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Get to know our Youth Board: Thandie Masuku

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Tell us a little bit about yourself.

I am a young design student from Sydney who hopes to move into the Graphic & Ceramic design fields upon graduating from my degree. I also work as a Key Leader at Lululemon in order to challenge my career development skills whilst I undergo and complete my studies. I am greatly involved in social justice and equity, sustainable design and diversity both within my own values and in the way I treats those around me. I am also highly passionate about health and wellbeing, both mentally and physically, and believe in a balanced and holistic lifestyle.

Why did you choose to join THPA’s Youth Board?

Being raised by an existing THPA investor and travelling on two immersion trips to Malawi, joining an effort for THPA’s bigger picture seemed like the perfect progression to stay involved and active in creating sustainable change. In joining I was interested to see how I could engage more of the people around me to invest in the future of those who, given the opportunity, would thrive immeasurably.

What is your highlight from being on the Youth Board so far?

Our inaugural convention in collaboration with Like Minded Bitches Drinking Wine! Having worked with the girls at LMBDW we were able to meet a variety of like-minded women and form new networks in support of THPA. The energy of the event was truly unbelievable.

Where do you see yourself in ten years?

Hopefully working for myself, either as a freelance designer or with my own design studio team. I would love to stay involved in THPA and see where I can integrate my professional career to invest.

Favourite quote?

“You can’t use up creativity. The more you use, the more you have.”— Maya Angelou


You can make an impact in the end of hunger like Thandie by investing in our work here.

Get to know our Youth Board: Matt Akehurst

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Tell us a little bit about yourself.

I am 22-year-old Western Australian who moved to Sydney in 2015 to study at The University of Sydney. I’m currently in my final semester of a bachelor of commerce and science and have aspirations of studying medicine in 2021. Outside of my passion for the complexity of the human body I am a Sports fanatic, following the West Coast Eagles, Liverpool FC and the Australian Cricket team with passion and unwavering commitment.

Why did you choose to join THPA’s Youth Board?

I chose to join THPA’s Youth Board because it was a perfect opportunity for me to become involved with a charity whose philanthropic model I strongly believe in. Community-led development is an empowering and sustainable solution to poverty which is being demonstrated during COVID-19 as many international NGO’s have had to pull expats from their program countries. Further, engaging youth in philanthropy is a challenging yet rewarding task which makes working for the Youth Board a stimulating experience.

What is your highlight from being on the Youth Board so far?

My highlight from being on the Youth Board so far has been utilising my personal network
to initiate a partnership with 180 Degrees Consulting, world’s largest consultancy for non-profits and social enterprises.

Where do you see yourself in ten years?

In ten years I see myself as a practicing doctor, still engaged in the work of THP, still avidly supporting my sports teams and hopefully having made a lot of friends and contributed to the communities in which I’ve lived along the way.

Favourite quote?

“If a problem is fixable, if a situation is such that you can do something about it, then there is no need to worry. If it’s not fixable, then there is no help in worrying.” – The Dalai Lama


Give today and make a difference like Matt is doing.

Kemi Nekvapil leads THP workshops

Flourish In The Next Phase – with Kemi Nekvapil

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“It is up to communities to drive the change they wish to see in the world.” – Kemi Nekvapil.

We were so honoured to host a THP Leadership Workshop ‘Flourish In The Next Phase’ with Kemi Nekvapil. A huge thank you to Kemi who facilitated a thought-provoking session, and to everyone who joined for contributing to the conversation about what we have learnt during lockdown and what we want to take with us into the next phase.

For those of you who weren’t able to join, you can catch up by watching the recording below.

Kemi’s Invitation To You.

As Kemi mentioned, we invite you to take this one action today to create a world that works for everyone by investing in our Stay In, Reach Out campaign. A little goes a long way:

  • Giving what you would spend on a coffee could fund the construction of a Tippy Tap (simple foot operated handwashing station) so a family has access to hand washing in their home; or
  • The cost of a week’s worth of coffee could buy a food parcel for highly vulnerable families in India for a month

It’s simple. Give the equivalent of what you would spend on the things you can’t do right now, and instead enable others to do what they can in order to keep safe! If you’re not in the position to give, then please help us by sharing the campaign instead.

Stay In Touch With Kemi.

To stay in touch with Kemi, please go to her website

2020 Leadership Immersion Programs Update.

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Sadly, due to COVID-19 and travel restrictions, the tough decision was made to cancel or postpone all Leadership Immersion Programs and Investor trips for 2020 in order to protect the health and safety of our Animators and village partners around the world. Shortly after we made this decision, the Australian Government, along with many governments around the world, closed borders to international travel for the foreseeable future.   

On behalf of THP Australia, we would like to extend our sincere gratitude to our Animators who were scheduled to depart on Programs in 2020 for your contribution and dedication to The Hunger Project. We are extraordinarily proud of the efforts of every individual Animator, and as a collective, you have already made an immense impact on the end of hunger and poverty globally. We cannot wait to re-embark on your journey with you when our programs take place, once it is deemed safe to travel again. Until then you can stay connected to the work of THP by jumping online to hear directly from our experts in India and Africa here.

