In eight countries of Africa, our Epicenter Strategy mobilizes clusters of rural villages into “epicenters,” which band together 5,000-15,000 people to create a dynamic center where communities are mobilized for action to meet their basic needs. This strategy is designed to partner with communities over a period of about eight years after which they graduate to a phase of “sustainable self-reliance,” which means that communities have demonstrated the confidence, capacity and skills to act as agents of their own development.
Self-reliant communities have demonstrated progress in the following eight goals:
- Mobilized rural communities that continuously set and achieve their own development goals;
- Empowered women and girls in rural communities;
- Improved access to safe drinking water and sanitation facilities in rural communities;
- Improved literacy and education in rural communities;
- Reduced prevalence of hunger and malnutrition in rural communities, especially for women and children;
- Improved access to and use of health resources in rural communities;
- Reduced incidence of poverty in rural communities; and
- Improved land productivity and climate resilience of smallholder farmers.
Community members of these epicenters have affirmed multiple local partnerships, created funding streams from revenue-generating activities and established gender-balanced leadership structures to support sustainable growth. The Hunger Project has activated its exit strategy, and it is anticipated that there will be no further financial inputs, with the exception of not-as-frequent staff visits and a post-evaluation three to five years later in a select number of epicenters.
This is a monumental achievement for these communities and all of the staff and investors who partnered with them along the way! We’d like to particularly acknowledge the Eureka Benevolent Foundation who has underwritten Champiti Epicenter, and the Ligowe investor consortium led by Eve Howell, who has underwritten Ligowe Epicenter.
“This achievement of Champiti and Ligowe Epicenters is the culmination of a long-term partnership and commitment between communities and The Hunger Project, and we are so thrilled and proud of what our community partners have accomplished” said Åsa Skogström Feldt, President and CEO of The Hunger Project. “This is an example of how a strategy can achieve locally owned vision and goals and foster a culture of self-determination in which the community itself is the driver of continued change.”
To honor this historic achievement, the Minister of Local Government and Rural Development, Honorable Kondwani Nankhumwa, MP, senior government officials, district council officials, members of the donor community and civil society representatives will be in attendance at the celebrations on October 12th (Champiti) and Friday October 14th (Ligowe). In addition, a group of The Hunger Project’s Australian investors and members of The Hunger Project’s Global Staff will be in attendance.
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