Achieving the MDGs at the Community Level
In September 2000, the leaders of 189 nations adopted the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) for ending extreme poverty. The deadline for achieving these goals is now less than four years away.
Will the world achieve the promises embodied in the MDGs? In the words of the UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon just last year, there has been "important progress and there have been many successes on which to build. But we have been moving too slowly to meet our goals." With the astonishing near-collapse of the world financial system over the past 18 months, sadly, much of the progress to which the Secretary-General was referring has not only been stalled but, in some cases, has suffered a reversal.
It is against this background that we should take immense pride in The Hunger Project's (THP's) shining example of how to achieve the MDGs in a sustainable and lasting way at the community level. Incredible progress continues to be made in our communities as we work, in full and genuine partnership, with our village partners, empowering them to meet the MDGs where it really counts: at the grassroots level.
Through THP programs, our partners in Africa receive training in better farming practices, improve productivity through agricultural inputs, and run community farms where they implement new techniques while producing food for the epicenter food bank.
In 2010, more than 700,000 kilograms of food was distributed to village partners from epicenter food banks to help provide food during lean times.
Our partners around the world participate in THP skills-building workshops, where they learn income-generating skills such as animal fattening, textile dying, soap making and basket weaving.
In Africa, women and men participate in our Microfinance Program, which distributes small loans to support partners in their agricultural activities or to start or expand their small business. During the period January-September 2009, over 17,000 new loans worth approximately $1.5 million were disbursed as part of this program. Learn more about the Microfinance Program.
Nearly 10,000 children, more than half of whom are girls, are enrolled in early education at our epicenters in Africa, where they receive a daily meal.
THP animators in Bangladesh and trained elected women representatives in India fight daily to secure the education of every child, especially girls. Read more about the celebration of National Girl Child Day in Bangladesh.
Empowering women as key change agents is one of THP's three fundamental pillars of work to end hunger and poverty.
In 2010, over 100,000 village partners were trained in gender equality issues throughout our Program Countries. More than 3,000 women graduated from literacy classes at our epicenters in Africa.
In India, over 78,000 elected women representatives have been trained in women's leadership to date.
In all the countries where we work, THP mobilizes communities to run their own village campaigns, which focus on nutrition, education, health and the reduction of water-borne disease. In Africa, over 58,000 children were weighed and monitored at epicenter health clinics in 2010, and about 50,000 children were vaccinated to prevent childhood diseases in the critical years of ages 0-5.
In all its programs, THP supports maternal health by fostering awareness, improving access to education, increasing the availability of health care and, most importantly, by raising the status of women within communities. Over 15,000 pregnant women accessed antenatal care and training at our epicenters in Africa during 2010.
Over 100,000 people were trained in THP's HIV/AIDS and Gender Inequality Workshop in Africa in 2010.
More than 24,000 bed nets were distributed to partners in our epicenters in Africa to reduce malaria cases.
There were over 100,000 visits to our epicenter health clinics.
About 130 new or repaired boreholes increased access to safe water, and nearly 20 public latrines were constructed to improve sanitation.
In the last year, more than 52,000 trees were planted in our partner communities in Africa to improve environmental sustainability.
In collaboration with Environmental Defense Fund, THP-India is training elected women to build the capacity of their villages to cope with and adapt to climate change.
In Mexico, trained village leaders have begun recycling programs in their communities.
In Bangladesh, animators and volunteer students mobilize tree-planting mass-action campaigns.
Learn more about our work to support environmental sustainability.
THP does not see those who donate their money as donors but as investors, stakeholders who are standing in full partnership with people living in conditions of hunger and poverty.
In addition, THP works in partnership with local governments and many international and local organizations to further our work on the ground. In Bangladesh, for example, from April-December 2009, THP facilitated 144 meetings with local government bodies, in which 15,000 community members participated, and in Mexico, THP conducted 25 strategic planning meetings with local government.
A growing number of corporations and foundations throughout the world are proud to link their name to ours as partners striving for better development outcomes.