News

World Food Day 2021: The joy of providing food for your family 

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Margret is a volunteer leader – or Animator – at The Hunger Project’s Oruka community in Uganda, and a proud mother of 11 children. In a recent conversation with us, Margret shared how partnering with The Hunger Project shifted and expanded her mindset.

For Margret and her family, exorbitant land rental meant that the family couldn’t cultivate enough food. This resulted in an ongoing and seemingly endless cycle where they could only afford one meal a day.

Margret then had the opportunity to attend one of The Hunger Project’s tried and tested Vision, Commitment, Action workshops. Her attitude about living in hunger changed, and she began to see her mindset as the greatest obstacle to obtaining what she needed most in her life.

Margret’s dream had always been to raise healthy children by having enough food to feed her family, so when she got a chance to become a local farming leader, she seized it. Her attitude towards farming and access to land changed completely.

Margret saw that you don’t always need to have a vast piece of land to grow enough food, you just need to be smart about how you use the land you’re given.

During the training, she was introduced to small plot and learnt sustainable backyard farming. Margret began to grow vegetables in sacks behind her house using organic compost from kitchen scraps and chicken manure. This ensured that vegetables such as Sukuma greens, eggplants (or garden eggs as they’re called in Uganda) and spinach were available throughout the whole year. This meant a regular source of nutritious food. This meant at least three full meals for her family each day.

These days a typical meal plan for her household comprises of a cup of millet porridge and roasted maize or boiled cassava for breakfast. Lunch is largely bean sauce, millet bread and dark leafy vegetables while dinner is comprised of cornmeal/ rice and vegetables.

The most important lesson Margret learnt from The Hunger Project’s workshops is that no matter the size of one’s farm, children should never be deprived of having enough nutritious meals for their proper growth.

Margret now wakes up each day knowing she has secured her dream of ending her family’s hunger.

“Seeing my Children satisfied after a meal brings me much joy.” – Margret from Oruka.

You can partner with people like Margret by giving to The Hunger Project. We know people are the solution to ending hunger. Give now.

Day of the Girl 2021

What girls in Ghana have to say about International Day of the Girl 

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Girls are at the core of so much of what we do at The Hunger Project. 11 October marks International Day of the Girl, a day we celebrate the power, resilience and potential of millions of girls across the world.

We spoke to five girls from Ghana, aged between 13 and 16 about their hopes, dreams and ambitions.  

Faizatu

Faizatu, 16 

How would your friends describe you? 

My friends describe me as humble, intelligent and respectful. 

Who’s been your biggest inspiration in life so far? 

Mr. Michael Peprah (Faizatu’s school principal) is my biggest inspiration.  

What do you want to be when you grow up? 

I would like to be a teacher when I grow up, so that I can impart knowledge to the younger generation. 

If you could pass on one message to the world, what would it be? 

I will urge my fellow teenagers especially the girls in the world to stay focus on their studies and say no to teenage pregnancy and drug abuse. 

Polina, 16 

How would your friends describe you? 

My friends describe me now as the bold type and knowledgeable. 

Who’s been your biggest inspiration in life so far? 

My biggest inspiration has been my mother, she is very caring and provides for all my needs.  

What do you want to be when you grow up? 

My vision is to become a pharmacist. I always feel sad when I see people die because they cannot get medication for their illnesses.  

If you could pass on one message to the world, what would it be? 

My message to the world is that we need to work together to end child marriage and child labour now! 

Sarah, 13 

How would your friends describe you? 

My friends see me as someone who encourages them to study and to be educated.  

Who’s been your biggest inspiration in life so far? 

Madam Josephine, who is my class teacher. She inspires me the most and she gives me a lot of encouragement to aspire high and work hard. 

What do you want to be when you grow up? 

I aspire to become a lawyer in the future. I always feel happy when I see lawyers in their uniforms. I have pledged to stand for the truth and defend the girl child and more importantly, teenagers who [have been forced] into child labour or have been raped. 

If you could pass on one message to the world, what would it be? 

I would like to use this opportunity to tell the world that parents should encourage girls to go to school and desist from forcing them into apprenticeship against their will. 

Sandra

Sandra, 16 

How would your friends describe you? 

My friends describe me as respectful and hardworking. 

Who has been your biggest inspiration in life so far? 

