversation.

Virginia Birkofer.