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The Hunger Project is a global not-for-profit, founded in 1977. We believe passionately that ending hunger is possible, and that our generation has the power to end it once and for all.
Our vision is a world without hunger.
Our mission is to facilitate individual and collective action to transform the systems of inequity that create hunger and cause it to persist.
We do this by pioneering sustainable, grassroots, women-centred strategies and advocating for their widespread adoption in countries throughout the world. We comprise of 13 Programme countries across rural Africa, South Asia and Latin America and 12 Partner countries.
Unlike famines that receive emergency-aid, chronic hunger is a silent, invisible, day-after-day condition. Millions live with hunger and undernourishment because they simply cannot afford to buy enough food, cannot afford nutritious foods or cannot afford the farming supplies they need to grow enough good food of their own.
Top-down, aid-driven, ‘West knows best’ models fail to create sustainable, lasting change for communities living in hunger and poverty. At The Hunger Project we’re breaking the cycle of hunger and poverty, by flipping this model on its head. We believe hungry people themselves are the key to ending hunger and we have 40+ years of evidence to say this theory of change works.
In 2022, The Hunger Project’s work reached nearly 12 million people.
Our work in the UK
For us in the United Kingdom, we think there is more to life than just consuming. We are all connected, and honouring that connection through partnership makes life richer.
We all have a part to play in the end of hunger. Find yours by joining the movement of people rising up to end hunger by 2030.
Girls who live in rural areas, come from low-income families or have little to no education run a higher risk or becoming child brides. Child marriage can negatively affect a girl’s development by leading to early pregnancy, social isolation, interrupting schooling, limiting career advancement opportunities and increasing the risk of domestic violence. We partner with volunteers or “animators” who run awareness campaigns to put an end to violence against girls and discriminatory practices like child marriage, dowry and female genital mutilation.
Our 2022 Strategic Framework identifies imperatives, or themes, that are essential to recognise and work with in this era of The Hunger Project.
A large part of the world's problems with poverty and hunger is due to women not having the same social status as men. The impact of climate change, the digital divide, food insecurity, conflict none are gender neutral. Women and girls are the most burdened by these global challenges accounting for more than 60% of those living in hunger. Malnourishment often starts with young, malnourished women with a lack of resources, little knowledge about nutrition and those who are subject to traditional cultural practices where women eat least and last. If a society discriminates against half of its citizens, half of society's knowledge, commitment and creativity is unused.
Women's low status affects a number of areas negatively, for example more early marriages, increased violence against women, higher child mortality and higher maternal mortality. 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. Thats why gender is the foundational theme for our entire strategy.
The Hunger Project trains women to become decision makers, to take their place among society's strongest leaders and to become entrepreneurs on equal terms. Over 500,000 women have attended leadership training with us.
One of our main priorities is to secure women's political, economic and social participation. When people have the knowledge and strength to exercise their rights, they can lift themselves out of poverty and hunger.
Ethiopia is home to 15 million child brides. This is one of their stories.
Now a young adult woman, Adebar knows just how challenging it can be to escape the deep-rooted practice of child marriage in a community. Adebar is 21 years old and comes from a subsistence farming community in the Ethiopia. Currently, Adebar excels as a student and is first in her class. But Adebar's journey to being an outstanding student has not been without challenge. At only 11 years old, her parents forced her to marry a man much older than her. She still copes with the physical and psychological trauma of her life as a child bride a life she regularly tried to escape by running away to her parents home, only to be returned to her husband and beaten.
Still, Adebar remained committed to escaping the marriage. She eventually turned to the only person in her family who would not shame her for wanting to escape: her uncle. With her uncles help, Adebar finally ended the marriage after surviving four years of abuse.
Two years later, however, when Adebar was 17, her parents began arranging her second marriage against her wishes. By this time, Adebar had heard about the Her Choice program from her peers and reached out to her schools Her Choice contact. The local Her Choice staff member took the time to meet with Adebar, her family and her potential husbands family. Through multiple sessions at their homes and at Adebar's school, they learned about the long term negative health outcomes and legal repercussions of child marriage and the wedding was swiftly called off.
Thanks to Her Choice program, Adebar aims to become a Women's Rights advocate by attending university and studying law.
"The innovative project supported me with academic materials, psychological and key sexual and reproductive health rights support that paved the way for me to return to school. Now I have a comprehensive understanding of child marriage/female genital mutilation and hurtful practices, because of the training program in the local school. I have quickly become a change agent of key SRHR issues, child marriage and girls education. As an active member of the girls club, I produce and use handmade sanitary materials (pants, pads, and face masks) and share my experience in community gatherings and rallies." -Adebar.
Not all girls are able to access an advocate through networks like Her Choice. And, instead of realising the full potential of their lives through education, they enter a cycle of generational hunger. When they are young, these girls are perceived as less valuable and are fed last and least. These chronically malnourished girls are then denied opportunity to an education or agency over their own bodies and, like Adebar, are forced to marry young. Most then give birth long before their bodies have fully developed. Their children, in turn, are stunted by the malnourishment of their young mothers. And, if they are girl babies, they are fed last and least. In this way, the cycle of hunger continues and worsens.
To break this cycle, programs like Her Choice, a coalition of organisations including The Hunger Project, change mindsets and dismantle the systems that perpetuate hunger. To break this cycle, we must invest in girls.
To find out more, visit our website - https://thehungerproject.org.uk/
Photo by © Johannes Odé – The Hunger Project-Ethiopia