Get to know our Youth Board: Thandie Masuku

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Tell us a little bit about yourself.

I am a young design student from Sydney who hopes to move into the Graphic & Ceramic design fields upon graduating from my degree. I also work as a Key Leader at Lululemon in order to challenge my career development skills whilst I undergo and complete my studies. I am greatly involved in social justice and equity, sustainable design and diversity both within my own values and in the way I treats those around me. I am also highly passionate about health and wellbeing, both mentally and physically, and believe in a balanced and holistic lifestyle.

Why did you choose to join THPA’s Youth Board?

Being raised by an existing THPA investor and travelling on two immersion trips to Malawi, joining an effort for THPA’s bigger picture seemed like the perfect progression to stay involved and active in creating sustainable change. In joining I was interested to see how I could engage more of the people around me to invest in the future of those who, given the opportunity, would thrive immeasurably.

What is your highlight from being on the Youth Board so far?

Our inaugural convention in collaboration with Like Minded Bitches Drinking Wine! Having worked with the girls at LMBDW we were able to meet a variety of like-minded women and form new networks in support of THPA. The energy of the event was truly unbelievable.

Where do you see yourself in ten years?

Hopefully working for myself, either as a freelance designer or with my own design studio team. I would love to stay involved in THPA and see where I can integrate my professional career to invest.

Favourite quote?

“You can’t use up creativity. The more you use, the more you have.”— Maya Angelou


You can make an impact in the end of hunger like Thandie by investing in our work here.

Get to know our Youth Board: Georgie Owen

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1)    Tell us a little about yourself

I love being with my beautiful family and friends. My top five values are belonging, love, self actualisation, ambition and enthusiasm. I am above average obsessed with food and this is something that initially drew me to The Hunger Project – my relationship with food is a privilege and I wanted to partner with an organisation who are empowering people to break their cycle of hunger and poverty. I also love The Hunger Project’s emphasis on mindset shifting and female empowerment. Things that make me happy are running, salt water, walks with friends, margaritas (the cocktail not the pizza), travelling, magnesium baths, banana smoothies, musicals, nonfiction books and fresh flowers.


2) Why did you choose to join THPA’s Youth Board?

 I’ve been sold on The Hunger Project since I first found out about it and went to Uganda with them in 2018. Joining the Youth Board was another way to commit to a cause I feel strongly about and to approach challenges and opportunities through a slightly different lens. Broader approach = bigger impact.


3) What is your highlight from being on the Youth Board so far?

Bonding with people (who I’ve actually never met in person!) over our shared passion for ending hunger and poverty. I always feel invigorated and inspired after our morning meetings.


4) Where do you see yourself in ten years?

 I’m using the next few years to figure that out but I know I’ll have good family, friends and food around me!


5) Favourite quote?

 For good days, Marianne Williamson’s quote:

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light not our darkness, that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? Your playing small doesn’t serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. As we let out own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”   

 For hard days, Beau Taplin’s quote:

“On the difficult days, when the world’s on your shoulders, remember that diamonds are made under the weight of mountains.”


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What we’re reading and watching.

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Our team has been spending a little more time online lately, reading, watching and listening to new, inspiring content to connect with others around the country and the world, and to make sense of our collective experience of COVID-19 and our shared desire to shape a new future of Self-Reliance and dignityBelow is a list of our top picksmany of them featuring or created by members of our Hunger Project community.  

What we’re watching: 

What we’re reading: 

The latest THP products to get your hands on.

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Throughout the pandemic, our amazing partners are as deeply committed as ever to create sustainable change for our village partners and raise much needed funds for The Hunger Project’s work.  

Bared Footwear, a Melbourne-based, podiatrist-designed footwear brand, has launched the ‘Hornbill THP’ – a sneaker for all day comfort$50 from every pair of sneakers sold will be invested in THP, supporting communities in Malawi as they take action to reach Self-Reliance. 

Inclusive activewear brand BeKeane Healthy and Fit has launched THP crop tops and leggings so now you can get your exercise done in style while making a difference globally. 20% of all sales of the limitededition crop tops and leggings will be invested in THP.

Alkam, a sustainable Australian fashion label, has released a THP scrunchie available in 2 fabrics and 3 colours, crafted from fabric offcuts to reduce waste. 100% of profits from scrunchie sales will be invested in THP.

Coming Soon

Something exciting is coming for the month of October in partnership with our friends at Secret Sisterhood, a jewellery brand and social enterprise. Stay tuned for an announcement from us soon in your inbox! 

Innovations arise during COVID-19 in our Program Countries.

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Hunger and poverty create the perfect storm for a disaster to take hold, and this has been proven throughout the pandemicIn India, the number of recorded COVID-19 cases has surpassed 5 million. There have been over 1 million cases across Africa, and more than 300,000 in BangladeshHowever, with inadequate testing and few health facilities, these numbers are likely to be much higher in reality, and the task of stopping the spread much more challengingThe Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) estimates that the pandemic will force an additional 83 to 132 million people to live in hunger every day (read more about the link between hunger and COVID-19 here).

