The Hunger Project-Burkina Faso was awarded the medal of "Knight of the National Order" by the nation's President, His Excellency Blaise Compaoré, for its extraordinary progress in combating rural hunger and poverty. THP's Vice President of Africa Programs, Dr. Idrissa O. Dicko, accepted the award on behalf of THP-Burkina Faso.
On Sunday, January 9, we kicked off a new year of action with The Hunger Project's first annual World Hunger Day! THP-UK organized a gala concert featuring Dionne Warwick, Natalie Cole, Elaine Paige and Mica Paris! All in all, more than 100 performers and 2,000+ guests celebrated at the Apollo Victoria Theatre in London.
The Hunger Project-India collaborated with eleven other organizations to bring 200 elected women leaders together for a two-day, open-forum convention in Bhopal on December 21-22, 2010. The women aimed to share their journeys as elected leaders, discuss achievements and challenges, identify issues for state-level advocacy and build a collective understanding of future goals.
The theme of this year's Human Rights Day is human rights defenders who act to end discrimination — leaders who speak out against human rights abuses, often at great personal risk to themselves and their families. The Hunger Project is honored to partner with thousands of volunteer leaders who are courageously doing just that each and every day.
We have reason to celebrate. The most recent UNAIDS Report on the Global AIDS Epidemic reports that new HIV infections have fallen by over 20 percent in the past 10 years. Yet, there are still two new HIV infections for every one person beginning HIV treatment, and last year, 2.6 million people were newly infected. We must continue to forge ahead.
At least one out of every three women around the world has been beaten, coerced into sex, or otherwise abused in her lifetime, and the abuser is usually someone she knows. Violence against women is one of the most widespread violations of human rights, and, like hunger, its root lies in deeply entrenched gender inequality.
The Hunger Project was invited to attend an Expo on Democracy and Open Government at Xavier's College in Mumbai, India on November 7. At the event, President Barack Obama met Country Director Rita Sarin and Sarmi Bai, an elected woman representative, trained by The Hunger Project, who is president of her panchayat (village council) in Rajasthan.
On October 23, more than 530 Hunger Project leaders, investors and friends from around the world gathered for our annual Fall Event. The weekend celebrated the courageous women of South Asia, who, against all odds, are stepping forward as leaders to bring hunger and poverty to an end.