My biggest inspiration is a musician called Celestine Donkor.  Her lyrics are inspirational and an encouragement to me. 

What do you want to be when you grow up? 

I would like to be nurse when I grow up. Taking care of the sick is my passion because I want to care for people and give health education to girls.  

If you could pass on one message to the world, what would it be? 

My message to the world is that parents should treat their children equally, no matter if they are boys or girls. 

Tematey

Tematey, age not given 

How would your friends describe you? 

My friends always describe me as respectful, humble and a decent girl. 

Who’s been your biggest inspiration in life so far? 

My father has always been my biggest inspiration in life. 

What do you want to be when you grow up? 

I would love to be nurse in the future, so that I can help people who are sick. 

If you could pass on one message to the world, what would it be? 

One thing I would love to tell the world out there especially my fellow girls is that in every situation choose character over success 

These girls have a hunger for education and for a better future. You can secure a better future for them and millions of other girls around the world by giving to The Hunger Project. Give now.  

 

 

 

 

Jacinta McDonell Joins The Hunger Project Australia’s National Board 

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The Hunger Project Australia is pleased to announce the appointment of Jacinta McDonell onto our National Board.  

Jacinta, the co-founder of Anytime Fitness, founder of Human Kind Project and W1LL, has been a longtime investor and to date has mobilised $1.4 million for The Hunger Project’s work in ending hunger. 

The Hunger Project Australia’s National Board Chair, Diane Grady AO said Jacinta’s experience and perspective will help The Hunger Project Australia to unlock new opportunities.  

“One of the key pillars of our strategy is connecting with entrepreneurs who can relate to our work. Jacinta has been a long-time investor in The Hunger Project and really helps us understand what it takes to connect with female founders of business. Welcome Jacinta, it is great to have you,” Diane said. 

Melanie Noden, CEO of The Hunger Project Australia, said she looks forward to working with Jacinta as we continue to work towards the end of hunger. 

“Jacinta will bring an incredible amount of experience both from being an entrepreneur and also as a fundraiser,” Melanie said.  

“Jacinta’s journey with The Hunger Project has already been so inspiring and we will all learn so much from her unique breadth of experience.” 

Jacinta said she is excited about joining the Board and looks forward to working closer with The Hunger Project.  

“I believe that each and every person has the ability to transform their life and that all people are resilient and inspiring. All we need is to unleash our potential – and this is something The Hunger Project does each day,” Jacinta said. 

“Every person should have access to enough food to eat each day and the opportunity to education. I believe that nobody actually wants charity.” 

Jacinta has been investing in The Hunger Project since 2014, when she witnessed our work first-hand in Malawi. The visit inspired her to set up Human Kind Project, a foundation bringing together entrepreneurs to create change. 

It is Jacinta’s hope that she can continue to inspire more entrepreneurs with her appointment to the board. 

Three stories of impact from India

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A few months ago, we ran a campaign for creating COVID-resilient communities. Since then, our 550,000 trained local leaders on the ground have been in constant motion: assessing and re-assessing the ever-evolving challenges, and leveraging their collective leadership, resilience and resources to design and deliver local solutions for a COVID-safe future.

Given good news stories are something we’re all aching to hear about at the moment, we’d like to share with you 3 of the thousands of stories of courageous leaders creating impact in India right now.

How Women Leaders In India Are Building A COVID-Safe Future.

Elected women trained by The Hunger Project in India like Gudiya, Kamla and Mamta have been working hand-in-hand with accredited health workers on the village frontlines. Together they’ve delivered essential healthcare – vaccinations, iron and calcium tablets, accurate information – deep into rural and remote villages.

1. Gudiya Cares For The Next Generation.

Because of elected woman leader Gudiya and her close partnership with healthcare worker Anita, extremely malnourished children are receiving iron and calcium tablets in Madyha Pradesh. They go door-to-door visiting families for health checks and motivating people to get vaccinated. Anita estimates that in the past year she has screened more than 1,500 people for COVID-19.

2. Kamla Leads From The Front.

Because of elected woman leader Kamla, 82 people got their first vaccination in the space of just 2 days in rural Bihar.

