A Conversation with Trevor Moe, Senior Director of Government and International Relations
For us at Feed the Children, it’s always exciting to hear stories from the field first hand—whether it is from those who are on the front lines of defeating hunger in communities where we work or from our staff visiting programs in countries different from their own.
Recently, Trevor Moe, Senior Director of Government and International Relations based in Washington DC traveled to Malawi with Edna Onchiri, Public Relations and Communications Manager in Kenya. He came back thrilled about what he saw and experienced, and we thought you’d like to know about it too.
Trevor: In our Washington DC office, I wear a number of hats connected to both our domestic and international program offices. But the two main goals of my position are 1) business development—to help fewer children go to bed hungry around the world 2) public policy—to influence those in positions of leadership to make decisions that care for the most vulnerable among us. I went to Malawi under the umbrella of business development – to find out how we can do our work more effectively there.
In Malawi, our programs receive funding from three sources: corporate donors (we are especially thankful for our partnership with NuSkin), private donors, and U.S. government grants. We received a USAID grant for our work in Malawi that continues through 2015 and recently we received a grant to support some of our water programs.
The scope of my trip focused on how we can continue to be good stewards of all of our partnerships.
BEYOND: What about your visit to Malawi surprised you?
Trevor: I was surprised by how kind and welcoming the people were to me, an outsider. They say that Malawi is the friendliest country in Africa, and now that I’ve been there, I have to agree. Strangers on the street came up to talk, genuinely interested in me and my visit there.
I also was surprised by how devastating the poverty was! The people have so little. Children in Malawi are at risk of dire malnutrition. As a nation, they are eager for help, for knowledge, for methodology—for any wisdom that could improve their lives.
BEYOND: What do you think our donors would most like to know about our work in Malawi?
Trevor: I’ve been a lot of places in the Global South, but what I most want to say is that the work we do in Malawi is wide-reaching and very effective. We serve 842 communities! Feed the Children is fighting hunger all over Malawi in places others are not.
And I learned this: every child who receives deworming medication anywhere in Malawi gets it from Feed the Children. We are on the front lines stomping out hunger. Donors, you should be proud of the world you are creating there!
BEYOND: As you reflect on your trip now, what are the hopes of the people of Malawi? What do they want for their future?
Trevor: I think Malawians want what everybody wants for their lives. They want a better life for their children. They want to know that their kids will be taken care of and have opportunities to grow up strong.
In one of the villages I visited, I met William who is a carver. I asked him what he hoped for and he told me, “I want be able to provide for my family a tin roof.”
I asked, “Why that?”
“A tin roof would keep my wife and my two boys dry during the rainy season.”
He wants a tin roof. That’s all.
BEYOND: Anything else you want to share with us?
Trevor: I love my job. Every day, I’m seeking to connect resources to the Williams of this world. People who have dreams the same as I do and who just want to have a better life.