The Hunger Project: Striving for Sustainability
According to the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO,) there are 925 million hungry people in 2010 around the world. Almost all of the world’s poor live in developing countries and 75 percent of people in poverty live in rural areas.
Founded in 1977, The Hunger Project (THP) was created as a global and non-profit organization committed to ending global hunger. It develops affordable, sustainable and replicable approaches to empower people in poverty.
Instead of taking top-down approaches, which follows a service-delivery model, it uses effective bottom-up strategies to help people overcome hunger and poverty. It believes that hunger is a chronic reality. People living with persistent hunger require a sustainable solution based on self-reliance.
THP carries out its mission in 11 countries in Africa, South Asia and Latin America by mobilizing village clusters at the grassroots level, empowering women as key change agents, and forging effective partnerships with local government.
This organization provides Vision, Commitment and Action Workshop (VCAW,) a village-level workshop, to help local people create their own vision for the future and outline the actions needed to succeed. It equips people with practical skills and knowledge to improve their lives.
Considering the important responsibilities women bear in the family and the gender inequality they face, THP regards gender equality as a critical part of ending hunger. It creates Microfinance Program enabling women to earn their lives and invest in their families and communities. Also, it hosts HIV/AIDS, Women’s Leadership and Gender Inequality Workshop to empower women in rural areas.
To strengthen local governments, THP partners with local governments to ensure they are effective, accountable and provide local people with access to resources and information. By lobbying for law changes and court rulings, THP ensures local community and people really benefit from government work.
THP supports U.N. Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), eight international development objectives agreed to by 191 nations. Those goals aim to address multiple facets of global poverty and are supposed to be realized by 2015. Sharing similar goals, THP is committed to playing a leadership role and empowering people to achieve the MDGs.
Currently, the non-profit organization has a worldwide presence. It operates in 11 program countries and partners with nine countries. More than 300 THP staff work around the world.
– Liying Qian
Sources: The Hunger Project, Microfinance Program
Photo: Vintage 3D