“When the vaccination drive started, so did the rumour mill about how vaccines increased the chances of infection or that they made men impotent. We knew we had to spare no effort to sensitise people. I took the vaccine first to show people how it helps us, not harms us.” – Kamla, an elected woman trained by THP who balances her public duty with her responsibilities as an accredited healthcare worker.

3. Mamta Busts Harmful Myths.

Because of elected woman Mamta and her unique relationship with health worker Guaramma, myths and misconceptions about COVID-19 are busted on a daily basis in Karnataka. Visiting 20-30 houses a day, they share accurate healthcare information so people can protect themselves and their communities.

You can become a Changemaker.

You can play your part in standing up against the status quo by unleashing this kind of practical, community-minded leadership that is required for us to create COVID-resilient communities around the world. If you are inspired by what you’ve read here, take action, make an impact and give now or monthly to further our work.

New Report Confirms 811 Million People Living In Hunger 

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The UN-led 2021 ‘State of Food Security and Nutrition in the World’ Report finds that up to 811 million people globally are living in hunger amid the pandemic. 

It’s no surprise that the COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted progress towards many of the Sustainable Development Goals, including ending hunger. In fact, it’s looking more likely that the world won’t reach these goals any time soon – that is, if the global community continues “business as usual” instead of rethinking what’s possible and implementing new ways of thinking, being and acting to create a world that works for everyone.  

The 2021 State of Food Security and Nutrition in the World Report (SOFI) sets out this new reality. According to the report, up to 811 million people are living in chronic, persistent hunger – that is 161 million more people than in 2019. It says, “Conflict, climate variability and extremes, and economic slowdowns and downturns are the major drivers slowing down progress [towards ending hunger], particularly where inequality is high. The COVID-19 pandemic made the pathway towards [Sustainable Development Goal 2: Zero Hunger] even steeper.” 

Additional Findings of the 2021 SOFI Report 

  • Nearly 420 million people living in hunger are in Asia, over 280 million live in Africa, and at least 60 million live in Latin America and the Caribbean. 
  • Moderate or severe food insecurity has been climbing slowly for 6 years and now affects more than 30% of the world population. 
  • The rate of undernourishment rose from 8.4% in 2019 to 9.9% in 2020. 
  • Without significant modifications to the world’s current global strategy, around 660 million people may still live in hunger in 2030, the date set by the Sustainable Development Goals to achieve Zero Hunger.

The Hunger Project has always believed in a world that works for everyone. Clearly, with hundreds of millions of people still living without enough food – or the right kinds of food – to eat, the world isn’t working for anyone. Together as a global community we need to continue finding new, bold approaches that go to the root cause of problems and create sustainable solutions. That’s what we’re doing at The Hunger Project. We’d love for you to join us on this exciting and meaningful mission. Interested in being part of the solution? Give now, sign up to our mailing list or follow us on social media. 

The 2021 State of Food Security and Nutrition in the World report was published jointly by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), the World Food Programme (WFP) and the World Health Organization (WHO). 

 

July updates on the COVID-19 situation in our Program Countries 

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More than 18 months after COVID-19 emerged as a once in a lifetime, worldwide challenge, the pandemic is still an ongoing concern in all our Program Countries across Africa, India and Bangladesh, as well as in our offices in Australia. 

The Hunger Project Australia is in regular communication with our teams on the ground, delivering updates from our communities and Village Partners.  

We strive to share with our community in Australia up-to-date and above all accurate information about the current situation on the village frontlines.  

Africa 

Across the continent, Africa is currently experiencing a third wave of COVID-19. New weekly cases have now exceeded the peak of the second wave which began in January of this year. While the vaccine rollout did start in some African countries, only 2% of the continent’s adult population has been fully vaccinated. 

To date, 23 countries in Africa are experiencing this surge of COVID cases, including our Program Countries of Uganda, Zambia, Senegal and Malawi. 

Uganda is so far one of the worst-affected countries during this third wave, and they are currently in a national lockdown to curb the spread of COVID. Rural communities are being impacted but it is hard to tell what the full depth of the situation is because testing numbers in rural areas are lower than rates in the cities.  

Zambia has re-introduced COVID-19 restrictions after the rise in daily cases, peaking at over 3,000 cases a day in mid-July. This has included the closure of schools, limits on some public gatherings, and mask-wearing and social distancing on public transport. So far the virus has been contained in the cities and has not reached rural areas; because of this, our Epicentre work can continue with strict COVID-safe measures in place.  

