Reflecting on the power of our work: A message from our CEO

150 150 The Hunger Project Australia

To our valued partners in the end of hunger,

I recently travelled to Senegal with a group of 20 incredible women on one of our Business Chicks immersion programs. This was my first opportunity to experience a self-reliant community 18 months after they had reached their targets for self-reliance, and I was inspired by all I saw.

Since the Ndereppe community reached self- reliance, they have continued to flourish through constantly looking at what is possible. In the millet seed loan scheme, new processes meant for the first time in their history they achieved 100% repayment – creating a reserve of $8,000 towards a new millet mill! A women’s circle has doubled their self-reliance grant through strategically investing in women’s small businesses. But what struck me most was how healthy, happy and energetic the children were – in them I saw a wonderful future for the community.

On International Women’s Day I reflected on the empowered women leaders I have had the privilege to meet. I wanted to share with you the words of one of the women leaders – Coumba in Coki Epicentre – who when asked what advice she would give women said “yeewu, yeewu, yeewu” or “awake, awake, awake”. This is a strong call-to-action to all of us to press forward and progress gender equity and to think, act and be gender inclusive.

Thank you for your solidarity and optimism for the future. With you, lives are being transformed.

Yours in ending hunger,

Melanie Noden

CEO, The Hunger Project Australia