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Restoring Zambia as the breadbasket of Africa.

Part of The Hunger Project’s global mission is advocating for the widespread adoption of our sustainable, grassroots, women-centered strategies in countries throughout the world. In 2017, the Patter Foundation offered The Hunger Project an opportunity to expand into a new country: Zambia.

Due to the large amount of investment in mineral resources, Zambia is a country with high levels of inequality. It is also a vast country with tourism opportunities and underdeveloped agricultural potential. The country has a widely-shared national vision (adopted in 2006) to be “a prosperous middle-income nation by 2030 that provides opportunities for improving the well being of all, embodying values of socioeconomic justice” (Zambia achieved middle-income status in 2011).

Zambia’s Vision 2030 sets the goal of reducing poverty to 20% from its current level of 54%. It also has policy framework – as yet not fully implemented – that is almost a perfect fit for The Hunger Project’s gender-focused, community-led Epicentre Strategy.

The Patter Foundation underwrote a scoping exercise to determine Zambia’s suitability for The Hunger Project’s work. Part of the exercise involved codifying our Epicentre Strategy in a Toolkit so that we can advocate for its widespread adoption. Now, the Global Board has approved The Hunger Project’s entry into Zambia. This is an exciting milestone in the journey of ending hunger globally.

Making our vision for a hunger free Zambia a reality

“We spoke to Roger (Massy-Greene, a THPA National Board member) about finding a way to direct our philanthropy to work happening in Africa. Roger spoke so passionately about the Epicentre communities that he had invested in for many years together with his wife Belinda and their family.

From there, we did our own research and met with the THPA team to find out more. We were already supporting some students from a quite extraordinary not-for-profit school in Zambia that is a leading light for the national government. We visited one of the villages where the children come from; there, many of the parents are unemployed and most families are living well below the poverty line.

We were really impressed with the Epicentre strategy’s holistic nature with the ultimate goal of self-reliance – and that it is community-led development.

We immediately saw that in this village and those surrounding it that The Hunger Project’s Epicentre Strategy would be an invaluable benefit to the community. Zambia is a country that has so much potential; it has the potential to be a ‘breadbasket’ of Africa. We also believe that it is critical to the survival of big game, as it borders Botswana, Malawi and Zimbabwe. This – along with the fact I was born there as were my dad and grandfather – led us to the decision that we wanted to find a means to make a large impact in the country.

We agreed to fund a scoping study by The Hunger Project to look at how we could expand the Epicentre Strategy into a new country – Zambia – to see if we can make our vision for a hunger-free Zambia a reality.”

Nikki And Paul McCullagh
The Patter Foundation