Ailan Tran, Investor
Hunger Project investor Ailan Tran knows what it means to struggle within the pressures of a culture. In the early 1980s, a young Ailan moved with her family from Southeast Asia to Australia.
"I had to overcome numerous cultural obstacles (such as learning English) while my family struggled to support me through my education."
Ailan worked hard to overcome these challenges in order to thrive in her work and education. A leader in Ailan's local community, Betty, who Ailan describes as her "adopted Australian grandmother" helped her to "understand the importance of family, maintaining good health and the significance that individuals can make in fulfilling community service."
When Ailan encountered The Hunger Project (THP) in 2008, she was drawn to THP's messages of community strength.
"In learning about the achievements of the men and women involved in The Hunger Project around the world, I was inspired by the strength, courage and determination of these communities to achieve self-reliance in challenging situations. I used this inspiration to overcome the obstacles faced in my work, identify innovative solutions to achieve the required outcomes and do it all with a smile."
On a 2010 investor trip to Ghana, Ailan had the opportunity to get to know one of those strong, courageous and determined women: Jane, a single mother and THP staff member in Ghana. When Jane discovered her husband's infidelity, she made the culturally controversial decision to leave the marriage and raise her children independently, in the face of opposition from her parents and her husband's parents.
"Jane told me that THP empowered her to choose her voice and what she felt was the right thing to do for herself, over the opinions and judgments of her community. She is much happier since her divorce, and is thriving with a successful career and healthy children."
Admiring of Jane's personal strength and the commitment of THP to empowering women like her, Ailan is now a valued investor contributing to the empowerment of women like Jane around the world.
"Jane inspired me because of the courage she demonstrated in standing up for what she believes in, the strength of her conviction to ensure a happy, healthy life for her children and her determination to succeed despite the challenges of the local culture that has different rules for men and women. Jane's story highlights the pioneering spirit that all women have in them and that we can nurture this spirit inside us to achieve our own definition of success."
- Read about our exciting new endeavor, the Unleashed Women Leaders Initiative.