Create a world without hunger.
On October 21, 2023, nearly 300 Hunger Project activists, investors, staff and guests came together for a night of inspiration and connection. Together, we envisioned the possibilities of a world without hunger—our new vision statement launched earlier this year.
Rowlands Kaotcha, Global Vice President and Director for Africa and Mexico, led the audience on a journey throughout the night, as we heard from speakers from around the world “what’s so” in hunger today and how we at The Hunger Project are working to address those concerns.
Montse Salazar Gamboa, Country Director, THP-Mexico, spoke about how patriarchy, colonialism and other systems of oppression are causing hunger in Indigenous communities in Mexico. She shared that through our training programs, women and men start to reconsider their roles in society and feel heard and valued, often for the first time.
You can almost see the oppression physically leaving the women’s bodies. When we first start working with communities, women never look us in the eye. They keep their heads down, looking at the ground. As their contributions become valued and acknowledged, their spirits awaken, and they begin looking up.
Montse Salazar Gamboa, Country Director, THP-Mexico
Badiul Alam Majumdar, Global Vice President and Country Director for THP-Bangladesh, shared his own story of leading a revolutionary youth movement as Bangladesh gained independence. This experience drives his passion for elevating youth leadership, particularly through the Youth Ending Hunger program, which trains students in leadership, civics, innovative and critical thinking, and community organizing.
Youth by nature are risk takers. They are idealistic and once they embrace their civic duty, they are the do-gooders who can create change. They can make a new Bangladesh that is free from hunger.
Badiul Alam Majumdar, Global Vice President and Country Director for THP-Bangladesh
Aissa Barry, Head of Programs, THP-Burkina Faso, powerfully shared the story of the Toulfé Epicenter community, which was displaced by an armed militia in 2019. People were forced to flee their homes for safety but chose to reconstitute their community-led development programs in their new location. They continued to leverage training from The Hunger Project to improve their new community. This story speaks to how we strengthen the capacity of people in communities.
[Resilience] happens deep within each person, at the individual level, and then reaches out to the entire community. Conflict in Burkina Faso nearly brought 13,061 people back into chronic hunger. But their spirit survived. The cycle of inequity surrounding conflict — the dependency it creates and the destabilization it causes — has been broken in Toulfé.
Aissa Barry, Head of Programs, THP-Burkina Faso
Tim Prewitt, President and CEO, closed out the speeches by reiterating that The Hunger Project is needed now, more than ever. The level of hunger in our world remains high and we are not on target to meet the Sustainable Development Goal of Zero Hunger. So, in this next era, we will transform the systems that are keeping hunger in place around the world—including patriarchy, disenfranchisement, and conflict.
Hunger is a reflection of the way we relate to one another. It is a byproduct of injustice, of systems of inequity. Sadly, hunger persists because of our systems. Hunger is an equity challenge, and I would say, THE equity challenge of our time.
Tim Prewitt, President and CEO
Our night closed with two inspiring performances. The first was a spoken word poem, accompanied by Abou Camara from the Asase Yaa Cultural Arts Foundation. You can download the mp3 file of that poem here or a printable copy here. The final performance was from Avanti Nagral, who wrote a “song on the spot” inspired by our night together. You can watch her performance and videos from the rest of the night below:
We are grateful to our corporate sponsors who made the 2023 Fall Event possible. Thank you for standing with us for a world without hunger.
Photo Credit: Happening Photos © 2023