In the face of COVID-19, the core tenets of The Hunger Project’s work are as relevant as ever and have set us up in the best possible position to respond. Our long-term work promoting local leadership, strong systems, and resilience are all critical as communities navigate the health, economic and social impacts of COVID-19. The very model we work within enables our village partners to proactively respond to the virus and the lasting effects of lockdown.  

The following are just two excellent examples from Uganda and Ghana on how innovation and creativity have been unleashed: 

Firstly, meet Irene Sara from Uganda: 

“From the trainings by The Hunger Project, I learnt that food can be stored for a long time. During times of scarcity…I am [now] food secure.” 

In this video, hear how how she has achieved food security for herself and her family and is able to earn an income even during the pandemic.  

Secondly, meet a group of young women in Ghana: 

“When the COVID-19 pandemic set in, the country was short ofmasks. Most of them were imported When the situation got worse, we decided to mobilise people using locally-made materials. This has improved access and usage [for the community].” 

In this video, hear how the THP-Ghana team adapted their skills-training workshops during COVID-19 so that young women  many who have had to drop out of school because of pregnancy due to child marriage – learn dressmaking and earn an income to support themselves. 


Want to learn more? 

You can find out about our COVID-19 framework for action and what we’ve achieved so far in stopping the spread of COVID-19 in THP communities here 

Make an impact today

So many of you have already generously invested during COVID-19 — thank you! Both our regular programs and COVID-19 initiatives are ongoing, so your investment today will continue to enable people to protect themselves and their familiesand also lift themselves out of hunger and poverty. Reach out to 16.5 million people living in THP communities in Africa, India and Bangladesh by investing here. 

New update: number of people living in hunger on the rise

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The number of people living in hunger is again on the rise.

After a long period of decline, this is now the fifth year in a row that the number of people living in hunger is increasing. The 2020 State of Food Security and Nutrition in the World (SOFI) report released in July 2020 explores the ongoing rise in global hunger. Since the world committed to ending food insecurity and malnutrition in 2015, global hunger has steadily increased. While previous reports have focused on climate and economic barriers, this year’s report focuses on broadening the scope of food security and nutrition to include diets which are healthy and sustainable for all, especially for our environment.

Last year, SOFI reported 821.6 million people living in hunger. This year it is reporting 690 million living in hunger.

At first glance, this looks like a downward trend. This difference is due to a different use of data from China between 2000 and now. According to the new data from the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), there is actually a significant increase. Once we’ve considered China’s data accuracy, the number of hungry people in the rest of the world continues to climb.



5 facts about world hunger:

  1. 690 million people (1 in 11) in the world are chronically hungry, while 750 million people (1 in 10) are living in severe food insecurity.
  2. Asia is home to 381 million hungry people, Africa 250 million and Latin America and the Caribbean report 48 million people.
  3. In total, 2 billion people live every day with some form of food insecurity or hunger.
  4. There are nearly 60 million more undernourished people now than in 2014.
  5. If this trend continues, more than half of the hungry people will live in Africa by 2030 — the year by which we’re working to end hunger.

The effect of hunger on children

Hunger is about more than just undereating. Nutritious food is still too expensive and insufficiently available for many families. As many as 3 billion people worldwide do not have access to enough healthy foods such as fruit and vegetables.

47 million children have a permanent growth delay as a result, 144 million children are seriously disadvantaged, and more than 38 million children are overweight due to one-sided, incorrect nutrition.

COVID-19 could result in an additional 132 million people living in hunger.

Because the research took place last year, the impact of COVID-19 has not been included in these figures. The FAO estimates that the pandemic will force an additional 83 to 132 million people to live in hunger every day. The Hunger Project is therefore committed to working with 500,000 trained local volunteers in 13 countries so that as many people as possible can protect themselves and their families against COVID-19 and avoid falling below the poverty line. Read more about our COVID-19 response here.

Together, we can end hunger.

The Hunger Project still believes that we can drastically reverse this upward trend through continuing to run our programs that address hunger holistically and create sustainable change. Investment in the end of hunger is crucial to continue our program work and enable people to lift themselves, their families and communities out of hunger. You can find out more about our work here and invest in ending hunger here.

The  2020 State of Food Security and Nutrition in the World  report is a publication of the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (FAO), International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), World Food Program ( WFP) and World Health Organisation (WHO).

Get to know our Youth Board: Alena Broesder

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Tell us a little bit about yourself:

My name is Alena, I’m 27 and I work in finance in Sydney. I grew up in the country in Far North Queensland, so you’ll find me wearing a jumper all year round, as the weather is never quite warm enough for me down here. I love reading, hiking and travelling.

Why did you choose to join THPA’s Youth Board?

I wanted to do something with my spare time to effect change. I love the way THPA poses those in hunger as the solution not the problem and the fact that it’s a holistic sustainable approach, rather than a handout.

What is your highlight from being on the Youth Board so far?

Working with incredibly motivating individuals. I had no idea how much I’d learn from my wonderful fellow Youth Board members and those within THPA, but they inspire me hugely! Also, putting forward a proposal to get THPA onto the Shout For Good platform, and having that progress to reality was very rewarding.

