August 2008 Newsletter: Global Update - First Electronic Newsletter

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Greetings!

We are pleased to bring you our newly formatted electronic newsletter. Each month, we will share highlights of our partners' work and how this is making an enormous difference to their lives.

In July, I traveled to Switzerland, Sweden, Germany and Australia to share the work of The Hunger Project. At the Inaugural Conference of the Global Humanitarian Forum, established by Kofi Annan, I served as a panelist in a session on food security alongside Catherine Bertini, former head of the World Food Programme, and John Holmes, the UN Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator.

I came away from this session extremely encouraged by the positive discussion that followed my key message: the importance of addressing issues of food security at the grassroots level, with a focus on women's empowerment and self-reliance. Much of the conference discussion addressed the world food crisis; there was general agreement that, in responding to this current crisis, emergency aid is not enough and that rural communities must be made more resilient to cope with such disasters. The Hunger Project has a ready solution: our methodology is sustainable, replicable and affordable.

At this time, it is important that we all share the great model of The Hunger Project. I encourage you to forward this email to your friends and colleagues and ask them to sign up to receive email updates from The Hunger Project! Africa1

Jill Lester
President & CEO

HIGHLIGHTS FROM THE FIELD

Epicenter Strategy Progress in Malawi Land at Nchalo Epicenter

In Africa, The Hunger Project mobilizes people to create dynamic centers ("epicenters") for meeting basic needs. At Nchalo Epicenter this past month, the Village Chief gave The Hunger Project five hectares of land to expand an irrigation scheme. The new land and the existing five acres of community farm will be planted this week. When the crop is harvested, the food banks will be fully stocked, ensuring the community's food security.

Ensuring Food Security in Uganda

While Jill Lester visited Uganda (see side bar), she participated in the inauguration of our newest epicenter building in Uganda at Kiruhura. This epicenter building serves a community of about 20,000 people. Our partners modified the building's design to have a separate, dedicated unit serve as the food bank. In doing so, the risk of fire is reduced and greater storage capacity is provided.

Holding Governments Accountable

One of The Hunger Project's three key strategies is making local government work. Toward that end, in Bangladesh, we have catalyzed the formation of an alliance called Shujan (Citizens for Good Governance). This past month, Shujan held numerous meetings and campaigns throughout the country focusing on electing honest candidates in the upcoming local government elections. A new website, prepared by Shujan, was launched by the chief election commissioner and provides details about candidates so voters can make informed choices.

Women Representatives Leading the Way

Our team in the state of Tamil Nadu in India is tracking the work of 72 gram panchayats (village councils) in villages where The Hunger Project works. Elected women representatives, trained by The Hunger Project, are tackling corruption in their panchayats. For example, they exposed the fact that overseers of a government-funded employment guarantee program had been paying laborers less than minimum wage and pocketing the difference. Further analysis will be available in coming months.

The Votes Are In!

Thanks to many of you for participating in our newsletter readership survey and for your continued commitment to The Hunger Project! An overwhelming majority of you supported our move to an electronic version of the monthly newsletter in order to save money for our programs in the developing world and protect the environment! Please send any feedback regarding the new format to Jenna Recuber at jkr@thp.org.


Jill Lester Visits Uganda

Jill Lester Inaugurating Epicenter Bank In July, The Hunger Project-Uganda hosted a visit by Jill Lester. While in Uganda, Jill met with President Museveni to discuss the work of The Hunger Project.

Salwens in Ghana

On July 7, Hunger Project investors, the Salwen family, were featured on two major networks in one day! At the time, the Salwens were en route to Ghana, where they visited six epicenters.

2007 Annual Report Now Available

The year 2007 was an important milestone for The Hunger Project. Click here to read about our 2007 accomplishments!