Sometimes you simply need to take a leap into something new. This was Trista Brohier’s mindset when she took on the Chair position of The Hunger Project Australia’s Queensland Development Board.
“Often there isn’t a ‘right time’ to take on something like a Board position, but my mindset at the time was open and was very much at a place where I thought, why not do it?,” Trista said.
What stood out about The Hunger Project for Trista was the holistic approach to ending hunger through development led by the communities themselves.
“A lot of organisations I’ve been involved in have a cookie-cutter way of addressing the issues around hunger. I love that The Hunger Project has different solutions for different regions, while keeping in mind the individual needs of rural communities, local environments and traditional cultures,” Trista said.
“There is also a sense of urgency in the work done by The Hunger Project. There is a cause, and an end in sight, so the work that needs to be done gets done.”
Trista’s initial investment in The Hunger Project was inspired by her time working across South East Asia and particularly Laos.
“In Laos, I was working on a local level with rural communities about education and water. I saw first-hand the positive impacts of having the basic infrastructure set up for food, education and health,” Trista said.
“When I found out about The Hunger Project, I saw these same principles rolled out on a global level, and how I could have an impact on a global scale.”
In mid 2018, Trista took part in a Hunger Project leadership immersion program to Malawi. She described her experience visiting Epicentre communities as “a privilege” and “eye-opening”.
“On one of the first days, we visited a village celebrating Self-Reliance. The following day we visited the Nsondole village. Nsondole was still on the journey to Self-Reliance and was many years from reaching its goal,” Trista said.
“Seeing the first self-reliant village, and knowing what the community had achieved across 10 years of partnership with The Hunger Project, I could really see the level of change in people’s mindset and their all-round wellbeing.
“Then going to Nsondole, we knew that there would be a level of frustration within the mindset of the people. The community was open with us, and often we were told by people that ‘we can do more, we just need access to education’,” she said.
Trista tells the story of a 20-year-old woman she met while in Nsondole. This woman was living with HIV and was excluded by her neighbours. Despite this, all she wanted was a better education so that she could enable other people in her community also living with HIV to live a life of self-reliance and dignity.
“This young woman came up to me and asked me for a hug and of course I said yes. She told me that she was surprised that I would hug her, one because of her skin colour, and two because of being HIV positive. It just shows that without education, the stigma of HIV and the cycle of negative mindset and hunger continue,” Trista said.
“It was exceptionally powerful to me that this young woman was thinking about her long-term legacy of helping people in her community in such a selfless way. It made me think about how powerful investment is at such a local level.”
Trista’s experience in Nsondole encouraged her to act personally with urgency and generosity. As a result, she made a life-changing decision to make a significant investment in the Nsondole community to enable them to reach their goal of Self-Reliance.
Even in this short time of involvement with The Hunger Project, Trista has experienced a personal transformation. She has been encouraged to think about her own long-term legacy, and she has been able to able new thinking in other areas of her life.
“What I learnt from The Hunger Project goes hand in hand with how I coach and mentor people in my professional life. It has had such a powerful impact on the way I’m motivated moving forward,” she said.
“I’ve also been able to involve my husband in my life at The Hunger Project as well. He can see how my experience in Malawi really moved me, and he now has become personally invested in The Hunger Project too.”
You too can be like Trista and make a life-changing investment in the end of hunger:
- Invest in people with a one-off or monthly gift to The Hunger Project
- Join us in Malawi and unlock your possibility, potential and purpose
- Share Trista’s story on social media