The power of The Hunger Project is driven in large part by the generosity of investors in Australia and globally – strategically paired with the time and energy invested by our village partners. Ivan Halbert has been investing in THP consistently for more than 20 years, and recently gave his largest investment ever. We spoke to Ivan from his humble one-bedroom flat in Perth about his lifelong commitment to The Hunger Project.
Originally coming across the work of The Hunger Project in 1995, Ivan immediately knew it was something he wanted to be involved in.
“I thought it was a good program and it fit with my ideas of giving back to the world,” Ivan said.
“My thinking on giving internationally is that if all the countries The Hunger Project works in reach self-reliance and improve their local conditions, then the whole world improves.”
Ivan is a farmer by trade and tradition, but he pressed pause on his life on the land to open a health and wellbeing retreat with his wife. They ran this for 10 years and, throughout that time, The Hunger Project remained a big part of Ivan’s life.
“Being part of The Hunger Project was integral to my family’s upbringing. It first started with my wife and I, and then on to my daughters, who have been involved in The Hunger Project’s work as well. It has just been a big element of my life,” Ivan said.
He said his family’s charitable heart and his established hard working ethic has influenced his lifetime of investment in organisations like The Hunger Project.
“I became partners with my dad on our farm and I carried on with it for years. It was a very large farm and I feel I was very privileged to have owned it,” Ivan said.
“Giving was part of my upbringing. My dad and my mum were very generous; generosity was bred into me.”
A few years ago, Ivan was in Uganda on a personal visit. His experiences in Africa cemented in his mind why the work of The Hunger Project is so important.
“I was talking to a taxi driver in Uganda and I told him I was involved in The Hunger Project. After that, he completely opened up and took me around to see the level of poverty. I went to a quarry where children as young as five were working and smashing rocks all day,” Ivan said.
“Seeing the levels of hunger and poverty firsthand was eye-opening.”
Reflecting on why he has chosen to invest in The Hunger Project for more than two decades, Ivan said the level of transparency and effectiveness makes investing in THP worthwhile.
“The ethos of the Hunger Project of training the local people to lift themselves from their current situation to see the possibility of rising above “what is” to a new level of life is inspirational. It’s not about giving money; it’s about giving skills,” he said.
“Another thing for me is that The Hunger Project’s program work is virtually run by volunteers. When I give a dollar, I know that a majority of that will go directly to the people who require it. It is important that the money goes directly to where it should be going.”
The Hunger Project Australia thanks Ivan and his family for their dedication and generosity throughout the past 20 years, and acknowledges the enormous impact they have had as a result.
Join Ivan and his family in the efforts to end hunger: