Thanks to you, we far exceeded our COVID-19 fundraising goal.

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You reached out and helped raise $302,345!

We asked you to stay in to activate The Hunger Project’s 500,000 highly trained community leaders on the ‘village frontlines’ of this pandemic to reach out to 16.5 million people in their communities. Your generosity truly blew us away! Collectively, you invested an incredible $302,345. At a time where we know you are all navigating your own challenges, you were expansive in your thinking and actions, and gave what you could to enable others to protect themselves and their families. We thank you for that.

We are so proud to say that your generosity combined with the leadership of our village partners created outstanding results. Your investment, together with investments from all around the world, enabled our local volunteer leaders to quickly mobilise their communities and respond to COVID-19 with ingenuity and strength. They didn’t take on a victim mindset or wait for help to come from outside sources; instead, due to years of training with THP, they adopted a leader mindset and were empowered to take action themselves.

Together here’s what our village partners achieved:



  • 4,354 Tippy Taps installed in villages to bring simple handwashing stations close to the homes of people. Animators (local volunteer leaders) have led the education and training in how to properly use them.
  • 8,000 Elected Women and 3,600 Adolescent Girls trained by THP formed phone trees and What’s App groups to deliver accurate, easy-to-understand health information to 500,000 people.
  • 9,400 community members participated in specially designed Water, Sanitation and Hygiene workshops so they are personally equipped to prevent the spread.
  • 137,160 face masks made and distributed – ‘sewing armies’ have been set up in some areas to learn from one another and keep collectively strong while giving back.
  • 97,465 food rations distributed to those who have been identified by Elected Women as on the brink of absolute destitution. Although THP usually has a ‘No handouts’ policy, this new idea was put forward by Elected Women who saw the dire need in their villages.
  • 135,709 public health leaflets distributed. These have often been translated into local languages or the information is shown in pictures, so that as many people as possible can understand them.

Thank you to everyone who brought this campaign to life and made it such a success. We couldn’t have done it without you.


Our generous partners and supporters:

Bared Footwear
Business Chicks
Coffees and Style
Conexus Financial 
Diane Grady & Chris Komor
Elizabeth McIntyre
Got You Girl
Hamilton Locke
Hey Tiger
Roger Massy-Greene

Ruby PR Agency 
Simon Blackburn & Niamh Brosnan
Social Diary 
Studio 10 
The Beeren Foundation
The Brand Brigade
The Fit Foodie
The Protter Family
Ticker TV 
Urban List 
Wellness in Real Life

This #StayInReachOut campaign has once again proved to us that when like-minded and like-hearted people come together to make a difference in the world, anything is possible. Your partnership – especially at this time – means so much to us. Thank you for being part of the global THP community!

Ending hunger is our responsibility

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Words by Irene Ssentongo, Head of Programs at The Hunger Project Uganda.

The 2019 Global Hunger Index (GHI) indicates that the level of hunger and undernutrition worldwide falls within the moderate and serious categories. With a score of 30.6, Uganda suffers from a level of hunger that is classified as serious. Uganda produces more food than it consumes, yet stunting in children under five years stands at 29%.

Food is fundamental to human dignity and no human being can sustainably live on food aid. Families all around the world must be empowered to sustainably produce and consume nutritious food for their wellbeing. Why has hunger persisted in Uganda? Victor Hugo, a French poet and novelist said, “There is nothing as powerful as an idea whose time has come.” Ending hunger is not about finding more solutions nor doing something more. It is not about inventing new solutions nor is it about doing nothing. It is about causing the end of hunger on this planet by thinking out of the box.

There are unwritten laws that determine the persistence of hunger. These same laws keep people from working. It is also true that the principles that govern the end of hunger and poverty are the very principles that motivate people to get up and work. To better understand these hidden laws and principles one needs to examine and understand human nature specifically the unconscious assumptions and beliefs that shape our responses to the problem of hunger.

The first assumption relates to scarcity. We tend to perceive the world from the scarcity mindset. We have been raised to believe that everything of value is scarce and, therefore, needs to be safeguarded lest you lose it all. Food is not scarce, it is just the mindset that believes in the idea of scarcity.

