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Celebrating three more Epicentres now living free from hunger

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We are celebrating not one, not two, but three Epicentres across three different countries all reaching the momentous milestone of Self-Reliance!   

Bougue in Burkina Faso, Chokwe in Mozambique and Wurib in Ethiopia are now communities who have demonstrated the transformative power of The Hunger Project’s unique Epicentre Strategy, joining 28 other self-reliant Epicentre  communities across Africa.  

Our Epicentre Strategy is effective, affordable, replicable and built to last, enabling sustainable and holistic changeSelf-Reliance is defined as when community members are confident and have the capacity and skills to act as agents of their own development – Bougue, Chokwe and Wurib have demonstrated this against The Hunger Project’s rigorous monitoring and evaluation scoring system. 

Show me the numbers!

Bougue Epicentre – Population 27,370 

Self-Reliance was achieved in partnership with the Victorian Investor Consortium. 

On top of these remarkable results, Bougue has been able to develop a centre for entrepreneurship with more than 77% of the rural households owning non-farm related businesses. This is important because it diversifies their individual income streams as well as the local economy, stimulating jobs and expanding the skillsets of the community.  

Chokwe Epicentre – Population 16, 366 

Self-Reliance at Chokwe was achieved in partnership with The Beeren Foundation & Investor Consortium. 

Chokwe achieved additional positive health-related results: more than 77% of the population know their HIV status, and the prevalence of diarrheal disease in children under 5 is down to 11%. This means women, men and children are living healthier lives.

Wurib Epicentre – Population 22,979 

Self-Reliance at Wurib was achieved in partnership with The Beeren Foundation & Investor Consortium. 

More than 85% of the community in Wurib said they feel they have the power to positively bring about change in their community. On top of these results, the community has ensured that women are represented and are holding leadership roles. This has resulted in Wurib scoring 75 out of 100 onThe Hunger Project’s Women’Empowerment Index 

Spotlight on: Bruce Beeren

The positive results in Chokwe and Wurib were achieved in partnership with long-time investor Bruce Beeren, of the Bruce Beeren Foundation. Bruce, who is a member of The Hunger Project Australia’s National Board, has been investing in the end of hunger since 2004, and his unwavering partnership with the communities has led to these results we see today.

“I’ve been investing in The Hunger Project for the past 15 years, so it’s an historic occasion to see the Wurib and Chokwe communities in particular achieve Self-Reliance. Together with a group of people mobilised through my own networks, I have partnered with and invested in both these communities (as well as others) since 2008 and 2013 respectively. In the face of devastating floods, severe droughts and other obstacles, it has taken commitment, resilience and persistence from everyone involved to reach this milestone,” Bruce said.

Take action and partner with The Hunger Project

  1. Share these remarkable results on social media
  2. Join us in Malawi and experience Self-Reliance first-hand
  3. Invest now in Self-Reliance with a one-off or monthly donation

Meet Zebiba

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24 year old Zebiba in an Unleashed Woman. She lives with her husband and their one year old son. They live in the highlands of Ethiopia, far from hospitals, health clinics and other services. Living in such a remote area meant Zebiba never learnt how to cook and prepare nutritional and healthy food for her child.

At a Hunger Project cooking demonstration in their village, Zebiba and other local mothers and mothers-to-be learnt about the nutritional benefits of a ‘miracle’ plant called moringa.

Moringa leaves contain extraordinary levels of vitamins and minerals, key to the strong growth and development of pregnant and breastfeeding women and their babies. During the demonstration, they also learned how to use the leaves to prepare moringa porridge and other meals.

“Before The Hunger Project cooking demonstration, I had never heard of the plant called moringa. The leaves don’t taste bad at all! I learned that it’s as healthy as fruit and vegetables. Now I know how important it is for both me and my child that I eat healthy food. I also know to breastfeed for at least the first six months,” Zebiba says.

There is now a large moringa plantation in the village that is managed by the community, so that everyone can access moringa seedlings, plant a tree in their own backyards, and add the leaves into their family meals.

Access to the right nutrition is giving these babies and mothers the best start in life and has inspired Zebiba to have high hopes for her baby’s future.

“I hope that one day my son will become a doctor – however I will support him in achieving whatever his dream is!” she says.

You can partner with Zebiba in a number of ways:

  1. Share Zebiba’s story on social media and tag The Hunger Project Australia
  2. Invest with a one-off or monthly gift to The Hunger Project
  3. Read more about our work in Africa
  4. Find out more about our individual leadership programs


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Climate change poses a serious threat, especially to people living in rural communities. Our work across Africa and South Asia places great importance on empowering our partners to build long-lasting resilience to climate change and the shocks caused by it.

Shehubo Dedgeba lives in an Ethiopian village near The Hunger Project’s Wurib Epicentre — a community-led partnership that empowers 20 villages to lead their own development strategies on the path to sustainable self-reliance. Shehubo’s and the surrounding villages experienced extreme winds and flooding during recent years’ rainy seasons. Many families lost their homes and crop fields, which were a main source of income on which their livelihoods depended. Fortunately, she and her ten children are one of the few families that survived and rebounded from the damage caused by the heavy rains, whirlwind and flooding.

Shehubo understands that access to financial tools can make a difference when it comes to building resilience against extreme weather.

Until two years ago, Shehubo and her children had been living in a grass-thatched hut, exposed to damages by recurrent winds and heavy rains. But then she started participating in the Epicentre’s credit and savings program, saving enough money to build a more durable home for her family just in time for the rainy season.

Today, she manages programs that address food security, nutrition, health, education, microfinance, water and sanitation. Her success is an inspiration to fellow women and youth to be the leaders of their own development.

While incredible, Shehubo’s story is not unique. Extreme weather induced by climate change has become increasingly common around the world. Investing in rural and sustainable development is critical in preventing the damage caused by natural disasters and in building resilience once it strikes. Shehubo shows that mobilizing communities at the grassroots level can make a positive impact on us all.

Post courtesy of The Hunger Project Global Office.