Mobilizing People at the Grassroots Level to Build Self-reliance

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Hunger Project strategies seek to build people's capacities, leadership and confidence. We train women and men, equipping them with the skills, methods and knowledge needed to take self-reliant actions to improve their lives and conditions in their communities.

Our aim is to overcome the deep resignation people in the developing world often find themselves in as a result of failed development initiatives. The Hunger Project urges people not to wait to be rescued, but to take action now to meet their basic needs.

The first step is the Vision, Commitment and Action Workshop (VCAW). At this village-level workshop, people create their own vision for the future, commit to achieving it and outline the actions that are needed to succeed. Each participant leaves the workshop with a specific project for the following three months based entirely on local resources. In achieving this first success, people's initial inspiration develops into self-confidence.

After the VCAW, villages select local leaders, who we call "animators," who will be trained to lead the VCAW for others in the area, and to facilitate the ongoing actions that stemmed from the workshop.

There are other vital steps in mobilization. We have additional trainings for local animators. These leaders become the spark plugs for local action. As people take more substantial action, we provide skills trainings in literacy, numeracy, nutrition and local laws. We organize people into self-help groups to gain a stronger voice. Success builds on success.

The results of this mobilization include:

  • More than 385,000 trained volunteers around the world who are mobilizing millions of others to take self-reliant actions.
  • Through our Epicenter Strategy in Africa, more than 100 clusters of villages have launched village-level projects to generate their own income and build classrooms, food storage facilities and nurses' quarters to ensure ready access to health care.
  • About 78,000 elected women representatives in India are speaking out and bringing water, health and education to their villages.
  • 260,000 trained volunteer leaders in Bangladesh are initiating projects such as campaigns against early marriage, dowry and violence against women; education programs for safe drinking water, nutrition and sanitation; birth registration for rural communities; and income-generating activities.
  • Thousands of indigenous and rural villagers in Latin America are exercising their civil and human rights.

Social Mobilization Key Initiatives

HIV/AIDS and Gender

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Halting the Spread of HIV/AIDS

HIV/AIDS is devastating Africa's most productive generation, setting back decades of progress in ending hunger. AIDS is killing farmers, teachers and health workers. Food production and life expectancies are dropping. Infant mortality rates are rising.

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Strengthening Elected Women Leaders in India

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Five-Year Cycle of Empowering Women's Leadership

Effective bottom-up strategies for ending hunger and poverty combine three factors: mobilizing people at the grassroots level to build self-reliance, empowering women as key change agents and forging effective partnerships with local government. In India, these come together in our Panchayati Raj Campaign.

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