The second assumption relates to inevitability. We perceive different conditions in the world as being inevitable. Many people believe that a fraction of the population will always be hungry irrespective of the efforts to free themselves.

Thirdly is the assumption of no solution. Many may ask, what should I do? Or there is nothing much I can do about the situation. We assume there is no solution to the problem of persistent hunger.

However, there are principles we can follow. The first principle is contextualisation. Ending hunger can only be realised when the state of its existence is transformed from just focusing on the solution to analysing the intention behind the solution. In creating a context, people get to answer the question, “Why am I choosing this course of action?”

Ending hunger calls for personal responsibility. You have to be fully involved in order to become the centre of influence. This is also a question of human dignity. As human beings we are born with a natural and spontaneous sense of responsibility. When we awaken this sense of personal responsibility, we birth the idea of ending hunger.

You cannot end hunger by just playing your part. There is no ‘part’, but the whole. One needs to commit fully to making the idea work. Hunger is not just the mere absence of food, but also an empowerment issue. Addressing the whole not just the parts is creating the context through which the end of hunger and poverty in the world will be achieved.

Lastly is the principle of transformation. Sustainable Development Goal two predicts an end of hunger by 2030. When we take a look back 10 years from now at how hunger ended, it will not seem as if miracles happened.

Everyone involved in this struggle will know how it all happened. They will point back to events that were pivotal in making this dream a reality. Transformative changes happen when people become more open-minded, intentional and committed to ending world hunger. Ending hunger is everyone’s responsibility. It is not only the solutions out there that will ignite change, but also the intentions behind whatever solutions we seek in the process.

Be part of the whole and invest in the end of hunger here.

An Update on our COVID-19 Response

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Our COVID-19 response

In the face of the COVID-19 pandemic, the core tenets of The Hunger Project’s work are as relevant as ever. 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 Hunger Project has mobilised 500,000 trained, local leaders in 13 countries around the world to create COVID-Resilient Communities in each of the 13,600 villages where we work. Our program leadership created a Framework for Action designed to be tailored to each local context, empowering community leaders with the tools and information they need to keep themselves, their families, and their communities safe.

Our Framework for Action

At the community level – a 5-point plan:

  1. Spreading awareness and understanding – of how to stay safe by promoting hand washing, physical distancing, and wearing face coverings in public, and debunking misinformation
  2. Ensuring access to hand washing stations – for every household and in key public places
  3. Identifying symptomatic residents – linking them to health officials where possible and assisting them to isolate
  4. Ensuring relief for those who are destitute – either from public safety nets or community philanthropy, and encouraging innovation to preserve livelihoods
  5. Promoting community peace, trust and cohesion – introducing strategies to halt stigma, social unrest, scapegoating, gender-based violence, and child marriage

Response Highlights

The community-led response to COVID-19 looks different in each country. Some of the actions we have taken in partnership with our network of leaders include:
  • Installing 2,200 “Tippy Taps” (touchless handwashing stations) in Benin
  • Raising $300,000 through community philanthropy to support the most impacted people in 1,900 villages in Bangladesh
  • Equipping 8,000 elected women in India with information to share with their constituents  and distributing food and sanitation packs to 11,654 of the most vulnerable households in Bihar
  • Using radio to reach up to 718,000 people across Africa with messages about preventing the spread of COVID-19

Make an Impact

If you would like to reach 16.5 million people in Africa, India and Bangladesh and enable them to stop the spread of COVID-19 in their communities, you can invest here.

Why Women are Key to Ending Hunger

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By Rita Sarin, Global Vice President and Country Director of The Hunger Project India.

As a development practitioner working in the field of social development for over 40 years, I am convinced that women-focused and women-centred strategies are key to ending hunger, poverty and inequity across the globe.

Why do I say so? Let us unpack this.

