Why The Hunger Project?
Someone asked me the other day, why did I choose The Hunger Project to partner with?
There are a couple of reasons, but before I get to them, I should tell you the story of how I came to fall in love with the work of The Hunger Project. I first heard of their work in the mid-2000s and over the years have had friends who have worked for them for many years before. During the first lockdown, I realised that my life was always better when I was reading an interesting book. It was Jen from Rough Edges who started lending books to Chris and I - and one of them was The Soul of Money. Funnily enough, it was already on my reading list and had been previously recommended to me by the beautiful and dear soul, Jeanine Bould.
The Soul of Money is beautifully written by Lynne Twist who has worked for The Hunger Project as a fundraiser for many, many years. This has meant that she has rubbed elbows with some of the world's richest billionaires and some of the world's most resource-poor people on the planet. She tells story after story about the people she has met and what she has learned about human beings and our relationship to money. Briefly, her main premise is that sufficiency, declaring that I have enough, is the missing understanding in our relationship to money. So many of the narratives of our lives are embedded with a story of there being 'not enough'. She also helps you to uncollapse your net worth with your self-worth. This is very powerful work so only read it if you're ready for a transformation!
After reading it, I reviewed our spending habits through the lens of what our values are. We realised that shopping for new plastic toys at Woolies was not in line with our values, but we had fallen for the convenience of it. There are many gems to be found in our op shops of second-hand toys that would otherwise end up in landfill. So we changed our habits to line up with our values.
I also learned a lot about The Hunger Project. Established in 1977, it now has a global reach of more than 15.8 million people living in rural villages in Africa, India, Bangladesh, and Latin America. The Hunger Project uses an innovative, holistic approach that tackles the core issues linked to hunger by starting with women, building self-reliance at the grassroots level, and forging effective partnerships with local governments. The Hunger Project evolved during a period in time when sending aid in the form of money and resources from wealthy western countries was a popular approach. Unfortunately, when conflict or war stopped being covered by the media in the west, eventually the aid ran out too and people were left in a state of dependency, disempowered, and with fewer resources. These bandaid solutions were not addressing the core issues and the source of hunger and poverty on the planet. From a new paradigm of thinking, the work of The Hunger Project works with local people empowering them to find local solutions. This is such an important shift that enables a sustainable result while recognising that people are whole and complete, no matter where they live and what amount of resources they have access to.
So what's the deal with world hunger these days?
Here are 5 facts about world hunger:
1. 690 million people (1 in 11) in the world are chronically hungry, while 750 million people (1 in 10) are living in severe food insecurity.
2. Asia is home to 381 million hungry people, Africa 250 million and Latin America and the Caribbean report 48 million people.
3. In total, 2 billion people live every day with some form of food insecurity or hunger.
4. There are nearly 60 million more undernourished people now than in 2014.
5. If this trend continues, more than half of the hungry people will live in Africa by 2030 - the year by which we're working to end world hunger.
And here are some of the results produced by The Hunger Project:
- 897,000 people living in 54 self-reliant communities after graduating from The Hunger Project programs
- 548,000 local volunteer leaders have been trained globally who mobilise themselves and others to solve problems locally
- hunger has been completely eliminated from 34 communities and severe hunger has been reduced by less than 1% in 9 more
What's really powerful is to read the stories of the people who have participated in The Hunger Project and hear firsthand about their experience here.
Empowering local people to create local solutions and a sustainable future for themselves is totally my jam. That is why I am proud to support The Hunger Project. At my twice-annual Showcase of Show Ponies and Kings of Joy All-Stars, 10% of all ticket sales goes to The Hunger Project. We have someone from The Hunger Project come and speak and we watch one of the incredible videos. We also hold a raffle with 100% of ticket sales going to The Hunger Project. I also go to my business networking community at BNI and for two weeks, run a campaign to request donations through this network. It's a blast. I'm out to prove that you can have fun AND make a difference at the same time.
If you'd like to give, you can do so now at thp.org.au/give-now and remember, give from your saucer, not your cup.
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