While adapted to meet local challenges and opportunities wherever we work, all our programs have the same foundation in these three pillars.
1. Start with women
Women bear almost all responsibility for meeting basic needs of the family, yet are systematically denied the resources, information and freedom of action they need to fulfill this responsibility.
The vast majority of the world’s poor are women. Two-thirds of the world’s illiterate population are female. Of the millions of school age children not in school, the majority are girls And today, HIV/AIDS is rapidly becoming a woman’s disease. Women comprise nearly 60% of all people living with HIV/AIDS in Sub-Saharan Africa.
Studies show that when women are supported and empowered, all of society benefits. Their families are healthier, more children go to school, agricultural productivity improves and incomes increase. In short, communities become more resilient.
We firmly believe that empowered women are the key change agents and are the essential element to achieving the end of hunger and poverty. Wherever we work, our programs aim to support women and build their capacity.
2. Mobilize communities
Our strategies seek to build people’s capacities, leadership and confidence. We train women and men, equipping them with the skills, methods and knowledge needed to take self-reliant actions to improve their lives and conditions in their communities. In Africa, this is carried out with our Epicenter Strategy.
There are other vital steps in mobilization. We have additional trainings for local animators. These leaders become the spark plugs for local action. As people take more substantial action, we provide skills trainings in literacy, numeracy, nutrition and local laws. We organize people into self-help groups to gain a stronger voice. Success builds on success.
3. Engage local government
Local government is closest to the people and has the mission of working with people to meet their basic needs. The Hunger Project works in partnership with local government bodies to ensure that they are effective, include the leadership of women, are directly accountable to local people, and provide access to resources and information.
In order to strengthen local government, we work from the top down, lobbying for state and national law changes, and in some cases court rulings, to shift power to the hands of the people.
Vision, Commitment & Action Workshops
Mindset shift is at the heart of The Hunger Project’s programs. The Vision, Commitment, and Action workshop helps communities envision a future of their own making. We believe that every person has the right to be the author of their own development.
The Vision, Commitment and Action Workshop serves as the foundation of our work. It inspires individuals to move from “I can’t” to “I can” to “We can.” Through participation in our trainings, people set a vision for their communities, and then lay out the actions they will take to achieve that vision.
At this village-level workshop, people create their own vision for the future, commit to achieving it and outline the actions that are needed to succeed. Each participant leaves the workshop with a specific project for the following three months based entirely on local resources. In achieving this first success, people’s initial inspiration develops into self-confidence.
After the VCA workshop, villages select local leaders, who we call “animators,” who will be trained to lead the VCA workshop for others in the area, and to facilitate the ongoing actions that stemmed from the workshop.
Make change happen. Invest in people.
The Hunger Project
110 West 30th Street, 6th Floor
New York, NY 10001
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