A major part of my work has been with the elected women representatives to village councils in India and this work has proven that when more women occupy decision-making positions, a mindset of concern and inclusive development for all starts; where women look out for the last person in their communities. Equipped with the right skills, knowledge and processes so they can access systems, women leaders not only become articulate in their vision, thoughts and action but also strive to leave no stone unturned in achieving the ‘last mile delivery’. By adopting inclusive and equitable development strategies, women leaders tackle the issues of extreme hunger and poverty in their communities, as well as help create and sustain an equal and just society.

Why is it that women leaders adapt certain strategies over their male counterparts?

We all know that women have always centred their actions and lives around their families and communities. As primary caregivers, they have always taken action to meet the basic nutritional needs and health of their families. Therefore, there cannot be a more potent and direct relationship between women’s thoughts, concerns and actions and the well-being of their family/community.

Our work has shown that whenever women are in decision-making positions, their first action is to address hunger, malnutrition, hygiene and sanitation in their families and communities, followed by safe drinking water and education. These are the basic needs for any community to survive and develop. Be it food security and nutrition, health, education, sanitation, and now, awareness and support for COVID-19, women leaders are the frontline workers and will remain so no matter what.

Let me state unequivocally that when you empower a woman, the whole village and community develop. If you do not invest in her skills and capacities as the changemaker, generations will suffer from hunger and malnutrition, as is evident today.

To quote one woman leader “We do not allow even our neighbour’s child to sleep without food”. Therefore, the narrative of investing in women to end hunger is as clear as existence itself!

From the village frontlines.

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In light of our Leadership Immersion Programs being postponed and restrictions in place for face-to-face events, we are leveraging technology, creativity and our experts in the field to keep you up-to-date with all things THP.  

In case you missed our first online session – From the ‘village frontlines’ – life under lockdown – THP’s COVID-19 Response – our Global Vice President, Rowlands Kaotcha in conversation with Diane Grady AM explored what life looks like for our communities right now as they deal with lockdowns and limitations on healthcare, transportation, food supplies and more – while still confronting and overcoming the daily challenge of ending their own hunger and poverty. 

In our second webinar, we were joined by Ruchi Yadav, Director of Programs at THP India, and Rachel Akehurst THPA National Board Member and long-time THP Leadership Immersion Program facilitator. Ruchi and Rachel had an in-depth conversation about the humanitarian crisis unfolding in India and how THP India are utilising years of experience and knowledge to reach over 500,000 people across the country.   

Stay tuned for more to come in our ‘From the Village Frontlines’ series! We’ll promote the events when they become available via our mailing list and social channels

An update on our response to COVID-19.

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The COVID-19 pandemic has posed significant challenges for the continuation and progress of The Hunger Project’s work throughout Africa, India and Bangladesh. Our innovative and integrated model of community-led development means that communities are empowered with the skills and knowledge needed to adapt and shift to challenging contexts and events with continued support and capacity building from The Hunger Project.

In working to build community resilience, leadership and ownership, our community partners are equipped to continue leading the way in implementing preventative measures to decrease the spread of the virus while supporting households to continue income-generating activities where possible, maintain food and water supply, and follow the advice and guidelines given by their governments.


  • Health clinics are remaining open. THP-trained Health Animators (local volunteer leaders) are working in partnership with the health clinics to disseminate information household-by-household. Clinics are also continuing to prioritise treatment of those who have serious health conditions and those who are HIV positive.
  • Rural banks are remaining operational where possible during this time with additional sanitation, safety and security measures in place.
  • Across each of our Epicentres, we are working with Animators and Epicentre Project Officers to continue our Water, Sanitation and Hygiene trainings and workshops. More than ever before, this program is vital to protecting our communities. In Benin for example, 1,200 Tippy Taps have been installed to increase the accessibility of hand washing facilities.


  • The Hunger Project is committed to working closely during the COVID-19 pandemic with Elected Women Representatives (EWR’s) across the 6 states where we already work. A task force has been established to get in touch remotely with every single EWR, as well as the Adolescent Girls Program participants, to spread awareness about keeping safe from COVID-19 and ensure no one is left behind. So far, they have reach 500,000 people!
  • The main priority is for every last person in The Hunger Project’s communities to have accurate information and understand what to do in the current situation.
  • EWR’s are active in monitoring the distribution of government entitlements, overseeing quarantine efforts and ensuring people are observing lockdown rules and sanitation.

