September 2009 eNewsletter: Honoring Young Artists, Journalists and Women, and Microfinance Success


Dear Friends,

Last week, the UN General Assembly adopted a resolution to create a new, single entity to promote the rights and well-being of women worldwide. It will combine four existing bodies within the UN system that focus on women and will be headed by an Under-Secretary-General. The Hunger Project (THP) applauds the UN for this action, which is a welcome development demonstrating an increased commitment to gender equality.

In Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon's words, "An important step has been made in strengthening the United Nations' work in the area of gender equality and empowerment of women."

Over the past 20 years, THP has placed empowering women and girls at the very heart of our strategy. In the three-month period from April to June this year:

  • We trained nearly 60,000 women worldwide in areas such as leadership skills, food security, functional adult literacy and income generation;
  • In Africa, 3,800 women partners accessed credit through our Microfinance Program to expand their small businesses and farming activities;
  • More than 12,000 girls were vaccinated at the health centers in our epicenters; and
  • More than 7,000 girls were weighed and monitored to support early childhood health.

Read more highlights of our work to empower women and girls around the world below.

Your support is what makes such work possible, and we thank you sincerely.

Best wishes,

Jill Lester
President and CEO

Bangladesh: Art Competition Honors Girl Children

On September 10, about 400 children, aged 6-16, gathered in Dhaka for an art competition coordinated by member organizations of the National Girl Child Advocacy Forum, including THP, which serves as the secretariat. This event is one of a series leading up to the October 6th nationwide celebration of National Girl Child Day, which seeks to end discrimination against girl children. This year's theme is "Let every girl child grow up in a safe and fun-filled environment." Five talented winners will receive prizes on National Girl Child Day. Read more.

India: Media Prize for Best Reporting on Women in Local Government

On October 2, THP-India will host its award ceremony for the ninth annual Sarojini Naidu Prize (SNP) for Best Reporting on Women in Panchayati Raj, which honors three journalists for outstanding reporting on women in local government. This year, a total of 929 entries were received. Find out who the winners are.

This year's ceremony comes at a time of great excitement in India about women's participation in the political process as the government moves closer to extending the reservation of seats in village councils for women from one-third to 50 percent across the country. "This is a historic moment," says Rita Sarin, THP-India Country Director. Read more about this development.

Malawi: THP Ensures People Live Positively with HIV/AIDS

After discovering that most microfinance initiatives bypass HIV-positive people because they are considered too risky, THP-Malawi began a pilot credit program exclusively for HIV-positive people with funding from Novib. A recent article in Malawi's newspaper, The Nation, entitled "Living Positively with HIV, AIDS," featured Meliya Mwambucha, a 40-year old HIV-positive woman who, after being turned down for loans from elsewhere, took a loan from THP and now has a successful small business. "It's like The Hunger Project has resurrected me from the grave. I was dying and I am now revived," she says. Read the article.

Peru: Celebrating the International Day of Indigenous Women

Our colleagues from Chirapaq, THP's partner organization in Peru, commemorated the International Day of Indigenous Women on September 5. The day calls special attention to the role of indigenous women, particularly as advocates for their land and territory, and as preservers of the ancient wisdom of their peoples. In honor of the day, Chirapaq distributed a newsletter entitled, "Indigenous Women and their Struggle for Freedom."

Come to Our Annual Gala!

It's Time! Scaling Up THP to Achieve a Hunger-Free Future

October 24-25, 2009
New York City

Purchase your tickets now!

Learn more about the event weekend.

Help Us Reach Out!

Join the Host Committee for our Fall Event Weekend by bringing 10 family members, friends or colleagues to the Fall Event. Download evite.

Making a Difference

Elizabeth Kalimbuka participated in THP-Malawi's pilot credit program exclusively for HIV-positive people. Elizabeth is now one of THP's specialized HIV/AIDS animators, has a bustling business, pays school fees for her extended family and has refurbished her home.

Learn more about Elizabeth.

Meet more of our partners.

Quote of the Month

"Women and girls aren't the problem; they're the solution."

-Nicholas D. Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn, "Why Women's Rights Are the Cause of Our Time," The New York Times Magazine, August 23, 2009

In this piece, THP is cited as an organization that promotes women as the key to ending hunger. Read more.