Where do you see yourself in ten years?

Living a slightly slower life, maybe back in the country or a smaller city (I love Sydney but it’s a little too fast paced at times for me). I definitely see a golden retriever or two in my future!

Favourite quote?

This one is more of a poem, but it always sticks with me about pursuing your goals and dreams even when people tell you that it’s impossible. I had this plastered on my wall during university.

I saw a man pursuing the horizon;
Round and round they sped.
I was disturbed at this;
I accosted the man.
“It is futile,” I said,
“You can never —”

“You lie,” he cried,
And ran on.

— Stephen Crane

Elliott Watkins: Founder, Muselk and Executive Director, Click Management

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I like investing in The Hunger Project because I’d love to see a world that’s self-sustainable, where we don’t have to apply band-aid solutions onto problems as they arise but we create an environment where every community can support itself – to be able to deal with issues as they arise.

The reason why I think The Hunger Project nails that so well is the focus on visiting issues from the ground up. Through education, microfinancing and many other programs, you can get to a point where the community can run it all themselves.

There are a lot of issues in the world and there are a lot of different causes that you can support. Creating more self-reliant, empowered communities is such a great way to have a larger impact in the grand scheme of things. It’s all about creating long-term resilience.

Sustainability is so important to focus on because if you look at every problem in the world, the quantity is so crazy, you can never really make a dent. Empowering communities to be able to support themselves in the long run means that you can make really solid, meaningful steps forward. You don’t have to keep revisiting issues. It’s more meaningful than any kind of one-off aid. It’s the ‘teach a man to fish’ versus the ‘give a man a fish’ mentality, which I think is universally understood to be a good way to go about things.

My role as a younger person is much more about creating awareness. With our generation these days, there’s so much going on – there’s new technology, everything is moving, and the world is changing so quickly that it’s very easy to lose sight and lose track of the core, fundamental issues that have existed for decades. Everyone knows that poverty is an issue but it’s more about understanding the steps people can take to help.

Elliott Watkins, has personally invested in The Hunger Project since 2014 and with his mother, Alison, father, Rod and sister, Grace, since 2013. Elliott also visited Ethiopia with The Hunger Project in 2009 with his father.

Get to know our Youth Board: Jacquie Love

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Tell us a little bit about yourself?

My name is Jacquie and I founded a social enterprise called Secret Sisterhood after heading on a trip to India and discovering the horrific injustice of trafficking. We create jewellery that features our Sisterhood symbol of gender equality and then give 100% of the profits to women’s charities around the world. I am super passionate about gender equality and how business can be used as a force for good. I am also currently studying an MBA in Social Impact at UNSW and when I am not studying or working I love to take my dog for a walk on the beach.

Why did you choose to join THPA’s Youth Board? 

After heading on a trip with THP to Malawi I was so shocked to discover that people were still going hungry in our world. I always knew it intellectually, but it was a different story when I saw it first-hand. You realise that if people go hungry, then they do not have much else in their life. When I went on the trip I was blown away by how much impact THP were creating. I love how THP empower people to lift themselves out of poverty and hunger. I also love their focus on empowering women and girls, so joining THPA Youth Board was perfect as I could continue being involved in the work that they do.

What is your highlight from being on the Youth Board so far? 

Definitely meeting an amazing group of like-minded, passionate people. I don’t think I have ever been in a community with people who are so selfless and excited to make a difference to our brothers and sisters around the world. Everyone has such unique skills and talents so it has been great to learn from everyone.

Where do you see yourself in ten years? 

Hopefully our Secret Sisterhood symbol will become known far and wide! Our dream is for it to become the universal gender equality symbol. I believe symbols can make such a huge impact, by uniting people together for a common cause, so I am very passionate about making this happen. I also still hope to be supporting THP is any way that I can.

Favourite quote? 

“You can only be what you can see.” — Anonymous

Become a monthly investor and join Jacquie and the rest of the youth board on the journey to end hunger.

Get to know our Youth Board: Mel Sharpe

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1) Tell us a little bit about yourself

I’m Mel! I’m Group Operations Director at our company Food Equity Group.  I love food, wine, being creative and will obsessively pat every dog I see walking by me!

2) Why did you choose to join THPA’s Youth Board?

After returning from a Business Chicks Immersion Trip to Senegal in 2018 I wanted to continue and deepen my involvement with THP. The Youth Board was a perfect opportunity to be involved, contribute and continuously learn more about THP.

3) What is your highlight from being on the Youth Board so far?

The highlight is definitely my fellow Board members and the energy and ideas we create each meeting. It’s such a great group of passionate, clever and engaging people. I always feel so energised and inspired after our time together.

4) Where do you see yourself in ten years?

I have absolutely no idea! I find this exciting, you never know what’s around the corner! 

5) Favourite quote?

“Strive for progress, not perfection.” — David Perlmutter


Hear more from Mel in our live interview with her and keep up-to-date with everything happening in our THP community by signing up to our newsletter.