Path Home Shows 2009 Show Archive December 2009 Show 0949 Peace Through Business

Peace Through Business

It is widely acknowledged that societies which are economically stable have a much greater capacity for peace and small business is often the backbone of such stability. A program called Peace Through Business is designed to help women in developing countries create economic stability in their homeland beginning with their own homes.
Peace Through Business

Peace Through Business

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Institute for Economic Empowerment of Women

Show Dates

Show 0949: Peace Through Business

Air date: December 6, 2009



Rob:  Well it is widely acknowledged that societies that are economically stable have a much greater capacity for peace.  And in the developing world, small business is often the backbone of such economic stability.  With more on that, joining me now is our Alisa Hines.

Alisa:  That’s right Rob.  Only three years old, Peace Through Business is an international program to help women in developing countries create economic stability in their homeland beginning in their own homes.

Alisa:  Slicing…

Alisa:  Washing…

Alisa:  Canning…

Alisa:  For Rhonda Ladd it’s a typical Sunday afternoon, with a twist; she’s mentoring Jane Natukunda from Rwanda.

Rhonda Ladd:  We’re canning dill pickles from garden cucumbers, and we’re canning pickled okra, and we’re making salsa out of fresh tomatoes and onions, bell peppers, and jalapenos.  So we’re going through the process and showing Jane the process and the steps if you’re canning at home how you would do this.  So we hope to teach her something that will be useful for her to take back.

Alisa:  And Jane is excited.

Jane Natukunda:  That’s why I’ve come here, to learn more about food processing.  I want to have more experiences in the business.  I want to have a clue in what is going on about my business.

Alisa:  That’s what founder, Terry Neese, says the Peace Through Business Program is designed to do.

Terry Neese:  They actually spend a full week mentoring and shadowing with an American woman business owner that owns the same type of business that they own back home.  The biggest key of the entire program is for the women to go home and pay forward their knowledge that they’ve learned here in the United States.

Alisa:  With the help of OSU’s, Mike Dicks and Rodney Holcomb, Jane is able to see how Oklahoma women run food product-related businesses.

Rodney Holcomb:  We took Jane to three different women-owned businesses in Oklahoma.  We also went to Jill Stickler’s operation, Redland Juice Company, and Jill does an excellent job of raising these wonderful grapes on her own property and processing them into a high quality juice.  So that’s another possibility for some of the fruits that are being grown in Rwanda where Jane’s from.

Alisa:  And Mike thinks this is a golden opportunity to help.

Mike Dicks:  I’m always interested in helping Africans learn new technologies to be able to take them home and try to use their resources to apply those technologies.  Second of all, it helps me to learn what’s going on in Oklahoma and particularly the area is of great interest to me, because one of the things we know is, although the world produces enough food to feed everybody, one of the problems is that we have so much spoilage that a lot of that food doesn’t get to the people, and then we have hunger.

Alisa:  So in teaching Jane how to properly process food, Mike believes it could be a step in helping alleviate world hunger and Jane is ready to get started.

Jane:  So from this, I think I’ll be able to run more, since this is my new business venture.

Alisa:  It’s a venture half-a-world away but with roots right here in Oklahoma.

Alisa:  Now Mike is interested in traveling to Rwanda to continue helping Jane troubleshoot any problems she may run into once she’s back in Rwanda.

Rob:  Now I also understand that one of the problems that they’re running into is just the whole attitude that they may have in Rwanda about canned food.

Alisa:  That’s right; many Africans are so used to eating fresh foods only, that they’re afraid once they try a canned food, and we all know, canned food just doesn’t taste the same as fresh, that they might not want to buy the product.

Rob:  Yeah, it’s kind of a cultural issue.  Now I also understand that the ladies with Peace Through Business had a very special guest.

Alisa:  They did.  Former First Lady Laura Bush attended their graduation ceremony and was their guest speaker.

First Lady Laura Bush:  American women want to see Afghan and Rwandan women succeed.  And through efforts like the Institute of Economic Empowerment of Women and the U S Afghan Women’s Council which supports the Institute’s Afghan Peace Through Business program, American women from all backgrounds are coming together to help make sure you succeed.

Rob:  Now giving such help may be easier than you think, an Oklahoma oil man turned author says in foreign lands even the smallest investments can mean the difference between poverty and success.  Now if you would like to see his story and find out how you can get involved, just head to our website at and click on this week’s value added.