Senegal is one of the more recent countries to begin experiencing the third wave. The team at The Hunger Project Senegal are working remotely now and have been a leading voice in a vaccine-promotion campaign.  

Cases in Malawi have started to increase, and the government has re-introduced restrictions, including a nightly curfew, limits on public gatherings, international border restrictions, mandatory mask-wearing, and restrictions on workplaces.  

Benin is still reporting very few COVID cases and thus far is not experiencing a third wave yet.  

Similarly, cases are still low in Ghana– though there has been a slight daily increase in cases in Ghana over the past couple of weeks.  

South Asia 

India has moved past the peak in cases that was seen in April and May, and COVID-19 case numbers and deaths are now declining. There are still a number of cases and deaths across the country, but the rate of spread has decreased immensely. Vaccination rates are increasing but there are fears of another wave of infections if vaccinations aren’t delivered out into rural areas. 

Bangladesh has unfortunately experienced its own second wave, with cases reaching a high of over 13,000 cases a day in the past week alone. To curb the spread of cases, the country instituted its most strict, military-enforced lockdown, only allowing people to leave their houses for emergencies and to buy essential items, with all public transport, non-essential shops, and offices closed. Lockdown is scheduled to be lifted in time for the country’s second-largest religious festival, Eid al-Adha, which takes place from 20 July – July 22. There are concerns that this could lead to a huge increase in cases. 

You can keep up to date with The Hunger Project on social media or sign up to our email newsletters. You can also give now to The Hunger Project’s work in building stronger communities across Africa, India and Bangladesh.  

The 5 nuggets of gold from our conversation with Ruchi Yadav

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On 22 June, 2021 we recorded an insightful and thought-provoking conversation with THP-India’s Ruchi Yadav. We got so much out of hearing Ruchi share about the harsh realities of life in India right now, and how THP’s unique approach to shifting mindsets and partnering with local leaders is proving successful in protecting the most vulnerable people during the pandemic. 

1. There is a human tragedy unfolding in India in the form of a shadow pandemic hidden behind the health crisis: 9,000 children have lost at least one parent to COVID-19 or have been abandoned, and are at risk of child trafficking, child labour and illegal adoption; hunger levels have increased and are forcing families to make desperate decisions like selling their teenage daughters into marriage for just $270-550; family violence is rife and home is no longer the safe place it’s supposed to be, especially for women and girls; 5 million schools were shut down at one point and girls are not likely to be allowed to return.

2. The Hunger Project doesn’t parachute into communities and then exit; the 8,000 elected women leaders across India currently in our training program are from the communities, live there, and will continue living there long after the pandemic. The elected women are putting into practice what they have learned with The Hunger Project, adopting a ‘solution’ not ‘scarcity’ mindset to be motivated and charged instead of paralysed in the face of this challenge. 

3. “How do we reach the unreachable and make the voices of the invisible, visible?” These are some of the guiding questions that are driving Ruchi Yadav and the THP India team in shaping their strategy to confront new challenges and create long-term solutions in the context of the continuously shifting landscape. 

4. The THP India team is constantly innovating and adapting to changing circumstances and some of their future plans include: delivering remedial classes for girls who have missed out on school; piloting livelihood programs for families dealing with hunger; and finding creative ways to get people vaccinated like bringing the vaccinations door to door on the backs of motorbikes out to the most remote and mountainous areas. This is in addition to their ongoing guiding and mentoring of elected women as frontline workers to share accurate health messages, combat misinformation, run vaccination drives, and lead prevention measures against the spread of COVID-19. 

5. To stay motivated, Ruchi thinks about her future self asking her past self, “During the pandemic, what did I do?”She says what she is doing now – partnering with elected women across India to deal powerfully with the pandemic – is her legacy. 

Take action – Create a COVID-safe future for everyone

 Ruchi said the Australian community is “the wind beneath [THP-India’s] work” so let’s show our support to Ruchi, her team and the elected women leaders – as well as all our staff and village partners across the world – as they navigate the pandemic with strength and persistence to create COVID-resilient communities.  

