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.
We are thrilled to announce that Kiruhura Epicenter — has achieved its targets set for declaring self-reliance.
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.
Here are some key highlights of Kiruhura’s achievement:
- Kiruhura has one of the highest Women’s Empowerment Index scores to date across our epicenters at nearly 78 out of 100 points
- 100% of women are receiving at least one antenatal visit
- There was a 65% increase in the proportion of the population aware of their HIV status since the midterm study in 2013
- Extreme poverty was reduced by nearly 75% since baseline
- 37% of households have a nonfarm business
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 Whitbread Foundation and the Cranlana group of investors, who have underwritten Kiruhura Epicenter.
Invest now in our work to end hunger and poverty worldwide.