hunger Project 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.
Our aim is to overcome the deep resignation people in the developing world often find themselves in as a result of failed development initiatives. The Hunger Project urges people not to wait to be rescued, but to take action now to meet their basic needs. The first step is the Vision, Commitment and Action Workshop (VCAW). 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 VCAW, villages select local leaders, who we call “animators,” who will be trained to lead the VCAW for others in the area, and to facilitate the ongoing actions that stemmed from the workshop. 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. Empowering Women as Key Change Agents 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 popultion 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 percent of all people living with HIV/AIDS in Sub-Saharan Africa. Around the world, millions of people eat two or three times a day, but a significant percentage of women eat only once. Many women deny themselves even that one meal to ensure that their children are fed. These women are already suffering the effects of even more severe malnutrition, which inevitably will be their children’s fate as well. 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. The Hunger Project firmly believes that empowering women to be key change agents is an essential element to achieving the end of hunger and poverty. Wherever we work, our programs aim to support women and build their capacity. HIV/AIDS and Gender Halting the Spread of HIV/AIDS HIV/AIDS is devastating Africa’s most productive generation, setting back decades of progress in ending hunger. AIDS is killing farmers, teachers and health workers. Food production and life expectancies are dropping. Infant mortality rates are rising. AIDS is 100 percent preventable. If empowered with accurate information, and freed from social taboos, attitudes and behaviors that fuel the epidemic, the people of Africa have proven that they can protect themselves and their families. The Hunger Project is in a unique position to make a difference. Our successful programs in kamuli have provided us with access to government, partnership with leading organizations, the critically missing rural infrastructure, and, most importantly, the courageous grassroots-level leadership willing and able to confront the gender issues fueling the spread of the disease. Impact Assessment Participatory Monitoring and Evaluation The Hunger Project (THP) is committed to providing stakeholders with timely, objective, and reliable data on the results of our projects and the overall impact of our strategies. THP takes a participatory approach to monitoring and evaluation and encourages grassroots solutions to improving programs through systematic community-led analysis of results. THP’s Participatory Monitoring and Evaluation (PM&E) system is designed to: Support community partners with the information and tools required to identify needs, set priorities and track progress of community development projects; Promote organizational learning by enabling THP staff and partner organizations to continuously monitor and improve our programs; Promote accountability and transparency within the organization and among partners and investors; Provide evidence needed to influence policymakers and other thought leaders to adopt THP’s proven approaches to our bottom-up, gender-focused development. The Hunger Project’s PM&E system is consistent with our program methodology to empower people living in conditions of hunger and poverty to be the primary agents of their own development. Strengthening the skills needed for citizens to participate in actively monitoring their progress is an integral component of our monitoring and evaluation strategy. Priority Policy Areas The Hunger Project focuses its energies in four policy areas relevant to achieving the MDGs.