How? Invest in The Hunger Project’s end of financial year campaign before 30 June or start a conversation with us. [Note: for a limited time you can double your impact thanks to our partner Academy Face and Body, and all donations over $2 are tax-deductible.] 

Don’t forget you can watch the whole webinar now.

 

Empower 550,000 trained local leaders to build COVID-resilient communities

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The second wave of COVID-19 in India is ravaging the ill-equipped rural areas with ferocity and devastating consequences. Leveraging our 20 years of experience in rural India, The Hunger Project is working with our powerful cadre of elected women leaders responsible for 6.4 million people across 1,400 panchayats (local council areas).

THP’s highly trained women leaders in India are already in action:

  • Ensuring people can access the social security schemes to which they are entitled
  • Monitoring the fair distribution of rations from local community centres
  • Supporting widows and orphans through small-scale, local philanthropy
  • Dispelling myths about vaccines and motivating people to get vaccinated
  • Advocating for more COVID health clinics, testing labs and vaccination sites

DOUBLE YOUR IMPACT TODAY: All investments will be matched dollar for dollar up to $100,000 thanks to the generous partnership of angel investor Academy Face and Body. Simply click on the DOUBLE MY IMPACT button below.

These women and all of the local leaders we work with across the world are the eyes and ears of the realities of local challenges and are in action  organising urgent responses to address the advancing crisis. They live within the community, and will continue to live there long after the pandemic ends; they understand who needs the most support in their villages; and they are trusted to lead by their friends and neighbours.

THP’s local leaders from across the world are pivotal in mitigating the negative impacts of COVID-19 on the communities they serve, especially the most vulnerable. They need our support and partnership right now to build COVID-resilient communities for the future.

COVID-19 and India. In Conversation with THP-India’s Ruchi Yadav

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Although it may seem that COVID-19 in India has momentarily disappeared from our daily news cycle, the country’s enormous challenges haven’t gone away; in fact, beyond the immediate health and economic impacts, the secondary and long-lasting social issues are now coming into clear focus, including rising hunger and poverty, domestic violence, child marriage, trafficking and more.

Join us online on Tuesday 22 June 5.00-6.00pm AEST for real-world insights into the current reality on the ground, THP’s constantly evolving response, and the vision and plan for where to next.  We’ll be in conversation with THP-India’s Ruchi Yadav who has been a fierce and much-admired leader with the organisation for more than 13 years.

You will hear directly from Ruchi about:

Highlighting our partnership with Hey Tiger

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From time to time we shine a spotlight on our incredible partners. Today we are highlighting the delicious and generous Hey Tiger chocolate!

Despite the challenges we all faced across 2020, Hey Tiger’s ongoing commitment to The Hunger Project and the work we’re doing with cocoa farming communities in Ghana remains an inspiration to us.

Together with Hey Tiger customers, their total donation to THP is over $400,000. This incredible investment from Hey Tiger and their community continues to empower the Ehiamankyene (pronounced YEAH-MAN-CHE-NE) community to become agents of their own development and lift themselves out of hunger and poverty.

In 2020 alone:

  • Women in the local community have taken up leadership roles through women’s empowerment workshops.
  • Children’s health has been a priority: 734 children were monitored for their weight and nutrition to help prevent malnutrition, 315 children were vaccinated against deadly but preventable diseases and 89 women accessed prenatal services.
  • A local social enterprise has been established by the community and is now up and running, renting out all sorts of items, from marquees and chairs to mattresses and tricycles – the profits from this social enterprise are reinvested back into the community.
  • Knowledge and resources were shared to keep COVID-19 in check including running educational sessions, building handwashing stations, providing 25kg of soap and distributing gloves and masks.

Some messages from our Village Partners in Ghana.

“My children are young. Because of the vision I have for their education, I’ve already started saving for the highest-level education so I can have enough money to support them. Today, I have 700 cedis (190 AUD) already saved in my account.” – Alesia Bua, Ghana

 

“It is my vision that my children will attain the highest level of education and become responsible adults. I owe much gratitude to The Hunger Project for transforming my life.” – Yaw Sekyi, Ehiamankyene community.

Hey Tiger founder Cyan Ta’eed says, “The Hunger Project is an incredible organisation, and I’ve been so impressed with their work. I hope you’ll consider supporting them, especially if you’re passionate about the things that Hey Tiger stands for.”