As we continue through this time of uncertainty, we stand with all of our Animators in Australia and across the world, their families, and communities who have been affected by the ongoing impact of COVID-19.  

If you or someone you know would like to express interest in joining one of our next Leadership Immersion Programs, you can do so by completing this form or contacting and we can notify you when our programs open back up. 

Also – save the date for Tuesday 23 June 7-8pm AEST! We invite you to join us for our first ever national online gathering exclusively for the Animator Collective community. Details to follow, keep an eye on your inbox!

My experience on a Leadership Immersion Program.

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Written by Sam Cook. Business Chicks Leadership Immersion Program Animator, Mexico, 2015.  

It was a bright, sunny day.  I was standing in the lush gardens at the Australian Embassy in Mexico City. I was a long way from home, and WAY out of my comfort zone.

Here I was, speaking in front of a crowd of dignitaries, representatives from the UN, Women’s Rights organisations, and The Hunger Project employees. Along with my fellow ‘trippers’, who I’d met only days before.

They were all listening attentively to my story. It was one of the proudest moments of my life so far.

How did I get there, and what did I have to share?

When I first found out about The Hunger Project, what struck me most about their work was that, although they facilitate change, it is the people living in hunger themselves that are the ones building on their leadership skills to firstly create their vision, then do the work needed to make their vision become a reality.

I could relate to this.  As someone who had recently been faced with some big life challenges, I was ready to set myself a lofty goal and unlock my full potential.   

Soon after, I found myself in the beautiful mountain village of Genova, more than ten hours travel from Mexico City, on a Leadership Immersion Program. What I found there were many examples of how when people are empowered, they can make significant changes in both their lives and the lives of others.

As part of our time in the village, we were privileged to attend a community meeting. Here, representatives from four different villages shared their visions for their communities.

When each village planned out their vision, they had key projects that they wanted to work on. All of the examples involved local people learning new skills, that they’d then pass along to others. This gave them a sense of purpose and pride in what they could accomplish, a strong sense of community, and skills that would continue being useful in their communities. It also helped the local people understand how they could all work together as a team and turn their vision into reality.  

The Hunger Project had worked hard to give the women of these villages a voice. We were told of the challenges of changing belief systems, with the result that many of the men had come to realise that if everyone (including women and youth) were on board, that their vision could be reached sooner.

Standing in front of the crowd at the Embassy, I shared the lesson that when an individual’s leadership is developed, their confidence has a chance to shine through and they become empowered. When people join together with others they can have a huge impact.

I saw this in myself and many others during my time in Mexico, and these are lessons I’ve kept with me since.

Have any questions about our Leadership Immersion Programs? Get in touch with us!

Stella’s Story.

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We will never forget the look on Stella’s face when she described having no choice but to marry off her 14-year old grand-daughter, Emilida, to keep the other three children in her care alive. Stella’s eyes were heavy. The shame she felt was etched on her face. No choice. What would you do? Save three children or potentially lose four?

Stella’s daughter and son-in-law had died of HIV and Stella had taken on the care of their children. Suddenly, she had four children she couldn’t afford to raise.

Stella’s grand-daughter, Emilida, was married off at 14 to a man twice her age. One day, while Emilida was at the markets, she was approached by two Women’s Empowerment Animators (local volunteer leaders) trained by The Hunger Project. The Animators asked Emilida why she wasn’t at school and why she was so dirty. After confiding in them about her marriage, the Animators and Emilida returned to her Grandmother’s house and spoke to her about the negative impact of child marriage and the importance of education. The group decided that it was time to take action.

They went to the village chief and had Emilida’s marriage annulled.

The Women’s Empowerment Animators empowered Stella with the knowledge and resources she needed to transform her family’s life. Now, Stella farms maize and sells firewood to earn an income. She re-enrolled Emilida in school and is an advocate for girls education.  Stella has also become a Women’s Empowerment Animator, so that she can empower other women and girls in her community.

Emilida’s vision is to one day become a teacher so that, she too can empower others through education.

This is not a story of despair. This is a story of hope, courage, transformation and possibility for the future. Leadership is not about having influence or power. Leadership is having a clear vision and having the determination, courage and passion to achieve it.

Find out more about our Leadership Immersion Programs.

The Dr. Badiul Majumdar Series: What Gets You Up In The Morning?

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Dr. Badiul Majumdar, Country Director of The Hunger Project Bangladesh, has been ending hunger for 28 years! In the final video in our special series, he talks about what motivates him every day to do the work he does.

The Dr. Badiul Majumdar Series: Why Young People Are The Future

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Young people are the future of ending hunger. Dr. Badiul Majumdar, Country Director of The Hunger Project Bangladesh, discusses how they engage young people in ending hunger in Bangladesh in the sixth video in our special series.

The Dr. Badiul Majumdar Series: A Big Lesson From A Small Bird

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This is the fifth video in our special series with Dr. Badiul Majumdar, Country Director of The Hunger Project Bangladesh. He talks about an important lesson he learnt from a small bird.

The Dr. Badiul Majumdar Series: Why Poverty Is Sexist

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This is the fourth video in our special series with Dr. Badiul Majumdar, Country Director of The Hunger Project Bangladesh. He explains why poverty is sexist.