EWR’s rallying to spread accurate information about COVID-19 to their communities. 


The Hunger Project’s model of community-led development means that it is in a unique position where work is implemented by volunteers on the ground in villages. Volunteers are working to:

  • Mobilise thousands of community members via raising awareness with factual and accurate information on COVID-19
  • Provide sensitisation training on washing hands, good hygiene and social distancing – including the provision of soap where possible (pictured)
  • Ensure that people who are eligible for government support are connected to these benefits, and that people who are ineligible are instead connected with other locally available philanthropy funds

Meet Jessie.

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Jessie lives in the Nsondole community of Malawi, with her husband and their five children.

“My number one vision is to educate my children,” she says.

Jessie has been receiving farm input loans from The Hunger Project since 2017. With these loans, she has been able to purchase seeds to grow maize and rice which she can use to feed her family. She then sells any leftover produce at the market. With the money they made selling their produce at the market, Jessie and her husband invested in a sewing machine, which her husband used to set up a tailoring business.

With two incomes to support them, everyone in the family now has three meals a day. Now, Jessie’s goal is to buy a motorcycle so her family can get around much more easily.

“My household is doing much better now. We are practising new planting methods and special farming methods so now my family doesn’t have to live in hunger and I can send my children to school.”

Our WASH (Water, Sanitation and Hygiene) Program.

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Adequate water, sanitation and hygiene is essential for human health. Each year, hundreds of thousands of adults and children die from diseases introduced via unsafe water, inadequate sanitation, or poor hygiene. Currently,  2.2 billion people around the world are currently living without access to a safe water source. As a result, water-borne diseases like diarrhea, cholera and dysentery, all potentially fatal conditions, are pervasive. In fact, hundreds of thousands of children die each year from water-borne diseases alone.

Empowering women

In our program countries, women in particular bear the brunt of the lack of availability to clean and safe water. Charged with transporting water, women and girls often walk kilometres per day to fetch water. Each time a woman sets out for a distant water source, she runs the risk of encountering violence along the way. Reliable access to clean, close water reduces that risk, empowers women with the time and security to invest in family and community development and gives girls the opportunity to attend school.

Combatting climate change

Moreover, with the majority of the world’s fresh water supply devoted to agriculture, effective water conservation techniques are essential. The vast majority of people living in extreme poverty live in rural areas and are dependent primarily on agriculture and related activities for their livelihood. The well-being of these smallholder farmers is closely tied to the natural environment, highly vulnerable to environmental destruction, water shortages and climate change.

The Hunger Project works to empower rural communities to ensure increased access to clean water and improved sanitation, the development of new water sources, and the implementation of water conservation techniques.

What We Do

  • Build water and sanitation capacity. Establishing water project boards made up of community leaders who are trained by experts on how to monitor, maintain and repair water systems; training people in the use and repair of water pumps and generators; and training a core of local leaders in water safety and purification so they can lead workshops throughout the community and expand grassroots knowledge.
  • Develop new sustainable water sources. Empowering local communities to drill new wells and boreholes and repair existing ones; build and repair water towers; and construct water troughs for livestock.
  • Ensure a reliable supply of clean water. Providing equipment and training for testing and pumping water; empowering communities to build and repair toilets in homes, schools and public spaces; and lobbying local governments to devote public resources to water infrastructure projects.
  • Implement water conservation techniques Mobilising communities to initiate drip irrigation projects, which minimise the use of water and fertiliser by allowing water to drip slowly to the roots of plants, and to develop water catchment systems, which collect rainwater from a roof or other surface before it reaches the ground and store it for future use.
  • Build sanitation programs. Good hygiene is more than a convenience; waterborne illness is a leading cause of childhood deaths around the world. The Hunger Project training and capacity-building projects improve living conditions and save lives.


