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Originally published by Volunteers in Technical Assistance between 1959 and 2005, ECHOcommunity has recently rereleased 137 documents in 6 languages for the benefit of community development globally. Volunteers in Technical Assistance (VITA) started in 1959 and aligned with ECHO’s beliefs that sharing knowledge is key to lasting community development. Through the years, VITA published a wide range of practical guides and how-to’s, from a few pages to complete manuals of 200 pages and more, featuring clear instructions and easy-to-follow plans and illustrations. These useful guides cover topics such as agriculture and animal husbandry, building and construction, business, industry and crafts, communication and transportation, energy, food processing, health and nutrition, stoves, ovens and kilns, water supply, natural resources, and conservation. As businesses or organizations change over time, sometimes organizations serving in the international development space have merged with other groups or changed objectives, resulting in the loss of access to books and research that still have value today. At ECHO, we revive access to resources that might have value within the ECHOcommunity network. Research revealed that VITA had been merged with other organizations over time and that many of the historical resources were no longer readily accessible online. ICT Specialist Steve Snyder reached out to the organization and received a positive response to the idea of ECHO hosting a repository of historical VITA documents for the benefit of community development globally. In this case, an impressive collection of 137 VITA documents in 6 languages (English, French, German, Italian, Portuguese, and Spanish) have been republished. This list includes titles like:

  • Understanding Evaporative Cooling,
  • Candle Making,
  • Understanding Pedal Power,
  • Solar Water Heaters,
  • Raising Chickens and Ducks, and
  • Understanding Agroforestry.

View the list of VITA Resources