Feature image credit: Johannes Odé

How we’re continuing our work in Africa, Bangladesh, India and Latin America.

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Although we don’t know to what extent yet, we do know that COVID-19 will have some level of impact on our partners in rural, remote villages in Africa, Bangladesh, India and Latin America. So many people around the world, especially in The Hunger Project communities, rely on a small daily income to survive day to day, so staying at home is sometimes not an option, or instead of a forced-choice which puts them and their family’s lives at risk in other ways. 

The core of how The Hunger Project works is more relevant than ever: we will continue to empower our communities to access reliable information and needed services, and support their leadership and resilience in the face of challenges.  

Now that we are rapidly entering a period of social distancing, we need to find new ways to partner with communities and for them to work safely with one another. We have started implementing some new measures already, including:  

  • postponing gatherings of more than 10 people 
  • creating call trees and WhatsApp groups of key local leaders, Animators and stakeholders to enable accurate and reliable information to flow into communities 
  • connecting our teams and communities with reliable global and local public health services and resources 
  • notifying communities that THP staff are putting travel from capitals and regional centres to communities on hold, and empowering people to find new ways to continue their activities 

What does this mean for our work ending hunger?

As you can appreciate, the process of ending hunger is an ongoing, daily task; it doesn’t stop for any kind of disruption. We appreciate your partnership, patience and compassion as we work out the best ways to continue creating possibility for millions of people around the world. 

We recognise these measures may slow down or alter some programmatic work. That said, our sustainable approach and the way we are set up, means development work can continue even without THP staff travelling out to communities. This period may lead to new innovations that could strengthen our programs as well.  

The key is to be nimble in approach while being steadfast in our commitment to our mission and our partners. We are confident they will lead their communities through this challenging time. We’ve seen it time after time: our communities are resilient and mobilise to lead in times of crisis. 

Learn more about our work

Learn more about our sustainable programs to end hunger here, and meet some of our village partners making sustainable change in their communities here.

Stopping as Success — Mbale Epicentre Community Celebrates Self-Reliance.

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Although stopping may not always be seen as a mark of success, there are some cases where The Hunger Project knows that we have reached success when we do stop.

As our Epicentre communities in Africa reach Self-Reliance, we can begin to exit the community. The Hunger Project continues to monitor and evaluate Self-Reliant communities to ensure they remain on track with their goals.

One of the things we love about the communities we work with in Africa is how they celebrate their successes. Today, we’re stopping to celebrate the success of the most recent Epicentre community to celebrate their Self-Reliance.

Mbale Epicentre Community, Uganda.

A group of investors and their families, including lead investor Colin Tate, travelled to the Mbale Epicentre community, Uganda, in November to join the community’s celebration for reaching the critical milestone of Self-Reliance.


Cutting the celebratory cake shaped like the Mbale Epicentre.


Mbale now joins two other Epicentres in Uganda as Self-Reliant Epicentres. In the Mbale community, 93.6% of households now live free from severe hunger, and 100% of pregnant women visit health facilities during their pregnancy.

The celebrations to commemorate the community’s 12-year journey to Self-Reliance were attended by over 5,000 community partners, local government authorities, as well as Australian investors and their families and The Hunger Project representatives from Australia and Uganda. The guests of honour at the celebrations were the Honourable Minister for Gender, Labour and Social Development, Hajjat Janat Mukwaya, and the lead investor Colin Tate.

Key highlights of the celebration included traditional performances by the Bamasaba Cultural Troupe, Epicentre preschool children as well as students from the Mbale School for the Deaf. Exhibition stores were also set up by the Women Empowerment Committee, showcasing items such as handicrafts and clothes.  

A huge thank you to the generous individuals, families and businesses that invested in the Mbale Epicentre community, including lead investor Colin Tate and the Mbale Investor Consortium, for enabling this community to reach Self-Reliance.

Find out more about our Epicentre Strategy in Africa here. If you’re interested in partnering with communities to Self-Reliance, our Head of Philanthropy ( would love to hear from you.